Thursday, July 7, 2016

Graham Bond - 1970 - Holy Magick

Graham Bond -
Holy Magick

01.Meditation AUMGN - 23:09
  01. Meditation Aumgn
  02. The Qabalistic Cross
  03. The Word Of The Aeon
  04. Invocation To The Light
  05. The Pentagram Ritual
  06. Qabalistic Cross
  07. Hymn Of Praise
  08. 12 Gates To The City
  09. The Holy Words Iao Sabao (Those Are The Words)
  10. Aquarius Mantra (In Egyptian)
  11. Enochian (Atlantean) Call
  12. Abrahadabra The Word Of The Aeon
  13. Praise ''City Of Light''
  14. The Qabalistic Cross - Aumgn
02.Return Of Arthur - 05:04
03.The Magician - 04:02
04.The Judgement - 04:44
05.My Archangel MIKAEL - 04:08
06.Water Water (Single version) - 03:44
07.Twelve Gates To The City (Single Version) - 03:38

Graham Bond - organ, sax, vocals
Diane Stewart - vocals
John Gross  - sax
Rick Gech & Alex Dmochowski - bass
John Moorshead & Kevin Stacey - guitar
Steve York, Aliki Ashman, Annette Brox & Victor Brox - vocals
Keith Bailey & Godfrey McLean - drums
Pete Bailey - percussion
Jerry Salisbury - horns

One of the founding fathers of the British blues movement, Graham Bond released two spectacular albums in 1965 as the Graham Bond Organization. The Sound of '65 and There's a Bond Between Us (also re-released on BGO Records) are essential jazz/blues albums for any music fan. When Bond broke up the Organization, he moved to the United States where he recorded two "solo" albums in 1965. In 1966, he returned to England where he became a member of Ginger Baker's Air Force for a time then left and formed the band Magick with his wife Diane Stewart. Holy Magick, the band's debut album, was originally released on the "progressive" Vertigo label in 1970 . The album was based on Bond's interest in white magic and Druid and Celtic mysticism. Holy Magick consists of two parts containing 18 songs based around mantras, rituals, and improvisational pieces. The band, a flexible unit, featured some of the top musicians Britain had to offer in 1970 including Rick Gretch (Blind Faith), Victor Bronx, Alex Dmochowski, Jon Moreshead from the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, and a host of session performers.

An important, underappreciated figure of early British R&B, Graham Bond is known in the U.S., if at all, for heading the group that Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker played in before they joined Cream. Originally an alto sax jazz player -- in fact, he was voted Britain's New Jazz Star in 1961. The band was called the Graham Bond Organization and in their prime played rhythm & blues with a strong jazzy flavor, emphasizing Bond's demonic organ and gruff vocals.

The band performed imaginative covers and fairly strong original material, and Bond was also perhaps the very first rock musician to record with the Mellotron synthesizer. After the original band split Bond never recaptured the heights of his work with the Organization. In the late '60s he moved to the U.S., recording albums with musicians including Harvey Brooks, Harvey Mandel, and Hal Blaine. Moving back to Britain, he worked with Ginger Baker's Airforce, the Jack Bruce Band, and Cream lyricist Pete Brown, as well as forming the band Holy Magick, who recorded a couple albums. Bond's demise was more tragic than most: he developed serious drug and alcohol problems and an obsession with the occult, and it has even been posthumously speculated (in the British Bond biography Mighty Shadow) that he sexually abused his stepdaughter. He committed suicide by throwing himself into the path of a London Underground train in 1974.

Graham Bond was getting more into "magick" in his private life at the beginning of the 1970s, and those interests are heavily reflected in this album. That's particularly true of the side-long medley that occupies the first half of the LP, with its attempts to musically re-create rituals. The problem was a mundane one afflicting many ambitious concept albums of the era: The music wasn't as interesting as the concept. It was meandering, sometimes improvised-sounding blues-jazz-soul-rock, featuring Bond's distinctive organ, female soul backup vocals, and John Gross' tenor sax. The irony was that it actually didn't sound as sinister as Bond's more demonic recordings in the mid-'60s as leader of the Graham Bond Organisation, even though those earlier recordings had no explicit magickal references in the lyrics. Nor was it nearly as effective or memorable as the voodoo rock of early Dr. John, an unavoidable comparison as far as the mood for which Bond seemed to be aiming. For side two, Bond returned, nominally at least, to a more conventional song-oriented format, presenting four songs on as many tracks, though with a similar lyrical focus. These pieces weren't too different from the other side, however, though there was a bit more of a funky, earthy blues feel

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