Saturday, April 8, 2017

Three Man Army - 1972 - Mahesha

Three Man Army 

01. My Yiddishe Mama 2:07
02. Hold On 3:42
03. Come On Down To Earth 3:52
04. Take Me Down From The Mountain 3:04
05. Woman 2:51
06. Mahesha 5:10
07. Take A Look At The Light 3:57
08. Can't Leave The Summer, Pts. 1 & 2 4:01
09. Trip 6:04

- Adrian Gurvitz / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Paul Gurvitz / bass, vocals
- Tony Newman / drums

Recorded April 1972.
Originally released as a self titled "Three Man Army" in 1973; In the UK on Reprise Records as K-44254, and in the USA on Reprise Records as MS-2150 and in Germany in 1974 as "Mahesha" Polydor – 2310 241

My first contact with the Gurvitz brothers (Adrian on guitar and vocals, Paul on bass) happened when I heard the Baker Gurvitz first, self titled, album of 1974. I thought both were newbies recruited by legendary Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker. Only recently I knew they were in fact quite veterans of the british scene, having played in both Gun and Three Man Army long before, Adrian also having played with famous american drummer Buddy Miles. So I was quite curious about their earlier work.
Mahesha was their second album, the first with the classic line up of the Gurvitz plus the excellent services of Tony Newman (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, May blitz, Boxer). Listening to this CD today is hard to believe that such good collection of hard/blues/rock went completely anonymous at the time, specially when performed by such outstanding line up. It is ok that their songs were not exactly new or groundbreaking. In fact, it was very much what was fashionable at the time. But this is not a demerit. Mahesha shows that Three Man Army deserved much better luck (or maybe a bigger promotional push), for they were not only excellent musicians, but Adrian was already a mature and versatile songwriter, very good singer and absolute brilliant guitarrist. His guitar shines all over the album with his tasteful licks and solos. More important, he was not the kind of guy to overplay, much on the contraty, he used his vast talent to enhance the songs, not to show that he clould play a thousand notes per minute.

There are no fillers, all songs are good and the production was also top notch for the time. Curiously enough, the songs are credit to Adrian Curtis (his middle name. He would use his surname Gurvitz soon after this release)

If you like bands in the vein of Cactus, Grand Funk, Thin Lizzy, Cream, Mountain, etc. you cannot miss this one. I´m really glad that ginger Baker rescued them from obscurity when he asked them to start a new group together. It would be a waste of talent to see those guys fade away without a chance. This is not really a prog gem (there is very little prog here in fact, if any), but there is little doubt Mahesha is a blues/rock lost gem. For those who enjoy the style, this is a must have.

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