Friday, May 20, 2016

Gilgamesh - 1978 - Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into

Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into

01. Darker Brighter (5:40)
02. Bobberty-Theme From Something Else (10:41)
03. Waiting (2:25)
04. Play Time (7:14)
05. Underwater Song (7:04)
06. Foel'd Again (1:50)
07. T.N.T.F.X (2:54)

- Phil Lee / guitars
- Alan Gowen / keyboards
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- Trevor Tomkins / drums

The tragic death of Alan Gowen at the age of just 33 would rob the progressive rock world of one of it's more refined talents and ultimately overshadow a career that both promised and delivered much. A highly-skilled keyboardist and composer, Gowen's career would start with brief stints in both Afro-rock outfit Assegai and his own, short-lived jazz group Sunship, before joining the blossoming Canterbury movement during the early part of the 1970's. Like many of his peers, Gowen's membership with groups such as National Health and Gilgamesh was fluid - he would move between both several times for both artistic and financial reasons - yet the best of him would be seen in Gilgamesh, a complex, instrumental jazz-prog outfit that released two excellent albums of delicately-wrought music that, although retrospectively popular with both fans and critics, failed to make any serious commercial headway. Featuring guitarist Phil Lee, Soft Machine alumni Hugh Hopper on bass and drummer Trevor Tomkins, this 1978 release would be the second-and-final Gilgamesh album - and undoubtedly their most impressive - yet in truth it probably arrived far too late in the day to make any real impact on the then rapidly-developing music scene. The light jazz touch prevalent here is beautifully- executed, streaking through a series of lushly-realised compositions, yet with punk barking away it seemed that Gilgamesh were fighting a losing battle that no-one was really watching. The complexity of the music and the poverty of the musicians involved also made touring unrealistic, and Gilgamesh would dissolve before really getting the chance to shine. It's a sad tale as this was a band who deserved so much more, particularly as they were just as good as any of their fellow Canterbury contemporaries, groups such asCaravan, Soft Machine, National Health & Hatfield & The North. However, despite the lack of success you shouldn't be put off. 'Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into' is a dazzling jazz odyssey, and an album that should definitely be investigated by all classic prog lovers. Here's to you Alan. You deserved so much more.



  2. I simply adore this album.
    I remember buying it as soon as it was released.
    Alan Gowen is still sorely missed by my ears and this LP contains some of his sweetest playing and typically complex, yet organic compositions.
    Being a drummer, I also have to compliment Trevor Tomkins' subtle drum work, particularly the ride cymbal solo(!) opening to 'Underwater song'.

    I've always been a dyed in the wool Dave Stewart fuzzy Hammond fan but I'm always deeply moved by the feel of Alan Gowen's Moog and Rhodes soloing, his compositions are so light yet full of colour and humour. Quintessentially English.
    "Another Fine Tune' and his swansong, 'Before a Word is Said' are beautiful albums.
    His work with the latter incarnation of National Health, 'Playtime' are also worthy of investigation.
    Vale Alan Gowen.

  3. I agree, this is beautiful stuff. Many thanks for your recent Posts.