Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kush - 1974 - Presents Snow White...And The Eight Straights

Presents Snow White...And The Eight Straights

01. Wait Overture
02. Easy Street
03. All Right In The City
04. MacArthur Park
05. Wait
06. Satanic Diety
07. Christopher John
08. Klue

Singles - 1973
09. Peter Gunn
10. The Sky Is Falling
11. Can't You Hear Me Calling
12. Wait
Live In The Studio - 1973
13. Introduction
14. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
15. Beginnings
16. Interview With Jeff Duff

Geoff Duff — lead vocals, percussion
David Herzog — guitar
Rob Matthews — bass
John Ellis — alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
Bill Harrower — tenor saxophone, flute
Steve Ball — keyboards
John Santos — trumpet
Ian Hellings — trumpet
Nick Lister — drums
The Cookies — backing vocals (05)
Ron Anderson — flute (07)sax (9, 10)
Howard Gable — producer

Graeme McDonald Drums (tracks: 9, 10)
Roger Pell Guitar (tracks: 9, 10)
Ian Mason Keyboards Vocals (tracks: 9 to 12)
Colin Chapman: Trumpet (track 9 to 15)
John Hughes: Trumpet (track 11 to 15)

There are so many styles on this album that it is hard to classify. I guess the defining sound of Kush would be lead singer Jeff Duff's powerful, gruff voice (reminds me a little if Ian Dury), and funky horn section ala Chicago (they covered "Does anybody really know..." on this album, BTW).

However, the band also extends itself into full-blown progressive rock in songs like "Christopher John Suite" (which reminds me of something King Crimson or Yes might have done at that period). Check out the lush mellotrons and flutes! The fantastic "Satanic Deity" has flavours of Blue Oyster Cult or even Herbie Hancock, with a great extended middle section best described as progressive funk.

Contrast this with a song like "Easy Street" which is 12-bar rock song. I also love "Alright in the City" - a song that could be home on a Stevie Wonder or Earth Wind and Fire album, with it's densely complex horns making a cutting interplay with Duff's voice. And yes, it does have a cover of Mcarthur Park - done pretty straight up. I find this song listenable but unessential.

Dispite their obvious influences, Kush still manages to carve out a unique voice, and write energetic music very stong on melody and harmony. This band won't appeal to everyone, but fans of early 70's funk and progressive will find much to enjoy. The 2007 remaster features georgous, clear sound and does justice to a long out-of-print minor Australian classic.

It may appeal to fans with tastes as diverse Chicago, Steely Dan, Yes, early 70's King Crimson, and 70's funk and fusion.

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