Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Graeme Edge Band - 1977 - Paradise Ballroom

The Graeme Edge Band 
1977
Paradise Ballroom



01. Paradise Ballroom 8:25
02. Human 6:25
03. Everybody Needs Somebody 4:55
04. All Is Fair 5:10
05. Down, Down, Down 6:01
06. In The Night Of The Light 3:10
07. Caroline 6:05

Bass, Vocals – Paul Gurvitz
Drums – Graeme Edge
Flute – Lannie McMillan
Guitar, Vocals – Adrian Gurvitz
Keyboards – Blue Weaver, Tony Hymas
Keyboards, Synthesizer [Moog] – Ann Odell
Percussion – Rebop Kwaku Baah
Saxophone – Emerson Able
Saxophone, Flute – Bill Easley
Steel Guitar [Pedal] – BJ Cole
Trombone – Bill Floores, Ken Spain
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Ben Cauley, Edgar Matthews
Vocals – Brian Parrish


Having been pushed to the periphery on his sophomore solo album, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots, Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge wrestled back control for the follow-up, Paradise Ballroom. On Boots, singer/guitarist Adrian Gurvitz shared the limelight only with keyboardist Mickey Gallagher, leaving his own brother, bassist Paul, and his putative employer, Edge, to languish in the shadows. Now the tables were turned, as Edge insisting on co-writing all the tracks with Gurvitz (the drummer contributed only three on his debut), and promoted Paul to lead vocalist. This resulted in a much more coherent set, and a far funkier one, throwing the spotlight directly onto the rhythm section, bolstered by guesting Traffic percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah. Of course, Gurvitz's lead guitar still splays across the album, but so does a full horn section, as the set sashays around disco, reggae, Motown, funk, and soul, the upbeat songs counterbalanced by gorgeous, introspective numbers. The discofied adaptation of "Everybody Needs Somebody" is inspired, the breezy "In the Light of Night" a delight, and the funky title track a soul-filled extravaganza

The Graeme Edge Band - 1975 - Kick Off Your Muddy Boots

The Graeme Edge Band 
1975
Kick Off Your Muddy Boots




01. Bareback Rider
02. In Dreams
03. Lost In Space
04. Have You Ever Wondered
05. My Life's Not Wasted
06. The Tunnel
07. Gew Janna Woman
08. Shotgun
09. Somethin' Wed Like To Say

Adrian Gurvitz (vocals, guitars)
Paul Gurvitz (bass, vocals)
Mickey Gallagher (keyboards)
Graeme Edge (drums)

+
Ginger Baker - drums
Ray Thomas - vocals
Lesley Duncan - vocals
Nicky James - vocals
Sunny Leslie - vocals
Ruby James - vocals
Barry St. John - vocals
Joanne Williams - vocals
Brian Parrish - vocals




A solo album from a drummer is rarely cause to celebrate, for invariably it arrives stillborn. But Kick Off Your Muddy Boots is a solo set from Moody Blues' skin basher Graeme Edge in name only, and instead is really a showcase for the Gurvitz brothers, or more precisely singer/guitarist Adrian. Edge contributed only three songs to his set; the dreamy "Lost in Space," the introspective "Have You Ever Wondered," and dramatic "Somethin' We'd Like to Say," providing very tentative links to the Blues' own sound. The rest of the album, composed by Adrian Gurvitz, goes very much its own way. The fabulously funky instrumental "The Tunnel" flies furthest from the mothership, while a guesting Ginger Baker edges Edge into the shadows on the Chicago blues spectacular "Gew Janna Woman," the set's apotheosis. "My Life's Not Wasted" is nearly as epic, meandering from funk to blues, soul to orchestral overkill in one fell swoop. Swinging from the C&W-tinged rocker "Shotgun" to the sunny California-styled "Bareback Rider," Muddy Boots treads into as many musical pastures as possible, with the bonus "We Like to Do It" (the band's 1974 single) tossing ragtime into the mix. Keyboardist Mickey Gallagher provides excellent work throughout, his lovely soundscapes and delicate melody lines providing a perfect foil to Gurvitz's soaring leads and hefty riffs. The rhythm section is strong of course, but in the end, this is Gurvitz and Gallagher's show from start to finish, and what a show it is.



Baker Gurvitz Army - 2010 - Live In Milan 1976

Baker Gurvitz Army
2010
Live In Milan 1976



01. Hearts On Fire
02. People
03. Night People
04. White Room
05. Mystery
06. Thirsty For The Blues
07. Neon Lights
08. Inside Of Me
09. Memory Lane - Drums
10. Sunshine Of Your Love
11. Time - Smokestack Lightning Medley
12. Hearts On Fire Reprise

Bass – Adrian Gurvitz
Drums, Vocals – Ginger Baker
Guitar – Paul Gurvitz
Vocals – Mr. Snips



The Baker Gurvitz Army came into existence when former Gun and Three man Army members Paul and Adrian Gurvitz joined forces with legendary drummer Ginger Baker in 1974. The Baker Gurvitz Army was the first real musical project for Ginger Baker since the short-lived band Salt in 1972 and Ginger Baker's Airforce some two years prior to that. The band released their first album the self titled Baker Gurvitz Army in late 1974 and the album sold well enough to break in to the American charts. The band went on to record two further studio albums including Elysian Encounter in 1975 and Hearts On Fire in 1976.The band also featured vocalist Snips who had previously been with British band Sharks and keyboardist Peter Lemer formerly of Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia and Seventh Wave

This live recording which forms part of the Official Ginger Baker Bootleg Series was recorded in Milan on the 23rd of March 1976 during the tour to promote what would turn out to be the bands final studio album Hearts On Fire. The set list at this time reflecting the desire to promote the album included four tracks from the album including Hearts On Fire, Night People, Thirsty For The Blues and neon Lights. There are also two tracks from Elysian Encounter (People and Time) and two from the bands self titled debut (Inside Of me and Memory Lane) Interestingly enough at this point in the bands career they elected to include two Cream songs in the set and both Sunshine Of Your Love and White Room are also included here.

The recordings featured in the Official Ginger Baker Bootleg Series are sure to become collector's items and are all sanctioned by Ginger Baker.

This live recording is one of several releases based on the private archives of legendary drummer Ginger Baker, which finally see the light of day. Although not intended for a formal release and suffering from "bootleg" sound quality problems, the musical importance of this material is so significant, that it overshadows any technicalities and is essentially a Godsend. This album brings a live recording of the group Baker Gurvitz Army, which he founded with ex-Gun and Three Men Army members guitarist Paul Gurvitz and bassist Adrian Gurvitz and ex-Sharks member vocalist Steve Parsons (aka. Snips). Baker Gurvitz Army recorded only three albums during its short life-span, and any additional material by the band is invaluable. The material is drown from the band's studio albums and was recorded during the band's final tour. Several surprises are heard here for the first time, like the group's version of Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love". Definitely worth investigating, provided you're not squeamish about sound quality.

Baker Gurvitz Army - 2003 - Live

Baker Gurvitz Army
2003
Live



01. Whatever It Is
02. The Gambler
03. Freedom
04. For Phil
05. Remember
06. Memory Lane
07. People

Bass, Vocals – Paul Gurvitz
Drums – Ginger Baker
Guitar, Vocals – Adrian Gurvitz
Keyboards – Peter Lemer
Vocals – Mr. Snips

Originally recorded in 1975.


Released in 2005, Baker Gurvitz Army/Live offers so far unreleased live material from the time after the second BGA album Elysian Encounter. With drummer legend Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith), Adrian and Paul Gurvitz (The Gun, Three Man Army), and Keyboardist Peter Lemer.

An almost 60 minute long recording: two songs of the self-titled first BGA album, three pieces from the second album Elysian Encounter, as well as two more titles which can't be found on any other BGA album, that is they were never recorded in studio or released as studio versions, respectively.

Not remastered, however featuring a brilliant sound with a quality much higher than what one were used to regarding live recordings at the time. CD in deluxe digipak, with richly illustrated booklet and extensive liner notes.

Baker Gurvitz Army - 2004 - Live in Derby '75

Baker Gurvitz Army 
2004 
Live in Derby '75



01. The Hustler 9:09
02. Space Machine 6:52
03. Remember 10:19
04. White Room 3:51
05. Neon Lights 5:12
06. Inside Of Me 7:18
07. Memory Lane 4:46
08. Sunshine Of Your Love 2:33
09. The Artist 6:12
10. Freedom 6:43
11. Time 5:22
12. Going To Heaven 9:45

Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Ginger Baker
Guitar, Vocals – Adrian Gurvitz
Keyboards, Piano – Peter Lemer
Vocals – Snips (tracks: Mr. Snips)

Recorded on Tueaday 21st October 1975 at Kings Hall, Derby



Like his Cream partner Jack Bruce the hottempered drumlegend Ginger Baker carried the torch of progressive, inventive, visonary music. Making honest, mindblowing musical statements for a rapidly diminishing audience.

In the mid-70s he teamed up with the Gurvitz brothers, known from their hit-single "Race With The Devil" under the name Gun. producing three fine studioalbums, but being first and foremost an impressive and exciting liveband. Relying heavily on improvisation and a loose and yet intense atmosphere. And as the pictures show in the fine book-let being heavily doped and drugged.

Here we get a healthy dose of songs from the "Elysian Encounters" album, in completely different, lot more vital arrangements. A couple of rearranged Cream-classics and a stab at Jimi Hendrix' "Freedom".

The soundquality is outstanding, really giving us a chance to hear what a fine bassplayer Paul Gurvitz was (is?). Ginger looks unhealthy to say the least but propels things with usual class. Livemusic at its best.

Baker Gurvitz Army - 1991 - BBC In Concert 1975

Baker Gurvitz Army
1991
BBC In Concert 1975



01. Inside Of Me 6:28
02. Love Is 3:17
03. The Hustler 7:08
04. Time 4:56
05. Space Machine 6:46
06. The Artist 5:29
07. Freedom 5:49
08. Remember 8:41
09. People 7:08

Bass – Paul Gurvitz
Drums – Ginger Baker
Guitar, Vocals – Adrian Gurvitz
Keyboards – Peter Lemer
Vocals – Mr. Snips


The third-and-final album from the Baker Gurvitz Army doesn't quite live up to the high standards reached on the outfit's previous efforts, but it's still an enjoyable work. Formed after the two, London-born Gurvitz brothers Adrian(guitar) and Paul(bass) absorbed ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker and the curiously-named singer Mr Snips into what was essentially a new formation of their own Three Man Army outfit, the Baker Gurvitz Army produced slick, dynamic and technically-assured rock music tinged with a hint of prog colour. They were always much more classic rock than prog-rock, though sadly they failed to find true commercial success during their brief career. They did, however, enjoy a loyal live following and plenty of positive critical support, especially for their excellent second album 'Elysian Encounter', yet by the time 'Hearts Of Fire' had been issued in 1976 the writing was on the wall. The death of their managed would prove to be the final straw, and by 1977 the Baker Gurvitz Army, one of the most under-appreciated of all British rock groups, were no more. As a swansong, the straightforward rock sound of 'Hearts Of Fire' proves slightly misleading, showcasing the more accessible side of the group in what was surely an attempt to broaden their appeal after the heightened progressive textures of 'Elysian Encounter', yet fans of 1970's rock should still find much to enjoy. Highlights include the hard-rockin' title-track, which exhibits yet more powerful playing from Adrian Gurvitz, the up-tempo 'Dancing The Night Away', and, finally, the live favourite 'Wotever It Is'. Although they may have been just a footnote in the overall history of rock 'n' roll, the Baker Gurvitz Army sound has stood the test of time remarkably well. Those who take the time to explore all three of their highly-recommended studio albums(plus a handful of recently-released live offerings) will discover a treasure-trove of diamond-sharp rock 'n' roll and experience a group blessed with true musical talent.

Baker Gurvitz Army - 1976 - Hearts on Fire

Baker Gurvitz Army
1976 
Hearts on Fire



01. Hearts On Fire 2:30
02. Neon Lights 4:35
03. Smiling 3:12
04. Tracks Of My Life 4:40
05. Flying In And Out Of Stardom 2:17
06. Dancing The Night Away 3:25
07. My Mind Is Healing 3:50
08. Thirsty For The Blues 5:15
09. Night People 3:19
10. Mystery 4:02

- Ginger Baker / Drums
- Paul Gurvitz / Bass
- Adrian Gurvitz / Guitars, vocals
- Snips (Steve Parsons) / Lead vocals



The third-and-final album from the Baker Gurvitz Army doesn't quite live up to the high standards reached on the outfit's previous efforts, but it's still an enjoyable work. Formed after the two, London-born Gurvitz brothers Adrian(guitar) and Paul(bass) absorbed ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker and the curiously-named singer Mr Snips into what was essentially a new formation of their own Three Man Army outfit, the Baker Gurvitz Army produced slick, dynamic and technically-assured rock music tinged with a hint of prog colour. They were always much more classic rock than prog-rock, though sadly they failed to find true commercial success during their brief career. They did, however, enjoy a loyal live following and plenty of positive critical support, especially for their excellent second album 'Elysian Encounter', yet by the time 'Hearts Of Fire' had been issued in 1976 the writing was on the wall. The death of their managed would prove to be the final straw, and by 1977 the Baker Gurvitz Army, one of the most under-appreciated of all British rock groups, were no more. As a swansong, the straightforward rock sound of 'Hearts Of Fire' proves slightly misleading, showcasing the more accessible side of the group in what was surely an attempt to broaden their appeal after the heightened progressive textures of 'Elysian Encounter', yet fans of 1970's rock should still find much to enjoy. Highlights include the hard-rockin' title-track, which exhibits yet more powerful playing from Adrian Gurvitz, the up-tempo 'Dancing The Night Away', and, finally, the live favourite 'Wotever It Is'. Although they may have been just a footnote in the overall history of rock 'n' roll, the Baker Gurvitz Army sound has stood the test of time remarkably well. Those who take the time to explore all three of their highly-recommended studio albums(plus a handful of recently-released live offerings) will discover a treasure-trove of diamond-sharp rock 'n' roll and experience a group blessed with true musical talent.

Baker Gurvitz Army - 1975 - Elysian Encounter

Baker Gurvitz Army 
1975
Elysian Encounter



01. People
02. The Key
03. Time
04. The Gambler
05. The Dreamer
06. Remember
07. The Artist
08. The Hustler

- Ginger Baker / Drums
- Paul Gurvitz / Bass
- Adrian Gurvitz / Guitars, vocals
- Snips (Steve Parsons) / Lead vocals
- Peter Lemer / Keyboards


Baker Gurvitz Army produced a trio of noteworthy LP's during the mid-seventies, with this 1975 release the highly-recommended pick-of-the- bunch. Sandwiched between their spiky self-titled debut and the underwhelming commercial rock of 1976's 'Hearts On Fire', the eclesiastically-monikered 'Elysian Encounter' finds this sadly short-lived outfit at their most instrumentally ambitious, toning down the brash rock excess of the group-members previous outfits in favour of a slower, more measured brand of still commercially-viable FM rock that also had half-an-eye on the progressive rock market. All three members had come from much more blues-and-R'n'B-based outfits, with the line- up consisting of Cream drummer Ginger Baker and the brothers Gurvitz, Adrian(vocals, guitar), and Paul(bass), from the hard-rockin' Three Man Army. Adrian Gurvitz seems to be the main man here, his tastefully-displayed lead guitar ranging from cool and detached to hot and smoky, sometimes within the paradigms of the same song, and whilst Baker's forceful drumming sometimes strays into slightly indulgent speed metal mode, his calmer, more thoughtful moments add real atmosphere. The opening salvo of tracks run a smoother course than the later, harder stuff, though opener 'People' runs up quite a head of Humble Pie-style steam. 'The Key' and 'Time' also shower the musicians softer side, with psychedelic-tinged keyboards-and-synths colouring the epic blues-flecked rhythms with just enough artfulness, yet not too much, to keep the material on the accessible side of 1970s rock. Of the later material the slick and carefully-constructed pop-tinged rock 'Remember' is perhaps the most distinguished; the tracks later, faster stages approach the edges of say, early-eighties Boston or Journey, but the syncopated style, soulful vocals and almost- melancholy guitars add a real sheen of originality that separates Baker Gurvitz's intruiging sound from the less-assured rock groups of the era. The group's progressive rock credentials as a whole aren't exactly the strongest, and looser, more bluesy material on 'Elysian Encounter' does tend to ape the likes of Ten Years After or Savoy Brown without replicating those groups rootsy charm. However, the epic rock sound the threesome achieve is something else; it's not quite rock, and it's not quite prog, but it straddles the sonic void in-between without favouring either genre, which is a rare treat indeed. The result is a delightfully-original 1970s sound; slick, groovy, powerful and thoughtful. A very nice surprise indeed.


Baker Gurvitz Army - 1974 - Baker Gurvitz Army

The Baker Gurvitz Army
1974 
The Baker Gurvitz Army



01. Help Me 4:36
02. Love Is 2:47
03. Memory Lane 4:46
04. Inside Of Me 5:33
05. I Wanna Live Again 4:22
06. Mad Jack 7:54
07. 4 Phil 4:25
08. Since Beginning 8:05

- Ginger Baker / Drums
- Paul Gurvitz / Bass
- Adrian Gurvitz / Guitars, vocals

Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vibraphone – John Norman Mitchell


This is the 1st album by the British supergroup Baker Gurvitz Army, which was created when legendary drummer Ginger Baker joined forces with brothers Adrian Gurvitz (guitar) and Paul Gurvitz (bass), known to British proto-Prog fans as the founders of the legendary band Gun. Before the trio was joined by keyboardist and vocalist, they recorded this excellent debut album. These three formidable musicians had enough talent between them to blow any band off the stage, which is clearly evident from what's enclosed here. Both Baker's drumming and Adrian's guitar playing is some of the best ever heard on record. This music simply refuses to fade out and remains to be vibrant and exciting. Play it loud!

In 1974, legendary drummer Ginger Baker (ex-Cream) got together with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz to form the quasi-super group Baker Gurvitz Army. The Gurvitz Brothers had enjoyed fleeting success with The Gun ("Race with the devil") and would later join up with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues. Aridan also enjoyed solo success with the hit single "Attic".

Adrian takes on the role of principle songwriter here, with Ginger helping out on a few tracks, and the trio assuming collective production duties. This, their début album, was released on the Vertigo label, but was unfortunately too late to be blessed with the legendary swirl logo.

The album consists of eight tracks, roughly split between five shorter ones on side one and three longer ones on side two. The overall mood is of an upbeat rock album with strong pop influences. The opening "Help me" features the synthesisers of guest John Norman B Normal Mitchell (sic) (presumably the unidentified fourth horseman on the front cover illustration) which help to swell out the guitar driven sound somewhat.

Baker's drumming is naturally well forward in the mix, with the frantic instrumental "Love is" being a cross between a drum solo and a dramatic orchestral piece. "Memory lane" is slightly harder with Arthur Brown like echoed vocals and solid guitar riffs. Unfortunately Baker decides to slip in a drum solo to this otherwise mildly exciting song.

Adrian Gurvitz slows things down for "Inside of me", a sort of power blues with some of the best guitar work on the album. This extraordinarily long side (for an LP) closes with the mushy orchestrated soul ballad "I want to live again", complete with female vocal chorus. It is not as bad as it sounds, but somewhat out of place on the album.

The first of the three tracks on side two is the 8 minute "Mad Jack", a fairly prosaic hard rock number with an extended lead guitar jam at its core. There is also a sort of "Hare who lost his spectacles" type spoken section for no apparent reason! The two extended songs on this side are split by "4 Phil", a lighter lead guitar instrumental which, while impressive, doesn't really go anywhere.

The final track is the longest at a shade over 8 minutes. "Since beggining" (that's how it is spelled on the sleeve!) offers some more intricate vocal harmonies to complement a stronger melody. Adrian's characteristic guitar tones are more in evidence here than they are throughout much of the album. For me this is the most accomplished track on the album, a bit muddled at times but pleasingly ambtious.

Overall, a reasonably enjoyable début from the trio, which offers promise more than it actually delivers. At the time of its release, this album would probably have been seen as hard rock rather than prog, but our ever widening definition of our genre means that it now sits comfortably within these confines.

Three Man Army - 1974 - Three Man Army Two

Three Man Army 
1974 
Three Man Army Two



01. Polecat Woman 3:54
02. Today 6:19
03. Flying 3:08
04. Space Is The Place 6:20
05. Irving 4:18
06. I Can't Make The Blind See 4:03
07. Burning Angel 3:34
08. In My Eyes 5:07


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

Backing Vocals – Doris Troy (tracks: B2), Madeline Bell (tracks: B2), Ruby James (tracks: B2)
Piano – Peter Robinson (tracks: A4, B2)

This album is dedicated to the late great Ian Sippen . . . with love Three Man Army and Friends.


The Gurvitz boys may not have been able to count, but by 1974 they had perfected the fine art of creating a masterpiece.
Their 3rd album, named 'Two' probably because of the first album being just the brothers and a selection of great drummers, this is their second album with Tony Newman (who would play for David Bowie and many others) and also their second for Warner Bros.
This, for me, is one of the ultimate early 70's hard-rock albums, the songs are all thoughtfully-crafted and the musicians and vocals are top-notch.
Favourites are the beautiful epics, 'Today' and 'I Can't Make The Blind See', rock instrumental 'Irving', and riffers 'Polecat Woman' and 'Burning Angel'.
A wonderful rock album.

Three Man Army's third and final album was, most confusingly, titled Three Man Army Two. The unintentionally clumsy name was in a way appropriate, however, for it was more of the same, whether it was the second or third Three Man Army you happened to come across, indeed falling somewhere between the second and third divisions of early-'70s British hard rock. Bland if energetic hard rock remained the main staple, "Polecat Woman" being one of the more blatant Led Zeppelin sound-alike tracks of the era. There were some mild detours in the orchestrated "I Can't Make the Blind See" (from an unreleased rock opera titled Three Days to Go), which sounds like a prototypical power ballad; the machine gun-riffing instrumental "Irving"; and "Today," which oh-so-vaguely echoed some of the ballads of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac in places. No one's going to confuse the slide-guitar-and-orchestration-heralded ode to the outer space woman of "Space Is the Place" with Sun Ra, however.

Three Man Army - 1972 - Mahesha

Three Man Army 
1972.
Mahesha



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.

Three Man Army - 1971 - A Third of a Lifetime

Three Man Army
1971
A Third of a Lifetime



01. Butter Queen 5:20
02. Daze 4:02
03. Another Day 6:47
04. A Third Of A Lifetime 4:27
05. Nice One 4:09
06. What's My Name 5:05
07. Three Man Army 5:34
08. See What I Took 3:29
09. Midnight 5:21
10. Together 6:32

Additional Tracks
11. What's Your Name (Single Version) 3:29
12. Travellin' 4:00

- Adrian Gurvitz / guitars, organ Mellotron, vocals
- Paul Gurvitz / bass, vocals
With:
- Mike Kellie / drums
- Buddy Miles / drums
- Carmine Appice / drums


Three Man Army_ consists of the nucleus Gurvitz Brothers (Adrian and Paul, both guitarists) who were formerly in the band Gun and wouldn’t really become known until they joined forces with Ginger Baker to form Baker-Gurvitz Army around ’74. Also playing with the band on this lp is drummer Buddy Miles, who along with a slew of solo lps, played on Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies lp in ’70, In addition, there's ex-_Spooky Tooth_ percussionist Mike Kellie and guitarist Brian Parrish the final pieces to the puzzle (which is why people scratch their head over the moniker - a five-piece?), and this is their debut (why “third” of a lifetime?).

While many say TMA have grown more roots in hard rock, I tend to think they mingle somewhere within the barriers of hard and, well, not exactly light rock, but moderate rock, for lack of a better term. Now then, if you were to hear only the first track on the lp, “Butter Queen”, you’d think I was nuttier than that guy you always see wandering down the road who continually talks to himself. “Butter Queen” is a great hard rock track, unconstrained with a pretty raucous main riff, lots of cool solos, rife drum work, and an almost untamed chorus. For me, the best track featured. “Daze” only cools the pace a little with short, lightly strummed/sung intervals that make the heavy breakouts all the more sonic. The medium-paced “Another Way” keeps the pace going more or less, a catchy lengthy number that should’ve at least seen some airplay. The real breather is the endearing, acoustically laid out instrumental that is the title track, swooning with violins and is probably a little too long for its goal. “Nice One”, another wordless ditty, is much different that it’s precursor. It begins with a basic bass/guitar rhythm with solos mixed in that kind of thumps forward aimlessly, but slowly generates momentum to a faster version of the same riff for a halfway decent track. “Three Man Army” is another fairly mellow tune with more solos you can shake a stick at and a clever riff that sneaks in at times until it’s finally in full view at the end. “See What I Took” would come off almost too poppy if it weren’t for the pounding interludes and ripping solos that hinge the verses together. Over to slow blues melodrama goes yet another instrumental in “Midnight”, though the not-so-customary organ backdrop gives it a slightly different verve. The finale is the oddball “Together”, a multi-faceted fracture of “Stairway to Heaven”-ish acoustics, an anthemic chorus, and some short bursts of progressing rock that never really seem to go anywhere, but gives the final embrace easily nonetheless.

Parrish & Gurvitz - 1972 - Parrish & Gurvitz Two

Parrish & Gurvitz
1972
Parrish & Gurvitz Two




01. for Rainy Day Man - 5:18
02. A Of the Living Out of Suitcase - 4:11
03. the One Way Street General - 3:57
04. Birmingham - 3:46
05. Give It the Up the All - 3:56
06. for When the Evening Comes the - 5:53 AM
07. of The Preacher - 4:27
08. the On the My Way - 3:43
09. the Can for We the Do It - 2:35
10. Brown is Eyed Woman - 3: 19

Personnel:
Brian Parrish - the vocals, guitar
Paul Gurvitz - the vocals, guitar
+
Mike Kellie - drums
Micky Gallagher - keyboards
Rick Wills - bass
George Martin - Arrangements: string, producer


Shortly after the completion of the debut “ Parrish & Gurvitz” album, plans were made to tour and promote it in America. So it was that musicians were assembled to accompany them.

The musicians were Mike Kellie (drums) who had already played on many of the tracks, Rick Wills (bass) and Micky Gallagher (keyboards). In addition to rehearsing versions of the songs from the original album, they began to rehearse new songs. The overall feel was more in the manner of a band, certainly heavier than the acoustic based songs which had been recorded. The window of opportunity to promote the first album was fast slipping by as the inexperienced management had done little to set a tour up while recording was in progress. The accepted pattern at the time was record/tour/record/ tour ad infinitum. In the interim period the band entered the studio with George Martin to  record around half of the material for the next album. Finally the tour took placed, but by this time the album was already old news, having been released around six months earlier. Subsequently there was no coordination between the record label promotional efforts (press, radio play) and the tour itself. Whatever the case it was certainly not optimal timing for raising awareness of the first album.

It was simply costing money with no impact on record sales. Eventually this caused friction between the band and the management and some disappointment at the record label who observed that the band was more rock n roll and less soft rock which was what they had signed up for. At one point the band were booked into the Bitter End in New York. This was a “folk music” venue suddenly hosting an amplified rock band. The band was well received but behind the scenes arguments and chaos dominated. Upon their return the band entered the studio to complete the album which had been started. The future was uncertain however as P&G were already in dispute with their management, and parted company with them. At a loss as to how they could continue to pay the musicians the touring band was disbanded and the musicians joined Peter Frampton as a complete unit, and effectively became “Framptons Camel” which enjoyed great success. The second P&G  album, tentatively titled “TWO” was not released at that point. Paul went on to work with brother Adrian and Ginger Baker,while Brian formed the band BADGER with Tony Kaye, Roy Dyke and David Foster. The songs on”TWO”are indicative of the direction the P&G band were taking before circumstances altered their course.

Parrish & Gurvitz - 1971 - Parrish & Gurvitz

Parrish & Gurvitz 
1971
Parrish & Gurvitz




01. Another Time, Another Day / Take What You Want
02. It's A Shame
03. Libra
04. I've Got Time
05. Janine
06. Dozy Gwen
07. Why
08. As If I Were Blind
09. More Than Life
10. Loving You

Brian Parrish - the vocals, guitar
Paul Gurvitz - the vocals, guitar, bass
+
Mike Kellie - drums
George by Martin - Arrangements: string, producer


Somewhere betweem The Moody Blues, Marmalade and Crosby Stills and Nash, for a moment Parrish and Gurvitz may have been something, if perhaps with the involvement of George Martin as producer, they had not been unreasonably hailed as the new Beatles. Still, this classic song is completely forgotten, off every list, it’s not cool, hip, Prog, Psych, Psychedelic, Garage, sixties Pop, seventies underground and has no recognised virtuosos.

Having said that the line-up of the band is impressive. Paul Gurvitz was in The Gun with his brother Adrian, remember their 1968 hit Race With The Devil. The Gurvitz brothers went on to form Three Man Army and then teamed up with Ginger Baker for Baker Gurvitz Army in the seventies. Brian Parrish played with various small sixties bands (with Gurvitz), later joining Badger. Mike Kellie was with Spooky Tooth and other seventies luminaries before joining one of my favourite bands of the new wave era, The Only Ones, Rick Wills played with countless groups including Cochise, Roxy Music, Foreigner, latter Day Small Faces and Dave Gilmour. Micky Gallagher had played with Skip Bifferty and would eventually join Ian Dury as one of the Blockheads.

With George Martin choosing, producing and arranging Parrish And Gurvitz’s material, it’s not surprising that this opening track(s) from their one and only album is so good. Unfortunately The Beatles connection hindered their progress with that overpowering legend producing mild hysteria from the press. They were never able to live up to their producer’s previous affiliations but you might ask why were they called Parrish and Gurvitz instead of Gasoline Toothbrush or Camouflaged Meadow or Sadness In The Trees – anything but Parrish and Gurvitz – they sounded like they were solicitors. I imagine it’s because this wasn’t their first band – they’d played together before in various incarnations and as the two main members had got the support to make a record and then hired the band to play it live. Unfortunately the band was much heavier than the record and the US label lost interest as the band they signed was not the band they saw live. Brian Parrish then quit on the eve of a US tour due to personal problems and shortly thereafter they were gone.

So many records out there, hailed as genius, so many worthy records out there that are forgotten – this is one of them.

Gun - 1969 - Gunsight

Gun 
1969
Gunsight



01. Head In The Clouds
02. Drown Yourself In The River
03. Angeline
04. Dreams And Screams
05. Situation Vacant
06. Hobo
07. Lady Link Part One
08. Oh Lady You
09. Lady Link Part Two
10. Long Hair Wild Man


Bass Guitar – Paul Curtis
Drums – Louis Farrell
Lead Guitar – Adrian Curtis


The orchestral arrangements from the debut were gone on "Gunsight", resulting in a more basic and less intricate sound. The material was not of the same standard either, but still good enough to make the album a worthy encore to Gun's short career. The opener "Head in the Clouds" is probably the best song here, being a simple and straightforward hard rocker, but with a good melody and punch.

The partly acoustic blues of "Drown Yourself in the River" is less interesting, even when it powers up to a much more electric rocker in the middle. The strings on the ballad "Angeline" are the only remains of the orchestral arrangements from the debut. The hardest, most aggressive and noisiest track the band recorded comes in "Dreams and Screams" where Farrell hits the drums like it's the last thing he'll ever do in his life. "Situation Vacant" features interestingly enough a riff that Hawkwind later would borrow in "Sea of Holes" from their masterpiece "Warrior on the Edge of Time".

"Hobo" is a nice little pop tune with slight country and blues influences. The trio also went into pure folk-territory in the acoustic "Oh Lady You" that is sandwiched in between the two parts of the instrumental "Lady Link" where Adrian Curtis again delivers some flamenco-styled playing. The closer "Long Hair Wild Man" is basically a hard rocker with a pop melody and showed that the band perhaps was starting to occasionally be a bit dated and stagnated, especially when Led Zeppelin released their two first albums the same year. Still, Gun were far more interesting and sophisticated than most others of the many late 60's power trios. "Gunsight" is not a bad album at all, but be sure to start with the debut.

Gun - 1968 - Gun

Gun 
1968 
Gun


01. Race With The Devil 3:40
02. The Sad Saga Of The Boy And The Bee 4:15
03. Rupert's Travels 2:30
04. Yellow Cab Man 4:50
05. It Won't Be Long (Heartbeat) 4:30
06. Sunshine 3:30
07. Rat Race 5:30
08. Take Off 12:30

Bass Guitar – Paul Curtis
Drums – Louis Farrell
Lead Guitar – Adrian Curtis


The long and winding tale of the two brothers involved in the making of this record (Paul and Adrian Gurvitz) begins here with this fuzzy and  weighty record. While there is plenty about this record to like, there are a couple of caveats. The band were coming off the tail end of the British Invasion, a time when record producers had more say than bands on how their finished products sounded. Thus there’s some  meddling with horns and strings that are wholly inappropriate for a band with power trio aspirations. Opener “Race With The Devil” is one of the damaged goods, a riffy and quick number that’s poisoned with brass interludes (not unlike Uriah Heep’s disastrous “Salisbury”). Nevertheless it was a sizable British hit and has received retooled versions aplenty. The same problems affect the next two cuts, but by “Yellow Cab Man” things get more under control, being a fuzzy and driving number with some very cool guitar handling from Adrian Gurvitz. “It Won’t Be Long (Heartbeat)” works in much the same way only more trippy, while those in love with long psych freak outs will favor the 11 booming and swirling minutes of “Take Off.” It’s interesting to dig the Eastern flavor of this track, the boys perhaps having bent an ear to what Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had been bringing to the Yardbirds guitar-wise. And while this record is not as brute volume wise as we’d like it to be, that’s more a problem of limited technology and production control. Louder and bass and drums could make this a far more revelatory heavy experience, which makes me ponder if any live recordings of this band were made. Anyways their second 1969’s Gunsight was more mature in many ways and less beholden to outside meddling. It’s also more acoustic, darker and varied. It’s good stuff, but this one will perhaps find the most favor with reverential metal heads in search of the music’s embryonic slime.

Keef Hartley - 2014 - Live at Aachen Open Air 1970

Keef Hartley Band
2014
Live at Aachen Open Air 1970


01. You Can't Take It With You
02. The Time Is Near
03. Halfbreed Suite
a. Intro. Sinnin' For You
b. Leaving Trunk
c. Halfbreed
d. Just To Cry
e. Sinning For You
04. Think It Over

Miller Anderson: Guitar, Vocals
Dave Caswell: Trumpet
Keef Hartley: Drums
Lyle Jenkins: Flute, Guest Artist, Sax (Tenor)
Gary Thain: Bass


The Keef Hartley Band with their felicitous mix of Rock, Blues, and Jazz, which has been counted since 1968 being one of the hippest live bands of their era. Until 1973 they recorded 7 albums and played numerous concerts. Nucleus of the often changing cast amongst founder and drummer of the band, Keef Hartley, have been most of all singer and guitar player Miller Anderson as well as bass player Gary Thain. During their performance in Aachen in 1970 they have been boosted by Dave Caswell (trumpet) and Lyle Jenkins (saxophone, flute). With this team they started on Saturday, July 11th, 1970 around evening on the festival stage at Reiterstadion in Aachen. The band only played 4 songs that day, which completely are contained on the available cd. Even the iconic 'Halfbreed Suite' of their homonymous debut album of 1968 lasted about half an hour. The Keef Hartley Band showed during their performance that they were really exceptionally gifted live musicians. Long lasting improvisations switching to tight organized arrangements, all belted by the bandleader behind his drum kit. Excellent as well: The guitar play of Miller Anderson, who also was responsible for most of the songs. The available recordings have been done semi-professionell with various mikes, which have been fixed at the light traverse, directly on audiotape. The quality is rough but a wonderful example of the fun playing the songs more than 43 years ago. Miller Anderson - who after the late Keef Hartley and Gary Thain - being the only original member of the legendary band, wrote some personal liner notes on this cd. Sireena Records is very proud to be able to presenting this rare sound-document.

A few words to Aachen Open Air 1970. It was held from July 10 to 12 in the Reiter-Stadium Aachen and was organized by three music-loving students. The festival was one of the very first open-air festivals in Germany and presented a mix of German and international rock bands. Admission cost DM 15,00 per day or DM 40.00 for all three days. But one had the pleasure to see experiencing acts like Pink Floyd, Free, Edgar Broughton Band, Caravan, Kevin Ayers, Deep Purple, Amon Duul II, Kraftwerk and, indeed, the Keef Hartley band live. Around 40,000 fans gathered on the three days at the festival site.

I have been a huge fan of this band since the first time I heard them way back. Finding any Live Recordings of them has been a near impossibility. This Recording is not done professionally, and sounds rough. Especially on the Vocals and Horns being frequently over saturated. The Guitar, Bass and Drums seemed to have recorded rather well though. The Performance is 5 Star. Miller Anderson's on fire during his Guitar Solos, especially the extended workout on "The Time is Near". My ears adjusted to the flaws of the recording fairly quickly and I was Transported back in time to this awesome event.
If you are a Miller Anderson Fan then I highly suggest you check this out. It's a shame that there are not more documents of this band from this era. I guess that we should be Grateful to have this!


Keef Hartley - 2013 - British Radio Sessions 1969-1971

Keef Hartley
2013
British Radio Sessions 1969-1971



01. Medley: Overdog/ Roundabout/ Just a cry/ Sinnin' for you 25:11
02. You Can't Choose 5:55
03. You Can't Take It with You 8:00
04. Sinnin' for You 3:19
05. Too Much Thinking 5:33
06. Interview with Keef Hartley 1:09
07. Me And My Woman 3:36
08. Waiting Around 2:24
09. Too Much Thinking 5:42
10. Just a Cry 3:39
11. Shadows Across the Wall 4:35
12. To Whom It May Concern (Miller Anderson Band) 3:18
13. High Tide, High Water (Miller Anderson Band) 7:26



In its pomp, the Keef Hartley Band was an extraordinarily powerful combination of rock and jazz. These sessions recapture the excitement of their live performances. A laconic introduction by John Peel gives way to the wonderfully driving medley Overdog/Roundabout/Just to Cry/Sinning for you, where the musicianship and sheer musical exuberance leave you gasping. Congratulations to whoever dug these forgotten gems out of the lockers. The BBC sound engineers did a top job. If you want to understand why some many modern bands sound so pallid, just sit back and enjoy this amazing collection.

Keef Hartley - 1973 - Lancashire Hustler

Keef Hartley
1973
Lancashire Hustler



01. Circles
02. You And Me
03. Shovel A Minor
04. Australian Lady
05. Action
06. I Know Something
07. Jennie's Father
08. Dance To The Music


Backing Vocals – Elkie Brooks, Robert Palmer
Bass – Philip Chen
Drums – Keef Hartley
Keyboards – Jean Rouselle
Organ, Synthesizer [Moog] – Mick Weaver
Vocals – Jess Roden
Vocals, Guitar – Junior Kerr


7th album (and the last of his Decca releases) by the great UK drummer Keef Hartley with another new version of his band, which included vocalist Jess Roden (Alan Bown), vocalist / guitarist Junior Kerr, guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Philip Chen, keyboardist Jean Rouselle and organist Mick Weaver. Vocalists Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer also helped out. The music is tight and has a strong Brass-Rock feel, mixing Blues, Rock, Jazz and some Prog elements. In retrospect the music still sounds great after all these years and Hartley's fans will surely love to have this one in their collection.

Keef Hartley - 1972 - Seventy Second Brave

Keef Hartley Band 
1972
Seventy Second Brave



01 Heartbreakin' Woman
02 Marin County
03 Hard Pill To Swallow
04 Don't You Be Long
05 Nicturns
06 Don't Sign It
07 Always Thinkin' Of You
08 You Say You're Together Now
09 What It Is

Drums, Illustration – Keef Hartley
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Chris Mercer
Vocals, Bass Guitar – Gary Thain
Vocals, Guitar – Junior Kerr
Vocals, Piano – Pete Wingfield



6th album by the great UK drummer Keef Hartley with a new version of his band, which included vocalist / guitarist Junior Kerr, bassist Gary Thain, two saxophonists Chris Mercer and Nick Newell and pianist Pete Wingfield. Old buddy Mick Weaver helped out on organ. The music is tight and has a strong Brass-Rock feel, mixing Blues, Rock, Jazz and some Prog elements. In retrospect the music still sounds great after all these years and Hartley's fans will surely love to have this one in their collection.

Keef Hartley - 1971 - Little Big Band

Keef Hartley Band
1971
Little Big Band



01. You Can't Take It With You
02. Me And My Woman
03. Not Foolish, Not Wise
04. Leg Overture
a. Leavin' Trunk
b. Halfbreed
c. Just To Cry
d. Sinnin' For You

Alto Saxophone – Barbara Thompson
Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Chris Mercer
Bass Guitar – Gary Thain
Drums – Keef Hartley
Guitar, Vocals – Miller Anderson
Organ, Piano – Derek Austin
Percussion – Pete York
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute [Solos] – Lynn Dobson
Tenor Saxophone – Roger Wade
Trombone – Danny Allmark
Trombone [Solo] – Derek Wadsworth
Trumpet – Martin Drover, Mike Davis, Mike Rosen, Terry Noonan
Trumpet [Solo] – Harry Beckett

First pressings were released in a fold-out cover on a brown and white Deram label.
Recorded live at the Marquee Club, London, England, June 13-14.



5th album by the excellent Keef Hartley Band, one the best Blues / Rock / Jazz ensembles ever, founded by drummer Keef Hartley following his stint with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. This live recording in London's legendary Marquee Club is a most ambitious project the band undertook, expanding its personnel to a full scale Big Band of 16 musicians, which included the best Jazz players on the UK scene at the time. The entire project was prompted by an invitation from the BBC to record live and the bandwagon got rolling from there. Alongside the Hartley regulars the additional players include trombonist Derek Wadsworth, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, trumpeter Harry Beckett and many more. Although the material is Blues based, in fact the orchestral arrangements and the entire concept is a tribute to great Jazz Big Bands, which were a great source of influence to Hartley. This is not only great music but also a great document of the times, when musical project could be made to come true regardless of their complexity and expense. Just sit back and succumb to the engulfing sound of the band in its full might – satisfaction guaranteed! Superb stuff!