Saturday, January 9, 2016

Amazing Blondel - 1971 - Fantasia Lindum

Amazing Blondel
Fantasia Lindum

01. Fantasia Lindum: (20:13)
  a) Prelude and Theme
  b) Song: Swifts, Swains, Leafy Lanes
  c) Dance: Jig Upon Jig; Theme (lutes and recorder)
  d) Dance (Galliard): God Must Doubt
  e) Song: Lincolnshire Lullaby
  f) Dance: Basse Dance; Theme (lute duet)
  g) Dance: Quatre Dance Pavan
  h) Song: Celestial Light (for Lincoln Cathedral)
  i) Dance: Coranto; Theme (lutes and recorders)
  j) End
02. To Ye (3:24)
03. Safety In God Alone (4:49)
04. Two Dances: (1:56)
  a) Almaine
  b) Bransle For My Ladys' Delight
  5. Three Seasons Almaine (3:32)
06*. Seige of Yaddlethorpe (2:30)

* - on some reissues the title is "Siege of Yaddlethorpe"

- John David Gladwin / 2nd lute, lead vocals, double bass, theorboe (lute).
- Terence Alan Wincott / recorders, vocals, crumhorn, harpsichord, piano, harmonium, percussion, woodwind
- Edward Baird / 1st lute, vocals, glockenspiel, dulcimer, guitar

Guest musicians:
- Jim Capaldi / drums

The three albums the Amazing Blondel made for Island records with John Gladwin on board are all very good, especially "Fantasia Lindum" and "England". Now, I can't consider them as "progressive rock", they more sort of "progressive Elisabethian" (good one, isn´t it). There is no electric instrumentation and the use of several medieval and renaissance instruments makes a comparison with early Gryphon or John Renbourn Group most relevant. But the Amazing Blondel were a very unique ensemble. It is kaind of amazing that this sort of music was released by the independent Island records. They could hardly expect any chart success!
Fantasia Lindum kicks off with the title suite with short songs with instrumental pieces in between. The acoustic (Spanish) guitars are dominating with Terry Wincotts sweeping recorders and crumhorns on top. In Edward Baird, the band was in posession of one of the finest acoustic guitar players England ever produced. John Gladwin romantic voice is very gentle and very, very English. In short - side one on the original album is the finest piece of music the band ever produced. However, the shorter tunes on the second side is not far behind and "Seige of Yaddlethorpe" even managed to end up on several Island compilations.

"Fantasia Lindum" and the follow up "England" is essential listening for those who appreciate music from olde England. Some people call Amazing Blondels´music "folk music", which I think is a misstake. It´s more influented by the "nobel" music playd in the courts and manors during the middle ages and the early modern times!

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