Thursday, May 14, 2015

Various Artists - 1970 - Pop & Blues Festival '70

Various Artists
Pop & Blues Festival '70

01. Frumpy     Duty    7:35
02. Thrice Mice     Vivaldi's Revival    7:12
03. Beatique Corporation     Going Straight    3:41
04. Tomorrow's Gift     Sound Of Which    19:58
05. Frumpy     Floating    12:14
06. Beatique Corporation     Things We Said    5:21
07. Sphinx Tush     Crashville    4:40
08. Beatique Corporation     Sunwave    15:15

The Pop & Blues Festival in Hamburg '70 was one of the first big German  Rock festivals  and presented  mainly the Jazz and Blues oriented Prog bands. (the term Pop must be seen here historically) On this record there are tracks from Frumpy, Tomorrow's Gift, Sphinx Tush, Thrice Mice and some jam sessions by members from these bands. The CD release is by a small Australian label, but I don't know if this record has been released oficcially on LP or CD before. The sound quality  is good (probably a soundboard recording). The most interesting tracks IMO are the 2 Frumpy tracks, followed by the Thrice Mice track and the jam sessions. The long Tomorrow's gift track ( a 20 minutescover version of Donovan's "Season of The witch") is slighly boring and chaotic and precedes the release of their fisrt record. Historically the most rare track is theSphinx Tush track , because the trio never released a record during it's existence. BTW Zabba Lindner the Sphinx Tush drummer joined  later Tomorrow's Gift.
All in all a highly  interesting document.
A sextet from Hamburg, playing the patented, distinctive German type of progressive jazz-rock typified by underground legends like Xhol or Out Of Focus (2nd & 3rd album). The leading soloist in Thrice Mice was Wolfgang Buhre. He often tried to copy the wah-wah sax style of Ian Underwood of Mothers Of Invention. Their album was recorded during November and December 1970 in Hamburg and released on Phillips in 1971. After a couple of years, the group resurfaced as Altona and made two further albums for RCA in 1974 and 1975.

The Krautrock scene may be best known for creating some of the weirdest abd revolutionary rock music, yet there was another side to the scebe, of progressive that rivalled the best in Britain, of which Frumpy were at the forefront, followed by the like of Jane, Eloy, Novalis, Message, et al. This band played their own brand of progressive rock that was mainly influenced by blues, soul and hard rcok with some minor classical elements. Their female vocalist Inga Rumpf had a quite weird voice, sounding more like a man than a woman. However, the main musician in the band was their French organ-player Jean-Jacques Kravetz who delivered some solos that nearly were on par with the best progressive rock keyboardist.
Frumpy later transmuted into the more commercial Atlantis.

1969 the famous trio "Sphinx Tush" was founded with Zabba Lindner on drums and Andreas Smietana on bass. Their music was something like early punkmusic, long before punk was getting popular. They used to play in the biggest hall of the town (Ernst-Merck-Halle), where groups like the "Rolling Stones" used to play. They have played at the last evening of the well known Star-Club in St. Pauli (thats where the Beatles started) and they've done many live-perfomances at the radiostation NDR.

Like Frumpy and Joy Unlimited, they were a blues and soul-rock band who turned on, tuned in and dropped out to the progressive music at the end of the sixties. Both mentioned bands had female vocalists, as had Tomorrow's Gift: Ellen Meyer. Arguably she didn't have a voice as strong as Inga Rumpf, but hers was good enough to serve the music. Tomorrow's Gift was really a band of future talents, three of the members being still teenagers. Original guitarist Carlo Karges later worked with groups as different as Novalis, Extrabreit and Nena. He also guested on the Release Music Orchestra album 'Get The Ball' (1976). Manfred Rurup later recorded with Carsten Bohn's Bandstand, Elephant and Inga Rumpf.

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