Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pop Workshop - 1974 - Song Of The Pterodactyl

Pop Workshop
Song Of The Pterodactyl

01. Prehistoric Bird
02. Song of the Pterodactyl
03. High Priest
04. Dilemma
05. Watusi Dance
06. Mammoth
07. Ozzy Bear
08. Kuyaviak Goes Funky

Zbigniew Namyslowski - alto saxophone [electrified], flute, cello
Mads Winding - bass
Tony Williams - drums
Janne Schaffer - guitar
Wlodek Gulgowski - piano [Fender], synth [Synthi], keyboards

Interesting all-star fusion band including Janne Schaffer and Tony Williams. Definitely a Coltrane-ish jazz album with strong overtones of Mahavishnu era fusion and Herbie Hancock “Headhunters” funk. A nice mix and not too far from that other Swedish based jazz rock ensemble Ablution, though I found that one to be more unique. Those that like the early 70s jazz fusion sound, will most certainly enjoy this release.

On the same label (Grammofonverket) as the much recommended Ibis album, Pop Workshop are clearly a band operating in the raw jazz rock category (rather than fusion). Founded by two prominent Polish jazz members on keyboards and sax, Pop Workshop - over the course of both albums - features marquee name players such as guitarist Janne Schaffer, drummer Tony Williams, and bassist Mads Vinding. This is definitely music of the underground, and fans looking for slick fusion will have to look elsewhere. I would say Ablution - another international band based in Sweden - is probably the closest comparison here. "Song of the Pterodactyl" adds in the more trendy Herbie Hancock "Headhunters" era styled funk to great effect. Both are very good albums that are in dire need of a CD reissue.



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