Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Long Hello - 1974 - The Long Hello Volume 1

The Long Hello 
The Long Hello Volume 1

Track list on Butt (reversed side)
Side 1
01. The Theme from (Plunge) (5:31)
02. The O Flat Session (5:32)
03. Morris to Cape Roth (6:33)
04. Brain Seizure (4:01)
Side 2
05. Fairhazel Gardens (7:56)
06. Looking at You (6:16)
07. I've Lost My Cat (8:28)

Total Time: 44:17

Track list United Artists, Phillips
Side 1
01. Fairhazel Gardens
02. Looking at you
03. I've lost my Cat
Side 2
04. The theme from 'Plunge'
05. The Obsession
06. Morris to Cape Roth
07. Brain Seisure

- David Jackson / assorted saxes, flutes, piano
- Hugh Banton / all instruments on "Brain Seisure", bass "The Obsession"
- Guy Evans / drums
- Piero Messina / electric and acoustic guitar, piano
- Ced Curtis / electric guitar, bass & basson on "Fairhazel Gardens"
- Nic Potter / bass

As Peter HAMMILL disbanded VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR after their epic album "Pawn Hearts", the rest of the group formed this project while still appearing on HAMMILL's solo albums ("Silent Corner and the Empty Stage", "In Camera", "Chameleon" etc.). This project was comprised of former VDGG members Guy Evans and David Jackson, along with bassist Nic Potter, and were sometimes joined by Hugh Banton (also ex-VDGG) who also produced the album. The music is completely different than what the average VDGG fan might expect, with the music being a relaxing form of jazzy-feel rock. As VDGG re-formed in 75, the project was put on hold until it was resumed in the eighties as VDGG finally broke down.

The Long Hello comes to us as an instrumental side project of current and one-time Van der Graff Generator members David Jackson, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans and Nic Potter; however that is where the association with VdGG music stops. This is not a VdGG side project; the output bears no resemblance to the work of VdGG whatsoever; nor does it pretend to. Any expectations of a VdGG-style album based on knowing who the players are is all our own.

That said, what have we got with this project? Some pretty cool grooves often in a jazzy style, at other times the feel is very Canterbury, then for moments here and there a symphonic sound comes to the fore. The musicianship is excellent - exactly what you would expect from this calibre of musician - although you may feel this group of prog heavyweights is playing well within itself.

Overall the music is light and bright with very minimal dark soundscapes. Put simply 'The Long Hello' is very pleasant music. It is something that can be put on as a prog background to a dinner party where guests can enjoy the music or their conversation as takes their fancy, or equally enjoyable to break the silence while beavering away on the computer or reading a book.

Is 'The Long Hello' essential to a collection? No. Am I happy to have this album in my collection? Yes. Is this an excellent addition to a collection? Yes, as long as you are not buying this album on the premise it as a VdGG wannabe.

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