02. Hello You 5:53
03. Stoned Is 4:08
04. Religious Song 5:19
05. Mermaid Song 7:57
06. CIA's Lullaby 11:25
Jeffrey Watson (vocals, percussion)
Michael Tschudin (keyboards)
Cal Hill (bass)
Les Lumley (percussion)
Chip White (drums)
Cynara is one of those interesting jazz-rock fusion albums that appeared in the late 1960's early 1970's from bands like "The Flock" , "If", or "Manfred Mann's Chapter 3". This one focuses on the Kieth Emerson like keyboards of M. Tschudin.
The first side is song-form oriented with the blues influenced vocals of Jeffery Watson and could have been improved in several cases with stronger material but the second side really opens up and demonstrates on two songs what this band could do. "Mermaid Song" is a light jazzy tune with vibes and "Lullaby for CIA" a jazz instrumental with stunning keyboard improvisation and the great Evlin Jones on drums.
Cynara was an American progressive quintet,short career, created in 1970 by Michael Tschudin,a former member of the band Boston 'Listening' which,after the band broke up,he went looking for musicians for a new project. This is how Jeffrey Watson recruits in voice and percussion,Cal Hill on bass,percussion and Les Lumley Chip White on drums. Primarily the band sought to draw most attention,playing in clubs and festivals in New York.
In August 1970,they released their first and only album, the self-titled Cynara recorded in New York and produced by Ken Cooper. A highly attractive and extensive work with unusual songs,often with a Middle Eastern flavor, being receptive to a wide range of listeners. Fortunately the band does not stay in a comfortable place,the first track is a blues-rock rather attractive,the faithful Atomic Rooster style,and easily could have stayed in that classic structure,but fortunately they played in the development of the topics they managed and developed enough quality issues,and that feeling will go over topics...The sound is commanded by the Hammond organs,and/or piano Michael Tschudin,who had theoretical knowledge as a musician and classical music. It is he who is responsible for all compositions of the album and who knows give it a unique freshness to each piece,moving a wide range of shades and structures within each of the styles that elapses. Added to this,the expressive and vocal arrangements Jeffrey Watson.
The album is very diverse,you can not fit in a single style. In the first issue we have a well developed progressive rock,blues rock stylish and attractively imposed by the sound of the band from the start. It is on the second topic,''Hello You'', where they move to a more pop-rock sound, implementing some very nice vocal arrangements. ''Stone Is'' is the third track,a cover that makes that subject on the record that gave Tschudin as part of Listening and entering a more psychedelic atmosphere and flown, with a very good reversal one of his subjects,and of hands before sounded great. ''Religius Song'',the disc begins to twist your sound to experiment and search for places not so basic,with a little more painstaking arrangements and a stressed atmosphere. In this it follows the theme ''Mermaid Song'',a mixture of jazz and pop 8 minutes,with average experimental instrumental passages. And so we come to the last issue,''CIA's Lullaby'' a 11-minute experiment jazz bordering on the absurd,perhaps combining all the aforementioned feature,a mixture of jazz and soul,and classical arrangements which at times recall sounds quite Keith Emerson,plus enhanced by the exceptional participation of veteran jazz drummer Elvin Jones,which provides an impressive rhythmic base.
Unfortunately after the album's release with because the commercial failure and the band, which came together quickly dissolved, even tempered by the fact that this is the second album led by Michael Tschudin not reaching the recognition,on that he deserved.