Friday, December 12, 2014

Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass & Inga Rumpff - 1976 - Hip Walk

Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass & Inga Rumpff 
Hip Walk

01. Hip Walk (El.tpt solo: Palle Mikkelborg) 5:55
02. Butterfly (Soprano sax solo: Ferdinand Povel) 5:26
03. Superstition (Vocal solo: Inga Rumpf / Fender piano solo: Rob Franken) 5:22
04. Wheeler's Choice (Fluegelhorn solo: Kenny Wheeler) 5:40
05. Stoned Cockattoo (El.t-bone solo: Jiggs Whigham) 3:23
06. Jive Samba (Guitar solo: Eef Albers) 5:30
07. Spirit (Vocal solo: Inga Rumpf / Tenor solo: Ferdinand Povel) 4:25
08. Nerve Wrecker (Organ solo: Dieter Reith) 4:28
09. Neosho (Fluegelhorn solo: Ack Van Rooyen) 5:51

Peter Herbolzheimer is a solid section trombone player, and a fantastic writer/arranger. hip walk is a triumph of groovy funk.  wonderful harmonic tunes mostly composed by Herbolzheimer sometimes seem like tracks to fill the album,  but they are easy on the ears, and with great tracks like 'stoned cockatoo', nerve wrecker' and solid arrangement of stevie wonder's 'superstition', its hard to make complaint.  great funk that gets your feet movin'.

"Hip Walk" (1976) was the ninth album from Peter Herbolzheimer's Rhythm Combination and Brass and started a move into fusion territory.

A stellar European line up featuring Kenny Wheeler, Eef Albers, Dieter Reith, Palle Mikkleborg, Ack von Rooyen and the singer Ingar Rumpf (unfortunately only on two tracks - "Superstition" and "Spirit") and a great selection of tunes including Hancock's "Butterfly", Adderley's "Jive Samba" and Dieter Reith's "Nerve Wrecker". The album really comes into it's own with the superb Herbolzheimer compositions "Wheeler's Choice", "Hip Walk" and "Neosho".

This was issued on Polydor Germany in 1976, and then made a re-issue on CD in 1997 on Repertoire from Germany which has now disappeared without trace.

Inga Rumpf - 1975 - Second Hand-Madchen

Inga Rumpf
Second Hand-Madchen 

01. Amerika
02. Ich bin die geborene Langschläferin
03. Superstar
04. Mallorca
05. Speed-King
06. Mona
07. Schubiduah
08. Spielen verboten
09. Second-Hand Mädchen

Rumpf, Inga (vocals)
Askew, Adrian (Piano, organ, moog)
Carter, Jackie (vocals)
Diez, Frank (guitar)
Ringo (bass)
Fields, Linda (vocals)
Gaynair, Wilton (tenor sax, flute)
Marz, Rainer (guitar)
Rooyen, Ack van (trumpet)
Schott, Karl-Heinz (bass)
Wigham, Jiggs (trombone)

Atlantis - 1975 - Live


 01. Friends 08:39
 02. Ooh Baby 04:11
 03. Somewhere 06:02
 04. It's Getting Better 06:52
 05. Waiting And Longing 03:40
 06. Brother 05:34
 07. Rock'n Roll Preacher 04:10
 08. New York City 03:56
 09. Mr. Big Shot 06:01
 10. Mainline Florida 06:27
 11. Godfather 04:05
 12. Going To The Country 05:36
 13. Rock Me Baby 04:38
 14. Leave It To The Devil 04:12

 Askew, Adrian (keyboards, vocals)
Conti, Alex (guitars, vocals)
F., Ringo (drums, percussion)
Rumpf, Inga
Schott, Karl-Heinz (bass)

Inga Rumpf singing and it's recorded live... That's all you need to know... just get it!

Atlantis - 1975 - Get on Board

Get on Board

 01. Get on board
02. Change my mind
03. The man
04. Let me stay for a while
05. Keep the music going on
06. Chartbuster
07. The captain and the ship
08. If I couldn't sing
09. Tried to climb a mountain

A slightly weaker Atlantis effort which follows their usual formula..i.e..a few great tracks surrounded by Ok but not overly impressive other stuff. Still, they always come up with at least a couple of good AOR efforts. The best here for me were "Change My Mind" & "Keep The Music Going".

Atlantis - 1973 - It's Getting Better

It's Getting Better

01. It's Getting Better 4:50
02. Drifting Winds 5:06
03. Days Of Giving 7:23
04. Changed It All 6:05
05. Fighter Of Truth 6:17
06. Woman’s Sorrow 3:23
07. A Simple Song 1:59

Bornschlegel, Dieter (guitar)
F., Ringo (drums)
Kravetz, Jean-Jacques (keyboards)
Rumpf, Inga (vocals, percussion, guitars)
Schott, Karl-Heinz (bass)

A solid Atlantis effort which retreats slightly back from the overly mainstream debut Lp and adds some jammy, Prog and fusion elements which harken back to vocalist Inga Rumpfs' previous band "Frumpy". Nothing really jumped out at me here, it just sounds typical for the era, even maybe a bit anonymous among all the other similar music floating around in '73. However, despite that, I still enjoyed this (..despite the weak-ish opening track), most of the songs are overall pretty decent (..after a few plays..), which made it an good listen for me anyway.

P.S. I prefer the American cover...and that's the one I'll go for if I can track down a vinyl press.

Atlantis - 1972 - Atlantis


01. Get up
02. Big brother
03. Rock'n Roll preacher
04. Maybe it's useless
05. Let's get on the road again
06. Living at the end of time
07. Words of love

Cress, Curt (drums)
Diez, Frank (guitar)
Kravetz, Jean-Jacques (keyboards)
Rumpf, Inga (vocals)
Schott, Karl-Heinz  (bass)

After her former band Frumpy was disbanded, Inga Rumpf founded Atlantis with Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott as well as the new additions Frank Diez on guitar and drummer Curt Cress in 1972. The same year, the German music magazine Musik--Express selected Inga Rumpf as best German vocalist and her band Atlantis was declared "best live and studio band". Several UK tours, alone and with Udo Lindenberg, made her known in the English-speaking hemisphere as well. The band was praised as the best German rock act, and Inga Rumpf was declared to be the greatest individual vocal talent of the German rock scene so far.

Reasonable but ultimately so-so effort by ex-Frumpy vocalist Inga Rumpf's new band that moves away from her previous band's mix of Prog and occasional jammy, bluesy rock to a more conservative type of straight ahead mainstream AOR. Despite that shift, the band are fairly talented at creating great straight ahead rock, and the better tracks here, ("Maybe It's Useless", "Let's Get on the Road" & "Words of Love") are reasonably good as 70's mainstream stuff goes, and worth hearing by genre fans.

Atlantis would be blighted by the same inconsistency on all their subsequent Lp's with some excellent mainstream rock mixing it up with very ordinary, period AOR. Still, if someone could compile the best of it onto a single'd have one killer 70's AOR record.

Jean-Jacques Kravetz - 1972 - Kravetz

Jean-Jacques Kravetz

01. I'd like to be a child again
02. Ann Toomuch
03. Routes
04. When the dream is over
05. Master of time

- Jean-Jacques Kravetz - organ, piano, percussion, synthesizer, arranger, producer
- Thomas Kretzschmer - guitar
- Carl-G. Stephan - bass
- Udo Lindenberg - drums, percussion, vocals
- Roger Hook - 12-string guitar (01,04)
- Inga Rumpf - female vocals (01)
- Thomas Kukuck - engineer, co-producer

Jean Jacques Kravetz is a french multi-instrumentalist (piano,keyboard, sax) and fruitful composer who released his whole career in Germany. He first made a name in Hamburg musical scene. In a relative discretion he published a solo effort simply called Kravetz (1972). In this solo excursion he was accompanied by the famous Udo Lindenberg on drums. Musically, the album is a pleasant combination between heavy fuzzy organs and krauty improvs. Kravetz is mostly known for being the keyboardist of Frumpy, Kin Pink Meh and Atlantis. Today he is recognised as one the great pionniers of German rock.

My first listen to this album stopped me dead in my tracks. It's been a long time since that's happened, I remember this occuring on my first listen to KRAAN's "Psychedelic Man" album, but it was just on one particular song.This whole album except for the short ballad- like track just blows me away. Now a name like Jean-Jauques Kravetz doesn't exactly sound German does it ? Well he moved from France to Germany when he was around 20 years old. He was a classically trained keyboardist extraordinaire and would play in several high profile German bands. About a month ago I was searching for some obscure Krautrock bands and albums that might be worth tracking down when I came upon this little-known solo album of Jean-Jauques. After some investigating I found out that this is the same keyboardist who played on FRUMPY's "2" album which is one of my favourite (4.5 stars) Krautrock albums. And on top of that Inga the singer for FRUMPY guests on the opening track.This came out the year after "2" and features an ultra talented drummer and vocalist in Udo Lindenberg who after this would go on to become a star in Germany with his own band and Jean-Jauques would be a part of that more commercial sounding music. In fact on the album cover here it says KRAVETZ (featuring Udo Lindenberg) haha. I guess they thought his name being on the cover would help sell albums.
"I'd Like To Be A Child Again" has such meaningful lyrics and the chorus is so emotional for me.The song opens with gentle guitar as these relaxed vocals from Inga join in. Drums, organ and a fuller sound come in around a minute as vocals continue.The chorus is even more passionate. It settles back as themes are repeated. A nice laid back guitar solo after 5 minutes then the piano joins in at 6 minutes before the guitar starts to rip it up.The organ then leads and then the vocals return 7 1/2 minutes in. Amazing tune ! "Ann Toomuch" is drum,keyboard and vocal led early. Guitar after a minute as it settles back. Man this guy can drum. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. Love the drums and guitar after 3 minutes and it goes on and on. So good. Synths then take over before 5 minutes sounding a lot like ELP (debut).Vocals join in after 7 minutes as the synths continue.This is so freaking good !

"Routes" is drums and organ led early then it settles back with fuzz and organ as drums continue. Some nasty [&*!#] right here. A haunting calm after 2 1/2 minutes. A beat comes out the darkness after 5 minutes as the guitar cries out.Some fine Krautrock right there. "When The Dream Is Over" is that short ballad-like tune with vocals. "Master Of Time" opens with some nasty organ as the guitar and drums kick in as well.Vocals follow.They stop after 2 minutes as we get a fantastic instrumental section right up to before 9 minutes when the vocals return.That instrumental section includes an organ solo from Jean- Jauques and check out the drumming after 8 minutes with that throbbing bass.The organ returns to overrun them both.

Frumpy - 1995 - Live NinetyFive

Live NinetyFive

01. Loverman (4:33)
02. Get Together (5:54)
03. Amazone Dreams (4:47)
04. In And Out Of Studios (3:55)
05. How The Gipsy Was Born (9:14)
06. When I Fall In Love (5:31)
07. Everyday Song (8:39)
08. Come On (5:46)
09. Friends (9:02)
10. Dreams Come True (5:38)
11. Backwater Blues (7:52)

- Inga Rumpf / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Karl-Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn / drums, percussion
- Frank Diez / guitar, steel guitar
- Pascal Kravetz / keyboards, background vocals

I have owned this CD for couple of years now and I rarely played the CD because I thought it was too poppy and put it back at my CD shelf. When this site features this band, I start to look at the CD again. After I spun something about three times there was one song that strike me back my memory the days when I was in school in the 70s. I was not quite sure about it but when I tried to refresh my memory roughly 30 years back - uugh . such a long time ago, time flies, really! - oh yeah . BOOM! Track number nine "Friends" was once my favorite one. It was one of the tracks under compilation of R&B music compiled by Prambors, the local radio for young people. The reason I liked the song was because it's the only track different from the others especially on the way organ and guitar are played. It reminded me to the classic rock music as it contained organ and electric guitar solo in relatively long duration. One thing that did not alarm me at all was the fact that as far I know at the time the cassette compiler did put "Friends" as a song by ATLANTIS. Nothing wrong, because Rumpf and Kravetz were in Frumpy as well as Atlantis. Oh .. thanks to ProgArchives for helping me to recall back songs that colored my schooldays very long time ago.

Let's talk about Frumpy which was originated back to Hamburg, Germany in the sixties when they started out of a folk outfit called "The City Preachers". Inga Rumpf on vocals/guitar/percussion, French Jean-Jacques Kravetz on keyboard, Karl-Heinz Schott on bass and Carsten Bohn on drums. "All Will be Changed" was their debut on Philips label, released in August 1970. Some people reckoned that it It was a folky/progressive rock album influenced by classical undertones. The follow-up album, "Frumpy 2", came out in 1971, featured guitarist Rainer Baumann. This can be said as Frumpy's best album and comprised just two tracks per side. Music critics considered this album as one of the best German progressive albums of its time. The follow-up album (third) "By the Way"', was an excellent one, released in 1972 on the Vertigo label. The music direction had moved into a more radio friendly style while maintaining their progressive and folk styles. The title track of this album is awesome and it has become one of rock music's all-time favorite ever written. Frumpy was then disbanded and "Frumpy Live", a double album, was released after the band had split. Rumpf and Kravetz continued their music journey into poppier music outfit by forming the band called Atlantis.

"Live Ninety-Five" was recorded at their famous hunting ground, Hamburg's "Fabrik" in 1995. It's basically a reunion concert with a classic and best line-up. All the eleven tracks performed and recorded here are basically accessible tracks for most people. So please do not imagine that this is a truly prog music live performance. I really enjoy spinning this CD because the live vibes are good and also the sonic quality is excellent. Inga Rumpf still performs her best singing with a blues-tinged voice. She is really a great singer and I never find any singer similar to her voice. The music offered right here with this live album is basically R&B but with rocking keyboard / organ and guitar work that represent the classic rock style. That's basically the beauty of all songs performed here.

Take the opening track "Loverman" (4:33) which starts off through a funky / groove style rhythm section but it's nicely overlaid with pulsating keyboard / organ work by Kravetz. The organ solo is really excellent. The following tracks "Get Together", "Amazone Dreams" (4:47) and "In And Out Of Studios" (3:55) continue the same style as the opening track. All of them are good songs and very enjoyable. In addition to Kravetz, Rainer Baumann delivers his stunning classic rock guitar style.

"How The Gipsy Was Born" (9:14) is an excellent song with soaring organ sound at the opening part which later bring the music into a bluesy style with powerful Inga Rumpf 's voice. The song is pretty rewarding to enjoy as it flows naturally from start to end with organ and guitar sounds in intertwined style. The guitar solo in the middle of the track is really stunning and it reminds us to the classic rock style. The other track which also stands out is "Come On" (5:46) followed with my all-time favorite which I have almost forgotten: "Friends" (9:02). "Friends" starts off with simple drum work followed with nice music that brings into R&B style. The organ provides great solo and continued with guitar solo. As usual, Inga Rumpf voice is really excellent and has made the song truly attractive. I always repeat this song many times. The concluding track "Backwater Blues" (7:52) is also excellent.

Overall, this live CD is very good and I never regret owning the CD. It gives me a good combination of R&B and classic rock music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Frumpy - 1991 - News


01. When The Night Comes
02. Get Together
03. Everyday Song
04. Nothing But Love
05. Like Driving
06. Hold On
07. Loverman
08. Right On Time
09. Yes, I Would
10. Love Is Gold
11. Dreams Come True
12. Can't Stop Myself

Frumpy - 1990 - Now


01. What It Is
02. When I Fall In Love
03. Good Good Feeling
04. We Can Sing A Song
05. One World
06. Come On
07. Pirate Style
08. Come Together
09. Now And Forever
10. All We Need Is Music
11. Living In A Madhouse
12. Love Train
13. Now The Gipsy Is Born

- Inga Rumpf / vocals, guitar
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Karl-Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn / drums, percussion
- Rainer Baumann / guitar, steel guitar

Frumpy - 1973 - Live


01. Keep On Going (12:06)
02. Singing Songs (8:54)
03. Backwater Blues (4:56)
04. Duty (17:35)
05. To My Mother (11:34)
06. Release (22:00)
07. Take Care Of Illusion (8:54)
08. Duty (7:33)
09. Floating (12:14)

- Inga Rumpf / vocals, guitar
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Rainer Baumann / guitar
- Karl-Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn / drums

In 1971 and 1972 FRUMPY cut seven songs for their LP "Live". The bonus tracks "Duty" and "Floating" were originally released in 1970 on the compilation album "Pop & Blues Festival".

A brilliant live Double-LP from one of Germany's seminal rock formations. But I strongly disagree from storing this under the "Krautrock" drawer, because Frumpy's style and sound is very different from bands like Can or Amon Düül II.

The instrumental parts are dominated by a powerful rythm section and the versatile keyboard playing of Jean-Jacques Kravetz. But what makes Frumpy really an event is the breathtaking voice of their lead vocalist Inga Rumpf. Her vocals may not have a range as wide as that of Janis Joplin. But as a front woman in a hard rock or psychedelic rock setting she still awaits to be topped by any other female singer.

Unfortunately the sound quality of this record is not as good as it should be, though it isn't very bad, either. But the quality of the music easily makes up for this deficiency.

Griping about the recording quality seems churlish, when the performance is so wonderful. Inga Rumpf, surely a contender for greatest ever female rock singer, is on top form. The rest of the band are also at their peak and deliver an exciting set, full of all the qualities of the two studio albums that preceded it, plus a little more! Great extended blues-rock with a real Prog edge - it's the sort of music I could lap up until doomsday!

Frumpy - 1972 - By The Way

By The Way

01. Goin' To The Country (3:40)
02. By The Way (8:51)
03. Singing Songs (7:02)
04. I'm Afraid Big Moon (6:25)
05. Release (8:50)
06. Keep On Going (5:25)

- Inga Rumpf / vocals, guitar
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Karl Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn / drums

 Frumpy - By the Way, the title track of their third album, released in 1972. Frumpy evolved out of a gospel/folk outfit called The City Preachers in Hamburg, Germany in early 1970. They were one of the many fantastic bands to emerge from the "Krautrock" scene that was blossoming at the time.

Frumpy, though, were pretty unique, in that their music encompassed elements of folk, jazz, blues, progressive rock and classical music. Led by the dynamic Inga Rumpf ( vocals, acoustic guitar,songwriter extraordinaire), they also employed the services of Jean Jacques Kravetz, an excellent French keyboard player in the Keith Emerson mould. Bassist Karl-Heinz Schott and drummer Carsten Bohn completed the initial line-up, which was augmented by former Sphinx Tush guitarist Rainer Baumann from their second album, "Frumpy 2", onward.

Their second album is widely felt to be their best album, with some elaborate and extensive instrumental work, guitar and keyboard duets. with classical and blues undertones. This album, " By the Way", showed that Frumpy could rock with the best. It is, without doubt, one of the best progessive rock albums of all time, and should occupy a space in the collection of any self respecting lover of progressive rock music.

When Frumpy folded in 1972, Rumpf would go onto form "Atlantis" with Schott and Kravetz, together with drummer Curt Cress and guitarist Frank Diez. Frumpy reformed in the late eighties, and Inga Rumpf has become a successful blues and jazz singer. This lady has incredible talent and her songwriting ability always was one of her major strengths.

Frumpy - 1971 - Frumpy 2

Frumpy 2

01. Good Winds (10:02)
02. How The Gipsy Was Born (10:05)
03. Take Care Of Illusion (7:30)
04. Duty (12:09)

- Inga Rumpf / vocals
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Karl-Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn / drums
- Rainer Baumann / guitars

With this second album, Frumpy strikes big and even bigger. Already, the debut album having sold in respectable amounts (partly due to their superb gimmix cover, this fully unfoldable round plastic artwork was even more impressive, but here the music on the wax slice was altogether more satisfying than on their previous effort. One must say that now Frumpy is a quintet , and Key-man JJ Kravetz gets a very helpful hand from newcoming guitarist Rainer Baumann. The sound is much more even and fuller, allows more less repetition and the solos are thankfully shorter.

Only four tracks on here ranging from 7:30 to 12 min+ and a more dramatic feel with Rumpf's impressive (but not always very feminine - in a positive way) vocals, a still dominating organ (Kravetz was not give room that easy) and a lyrical guitar, the whole thing underlined by Carsten Bohn' excellent drumming. In early 70's Germany, Frumpy were close to the top in every musician polls with Kraan. With a relative basic (compared to what's coming up) riff, Good Winds is an annunciation of things to come, but clearly a poor (but relative, giving the quality of the whole album) start to an otherwise excellent album. Sometimes sounding like Uriah Heep (Kravetz's play is similar to Hensley in many ways, but he gets more freedom than Ken), this track is interrupted by a quiet church organ-like atmosphere before building slow crescendo returning to the energetic riffing from the start, but it is damn well taking a lot of meanders. The sometimes Spanish-sounding Gypsy Was Born is a full-blown track, that could be considered an epic if it was slightly longer. With passages sometimes reminding of Beatles's Walrus track, Rumpf's vocals sounding like a primal-screaming Lennon.

Opening the second side, is the shorter Illusions, here Rumpf and the band sounds more like Affinity's only album, meaning that the track has also a bluesier and psychier feel. The c entral section is simply a pure joy. The album closes on a real killer-track, the lenghty Duty, where all five shine on a cloudless day, burning holes through your eardrums and frying your mind with their delightfully energetic prog rock.

Kravetz will then leave the group for obscure reasons, but will be back in time halfway in the recording of their third album which is called BTW and has a double KB attack - Erwin Kania, the leader of now defunct but superb Murphy Blend) and somehow destroying the balance of this album. This was to be their last studio album (a posthumous live release will be released), but part of the group will form the more mainstream Atlantis. As far as this album is concerned, this is Frumpy's peak and in this album, they are not to be outdone by any other powerful band.

Frumpy - 1970 - All Will Be Changed

All Will Be Changed

01. Life Without Pain (3:50)
02. Rosalie, Part 1 (6:00)
03. Otium (4:22)
04. Rosalie, Part 2 (4:14)
05. Indian Rope Man (3:19)
06. Morning (3:24)
07. Floating, Part 1 (7:39)
08. Baroque (7:36)
09. Floating, Part 2 (1:25)

Bonus Tracks:

10. Roadriding (4:02)
11. Time Make Wise (2:49)

- Inga Rumpf / vocals
- Jean-Jacques Kravetz / keyboards
- Karl-Heinz Schott / bass
- Carsten Bohn Bandstand / drums

The four musicians who formed FRUMPY were all members of Irishman O' Brian-Docker's folkband The City Preachers, which he founded in Hamburg in 1965. The City Preachers played an excellent blend of American and British folk music and had, sometimes, over a dozen people on stage. Discontent with singer Dagmar Krause, drummer Carsten Bohn left the City Preachers in November 1969 and took singer Inga Rumpf, French keyboarder Jean-Jacques Kravetz and guitarist Karl-Heinz Schott with him to form FRUMPY. In spring of 1970, FRUMPY started a successful tour of France. The same year, they went on a 50 concert tour with SPOOKY TOOTH, and played with YES, HUMBLE PIE and RENAISSANCE. In autumn of 1970, FRUMPY released the first album "All Will Be Changed" which contained only own material with the exception of a Richie Havens cover. The Following year guitarist Rainer Baumann joined FRUMPY and played on the bands second LP "Frumpy 2", which was rapped in a round plastic bag. In Germany, the album was well received and proved that rock music from Germany could live up to international standard. Their music combines jazz, soul and eastern elements with the keyboards as the most important instrument. FRUMPY topped the Musik Express poll as the most popular German rock group of the year and the newspaper FAZ assisted singer Inga Rumpf to be "the country's biggest individual talent", but a tour of England with MOTT THE HOOPLE failed to attract popularity in Britain. Musical differences with keyboarder Kravetz caused him to leave FRUMPY, in spring 1972, to record a solo Lp with Inga Rumpf singing one song. But he returned for the recording sessions of FRUMPY's third LP "By The Way". But FRUMPY disbanded after a farewell concert on June 26, 1972. Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott formed ATLANTIS. The year 1990 saw a FRUMPY reunio and a new LP "Now!".

The band's debut album "All Will Be Changed" was released in 1970. For me personally, this is an excellent album regardless it's prog or not. It doesn't matter, I think. One thing so peculiar about this album is its sound that really represents the sound of the seventies. Well, talking about 70's music you must have known how the sonic quality of rock music recorded during that time sounds like. This kind of sound is so distinctive that sometimes I compare with the modern sound technology with state of the art digital equipment through the music of Porcupine Tree, for example. I can feel the difference and in a way people might say that modern technology record is much better than the old days but no one now can produce the seventies sounds, do you find one? That's what I really enjoy about this debut album by FRUMPY.

Musically, I also consider that this is an excellent one in terms of songwriting, composition, cohesiveness and musicianship. Jean-Jacques Kravetz plays important role in producing various keyboards sounds especially the use of Hammond organ. Karl-Heinz Schott provides dynamic bass for especially tracks with jazzy touch. Carsten Bohn Bandstand does a good job with his drums. The opening track "Life Without Pain" (3:50) is basically a classic pop music. The band starts its full potential with second track "Rosalie, Part 1" (6:00) - "Otium" (4:22) - "Rosalie, Part 2" (4:14). Hammond organ makes its wonderful solo accompanied with bass guitar work in "Otium". It's really stunning and it's so seventies!

"Indian Rope Man" (3:19) brings the music into different style but still maintaining the singing style of Inga Rumpf. Bass plays dynamic fills accompanying piano as well as organ. It's another good track to enjoy. In "Morning" (3:24) again Karl-Heinz Schott provides dynamic bass in upbeat tempo. It continues seamlessly to "Floating, Part 1" (7:39) followed with Hammond organ solo in "Baroque" (7:36) and it ends excellently with "Floating, Part 2" (1:25).

Overall, I highly recommend those of you who love vintage rock music to purchase this cd. It's an excellent addition to any music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

ID company - 1970 - ID Company

ID company 
ID Company

01. Bhagavad Gita (6'01")
02. Bum - Bum (5'45")
03. I watched the women (4'43")
04. He's out now (5'01")
05. Dünne gläserne Frauen (4'30")
06. Schneeweiße Hände (3'18")
07. Schwarzes Insekt (4'50")

Frank St. Peter: sax, fl
Hans Hartmann: Sitar, Kontrabass
Joe Nay: perc
Wolfgang Kliegel: vln
Inga Rumpf: vocal
Dagmar Krause: vocal
Eckhard Maronn, Michael Laukeninks: Production

Split album between two soon-to-be well known female vocalists. Side 1 features Frumpy's Inga Rumpf and her masculine vocal style. The music is a combination of blues, jazz and Indian music - and sounds like some of the better moments of Krokodil's "An Invisible World Revealed". Dagmar Krause's side is considerably more experimental, foreshadowing her later work with Slapp Happy, Art Bears and Henry Cow among others. The music follows in a similar manner, and is clearly going for a free jazz sound. It's all a bit much to be honest, but fans of unhinged music + vocals will love it.

City Preachers - 1971 - Back To The City

City Preachers 
Back to the City

01. Hey, La La la (O´Brien-Docker/Eck)
02. Who Are You (O´Brien-Docker)
03. Any Day In Wonderland (O´Brien-Docker)
04. Sometimes The Sky Is filled With Rain (O´Brien-Docker)
05. Canada (O´Brien-Docker)
06. In The Beginning (Rumpf/Shank)
08. On a Train Ride (O´Brien-Docker)
09. Betty Dupree (O´Brien-Docker/Weyrich)
10. Wenn Abendlichter glänzen (O´Brien-Docker/Rumpf)
11. Penelope (Monique) (O´Brien-Docker/Eck)
12. Golden Yesterdays (O´Brien-Docker/Schinke)
13. Come Back (O´Brien-Docker)

Elga (vocals)
Eckart Kahlhofer (guitar, vocals)
Dagmar Krause (vocals)
Sibylle Kynast (vocals)
Jürgen Stielow (flute, vocals)

The "City Preachers",founded by Brian O´Docker was German´s leading folk group in the sixties and
some of their members became later very sucessful in Germany as solo musicians like Udo
Lindenberg and Inga Rumpf. In 1969 Ingr Rumpf left the City Preachers to form the sucessful progressive rock band "Frumpy". This was the end of the City Preachers. Two years later, some of the original members of this group decided to try a reunion.

City Preachers - 1966 - Folklore

City Preachers

01. Sometimes I`m In The Mood
02. Apopse Kanis Bam
03. Come Back Baby
04. Porque Madalena
05. Toll The Bell Easy
06. Schlaf Nur Ruhig Ein
07. Black Brown And White
08. Alegrias Por Ana Mary
09. Pick A Bale Of Cotton
10. Ik Hebbe Se Nich
11. Railroad Bill
12. Anula

The “City Preachers” was regarded as German´s first folk-rock group. They were the leading german folk group in the sixties and some of their members became later very sucessful in Germany as solo musicians like Udo Lindenberg and Inga Rumpf. They played a mixture of folk and protest songs, spirituals, blues, flamenco and bouzouki. Jewish and Balkan songs, but also early German-language “Protest Songs” were part of their repertoire.
John O´Brian Docker, founder of the band, on the Preachers: “The group was formed in October 1965. At that time I met a number of young artists, amateurs, and molded it into a solid group.”

Some of the band members are still prominent in the music scene: For example John O´Brian Docker, Inga Rumpf, Sibylle Kynast, Dagmar Krause, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Udo Lindenberg. More than 20 soloists participated in various formations of the band for a so-called ‘modular’ formation (everyone is a soloist and everyone plays with each).

In 1969 Inga Rumpft left the City Preachers to form the sucessful progressive rock band “Frumpy”. This was the end of the City Preachers.

Harmony Grass - 1969 - This Is Us

Harmony Grass
This Is Us

01. Move In A Little Closer Baby
02. My Little Girl
03. What A Groovy Day
04. I've Seen To Dream
05. (It Ain't Necesserily) Byrd Avenue
06. Chattanooga Choo Choo
07. Good Thing
08. Mrs.Richie
09. Summer Dreaming
10. I Think Of You
11. Ballad Of Michael
12. Tom Dooley
13. What Do You Do When Love Dies
14. Let My Tears Flow (Demo)
15. You And I (Demo)
16. Summer Dreaming (Demo)
17. Walk On By (Radio Session)

Tony Rivers (vocals, guitar), Tony Ferguson (guitar, vocals), Bill Castle (drums, vocals), Brian Hudson (drums, vocals), Tom Marshall (guitar, piano, vocals), Kenny Rowe (vocals, bass), Ray Brown (bass), Tony ''H'' Harding (guitar, vocals)

Harmony Grass were an Essex band whose career began in 1960, originally known as the Cutaways and with the addition on vocals of Tony Thompson, who would change his name to the more showbiz Tony Rivers, became known as Tony Rivers and the Castaways. By 1963 the band were signed to Columbia records and were recording at Abbey Road Studios. Their first three singles are of a standard beat/pop style of the day albeit far superior than a lot of bands that were scoring hits with this formula. The Beach Boys influence was starting to show by their fourth single, especially the b-side "Til We Get Home" I must also mention that the a-side, "She", written by Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones, is a real Who-like, early Power Pop nugget that readers of this blog will definitely dig. Andrew Loog Oldham produced a single for the band released on his own Immediate record label in 1966, a killer version of "Girl Don't Tell Me" which surprisingly sounds more like the Beach Boys than the Beach Boys' own version (listen here and here and you'll see what I mean) and has been on my wants list for some time now.

The band's last single on Columbia was another Beach Boys cover, a self produced and brave attempt at "God Only Knows" which although musically doesn't reach the heights of the Brian Wilson original, the harmonies are spot on. The last single released as Tony Rivers and the Castaways is "I Can Guarantee You Love" (included on Bite It Deep Mix Vol.2) on Polydor records in 1968. Written by Graham Dee and Brian Potter from the Cortinas/Octopus, capturing the summer of love vibe just too late to make an impression on the charts. It is another one of those records that should have been huge but wasn't and my favourite of the Castaways era.

Towards the end of 1968 the band come to the conclusion that a name change was in order. Tony Rivers & The Castaways was sounding dated and they were known as a good live act but not a chart band. The name Harmony Grass was picked and almost instantly the bands luck changed. Now signed to RCA, their first single under the new moniker, "Move In A Little Closer Baby" achieved success in the two things they had been previously lacking: substantial radio play and consequently, a hit record. The line up around this time included Tony Rivers (vocals), Tony Ferguson (lead guitar, vocals), Bill Castle (drums, vocals), Tom Marshall (guitar, piano, vocals), Kenny Rowe (falsetto vocals) and Ray Brown (bass guitar).

The single's success provided the band with the opportunity to record  an LP. "This Is Us" was released in 1969 and showcases the band's penchant for playing harmony driven Beach Boys-esque pop which they had been perfecting on the live circuit for the last five years. The album is the epitome of British Sunshine Pop, mostly written and produced by Rivers with orchestral arrangements by Johnny Arthey. Looking towards the U.S. for inspiration, you can hear influences from the likes of the Turtles on "Move In A Little Closer Baby", the Association on "What A Groovy Day" and "Summer Dreaming", Harpers Bizarre on "Chattanooga Choo Choo", Four Freshmen on the acapella "Tom Dooley" and Arthur Lee's Love on "Mrs Richie". Rivers even manages to tap into Brian Wilson circa 1966 on "I've Seen To Dream" which sounds like a lost song from the Pet Sounds sessions.

Harmony Grass released a further five singles on RCA, each of them melodic pop of the finest order before calling it a day in late 1970. Ferguson and Rowe moved in a heavier direction although still kept the vocal harmonies in Capability Brown and Rivers went on to produce and provide vocals on numerous recordings.  Back in 1999 RPM dedicated a three volume series of CD's compiling the complete recorded works of Tony Rivers. Volume one focussed on The Castaways and Volume two on the Harmony Grass sessions. The third and final volume "Harmony Soul" collects Rivers' work with various projects throughout the seventies like Summer Wine, Indiana, Shine, Hollywood Freeway and the Highly Likely single "Whatever Happened To You?" which was used as the theme to to UK sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?

Check out the official Tony Rivers website here for loads of interesting stories spanning his full career and a full discography. There is also a YouTube channel here which is regularly updated and shows that Tony Rivers still regularly writes and performs and is still the British master of the harmony.

Krazy Kat - 1977 - Troubled Air

Krazy Kat
Troubled Air

01. Troubled Air
02. Rock Of Ages
03. Gotta Get Back
04. Carousel
05. A Lot To Learn
06. Shady Sabrina
07. Shame
08. Don't Let Me Down
09. Melody Maker

Krazy Kat's complete album output from 1976 and 1977 respectively, these two albums comprise mainly soft-rock laden with beautiful harmonies with only an odd exception. Think Capability Brown from which Krazy Kat evolved, latter day Zombies and early Argent from their first two albums "Argent" and "Ring of Hands". At times, however, the music is somewhat more progressive than the Zombies and early Argent, having been recorded some 8 to 10 years later, though not reaching the heights of the likes of Argent's "Dance in the Smoke".

On the other hand "Shame" is such a dead ringer for early Argent's Russ Ballard tracks from those albums that it could have been one of them. Indeed I must dig my vinyl LPs out or wait until I get this reissue to ensure that it isn't. Remember too that Capability Brown recorded a fine cover of Ballard's/Argent's "Liar" from their first album of 1969. If you like the genre or those bands then you can't go wrong with this good value CD.

Alongside the singles such as "Thirty Love" and "How They Crossed the Pole" you get lengthier adventures in the genre such as "Santa Fe", "Shady Sabrina" and "Carousel" all clocking in at well over 5 minutes, with the latter being over 6 minutes long. Take note that the two singles mentioned are not the best tracks on the albums. Though they are very good there are at least 6 better tracks present on the compilation.

I never found out why the band split up or failed to continue with a slightly revised line-up under another name. Whatever the reason it was a great loss to music as in my opinion nothing like them or Capability Brown emerged to fill the gap in the years that followed.

Finally I was saddened to hear that ace guitarist Graham White died in March 2009.

Krazy Kat - 1976 - China Seas

Krazy Kat 
China Seas

01. Thirty - Love
02. No Smoke Without Fire
03. Ivor's Dive
04. Chile Wind
05. Alcatraz
06. Dundee Calling
07. How They Crossed The Pole
08. China Seas
09. Santa Fe

Grahame White, Harry MacDonald, Ray Lewis, Roger Bradley-Willis, Tony Ferguson

The Attack - 1999 - The Complete Recordings From 1967-68

The Attack
The Complete Recordings From 1967-68

01. Magic In The Air 3:47
02. Try It 2:07
03. Colour Of My Mind 2:29
04. Feel Like Flying 2:36
05. Lady Orange Peel 2:27
06. Freedom For You 2:36
07. Mr Pinnodmy's Dilemma 4:26
08. Strange House 4:10
09. Anymore Than I Do 2:05
10. Created By Clive 2:40
11. We Don't Know 2:40
12. Hi-Ho Silver Lining 2:30
13. Neville Thumbcatch 3:02
14. Too Old 3:05
15. Go Your Way 6:51

1: Decca A-side - unissued 1968
2: Decca A-side F12550 1967
3: Decca B-side F12631 1967
4: Decca A-side - unissued 1968
5: Decca B-side F12725 1968
6: Decca B-side - unissued 1968
7: unissued 1968
8: unissued 1968
9: Decca B-side F12578 1967
10: Decca A-side F12631 1967
11: Decca B-side F12550 1967
12: Decca A-side F12578 1967
13: Decca A-side F12725 1968
14: unissued 1968
15: unissued 1968

Richard Shirman (vocals), David John [Davy O'List] (guitar, trumpet, vocals, 1966-67), Alan Whitehead (drums, 1966-67), Gerry Henderson (bass, 1966-67), Bob Hodges (organ, 1966-67), Brian Davison (drums), Barney Barnfield (drums, 1967), Geoff Richardson (guitar, 1967), Kenny Harold (bass, 1967), George Watt (organ, 1967-68), Chris Allen (drums, 1967), John Du Cann (guitar, 1967-68), Plug Davies (drums, 1967-68), Jim Avery (bass, 1967-68), Keith Hodge (drums, 1968), Roger Deane (bass, 1968)

The Attack originated from the Earls Court area of West London where founding members Richard Shirman and Davy O'List met over the cold meats counter of the local branch of Sainsbury's Supermarket (on Earls Court Road). O'List had a Saturday job at the store whilst soon-to-be third member, Gerry Henderson, worked there full-time. An advert in the Melody Maker music newspaper resulted in the recruitment of Alan Whitehead (already a member of The Marmalade) and Bob Hodges.

Lead singer and frontman Shirman (formerly of Soul System) - whose mother was an opera singer and later a teacher at Guildhall School of Music - was the only constant member of an ever-changing line-up (5 versions in the core '64-'68 period and a '79 restart version). A number of members passed through the group to appear in more commercially successful bands, notably O'List and Brian Davison, who both left to join The Nice, and John Du Cann of both Atomic Rooster and Andromeda fame, as well as Whitehead who returned to The Marmalade after The Attack's first single.

The Attack played a number of the British Capital's prominent venues of the time including the Marquee, Blaises and the Tiles Club (Oxford Street).  They first entered a recording studio (the IPC, Regent Street) at the end of 1966 resulting in their first single, Try It, a cover of a Standells track.

The band were managed by Don Arden, also manager of then mod supergroup & London contemporaries Small Faces, whilst Vic Smith, later to be producer of In the City, debut album by The Jam, produced or engineered several of The Attack's singles.

After the band's first two singles failed to chart, O'List, Henderson and Hodges all left, whilst, further down the road, the band split in 1968 when Du Cann used the then group members as backing for a different singer.

Shirman carried on, recording a cover of The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil as a demo for the US Elektra label, although this was never released.  He re-formed The Attack in 1979 (with a roster of completely different musicians) before forming blues band Hershey and the 12 Bars who toured between 1981 and 2004.