Friday, May 20, 2016

Gilgamesh - 1975 - Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh 
1975 
Gilgamesh




01. One End More / Phil's Little Dance - For Phil Miller's Trousers / Worlds Of Zin (10:20)
- a) One End More
- b) Phil's Little Dance - For Phil Miller's Trousers
- c) Worlds Of Zin
02. Lady and Friend (3:44)
03. Notwithstanding (4:45)
04. Arriving Twice (1:36)
05. Island Of Rhodes / Paper Boat - For Doris / As If Your Eyes Were Open (6:39)
- a) Island Of Rhodes
- b) Paper Boat - For Doris
- c) As If Your Eyes Were Open
06. For Absent Friends (1:11)
07. We Are All / Someone Else's Food / Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name (7:48)
- a) We Are All
- b) Someone Else's Food
- c) Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name
08. Just C (0:45)


- Alan Gowen / acoustic and electric piano, clavinet, synthesizers, mellotron
- Jeff Clyne / bass
- Phil Lee / electric and acoustic guitars
- Michael Travis / drums



keyboard whiz Alan GOWEN's own project in the 70s, Gilgamesh is an obvious attempt to make a late stab at the Canterbury sound though none of the players are from any of the original bands from the Sixties. This album is produced, however, by none other than Dave Stewart--late of Hatfield and the North--whose sound this quite resembles.
1. "One End More / Phil's Little Dance - For Phil Miller's Trousers / Worlds Of Zin" (10:20) collects several sounds and styles being used in the then current jazz world including the clavinet, Eric Gale/John Tropea-like guitar play (think Deodato's "Also Sprach Zarathustra") and some more laid back drumming with tight, quiet fills and lots of quirky accessory (cymbals, etc.) play. The finale, "Worlds Of Zin," is the suite's shining moment in which a bluesy Santana-like guitar solos over some absolutely gorgeous support from the rest of the band--keyboards, bass, and drums. This one gets a (9/10) from me for its memorable melodic hooks and nice compositional organization--though the final section is a full 10/10. 2. "Lady and Friend" (3:44) opens with an acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes playing off their gentle play to establish a melody. Then a rather dynamic section interrupts for a few seconds before we return to a very nice, gentle keyboard and bass interplay--which is later joined by gentle jazz electric guitar in a kind of Jan AKKERMAN style. The final 45 seconds shifts into a definite FOCUS sound and structure. Nice piece! (10/10)

3. "Notwithstanding" (4:45) is a bit more Herbie Hancock-like in its keyboard sounds and with some rather weak drumming and an Eric GALE-like guitar sound and style feeling as if it is detracting from the high caliber of skill required of the composition. (8/10)

4. "Arriving Twice" (1:36) revives the melodic theme from the album's opening song only in a slightly different arrangement and with a variation in the instruments used. (9/10)

5. "Island Of Rhodes / Paper Boat - For Doris / As If Your Eyes Were Open" (6:39) The opening section, "Island Of Rhodes," uses a repeated bass line as its rather simple foundation, but then the second section, "Paper Boat - For Doris" builds over this with the drums mixed quite a bit behind the dominant multiple keyboards and bass. The final section, "As If Your Eyes Were Open," allows the guitarist to so his chops (not bad!) over a bouncy clavinet and fast-paced drum play. Nice development and composition! (Especially considering its rather weak start.) (9/10)

6. "For Absent Friends" (1:11) is a pleasant acoustic guitar solo of the pseudo-classical vein.

7. "We Are All / Someone Else's Food / Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name" (7:48) opens with the electric guitar establishing the melody and tempo in the first section, "We Are All." I really enjoy the jazz rhythm guitar play beneath the Fender Rhodes electric piano solo toward the end of the movement. The bass play is a little simplistic but it does a nice job of holding the song together in terms of pace. And I LOVE the drum and guitar play at the end of the fourth minute--just before the transition into the brief countrified second section, "Someone Else's Food." The third section, "Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name," is an odd piece in which the keyboard goes from clavinet to piano and then Aarp-like synth while in this last part, being accompanied by layers of vocals as done by future 'Northette' Amanda Parsons. Overall, this is probably the piece in which the band shines most instrumentally and compositionally--when they are at their most original and most technically proficient as well as tightest as a band. This is a song well worth repeated listens. (9/10)

8. "Just C (0:45) is a brief piano solo to close out the album.

This is a very nice album full-on representative of the quirky jazz being produced in the style of the Canterbury masters at this point (1975) in the evolution of the music of the Scene. A 3.5 star album rated up for its consistency and its compositional maturity. Alan Gowan can play keyboards! Many!

2 comments:



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