Saturday, November 8, 2014

Flight - 1974 - Take A Long Look

Take A Long Look 

01. I'm Alone
02. One Time Yesterday
03. Skinless Frank
04. Take A Long Look
05. After Everything
06. Lonely Man
07. Unusual Day

Now here's a big one, a monster as they call them, for all you young prog collectors out there.  I had this one some time back and had a good listen before sending it off on its relay-race way to do the rounds of the collectors, each person ripping and sharing it with a few private select friends or perhaps friendly moles, jealously guarding it like a leprechaun with a hoard of gold coins or maybe a secret passageway to the land of beer and honey.  So instead I thought we might as well let everyone hear it and judge its value-- does that make any sense?  Or are you more inclined to, like the squirrel that has been living in my garage all winter, amass the most astonishing stash of little nuts hidden in the insulation and rafters of my home's attic so there is enough food for centuries of generations of squirrel until their doomsday arrives in the year 3030?

I see Tom Hayes has reviewed it already for rateyourmusic:

"Take a Long Look" is on Airborne records, which is a custom label pressed by QCA. QCA (Queen City Albums), from Cincinnati (naturally enough, since Cincy is known as the "Queen City"), is like Rite Records or RPC in that they were a custom pressing plant. Their main raison d'etre was to press demo albums to shop around for a label deal. Which explains why many of these type of albums are extremely scarce and usually have poor sound. Due to the label being from Cincinnati, everyone just presumed the band was from there as well. However there has been at least one former ebay auction where the dealer stated they were most assuredly from Fort Wayne, Indiana - the same town that Ethos were from!

Even though it's Midwestern by locale, musically it reminds me of the more song-oriented UK underground circa 1971. Bands like Still Life or Noir came to mind, though certainly not as compelling as those. It's slow moving, with organ as the dominant instrument. The songs are well crafted though, and the band most certainly had talent. It would have been interesting to hear what they could have come up with had they the proper financial support and appropriate studio time. As stated earlier, the album is definitely a demo, and possesses a muddy sound.

"Take a Long Look" is not a good choice for a reissue - unless the band wants to reform and expound upon these ideas further. Or there's a studio tape hiding in the closet. Definitely worth hearing, though, if you get the chance.

Everfriend - 1981 - Sphere of Influence

Sphere of Influence

01. Ambience Won
02. Everfriend Overture For Piano And Electronic Orchestra
03. Given The Time
04. Music Means The World To Me
05. On The Fringe
06. Sonorplasm - Birth
07. Terra Firmus
08. Theme of Peace

- Bill Rhodes / keyboards, vocals
- Mike Jacoby / drums
- Paul Kozub / bass

By 1981, symphonic prog was all but dead. The big acts had started to dabble in pop rock and enjoyed the success, the lesser acts were trying to keep up the tradition but almost always failed miserably, and critics and fans had turned all of their attention to punk, new wave, and essentially anything other than progressive rock. Yet, a few rogue obscure bands still were determined to produce a quality piece of symphonic prog. While the early 80s did produce a few very rare gems of progressive rock mastery such as Bacamarte's Depois de Fim or Asia Minor's Between Flesh and Divine, I can safely say that Everfriend's debut and sole album Sphere of Influence was not one of those gems.

To get a feeling of what Everfriend, an obscure a little-known American prog band, sounds like, take Emerson Lake and Palmer's sound and do absolutely nothing to it, because Everfriend is, essentially, an ELP clone. While the album contains sprinklings of more jazz than Keith Emerson allowed in his own compositions and more 80s synths and other more "modern" twists, Everfriend bathes in the keyboard-led, baroque inspired, progressive rock tradition championed by Emerson Lake and Palmer. However, unlike ELP, Everfriend fails at capturing the organic and "original" sound that ELP was able to capture in their first few albums. While the fact that Everfriend's songs have more cheddar in them than a 2nd grader's view of the moon is discerning, it's the complete and utter lack of creativity that was put into the album that really gets me. While in this paragraph alone I think I've said it enough, this entire album sounds like it is straight from an ELP practice session - it's just that these are the songs that ELP wouldn't have even put on their albums. The pseudo-jazz piano/organ/synth passages led by Palmer-esque drum beats after Palmer-esque drum beats is suffocating to say the least, and the eight relatively short pieces have little to no flow or natural rhythm other than a pithy mixture of symphonic nonsense and forced progressive rock themes. The album is mostly instrumental, and this is a plus, as the sparse vocals aren't the best you can get - that is, the singer isn't good at all.

Overall, Everfriend's Sphere of Influence wasn't good. While the playing and production of the album was fine and the three guys had all the right intentions, the execution of their dried out uncreative songs was not the best the progressive world has to offer. It's no surprise this band dropped off the face of the earth after the release of this album, as there's really no music that could have possibly met wide appeal that would have prompted the band to go further with their efforts. Overall, the album may have one or two redeeming qualities, but this album is only for die-hard ELP fans desperate for more of the same or symphonic prog completionists who need every album they can find.

Everfriend - 1980 - Tropicsphere


01. That's What She Said!
02. Tropicsphere
03. Where You Are
04. Fanfare For The Uncommon Band
05. Do It Fluid
06. Words Won't Hide Your Eyes
07. Snake With The Firehat
08. Pianoisms

The American progressive rock band Everfriend were the project of keyboardist Bill Rhodes (real last name Rupprecht), who was active in the 1970s-80s. The music generated was an eclectic mixture of styles, from space rock to classically influenced keyboard works. The Mellotron dominated the sound as well as a blend of symphonic prog with synth-fronted jazz-fusion. The band consisted of three artists: Bill Rhodes on keyboards, Mike Jacoby on drums, and Paul Kozub on bass. They produced some underground very obscure albums including "Tropicsphere" in 1980, "Sphere of Influence" in 1981, and "Snake With a Hat". Bill Rhodes and Mike Jacoby used to play together in the All Night Flyers band and worked on the Everfriend project which was their focus while they lived in the Metuchen New Jersey area. They picked up bassist Paul Kozub for the albums who also played in the All Night Flyers. The band underwent personnel changes over its short career spanning 1978-1981, and the album "Sphere of Influence" is hailed as a prog classic, albeit one of the most obscure acts in the United States.

Extremely obscure US group from the New Jersey area, active from late-70's to early-80's.Everfriend were led by keyboardist Bill Rhodes and drummer Mike Jacoby, both them previously played together in a band called All Night Flyers.Their debut album ''Tropicsphere'' was released in 1980 on the unknown Jazzical label.

A quite uneven album, ''Tropicsphere'' opens with a few cuts, where keyboard-driven Prog/Fusion meets commercial Horn Rock.Rhodes' work on electric piano and synthesizers comes in evidence with some really furious solos, the tracks have some complex themes and sudden changes, the sporadic female vocals are cool, but the slight air of mainstream vibes is evident throughout them.There is a notable STARDRIVE influence in most of these pieces.Side A suprisingly closes with a very symphonic-oriented piece, similar to HAPPY THE MAN, French HECENIA or even E.L.P. with a very technical keyboard delivery and fantastic bombastic breaks, despite the mediocre production.The flipside of the LP is certainly more consistent and propably a bit better than the opening one with a pronounced Classical flavor mixed nicely with jazzier interludes.While it opens in a typical Prog/Fusion realm, the rest of it shows Rhodes heavily armoured with organs, harpsichord and piano, producing very good Symphonic/Fusion along the lines of HAPPY THE MAN and E.L.P., full of intricate keyboard fanfares, double synth/organ attacks and complicated textures.One track is even led by his delicate harsichord work in a full-blown Classical mood and the amateur-sounding but rather limited horns is the only negative point of his whole effort.

Among the decent Progressive Rock oddities, ''Tropicsphere'' deserves some attention by all fans of keyboard-driven Progressive Rock because of Rhodes' tanted playing and his nice bunch of composing ideas.Recommended, although very rare.

Eric Tocanne - 1983 - Questions D'habitude

Eric Tocanne 
Questions D'habitude 

01. Tribulation 1ère partie
02. Tribulation 2ème partie
03. Féminin
04. Répit
05. Espagnolade
06. Questions d'habitude
07. Mariage

Not a lot of information about this stunningly brilliant guitarist.  This record seems to be his only work, and it recalls to me the avant-garde jazz of Claude Barthélémy whom I featured before on this blog.  The latter made a number of similar records but his first, the one I reripped and posted, is definitely his magnum opus.

Here we get tons of tritones, dissonances, minor seconds, diminished chords, etc., etc., all the usual textual apparatus of progressive composition on a funky kind of beat that never lets up on the energy level like my children in their post-Hallowe'en zany mania of candy-driven delinquence & dereliction.  All instrumental.  In particular, the first track features some ascending guitar patterns on a swing walking bass that typify this release:
Interesting counterpoint guitar fronted instrumental fusion. The toned down guitar, and the generally academic approach recalls The Alain Eckert Quartet. Worth discovering.

Dreamworld - 1980 - On Flight To The Light

On Flight To The Light 

01. Ways Of Love (3:27)
02. Beneath Silence And Storm (10:48)
03. Summerdays (4:36)
04. Dreamworld's Symphony (19:14)
  a) Introduction
  b) Between Trees And Oiseaux
  c) Un Rêve Se Réalisé
  d) Endless Tenderness

- Klaus Fichter / Vocals, electronic drums, congas, cymbals, gong, synthesizer, guitar
- Rolf Fichter / Vocals, synthesizer, mellotron, vibraphone, flute, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass

After Yatha Sidhra totally dissappeared from the music scene, one could wonder what the Fichter brothers were dealing with.Answer came at the dawn of the 80's, when they returned as a duo under the name of Dreamworld.Rolf Fichter was known as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, but his brother Karl had also developed his skills, now playing keyboards and guitar besides his usual spot behind the drum kit.Dreamworld made their debut in 1980 on Vertigo with the album ''On flight to the light''.

Short opener ''Ways of love'' was not something you should expect from former Yatha Sidhra musicians, having a certain PINK FLOYD aura with a hypnotic, Space/Psych Rock sound and very GLIMOUR-like guitar vibe on the solos with some sneezy vocals thrown in.On the contrary, the 10-min. ''Beneath silence and storm'' sounds like a lost YATHA SIDHRA piece, which still retains some of the PINK FLOYD mood, but the narcotic acoustic lines over the dreamy synth notes and the use of flute are coming straight out of the Fichters' past.After the middle the Kraut-oriented jam on electronics and organ offers a kinky, psychedelic atmosphere.''Summer days'' is another suprise, a mix of Kraut Rock, Lounge Music and Psychedelic Rock with interesting flute work but some bland vocals as well.Was this track recorded live, because something like an audience can be heard in the background, or these were only some sound effects, who knows.The 20-min. ''Dreamworld's symphony'' has nothing to do with a symphony actually.This is some sort of standard Kraut Rock with emphasis on electronic soundscapes, filled with sound effects, percussion and atonal piano lines, having obvious psychedelic orientations and becoming a jam monster, when electric guitar and organ jump in.An interruption will lead to an acoustic outro with acoustic lines and mellow flutes in yet another YATHA SIDHRA reminder.

Cool mix of Electronic Music, psychedelic jams, PINK FLOYD tendencies and light Space Rock.Beautiful album for relaxing or making trippy dreams.Recommended.

Dreamworld - 1983 - Gates To Eternity

Gates To Eternity 

01. Lady Sunrise
02. Endless flight
03. Stay, don't go back
04. No more war again
05. Sing my song - part 1
06. Sing my song - part 2
07. Expectations: start of the sun

- Klaus Fichter / Vocals, electronic drums, congas, cymbals, gong, synthesizer, guitar
- Rolf Fichter / Vocals, synthesizer, mellotron, vibraphone, flute, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass

Yatha Sidhra - 1973 - A Medidation Mass

Yatha Sidhra 
A Medidation Mass

01. A Meditation Mass 1
02. A Meditation Mass 2
03. A Meditation Mass 3
04. A Meditation Mass 4

Rolf Fichter - Moog, Indian Flute, Electric Piano, Guitar, Vocals
Klaus Fichter - Drums, Percussion
Matthias Micolai - Guitar, Bass
Peter Elbracht - Flute

After several vain attempts in many bands, the brothers Rolf and Klaus Fichter finally found in 1973 their own musical identity. At this time the band original name BRONTOSAURUS changes to YATHA SIDHRA, a musical name which is really suitable for the new musical orientation taken by the two musicians. Particularly attentive to ethnic and meditative influences in popular music, they began to work on a long & epic piece called "A Meditation Mass" (under the influence of the famous Achim Reichel, the virtual member of the band who produces the album in 1974).

The first intention was to create a dreamy musical landscape where the Moog synth, the flute & traditional "percussive" instruments play an important part. Seen as a concept album, "A Meditation Mass" is almost exclusively instrumental. A long suite divided in two themes with two variations for each one. A beautiful and ecstatic musical journey. Their sound oscillates between "pastoral" folk music, spacey rock with the addition of discreet jazzy accents. After this impressive work, YATHA SIDHRA is dissolved. At the beginning of the eighties, the brothers Fichter formed a new band called DREAMWORLD. A more synth meditative pop orientated music but it's worth checking.

This one-shot German act is really something. Yatha Sidhra’s “A Meditation Mass” is an amazing lesson on building mystery and intensity through mere subtlety. The music is quite relaxing, yet the delicate interplay between flute and keyboard-guitar reveals a hint of spiritual passion that only comes forward in some specific moments. This music might appeal to those who love Jade Warrior, particularly their earlier albums. The Fichter brothers (bearing duties on keyboards-vibes-guitar and drums-percussion, respectively) sure managed to create a rich atmosphere under a strict Spartan guise. Main influences here are “Ummagumma”-era Pink Floyd, avant-garde jazz rock and Hindu folk, all of them mixed to create a sonic nucleus solidly framed in the bucolic side of German psychedelic experimentation. The flute fills the leading role in many passages of the album, which makes it very clear that the guitar phrases are mostly created to set clever counterpoints to the woodwind sounds and the keyboards are preferentially in charge of textures and ambiences. Part 1 begins with an ethereal synthesizer soundscape, which eventually gives way to an exotic tribal main section. The synthesizer remains as a provider of softly disturbing adornments while the percussion and electric 12-string guitar harmonies set a solid landscape. This 17+ minute delight finds a constant climax whenever the flute input gets at its most hypnotic. The final electric piano phrases end this track in delicate fashion. Part 2 finds the band getting a bit rougher without losing their introspective essence. In a little more than a 3-minute span the foursome displays a mixture of Floydian languid atmospheres and jazzy cadences. The bass lines that disappear during the fade-out reappear at the initial fade-in of Part 3. This time, keyboardist Rolf Fichter takes the lead guitar and things start to get increasingly Floydian. The gradually enhanced energy created by the band may remind the listener of Ash Ra Tempel and Amon Düül II during its most explosive passages. They’re quite ecstatic, indeed, like the soundtrack to a mind that transcends itself momentarily in order to explore the realms of a reality beyond our world. The reprise of the initial motif seems to indicate the moment of the mind’s return to the world. This is a definitive apex of the album. Part 4 closes down the album with a mesmerizing reprise of Part 1’s main motif, only developed in a more constrained manner. “A Meditation Mass” is a hidden gem that deserves proper appreciation from avid lovers of experimental music worldwide.

Arena - 1976 - Arena


01. Journey in Three's
02. Scope
03. Duke
04. Scrichell Cat
05. Keith's Mood
06. The Long One
07. Turkish Defunked

Ted White: saxophone, flute, composer
Peter Jones: keyboards
Graham Morgan: percussion
Bob Arrowsmith:bass
Charlie Gauld: guitar

This is a highly sort after Australian Jazz funk issued privately in Melbourne. It includes the famous tune "The Long One" which was compiled on Ubiquity’s 'Heading in the Right Direction'. Could be described as the Australian Placebo.
Recorded in Melbourne sometime during the 70's (maybe 1976), this is one of those rare albums that hardly ever turns up on ebay and when it does, it goes for a small fortune. “Arena” was formed by Ted White and from what I gather this was their only release and the main reason this album was made was to test out the newly built “Crystol Clear” Studio’s in Melbourne, Australia.
Arena is a 7-track progressive Jazz/Rock album by Melbourne musicians Ted White, Peter Jones, Graham Morgan, Bob Arrowsmith and Charlie Gould. The albums highlight, "The Long One" starts with a drum break and then heads into 6:32 minutes of funky madness. There are a number of other breaks and ill moments spread throughout this platter. Great listening and well worth the money and effort tracking this one down.
“The Long One” is the tightest cut on the album (sought after by collectors and beat heads for the dope drum break intro). It's a really Dope Jazz-funk instrumental and was included on the “Luv N’ Hate” compilation “Heading in the Right Direction” . The majority of the album is pretty dam funky with Samples and Drum breaks all over the place. Other stand out tracks include: "Scope", "Scrichell Cat” & “Keiths Mood”.

Their music is not dissimilar to that of Crossfire or Weather Report, however, it lacks the production and jazz hooks that made these bands famous.  You can preview Arena's music by taking a look at the following YouTube Clip.  .

Although there is not a great deal of information for Arena, I was able to gather the following snippets of info on each of the band members:

Peter Jones
(Keyboards, Electric Piano)
Joined Mackenzie Theory is September 1973, played at the Sunbury 74 concert, and on their Bon Voyage album (a recording taken from their final concert at Dallas Brookes Hall, Melbourne)

Ted White
(Lead Alto Sax / Reeds)
Ted has toured in South Africa and Hong Kong and has backed numerous Australian and overseas acts. He has played with names such as - The Bee Gees, Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Little River Band, Barry White, Sammy Davis Jnr, Village People, Dianna Ross, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Liberace.  Played at the Sunbury Rock Festival.
He arrived on the Gold Coast in 1963 playing various venues before becoming Musical Director for the Maori Castaways (Hi-Fi’s) and touring with them from 1964 – 68 going to UK, Malaysia, Thailand, Sweden and Finland.
Ted not only played with Arena in 1975-76, but he also wrote most of their material

Graham Morgan
(Percussion, Drums)
Born in Melbourne Australia in 1937, Graham Morgan was educated at Melbourne Grammar School. He ventured to Los Angeles in 1962 where he studied under some of the best drummers of the time (Joe Morello, Murray Spivak).
Grahams outstanding career has spanned five decades and has taken him from playing on the first ABC television broadcast to recording a live album at Carnegie Hall with Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. He has recorded and played with numerous other artists such as John Farnham, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Clark Terry, Carmen McRae, Freddie Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and his own "Graham Morgan Jazz Quartet".
At GTV-9 Australia he held the position of staff drummer for over 20 years working on numerous shows including The Don Lane Show. At channel 10 (0) Graham worked with the Young Talent Time band for 10 years, The Ernie Sigley Show, Showcase and more.
His drumming can be heard on hundreds of filmscores and television/ radio commercials recorded during the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. He has earned himself the unique title of 'The Most Recorded Drummer in Australian History'

Bob Arrowsmith
Played Bass for Bruce Woodley (of the Seekers) and for a long-running Melbourne revue band called the Roulettes.

Charlie Gould
A session payer for many years, Charlie played with Beeb Birtles and Daryl Cotton in the highly sucessful Australian band 'Frieze' and earlier with the melbourne group 'The Thunderbirds'

Dominique Guiot - 1978 - L'Univers De La Mer

Dominique Guiot 
L'Univers De La Mer 

01. Wind Surf Ballad
02. La Danse Des Méduses
03. Une Ballade Pour Une Goélette
04. Les Deux Poissons
05. Ballet Amoureux Des Dauphins
06. Les Pingouins S'Amusent
07. Destination Inconnue
08. Iceberg En Voyage
09. L'Univers De La Mer
10. Alerte En Mer
11. Les Émigrants De La Mer
12. À La Découverte D'Une Amphore

There are two versions of this album, I much prefer the second cover which came later.  Both are French releases.  What an amazingly beautiful and surreal cover painting, as I always like to say, deserving of being in a museum rather than on an utterly forgotten LP...  Credit: photo de recto, J. Wyrs.  A confusing (and unhelpful?) note, since it's a painting on the recto.

The artist reminds me a great deal of Didier Bonin, posted on the old prognotfrog by myself, and the rips are again by our wonderful friend pollux, who does a professional job of cleaning up these records.

His later albums were quite disappointing to me, as you can see, he went on to library records.  The next one, La dame a la licorne, is much too simple and medieval for my tastes.  Incidentally, have you seen the tapestry series in the Cluny Museum, Paris, from which this title is based?  That medieval museum is simply a shockingly outstanding place to visit.

Dogliotti - 1972 - Candombe Liso

Candombe Liso

01. Ahí Va La Comparsa
02. Siempre Tú
03. Negro En Sol Menor
04. Cheche
05. Abuelo Regálame Un Tamboril
06. Candombe
07. Chiquillada
08. Biafra
09. Palo Y Tamboril
10. Candombe De Mi Ciudad

11. La Llamada
12. Biricunyamba
13. Yacumenza
14. El Candomble

Bass – Federico García Vigil
Drums – Pipa Burgueño
Tambor Repique – Eduardo "Cacu" Celestino*
Tamboril, Piano – Jorga "Chino" Celestino*
Keyboards – Mike Dogliotti
Saxophone, Flute – Tito Caballero

Recorded at Los Estudios ION Bs. As. in 1971.
Edited in December 1971

La llamada / Birincunyamba (Sondor 50149. 1971)
Yacumenza / Candombe (Sondor 50154. 1971)

Dogliotti - 1970 - Candombe For Export

Candombe For Export

01. Don Pascual
02. Buma Buruma
03. Candela
04. Nunca, Nunca
05. Doña Gregoria
06. Chicalanga
07. Las Manzanas
08. Baile De Los Morenos
09. Tierra
10. Siga El Baile
11. El Cable
12. Tingo Tingo
13. Prohibido Tomar Café En El Estudio

Bass – Federico García Vigil
Drums – Pipa Burgueño
Keyboards, – Alberto Dogliotti
Saxophone, – Tito Caballero
Tambora – Silva Brothers

The complete recordings of Uruguayan outstanding organ player Mike Dogliotti, between 1970 and 1972, for the Sondor label. This double pack includes his two full lengths (Candombe For Export and Candombe Liso), plus a few tracks from 7' singles. Mike Dogliotti managed to give create a commercial version of the Afro-Urugayan rhythms know as 'candombe music', using the very simple but effective formula of combining percussion with Farfisa organ. This will be a true discovery for those who search 'new' and exciting sounds. THAT IRRESISTIBLE ELECTRONIC ORGAN Very rarely one manages to discover an artist apparently and largely ignored by web search engines. This is the case of Alberto 'Mike' Dogliotti, a musician who with his Farfisa organ has made a whole generation of young South-Americans dance and who up to date remains in the category of 'awaiting to be discovered' musicians. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1939, Dogliotti began his musical studies at the early age of four. Exclusively focused on classical music, the pianist won a prestigious music competition which allowed him to continue his studies in Europe. By the 1960s Dogliotti ventures into jazz music and becomes one of the main attractions in the Montevidean jazzy scene. His passion for this genre takes him to enter the Pena de Jazz de Montevideo in 1964, touring several countries and playing at the most exclusive hotels in South America. In 1967 he was hired to play at the Intercontinental Hotel in Quito, Ecuador. For the job he decides to form a sextet consisting of Daniel "Bachicha" Lencina (trumpet), Tito Caballero (sax, flute and clarinet), Chocho Paolini (tenor-sax), Eduardo Useta (bass and electric guitar) and Santiago Ameijenda (drums) and he recorded with them his first LP (Fiesta en el Hotel Quito) for the Facolor label. In 1968 the same hotel chain offers him to go to Lima, Peru. The artist hires new musicians for the occasion and enters the studio again to record a new album, Mike Dogliotti and his Orchestra, released by MAG label. By 1970 the musician returns to his home country. The revival of the candombe beat -a new trend which was updating the popular Uruguayan music scene- makes the artist take a different path once again. Dogliotti feels comfortable within this sonic universe and he quickly becomes one of its benchmarks. Taking advantage of the booming of the candombe beat, the pianist experiments with electronic keyboards making the most of his impeccable skills as classical musician and of his creativity for improvisation inherited from his experience as jazz musician. Thanks to his virtuousism, Dogliotti takes the candombe beat to new boundaries, delivering music with his personal stamp where the irresistible sound of his organ shares prominence with the traditional cuerda de tambores (group of drummers playing drums) from the Uruguayan candombe. He builds up success and becomes a must-be act at the Montevidean clubs. His reputation as musician is such that in 1970 the legendary Sondor label signs him to record Candombe For Export, Dogliotti's debut album in his home country featuring a comprehensive repertoire of classic tracks of Uruguayan popular music. The excellent reception garnered by this release encourages him to record compulsively and just two years later Candombe Liso is released at De la Planta records. It was the same formula, although maybe a little more refined one, and Candombe Liso went on to be Dogliotti's best-selling record. Once again, compositions by RubÚn Rada, Manolo Guardia and the Fattoruso brothers pass through his sound 'processor', he even attempts with compositions by Pedro Ferreira, one of the most outstanding candombe songwriters. After exhausting his Latin-American period, Dogliotti decides to try his luck overseas. In 1977 he works temporarily in Majorca and from there he travels to Israel, where he performs at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv during the following year. Finally, in 1982, Dogliotti settles definitively in Spain. He is currently living in the Canary Islands where he is a respected jazz musician, musical director for TV programmes and music teacher. Angel Atienza

Didier Bonin - 1982 - L'Air Lumiere

Didier Bonin 
L'Air Lumiere

01. Juin 81
02. Air Lumière
03. Ecumes
04. Silences
05. Couleur Fièvre
06. Parti Du Pli

A very obscure artist from France who released these two introspective, tranquil instrumental albums. "L'Air Lumiere" has wordless voice and a bit more fire in the electric guitar work, making it the more desirable of the two. Both featuring quite a bit of acoustic guitar and electronics, and are overall very pleasant outings.

Didier Bonin - 1979 - L' Arbre Verre

Didier Bonin 
L' Arbre Verre

01. Untitled [Band 1: 4 Untitled Sections] 6:33
02. Untitled [Band 2: 6 Untitled Sections] 9:42
03. Untitled [13 Untitled Sections] 13:40

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Drums, Vocals – Didier Bonin
    Illustration – Patrick Grillot

Autumn 1978-79

No track titles anywhere on the release.

An extremely obscure addition, Didier Bonin was a self-taught French multi-instrumentalist who released two LP's back in late-70's/early-80's.The first one entitled ''L’arbre-verre'' (''The glass tree'') was privately pressed in 1979.All info come from the artwork,Bonin had to be located in Dijon around the time and was definitely one of the first multi-instrumentalists to record an album alone, as he handles all guitars, bass, keyboards and drums himself!

This is very calm and somber music to say the least with the first track clocking at 17-min. long, being a melancholic piece of Psych/Prog/Electronic with a very ambient atmosphere, of course in downtempo, somewhat a cross between MIKE OLDFIELD, CYBOTRON, SEANSATION'S FIX and MICHEL MOULINE.Bonin achieved to create a unique atmosphere of spacey relaxing soundscapes, based on his psychedelic acoustic guitars, smooth electric guitar performance and cosmic keyboards, eventually offering a trippy musicianship with a very unique approach.A short SENSATION'S FIX-like into with sound effects and growing acoustic guitars will lead to the second 12-min. opus, this one suffers from an inconsistent mix and bad recording quality, but it ends up to be a decent listening experience.Mellow jazzy electric guitars combine with trippy synths in the start and after another keyboard-based break the atmosphere grows into a haunting grandiosity with acoustic guitars front in the mix and the cosmic keyboards supporting to offer yet another interesting spacey experience.

A complete French rarity, hitting triple digit numbers in auctions, but this one is not just another mediocre obscurity.''L’arbre-verre'' is a good addition for fans of trippy Space Rock or Electronic/Psych/Prog adventures with a deep emotional content.Recommended, despite the low recording quality.

Cosmic Debris - 1981 - While You're Asleep

Cosmic Debris
While You're Asleep

01. While You're Asleep
02. Portrait of the Universe as a Thursday Afternoon
03. Bema
04. Matriculation
05. Five Minute Attack
06. From the Corner of My Mind (part 1)
07. Spider Barks at Sun
08. From the Corner of my Mind, (part 2)
09. The Dance Within
10. Distances
11. Chason de Dennis

- Richard Bugg / ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flutes
- Dennis Borycki / Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600
- Joel Young / acoustic percussion, drum kit
- John Powell / acoustic percussion, vibraphone, marmimba, tabla & drum kit
- Bil Richards / Guitar

In 1976 Synthesizer gurus Richard Bugg and Cal Grant performed one tune at the Friends Records Jazz Festival, titled "Piece One" which lasted about 20 minutes. At the end of the set, the crowd went silent and seemed to be stunned. As soon as the crowd began to applause the duo realized that the audience appreciated their music and the group began to perform regularly as The Contemporary Synthesizer Ensemble.

A friend of Richard's said the name was pretentious and they soon were dubbed COSMIC DEBRIS. The name came from the idea of NASA's tracking of space junk in orbit that is left over from space missions. The first album appeared after many performances and in 1980 "3.7 K" finally saw the light of day. The musicians on the album were Richard Bugg on ARP2600, Moog 15b, E-mu modules, Flute, Joel Young on Acoustic percussion, drums, and Shawn Phillips on Guitar, and Guitar Synth. The album featured an Aaron Copeland track, 'Fanfare/Spectrum' and 2 other tracks on side 2 written by Bugg and Young. The album name was derived from the echo of the "Big Bang", found at 3.7 degrees above absolute zero (3.7 degrees Kelvin). The album was recorded in two days at Media Studios in Oklahoma City.

In 1981 the second studio release appeared "While You're Asleep" with Bugg on ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flutes, Dennis Borycki on Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600, Joel Young on acoustic percussion, drum kit, John Powell on acoustic percussion, vibraphone, marimba, tabla & drum kit, and Bil Richards on Guitar.

The band soon disbanded but Bugg has appeared in many ensembles during the 1990s. The music is electronic progressive and should appeal to those music listeners who are into synthesizer soaked electronic music.

The second effort from this obscure prog band is much better than the first, featuring a huge variety of sounds and styles. In fact they abandoned the electronic tendencies of the first album; self-titled 3-7 K; and I think levgan was right on the money with his statement of 'high dynamic' which is applied for the first (and of course only) time to this record. I disagree with some of the more critical comments because I think this is really out and out progressive -- it don't get more prog than this. You will hear Dauneresque free piano solos, melancholy ditties, experimental sounds, odd tempo changes, mashed up chords, everything you need for diverse aural positive praxis. It never ceases to amaze me how different opinions can be in this field, because I can listen to this record a dozen times and still hear something totally new and unexpected in it, but others will state it's only worth one or two. At least they must concede as a concept album this truly succeeds in evoking the dream-state of shifting and drifting sounds and images without repetition or concrete footings.

From the mighty osurec files of course, I'm very grateful we have this rip to get a taste of this music. Tracklists kindly added in comments section. I expect a new rip might surface soon because it's just such a great album -- a fabulous cover painting obviously evoking the dream state. And why exactly do we sleep? Well, surprisingly we don't know, we sleep because we have to -- we die if we are sleep deprived sufficiently long. A very rare inherited syndrome of progressive sleeplessness leading to death is currently being studied to unearth some possible genetic causes. Some of the mysteries are that no compound or factor or process has been found requiring regeneration during the quiescent state despite considerable study, and there is no correlation between sleep duration and metabolism, body size, or cerebral wet weight (through species). So a recent interesting evolutionary theory has it that sleep is simply to double an organism's lifespan -- since all animals are either nocturnal or diurnal, we can conserve energy by becoming inactive temporarily each day when there are no survival chores to be done as in food-seeking or shelter-building. A simple test of the hypothesis would be to study deep-sea fishes to see what their circadian rhythms are... This is a classic example of science thinking outside the box for solution-seeking... It goes without saying dreaming is even more of a puzzle, pace the Freudian interpretation of dreams as wish-fulfillment, most neuroscientists believe REM dreams are the random actions of a brain busy doing something else biochemically restorative or synapse-adjustment automatic -- but what? well with this record, we can discover what the brain is up to while you're asleep...

Now, from the back cover, I'm able to include the descriptors which the artists placed after each song:


1. While You're Asleep - Richard Bugg
For Alecia, this is what I do late at night when you are off in dreamland

2. Portrait of the Universe as a Thursday Afternoon - Richard Bugg
This started life as a piece for synth and trombone but somewhere along the way I lost the trombone

3. Bema - Dennis Borycki
The story of life in the jungle as told by a mountain goat

4. Matriculation - Richard Bugg
Joel and Dennis engage the piano in a discussion of new diversions (or was that nudie virgins?)


1. Five Minute Attack - Dennis Borycki
"The fire of the dragon is but the breath of time"-H. Lepton

2. From the Corner of My Mind, part 1 - Richard Bugg

3. Spider Barks at Sun - Dennis Borycki

4. From the Corner of my Mind, part 2 - Richard Bugg
During the preceding three sketches come dance in your mind

5. The Dance Within - Richard Bugg
Earth 8 June 1867 plus 117 years (ask Sam Clemens)

6. Distances - Richard Bugg
where do you think we keep the dragon? (look aside for correct distances)

7. Chanson de Dennis - Dennis Borycki
for the song in each of us....

Instrumentation: Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flutes), Dennis Borycki (Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600), Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit), John Powell (acoustic percussion, vibraphone, marmimba, tabla & drum kit), & Bil Richards (Guitar)

Original Cover Artwork by G. John Dudley

We did our first video at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre. It was a live performance and the location recording engineer was Barry Stramp. We shot it on 3/4 in and in the time before MTV about the only place it showed was on the local cable public access channel.

Taken from here:

Notice that the group was very much active until the early 2000s, when 'health problems' led to them semi-retiring.  What almost made me fall off my chair was, if you read the history, an indication the group recorded two other works, a juvenilia or proto-first release (only on cassette) called "23-4-79" and a live work recorded directly to digital called "On the Shores of a Different Time" from 1986.

And a few quick notes about this record since, as I mentioned before, I really feel it's a home run when it comes to progressive music-- out of the ballpark stuff, as the triple-D chef Guy Fieri would say on food network.  Notice on the Song about "Portrait of the Universe" (which appeared on the first release from 1979) the depth of composer Bugg's classical musical education, as he uses a sustained D major note to play various colors using different tones from the synths and keyboards, much like Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe opening (which actually was done verbatim by synthesizers by the wonderful Japanese artist Tomita.

As I said before, the depth of ideas, the versatility, the invention, the breadth which includes jazz, avant-garde, classical, electronica and even poetry, the interest, the overall theme of sleeping which runs though the record, as well as the gorgeous album cover painting (which is by G. John Dudley as mentioned above) all contribute to making this an absolute classic of the genre, from 1981, the United States of America... love live prog...  hey, hey, my, my, prog'n'roll will never die... I think...

Cosmic Debris - 1980 - Cosmic Debris

Cosmic Debris 
Cosmic Debris

01. Fanfare / Spectrum
02. In the Not So Still Gentleness of the Night
03. Danse of the Sines

Richard Bugg : ARP2600 synth, moog 15b synth, e-mu modules, flute
Joel Young : acoustic percussion, drum kit
Shawn Phillips : guitar & guitar synth

Recorded at Media Sound studios, Oklahoma City, USA and Chorisia studios, Positano, Italy.
Mixed at OFAS Records Studio B
Mastered by N.A.P. Nashville, TN
Engineered & Mixed by Richard Bugg
Assistant Engineer Gary Tramell
Additional Engineering by Shawn Phillips

All compositions arranged by Cosmic Debris
Produced by Richard Bugg for Non Compos Mentis

"By drawing upon the rhythmically insistent basics of Rock and bridging the intraculture
of complex musical forms, we present here one point in time, a quasi-congruent collection
of statements from the entourage known as the Cosmic Debris.
Enclosed within is an eclectic variety of awareness, a realization of our compositional
conceptions of intertextural profundity. The result is an intermingling of composed and
improvised elements producing perhaps what is best termed the power of emotion merged
positively with mind."

The story of Cosmic Debris begins in 1976, when Richard Bugg, interested at the time in Electronic Music, volunteered to perform with his ARP 2600 synthesizer at Friends Records Jazz Festival in Oklahoma along with Cal Grant, who had built his own moog synth.The duo was characterized as ''cosmic debris'' after its performance, marking a change of name.The next couple of years Bugg would perform under the Cosmic Debris moniker alongside several musicians and he even released a cassette in 1979 with a five-piece line-up, from which Joel Young (drums, percussion) remained the next year along with newcomer guitarist Shawn Phillips.The trio recorded a self-titled debut at Media Sound studios in Oklahoma City, which was also overdubbed by Phillips at Chorisia studios in Positano, Italy, where he lived.Release year 1980, label Non Compos Mentis.

Consisting of three long, instrumental tracks, the album's subtitle was ''3.7 K'', derived from the echo of the "Big Bang", which was found at 3.7 degrees Kelvin.The sidelong ''Fanfare / Spectrum'' was inspired by the work of American composer Aaron Copland and it's actually what its title suggests.A long, one-dimensional Electronic fanfare with Bugg's spacey synthesizers in evidence and Phillips' endless cosmic guitar solos in a PINK FLOYD/HAWKWIND vein, producing an interesting, trippy atmosphere with little variation but full of inventiveness and incredible atmospheres.''In the not so still gentleness of the night'' opens with Bugg's loops and electronics, followed by a surprising folky flute part and followed by a narcotic synth tone, doubled by another dose of massive synth exercises.''Danse of the sines'' is based on a repetitive bass-like (or is it actually guitar?, no mention to bass credits in the album notes) groove with Bugg offering atonal synth textures and Young playing somekind of acoustic percussion.Propably the weakest track of the LP but with some notable synth explorations by Bugg.

Bruce Clarke Quintet - 1974 - Stratusphunk

Bruce Clarke Quintet 

01. Stratusphunk
02. The Falling Rains Of Life
03. Tune Up
04. Hong Kong Ladies
05. Pavane
06. Three Seconds
07. One For Donna

Bruce Clarke - Electric Guitar/Moog Synth
Ted White - Electric Sax/flute and woodwind
Keith Stirling - Electric trumpet
Ian Grattidge - Bass
Ron Sandilands - Drums/Percussion.

Absolutely a lost piece of masterly australian jazz-rock like Quasar or First Light though perhaps not with the stunning originality of progressiveness of the aforementioned two, certainly not at the same stratospheric level of Alpha Omega. Note the odd ascription of 'australian composition' on 2 of the tracks, explicable by the fact this record was 'made possible' by a governmental grant. Love to know what Bruce thought of that. Most of the tracks are covers of different jazz compositions by Miles, Oliver Nelson, even Jaki Byard and the famous often-easy listeninged Pavane of Faure which really deserves its own star in the musical elevator hall of fame (along with certain Satie gymnopedies). Nothing comes close to Bill Evans + Claus Ogerman's orchestra for jazz renditions of this in my opinion. Having said that, Clarke's Pavane is very fusionally impressive, note at the 2:35 mark the shocking sound of a diesel-powered moog playing the melody behind the horns (-- oh those spacey moogs of the 70s, how they take me right back to those glorious halcyon days when interstellar ion warp drives and fusion reactors were going to take us to exoplanets in other galaxies within a few decades to boldly go where no child has gone before, finding our glorious and god-given future in other planets where perhaps a limitless supply of fossil fuels and edible large animals could be plundered with impunity... but the dreams all ended with the spacey moogs and we're left alone here on this planet that now only has the capacity for 75 percent of the current 7 X 10 to the ninth population along with Adele and Lady Gaga......)
A big standout for me is the solo guitar track Rain of Life written by pianist Byard (famed Mingus accompanist) which truly shows Bruce's skills. Note the wonderful decorative notes played by the brass halfway thru.

I include the liner notes from the rear record sleeve --mostly for a feel for the seventies era:
"I have a real feeling of involvement with this album. It's because I've been close to this brainchild since its conception, during its gestation and now its accouchement. I suppose I feel like an obstetrician on hearing a newborn baby yell. Not that I've had a long wait to hear this one wail. As they became available, Bruce generously kept me supplied with tapes of these items from early mono mixes to stereo, which I've programmed often. But to those who may be listening to this music for the first time I say-- this is no facsimile of another group and its music-- here is originality!
This music is wonderfully imaginative and stylish, creative and joyous. The group is excitingly professional with its musicianship and deft exploitation of modern techniques and devices for playing and recording. Bruce Clarke is a very original man.
He's one of my men for all seasons and he's always been a champion of the now season. Which is why he digs his Harley Davidson 1200 cc superglide I suppose. He's always looked for new ways to express his music -- so he has a mark 3 moog and a vast assortment of amps gear and axes. He's been president of the International Society of Contemporary Music so he's our only professional electronic composer, thus the use of amps and pedals with this group. And it all stands on the Duke Ellington premise, if it sounds good, it's good! Amen to that.
Really what I've been saying is Stratusphunk is ... right on!"

Blonker - 1978 - Die Zeit Steht Still

Die Zeit Steht Still

01. Mädchen
02. Schutz Vor Dem Sturm
03. Indigo
04. Verbraten
05. Die Zeit Steht Still
06. Kannst Mal Seh'n
07. Maschine
08. Breites Meer

Bass, Percussion – Thomas Grützmacher
Choir – Gaby Borowski, Heiko Effertz, Rolf Köhler
Drums – Helge Tillmann
Guitar, Percussion – Dieter Geike
Keyboards – Nicolas Stallard
Percussion – Bernardo Ball
Vocals, Percussion, Choir – Kay Jessen

Recorded November and December 1977

The artist Dieter Geike is Blonker. A German composer and musician, he is skilled at keyboards, bass, guitar, and many other instruments. His gentle rhythmic musical stylings are most times a silky smooth mix of a number of genres, including jazz, rock, and even classical and new age. In 1978 Geike saw the release of his debut album, Die Zeit Steht Still. In 1980 he signed with the Philips Records label to complete two more albums, Fantasia and Windmills. Four years later he switched to another big label, Mercury, where he recorded three more marvelous full-length albums. The start of 1990 found Geike working under yet another new label, BSC Music. Albums like 1980's Time to Remember and 1998's Wellness kept his music before fans. Throughout the '90s, Geike received numerous positive reviews as Blonker. Gradually his fame has spread from Russia to Europe to America.

Like most of you, I was only familiar with the name through the post-1980 albums which featured very simplistic and almost childlike "progressive'' sounds, virtually new age in its lack of interest.  Therefore imagine how surprised I was to find out the debut album from 1978 was a very inventive and well-written mix of songs featuring really delicate and unusual chord changes and other features of immense interest.

Notice the beautiful atmosphere that builds up in the course of the guitar arpeggio opening, with the high bass note suggesting a wind or storm, and the harmony vocals of the chorus a la 10cc gingerly transitioning up to the next chord with a minor second: just a beautiful touch.  When you look at the database entry on discogs, one almost gets the feeling he did better within the group setting, even though all music was written by him with the exception of the first track (Feuerhak being the lyricist).

Armando Tirelli - 1978 - El Profeta

Armando Tirelli 
El Profeta 

01. Prologo El Profeta (8:26)
02. Candombe Samba (4:52)
03. Barco de los Suenos (2:27)
04. Tema Central El Profeta (2:06)
05. El Momento de Partir (1:46)
06. Amanever en Orphalese (2:40)
07. Hablanos del Matrimonio (5:28)
08. Hablanos del Dar (3:09)
09. Hablanos del Amor (3:45)
10. Los Ecos de Almustafe (3:28)
11. Hablanos de los Hijos (4:59)
12. Tocata Scarahuala (0:34)
13. Tema Central El Profeta (1:46)

- Armando Tirelli / piano, mellotron, organ, synthesizer, vocals
- J. C. Sheppard / drums
- Ricardo Bozas / drums
- J. Carrara / bass
- G. Bregstein / sax, flute
- G. Chaibun / flute
- Rody Troccli / guitar

Armando Tirelli was the keyboardist and primary composer for the Uruguayan soft-rock/jazz group SEXTETO ELECTRONICO MODERNO beginning in the late sixties. That band released four studio albums before emigrating to Mexico under the name ËXODO in the mid-seventies. Tirelli moved on to release his lone solo album "El Profeta", a symphonic and spoken-word thematic effort based on the poetic novel 'The Prophet' by Lebanese writer and sixties counter-culture icon KHALIL GIBRAN.

While Tirelli's previous work with SEXTETO ELECTRONICO MODERNO was characterized by jazz and classical influences, as well as more traditional Latin inflections of bossanova and salsa, "El Profeta" is a highly symphonic concept album that is heavily akin to the most poignant Italian symphonic music (PFM, LE ORME). Tirelli includes a number of spoken-word passages in Spanish, presumably in reference to Gibran's novel.

The tracks are arranged to coincide more or less sequentially with the novel, with some individual tracks even representing specific poems in the work. The instrumentation is all centered around Tirelli's piano, and to a lesser extent synthesizers, plus some fuzz guitar that gives a real spark to many passages. The original vinyl is nearly impossible to find today, but there are re-issued CD versions available in the Americas and Europe.

Tirelli enjoyed a long stint as a composer, arranger, and performer in Spain after releasing this album, and after leaving Uruguay himself.

Armando TIRELLI was a keyboard player who released this rare album, in 1978, inspired by the writings of Gibran Khalil. The music on "El Profeta" shows a strong influence from the Italian prog scene. In fact, there are certain sections that sound like they were recorded by an Italian band around 1973, but the Spanish vocals gives the album a unique South American flavor. I have to admit not liking "El Profeta" after first playing it. Most of the music sounded too dated, and even a bit too romantic. After repeated plays, something strange happened and the compositions grew on me to the point that the CD became one of my favorites. Out of the 13 tracks, I still have a problem with one track entitled "Hablanos Del Amor". That track is an attempt at writing a typical love song. Don't expect complex symphonic prog, but if you're in the mood for romantically beautiful melodies (ala Italian prog), and moods, then you will definitely enjoy "El Profeta".

Apprentice - 1982 - Rough Draft

Rough Draft

01. Rough Draft
02. Barnstorming
03. Prank
04. Charlie Brown
05. P.M.
06. Freeze Frame
07. Time Change
08. It's in the Cards

James Pastman: Acoustic and Electric Piano,Mini,Micro Moog,Obertheim Polyphonic,Clavinet and Percussion
Mitch Hayes: Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Kenny Nugent: Bass
Jerry Leake: Vibes,Marimba,Hand Drums and Percussion
Frank Stauffer: Drums

On fire with a US fusion tear here, from the fantastic shige we have this amazing high-quality rip... This time from the early eighties, you can't mistake those digital keys and splashy drumming style. Musically this album is phenomenal, high energy and great composition. I step back for magister dixit:
Very professionally played fusion by this experienced (albeit unknown) team, one throwaway song in the form of the christmas charlie brown song, I think the compositions are really outstanding, you can listen many times to this and always find new ideas to enjoy yourself with...
Track 5 ("privately maintained") reminds me a lot of Finnforest with the circular electric piano pattern and strong electric guitar statements starting with a windy-atmospheric beginning. Definitely my favourite for the aforementioned european sound. Digital strings make an appearance but thankfully are kept subdued in the background. A more unfortunate 80s-sound casio keyboard starts off the next track though-- is it possible we really loved that casio sound back then, 25 years ago? Hard to know. Track 7 is a more progressive shadowfax-like composition with a lot of energy and velocity to drive us through to the end.

Anvil - 1979 - Mr. Music Man

Mr. Music Man

01. Mr. Music Man
02. Taste And Try
03. Reggae For The Workers
04. Countdown
05. Sheila
06. Round About Feelings
07. Night Express

Winfried Borchardt (drums)
Jürgen Ceynowa (bass)
Udo Kamps (rhythm guitar)
Wolfgang Müllers (lead guitar, vocals)
Winfried Zastrau (keyboards, vocals)

This must be one of the last forgotten Krautrock obscurities from the '70. The B-side is actually quite rewarding, although I have to admit there's a certain amateurishness that distracts from a totally convincing listening experience. Still some catchy songs to be found here. This is one of those albums that you know you actually shouldn't like but for some mysterious reason you do anyway...

 "Disappearing without even the memory of its existence," would be a more appropriate description, like so many species of frogs, butterflies, salamanders, fish,  all over the world today.  However I think that cover photograph is just awesome, one of the best pure insanity covers I have ever seen.  Mr. Music Man is a long-haired homeless guy (not a band member as far as I can tell), carrying a guitar case in an overgrown park with an oddly-placed bench, in a mildly blurred black and white photo.  How cool can an album cover get?

I will let you decide whether it deserves reconsideration in the present tense era, simply, it's a mildly funky hard rock and straightforward rock album with perhaps a touch of progressiveness about it, from 1979.  It's a welcome break perhaps from the fusion and jazz that has been overdone of late and will be even more overdone (but not done)

Alex Blake - 1979 - Especially For You

Alex Blake 
Especially For You 

01. What You Going To Do
02. Changes Of The World
03. Monologue I
04. Especially For You
05. Monologue II
06. Dreams Come And Go Away
07. Monologue III
08. Enchanted Place

Drums – Abe Speller
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass, Vocals – Alex Blake (2)
Guitar – Hiram Bullock
Keyboards – Joe Delia

Recorded at Sound Ideas Studio, New York City, N.Y, November 27, 29 & 30, 1978.

I started playing professionally when I was 12 years old,” says the Panamanian-born, American-bred bassist Alex Blake. “The music I was playing was Latin; I was playing with great percussionists like Kako and Patato.”
He’s also played with some of the biggest names in jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Manhattan Transfer, Freddie Hubbard, Lenny White, Randy Weston, Billy Cobham, Sonny Rollins—”You name the groups, and I’ve played with them…I can’t even remember some of the groups I’ve worked with, there’s just so many.” Blake also toured Europe when he was 16 with Sun Ra and played an extended gig in Chicago, far away from his New York home. “I was kinda skipping school a little bit; my parents were a little pissed off.”

So how did the nearly 50-year-old Blake, who’s been around the world and back with high-profile bandleaders, elude entry in The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz ? And how did he only now release his aptly named second album as a leader, Now Is the Time: Live at the Knitting Factory (Bubble Core), featuring his quintet with Pharoah Sanders? “I had offers, and I wanted to do an album, but I had other things in mind; and I was so busy on the road, going out with the Transfer…I love writing, so I have a lot of material. Over the period of 1970 to now I don’t know how many tunes I’ve written…”
Blake’s first album as a leader, Especially For You (Sony), came out in 1979, but only in Japan; Now Is the Time marks his American debut. Bubble Core co-owner Adam Pierce, who plays vibes, bass and percussion in the dub-jazz duo The Dylan Group, saw Blake in performance and was so knocked out by the bassist that he offered to release an album. While the Bubble Core is eclectic, it has focused mostly on experimental electronica and rock; Now Is the Time marks its first straightahead jazz release—and it’s an auspicious debut.
In addition to Sanders, Blake’s quintet includes pianist John Hicks, drummer Victor Jones and percussionist Neil Clark. On Now Is the Time the group tears through three Blake originals and a cover of Guy Warren’s “Mystery of Love”—though “On the Spot’” is based on the changes to John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”
“I was in Norway with Pharoah Sanders last year. We were rehearsing and we started going through a couple of tunes…and all of the sudden this tune started coming up in my mind, and the first couple of changes were like ‘Giant Steps.’ At first I said, ‘No, no, no, I’m not gonna go there,’ but it just kept staying there; it just wouldn’t go.”
Blake cites Richard Davis, Jimmy Garrison, Reggie Workman as bass playing influences, and also Jimi Hendrix and Eric Dolphy. Despite having a strong background in Latin music, however, Blake’s compositions don’t reflect that experience; but his bass playing does. “It’s a strumming technique; it’s like having a guitar and congas and putting them together with the bass. It’s a construct of strumming and playing the congas; that’s the percussive side of my playing. That’s the concept of my playing.”
Blake demonstrates his full arsenal of percussive techniques and lyrical lines on a remarkable solo performance of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help”: His bass playing sounds like an a cappella jazz singer improvising on the melody. It’s one of the few times Blake spotlights his own playing during the gig.
“On this album I was in the crossfire trying to decide whether to play a lot of solos or not. I didn’t play a lot of solos on this album; on the next album I plan to really do a lot of solos. I was more emphasizing the writing. Plus, I was so burnt out from travelling and playing and travelling and playing and so on and so on…the total energy wasn’t there.”