Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cultural Noise - 1980 - Aphorisms Insane

Cultural Noise 
Aphorisms Insane 


01. After The Selfdisintegration In Time (19:35)
02. Pursuing The In Time Disintegrating Reality (20:42)

- Walter Heinisch / mellotron, synthesizer, guitar
- Gerhard Lisy / synthesizer
- Karl Kronfeld / synthesizer

CULTURAL NOISE was an obscure Austrian trio which released one electronic Berlin School inspired album called 'Aphorisms Insane' containing two long suits of music which can be compared to TANGERINE DREAM of the earlier years. Later on they continued making electronic music and one more album under the monicker BIZARRE KO.KO.KO.
Let's see, three guys who play a raft full of analog keyboards and one doubles on guitar. I bet they sound like Tangerine Dream! And indeed they do. The really good years of T Dream too, between 1974 and 1977. Lots of fat analog sequencers, fuzz tone guitar and quite a bit of twists and turns. Mellotron M400, Micro Moog, EMS Sequencer, Roland Sequencer, ARP Sequencer, ARP 2600, VCS 3, Roland Studiosystem 700. And two 20 minute tracks with names like 'After the Selfdisintegration in Time' and 'Pursuing the In Time Disintegrating Reality'. Who knows why a major label would sign someone up like this, but we're glad they did. Come to think of it, the modern UK group Redshift sounds more like Cultural Noise than Tangerine Dream. For fans of Berlin Electronic styled music, this is as good as it gets.

Centipede - 1971 - Septober Energy

Septober Energy

101. Septober Energy - Part 1 (21:43)
102. Septober Energy - Part 2 (23:34)

201. Septober Energy - Part 3 (21:21)
202. Septober Energy - Part 4 (18:45)

- Wendy Treacher, John Trussler, Roddy Skeaping, Carol Slater, Louise Jopling, Garth Morton, Channa Salononson, Steve Rowlandson, Mica Gomberti, Colin Kitching, Philip Saudek, Esther Burgi / violins
- Wilf Gibson / lead violin, conductor
- Michael Hurwitz, Timothy Kramer, Suki Towb, John Reese-Jones, Katherine Thulborn, Catherine Finnis / cellos
- Peter Parkes, Mick Collins, Ian Carr, Momgesi Fesa, Mark Charig / trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet
- Elton Dean, Jan Steel, Ian MacDonald, Dudu Pukuwana / Alto saxophone, Flute, Soprano saxophone
- Larry Stabbins, Gary Windo, Brian Smith, Alan Skidmore / Tenor saxophone
- Dave White, Karl Jenkins, John Willimas / Baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, oboe, clarinet
- Nick Evans, Dave Amis, Dave Perrottet, Paul Rutherford / trombone
- John Marshall, Tony Fennell, Robert Wyatt / drums, percussion
- Brian Godding / guitars
- Brian Belshaw, Roy Babbington, Jill Lyons, Harry Miller, Jeff Clyne, Dave Markee / basses
- Maggie Nicholls, Julie Tippett, Mike Patto, Zoot Money, Boz / vocals
- Keith Tippett / piano
- Robert Fripp / producer

Tempted by the massive and incredibly talented line up on this record, you buy it and take it home with you. When you drop the needle, you immediately scratching your head, waiting patiently for the massive introductory non-musical chaos to fall into some kind of semblance of rhythm or ‘song like’ material, but it doesn’t. Instead, it shifts up a gear and what you thought was chaos before was actually the calm before the storm. A storm that, if you persist, leads you through a four part journey of what you could describe as a ‘sonic safari’ which explores all manner of musical and non-musical meanderings.

Centipede is the concept created by Free Jazz pianist Keith Tippett who managed to assemble a 50 artist strong line up of the most creative musicians in Britain of the time, into a studio over 3 days to record an album. As if that wasn’t enough of a statement, recruiting Progressive Rock luminary Robert Fripp to produce the record was the icing on the cake.

‘Septober Energy’ is a labelled as a ‘Progressive Jazz/Rock, Big Band’ experiment that explores Free Jazz, Ambient and snippets of all other styles of Jazz and Rock over four 20 min suites (2LPs’). Mostly instrumental material but with occasional lyrical and choral vocal appearances from Maggie Nicols, Julie Driscoll, Mike Patto, Zoot Money and Boz Burrell, which add  some welcomed framework to the ‘free-ness’ of the tracks. I never realised just how soothing a human voice is when you’re immersed in Free music like this. Like a place of shelter.

Although I can see how ‘Septober Energy’ was not well received by fans of Prog (or Jazz for that mater),  i don’t think an album like this one was created to seek approval or success (commercially or otherwise) from any outside sources. Some might find that a little too self indulgent. But i guess when you have a 50 piece band, any self indulgent playing still has an audience big enough to justify it as there would have been 49 other artists cheering you on in the studio. Who needs the outside world when you have that??  Its a musical celebration, probably created for the sake of just getting together with a cast of creative people and exploring music in a really free and boundless way. And why the hell not?

Some of it is breathtaking and glorious. Saxophone solos that are magical, Slow building progressions which lead us unknowingly into a massive sea of sounds that are both frightening and enlightening all at once. Some of it is an absolute mess with total nonsensical passages of muted horn blowing and percussive crackling that makes one ‘zone out’ and switch off for a minute or two. Its not a masterpiece but it is masterful in its juxtaposing waves of delicacy and brutal forcefulness.

I struggle to find the words to do this record justice. But i do love it! For its courage and innovation. For its total abandonment of commercial viability. For its degree of difficulty through working with so many artists. For its uniqueness as a project and for the wonderful, structure-less and challenging music presented here. ‘Septober Energy’ is fantastic in the same way Trout Mask Replica or Uncle Meat are brilliant and essential additions to the Experimental Jazz/Rock annals.

I can sum up the spirit of the album by quoting from Keith Tippetts later record 66 Shades of Lipstick’:… “May music never become just another way of making money”.

Canterbury Fair - 1999 - Canterbury Fair

Canterbury Fair 
Canterbury Fair (1967-69)

01. Talk Song
02. Song On A May Morning
03. Acid
04. Bad For Anyone
05. Russian Opera
06. Long Brown Hair 
07. Winds Of The Sky
08. Spanish Serenade
09. Sally Rover
10. The Man

Cheryl Churchman: vocals (1)
James Holley: drums, vocals (1)
Phillip Hollingsworth: bass, keyboards, vocals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
John Hollingsworth: keyboards, vocals (2, 3, 4, 5)
Joe Lo Freso: keyboards (2, 3)
Sean Cosaro: drums (3, 4)
David Hollingsworth: drums, bass (5)

The Hollingsworth brothers first played together in 1965 with James Holley (who also did time with The Bushmen) in Fresno band The Coachmen. In 1966 the addition of Steve Bryant (guitar and vocals) precipitated a name change to Everyday Things, though Bryant soon left. In 1967 the brothers joined Kings Verses in time for their trip to Los Angeles to seek success and fortune - when this didn't work out Philip returned to Fresno and formed Canterbury Fair with Holleyagain plus vocalist Cheryl Churchman.
John had remained in L.A. for the rest of 1967, attending Cal State. On his return home in early '68 he presented a wealth of newly-penned keyboard material that determined a new direction and configuration for the band - a keyboard-bass-drums format, with the addition Joe Lo Freso (also from The Bushmen) on Hammond.
With continuing apathy from record labels, Holley departed at the end of 1968 but not before securing Corsaro as a replacement, who in turn found them a new manager. The group relocated to San Francisco for a while, eventually returning to Fresno without Corsaro, whose place was filled by brother #3, David. They carried on until 1980 with various string players augmenting the line-up.
The CD comprises 10 tracks from their most creative period (1967 to 1969) highlighting their predominantly instrumental neo-classical or baroque flavoured recitals. Song On A May Morning from their rare 45 is their most commercial offering - a catchy slice of West Coast pop-psych.
Not for garage purists - this should should appeal to those who like soft-psych or the baroque tendencies of The Left Bankeand Ars Nova.
Compilation appearances have also included: Song On A May Morning on Son Of The Gathering Of The Tribe (LP) and A Journey To Tyme, Vol. 2 (LP); and The Man (an unreleased track from the 45
sessions in 1968 that didn't make it onto the Sundazed collection) on Fuzz, Flaykes, And Shakes, Vol. 4 (LP & CD).
 ~ Max Waller.

Though Canterbury Fair was able to release little music during the late '60s, they did record a good deal of material -- much of it issued on CD about three decades later -- that was unusual for California psychedelia both in its incorporation of classical influences and its absence of a bass player. Formed in Fresno, the band, although initially including a female vocalist, evolved into a trio featuring keyboardist John Hollingsworth, his brother Philip Hollingsworth on bass, and drummer James Holley (later replaced by Sean Corsaro). Featuring original material by both brothers, they developed a sound combining the fashionable ominous heavy rock of late-'60s psychedelia with Baroque classical touches (particularly on keyboards), somewhat along the lines of some other classical-influenced psychedelic bands with keyboards in the lineup, such as the Mandrake Memorial and Ars Nova. Canterbury Fair was not able to attract record company support, however, although they managed to play a fair amount in San Francisco in the late '60s, and kept going until 1980. In 1999, Sundazed released a CD of largely previously unreleased Canterbury Fair material from 1967-1969, also including the A-side of their late-'60s single "Song on a May Morning."
 ~ by Richie Unterberger.

1967-1969 / US 60's softly psychedelic-pop rock. By skillfully employing a keyboard arsenal and monstrous fuzz-adelic bass, John and Philip Hollingsworth and a couple of pals created epic tapestries of mind-bending sound that were too large for their hometown of Fresno, California. Before long, Canterbury Fair was unfurling its wide-screen soundscapes before the wide-eyed patrons of San Francisco's legendary ballrooms. This collection includes the A-side of the ultra-rare single, "Song On A May Morning" as well as the group's astounding never-before-heard full-length album.

The Canterbury Fair was a band from Fresno California that recorded between 1967 to 1969. The band, led by John and Philip Hollingsworth, skillfully employed keyboards and a fuzz bass to create a monstrous epic sound of swirling tapestries of mind-bending music that was way ahead of its time. Canterbury Fair created a sound the was reminiscent of the Doors but contained elements of the Left Banke and Love. The unique thing about this band is that no one played guitar in the band, the entire sound was based around the organ as the lead instrument together with drums bass and vocals. This collection of 10 songs includes the A-side of the ultra-rare single, "Song On A May Morning" originally released on the small local Koala label as well as the group's never-before-heard full-length album that was recorded but never released and one live track recorded during the band's hey day. The CD package contains in depth information on the band together with rare photographs and reproductions of concert posters. Another long lost legendary band finally resurrected for all to hear.
 ~ Keith Pettipas 1999 Sundazed collection featuring 10 tracks by this Fresno psychedelic band's ultra rare 'Song On A May Morning' single as well their unreleased album. Recorded between 1967 and 1969. Includes liner notes by Jud Cost.

Brimstone - 1973 - Paper Winged Dreams

Paper Winged Dreams

01. Dead Sleep At Night - 3:12
02. End Of The Road - 3:55
03. Etude - Fields Of Clay - 6:17
04. Illusion - Paper Winged Dreams - 4:51
05. Suite In Five Movements - 18:52
.a.Prelude In C Minor
.b.Song Of Fifths (Thanks To Our Friend)
.c.Interlude To You
.d.Ode To Fear And Loneliness
.e.Epilogue: Forever
06. Visions Of Autumn - 3:15
07. Song Of Love - 2:49

*Gregg Andrews  - Vocals
*Ken Miller  - Bass, Vocals
*Bernie Nau  - Keyboard,s Vocals
*Jimmy Papatoukakis  - Drums
*Christopher Wintrip  - Lead Guitar, Vocals

Official reissue by the band themselves,  an early Seventies harmonic progressive / psych rock band from the USA, who made this excellent album. Long instrumental tracks with keyboard and guitar mixing psych with progressive styles in a fragile ethereal manner.

Formed in Canton, Ohio by Chris Wintrip during the early 1970's. The band went through many incarnations through the years, but will probably be best remembered for their debut album in 1973 titled "Paper Winged Dreams. Features extended instrumental organ/guitar passages, or as is said elsewhere 'long instrumental tracks with keyboard and guitar mixing psych with progressive styles in a fragile ethereal manner.

“Suite In Five Movements” is a complex composition in five movements which features some nice solo vocals complimented by intermingled harmonies; lyrics dominate the music but there's some nice guitar work and counter-pointing vocals; overall well worth investigation.

Rather irresistible melodic prog-artrock LP with a light, airy feel throughout. The band belongs at the dreamy Moody Blues and Camel end of the prog spectrum, with flawless vocal harmonies, long classical-inspired keyboard excursions and plenty of superior guitar interplay.'

Brian Davison's Every Which Way - 1970 - Brian Davison's Every Which Way

Brian Davison's Every Which Way
Brian Davison's Every Which Way

01. Bed Ain't What It Used To (9:24)
02. Castle Sand (6:38)
03. Go Placidly (3:45)
04. All In Time (8:46)
05. What You Like (3:36)
06. The Light (6:15)

- Brian Davison / drums, percussion
- Graham Bell / electric piano, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
- Geoffrey Peach / reeds, flute, vocals
- Alan Cartwright / bass
- John Hedley / lead guitar

First album after the Nice's break-up, this first album is a very endearing oeuvre, lets it shown that Davison was much more than a candle-holder for Emerson. How this album never managed its own ray of sunshine is beyond me, because it had everything to make it. In a sort of progressive blues (ala Savoy Brown's raw Sienna) criss-crossing Traffic's middle period (the wind player reminds me of Chris Wood) and McDonald & Giles (with a touch of VdGG in the sax), the group pulls a very credible first album, that most progheads looking for UK proto-prog should hunt down. The artwork presenting a gatefold dove with a cannabis branch (rather than an olive tree branch) is suggestive enough, but the inside gatefold tells you that the branch had soon been smoked.

The album boast relatively long tracks, that are filled with excellent interplay between all musos and frequently draw chills down your spine. Starting with the 9-min+ Bed (a solemn and meaty proggy blues number like Savoy Brown or Ten Year After can do them, but with added winds), the album veers in heavy Traffic towards Crimson territories with Castle Sand. Superb!! Especially with its psych/space outro. The last track on the first side was probably meant for radio airplay and reminds of early Traffic and is quite a charming ditty.

The second side of this album starts with yet another lengthy jazzy-bluesy, but this time more of the SOAFF Traffic, with Bell's vocals reminiscent of a certain Stevie Winwood. Again plenty of time to develop the instrument breaks, Davison showing all of his finesse behind his kit. The sort What You Like is probably the album's most gut- wrenching, with the horns shifting from Graaf's Jaxon to Tippett-Boys Marc Charig. Finding plenty of space for an extended brass section, The Light shines all the way through the end of the album, with guitarist Hedley pulling a Neil Young-type of extended solo (Cowgirls In The Sand or Cortez The Killer), giving all kinds of drama, plenty of goose bumps and the envy to spin the album again.

Generally the expression earthed gem or hidden gem is often over-used (even by yours truly) and when the time comes to use it advisedly, it is rather hard to come around meaning it, but in this case, this old dog begs you to believe him. Nothing revolutionary or groundbreaking, but this album consolidates whatever ground was broken into by other preceding them

Had this been a Traffic album, critics and the buying public would have embraced the results.  Instead the set was greeted with complete indifference and the band quickly called it quits.  

- Bell went on the form Bell & Arc.
- Cartwright became a member of Procol Harum.
- Davidson rejoined formed Nice alumnus Lee Jackson in Jackson Heights, followed by a stint in Refugee.  Personal and health issues left him sidelined throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s and he subsequently turned his attention to academia, though in 2002 he rejoined Keith Emerson and Jackson for a reunion of The Nice.   The reunited band toured the UK and even released a live album.   Sadly, only 65, Davison died of a brain tumor in 2008.
- Hedley's remained active in the music business playing in a number of bands, most which never recorded.  One of the exceptions was Last Exit.  He's also continued to work as a sessions player and as a touring musician - he's apparently a regular on cruise ships.
- Peach went on to play in a number of bands including Lake and Mott the Hoople.

Francois Breant - 1979 - Voyeur Extra-Lucide

 Voyeur Extra-Lucide

01. Poursuite sur le Peripherique Nord 5:06
02. 8 Aout 0H15 125-eme Rue 5:13
03. L'Amour au Grand Air 5:59
04. Cadence D'Eperonnage 3:59
05. Danse Rituele Talmouse 4:19
06. L'Eveil de L'Acrobate 3:08
07. L'Obus Rouille Trouve Dans la Dune 3:09
08. Les Funerailles du Voyeur 4:13
09. We Are the Zoo 2:13
Bonus tracks:
10. KO 3:37
11. Fille de la Ville 3:47
12. Passage de la Fonderie 1:28

Francois Breant - keyboards (+ vocals on 9)
Emmanuel Lacordaire - drums & percussion
Pascal Arroyo - basses
Didier Lockwood - violins
Mick Martin - guitars
Liza Deluxe - vocals & vocalizes
A few other additional musicians

After a really successful (artistically anyway) debut album, Bréant quickly recorded a second album, which would turn out fairly different, even if the principle appears much the same: making a soundtrack for a film that doesn't exists, but the titles giving you the general storyboard outlines. What strikes on this album is that in some ways, it's much more accessible (in a Vangelis style) but when looking at the line- up, long-time buddy guitarist Perru is missing (except on one bonus track), and even if Lacordaire and Arroyo are around, something is missing. Some with a new-agey type of jazz-fusion album, with the now obvious Magma bass.
Adopting a more informatics artworks, VEL was not recorded at Herouville studios like its predecessor and it was self-produced. These characteristics will turns the album a very different one from Sons Optiques, certainly less complex and more accessible, even a bit new-agey. Bréant playing much synths on this album than on SO, making the album less organic and less complex and if there wasn't, thankfully, Lockwood's violin helping out on half the tracks, but the absence of the guitar (except for one track and it's almost a joke) is too noticeable. The album closes on the only song that has vocals (Blasquiz and Stella Vander) and it's a ridiculous ditty that IMHO doesn't help the album

About the three bonus tracks (totalling some 9 minutes), we find again a bit the same deal as for Sons Optiques: 80's written and recorded pieces that were recorded for this album's release in 02. Of these three, only Fille De La Vie could've fit in with the original album, the other two... VEL is a much less interesting album than SO, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own charms and should be forgotten about. No, it's like a shy little sister that would've grown in the shadow of an encumbering bigger sister.

Francois Breant - 1979 - Sons Optiques

Francois Breant 
Sons Optiques

01. Les journaux annoncent le guerre Generique 3:37
02. Vacances a Concorneau 3:04
03. De retour a Paris 4:09
04. Scenes de foule et de pursuite pendant le Carnaval 3:52
05. Dilemme de Jeanne au restaurant Chinois 4:01
06. Survol del Rio 3:07
07. Et retrouvailles avec Bruno 9:41
08. Baiser au crepuscule et Fin 4:14
09. Les souffleurs de Verre* 3:50
10. L'age d'or a Montlhery* 5:27

Francois Breant / piano & digital keyboards;vocalizes
Eric Letournex / alto saxophone
Jean-Luis Chautemps / tenor saxophone
Albert Marceur / percussion
Emmanuel Lacordaire / drums & percussion
Guy Delacroix / bass
Pascal Arroyo / bass
Didier Lockwood / violin
Marc Perru / guitar

François Bréant is one of those unavoidable characters around the French music industry having been around for soo long that many cannot imagine the scene without him. Indeed in the late 60's he was the keyboardist of CRUCIFERUS that recorded the legendary and dark A Nice Way Of Life (now one of the most sought-after French record) along with future Magma Bernard Paganotti. He was then found playing with the later days ERGO SUM (again with marc Perru) then with the jazz-rock NEMO group (not the modern neo band) in 73. He often played with many MAGMA members on different projects but never actually played with the group itself. During the second part of the 70's he became one of the main back up to French singer BERNARD LAVILLIERS whose poignant texts and lyrics as an ex-convict and true leftist rebel figure made him somewhat of a cult figure on the French scene, even when Lavilliers got interested in Brazilian music. In the late 70's, Bréant profited from a break in Lavilliers' career to record two solo albums filled to the brim with KBs and electronica and the unavoidable Zeuhl overtones , the first one (mainly through ALBET MARCOEUR's help) is often close to RIO, while the second is much more electronica-oriented.

Today, Bréant man still leads the band that backs Lavilliers with his friends of ever (Arroyo and Perru have been with Bréant since the Ergo Sum & Cruciferus days) and they certainly are accounting for a lot of the singer's continuing success. Bréant has also signed many music of films theatre plays and ballets and works as an arranger of many French and African stars, the best known being Salif Keita (Mali)

Bréant's first solo album came after years of being around the French prog scene, an dit was recorded with his usual partner in crimes, Perru, Arroyo and Lacordaire, but a few added high-profile "guests" like Didier Lockwood and Albert Marcoeur. Both his albums claim links between sound and visuals. Sons Optiques is a difficult to classify oeuvre because it touches soooo plenty of styles of music, that none seem to be a perfect fit on your shelves. Personally I would put this one not too far from Zeuhl and RIO, but then again the jazz rock and symphonic prog labels re both applicable. Both albums were issued on the very collectible EGG label. Bréant will play an array of keyboards, but will favour many times the piano over synths. Bréant's albums might also be reminiscent of JP Goude's or Wideman's records
Recorded in the famous Hérouville Chateau and produced by master producer Laurent Thibault, Breant's Sons Optiques is anything but accessible, although some passages might appear ridiculously easy. But many of the tracks are pushing RIO-like, the opening one, even ogling towards Univers Zero. There is a fairly constant Zeuhl reminder (although not quite as much as in the follow-up VEL), but what gets this album's special feel is the incredible mix of influences, a bit like what you'll find on producer Laurent Thibault's album later that year. The concept throughout the album is a sound description of different stages in a child's life during the WW2 and was set as an original soundtrack for an imaginary film Succès De Foule is an incredible track that comes very close to Isao Tomita's very early works on Snowflakes Are Dancing and the closing Baiser Au Crépuscule is almost Henry Tomita Cow-esque.

Added on are two early 80's tracks that have been reworked in 01, for the release of this album. How much were these two track rewritten is anybody's guess, but they do sound out of context with the rest of the album, even if it's clear it isn't the same recording sessions. Souffleurs De Verre is very much a piano piece while the Montlhéry track has an almost semi-dance groove. Nothing horrible, but not bringing in added value on the original album. Much recommended..

Ben - 1971 - Ben


01. The Influence
  a). The Wooing Of The Child
  b). The Innocence Of The Child
  c). The Interest Of The Youth
  d). The Involvement Of The Man
  e). The Realization
  f). The Wooing Of The Man
  g). The Conclusion
02. Gibbon
03. Christmas Execution
04. Gismo

Peter Davey: saxophones, flute, clarinet
Alex Macleery: electric piano, harpdichord, Moog synthesizer
Gerry Reid: guitars
Len Surtees: bass
David Sheen: drums, congas, percussion, vocals

One of the really serious Vertigo rarities, a British Jazz Rock group with a short life but some fine talent.Ben were saxophonist/flutist Peter Davey, keyboardist/pianist Alex Macleery, guitarist Gerry Reid, bassist Len Surtees and drummer David Sheen, the later coming from Graham Bond's band.Their only self-titled album, which contains four long, instrumental tracks, was released in 1971.

This one falls into the same category as NUCLEUS and IF, it's technically competent Jazz Rock with some great solos and rhythms, varied climates, going from furious guitar moves and frequent instrumental interactions to a smoother keyboard/piano-driven music with a bit of a psychedelic environment, like RAY MANZAREK playing the piano.Cool sax work and some strong flute lines are always welcome, I fail to detect any impressive differences between the pieces, but if you ask me ''Christmas execution'' stands out from the bunch, because, unlike the other pieces, the atmosphere here is really dark and dramatic, rarely found in a Jazz Rock composition.It's also the most progressive piece in here with soft electric guitars, harsichord and lots of flute and an excellent second part with an incredible jazzy taste on guitars and eerie keyboard work.''Gibbon'' contains also some sporadic choirs, another element you'll hardly find in a Jazz Rock album, while the two longer pieces ''The influence'' and ''Gismo'', are definitely a lot more jazzier with good instrumental work, some parts with the guitars and sax in the forefront recall VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's jazzy outbursts, but there are very limited progressive values in these with emphasis given to isolated solos.

Len Surtees played with the post-80's edition of The Nashville Teens, while David Sheen was later involved in various Jazz Rock and Fusion groups, including Mirage and the Canterbury-linked Soft Head.

Good Jazz Rock from the fogotten years, containing two very good compositions with a few proggy glimpses and another pair of more standard Jazz workouts.Warmly recommended, original vinyl is incredibly expensive, various reissues exist.

Bamboo - 1969 - Bamboo



01. Girl Of The Seasons
02. Treehouse
03. Blak Bari Chari Blooz
04. The Virgin Albatross
05. That’s My Life
06. August Man
07. The Odyssey Of Thaddeus Baxter
08. 30 Seconds To Nashville
09. Anything But Love
10. Sok Mi Toot Tru Luv
11. Lonely Homes
12. Keep What Makes You Feel Nice

Dave «Snaker» Ray (James David Ray): vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar (Bottleneck), Leslie guitar, harmonica
Will Donicht: vocals, electric bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, tack piano
Red Rhodes: steel guitar
Ken Jenkins: double bass (string bass)
Peter Hodgson: electric bass
Daniel Lee Hall: vocals, piano, organ, tack piano, rocksichord, guitar
Brenden Harkin: maracas
Sanford «Sandy» Konikoff: drums

Bamboo is in large part the work of guitarist David Ray, formerly one third of legendary folk-blues shouters Koerner, Ray and Glover. Blues enthusiasts coming into this later project should be warned, however, that this is a far cry from the rural acoustics of Ray’s previous group. Instead, Ray and pals traverse a weird, labyrinthine conglomeration of jazz, blues, country, and psychedelic rock that makes for a disorientating yet eminently enjoyable listen.
Singing and songwriting is split here between Ray and his two principal accomplices, Will Donicht and Daniel Hall, though it is clearly Ray who leads the proceedings. For some reason Hall only makes it as an unofficial member, for despite writing and singing two of the funkiest numbers his photograph is absent from the cover. The band is rounded out by a number of west coast session players, including a welcome appearance by esteemed First National Band steel player Red Rhodes.
The songs here are all great, though some ultimately prove less memorable than others. I’d say that Ray’s “Tree House” takes the title for worst offender, marred by its tacky vibes and uninspired lyrics. His “Virgin Albatross,” however, is a serious slice of late-sixties country rock, while the band delves deep into Band-style Americana with Donicht’s “The Odyssey of Thadeus Baxter.” One of my favorite elements to this record – and one that it oddly enough shares with fellow Koerner, Ray and Glover alumni John Koerner’s landmark Running, Jumping, Standing Still - is its extensive use of honky tonk tack piano. Though the playing isn’t quite as remarkable as Willie Murphy’s ragtime runs on Running, it still lends the music a subtle, saloon-band edge.
Daniel Hall’s two contributions are at once the bluesiest, worst-spelled, and most explicitly electric. The catchy shuffle of “Blak Bari Chari Blooz” has some great Hammond organ work, while “Sok Mi Toot Tru Luv” features the record’s deepest grooves. Repeated listens prove rewarding here, so anyone that finds themselves off-put by this collection’s many eccentricities should try spinning it again a little later on down the line – there’s a good chance something will stick before long. This one tends to be underrated by most critics, making it among the easier Elektra Records rarities to hunt down.

3rd Avenue Blues Band - 1970 - Fantastic

3rd Avenue Blues Band 

01. Rose Garden – 3:16
02. It’s Got To Be Love – 2:26
03. I Know About Love – 4:15
04. Put A Little Love – 4:00
05. Hawk’s Blues – 5:08
06. Don’t Make Me Laugh – 2:53
07. Come On And Get It – 3:19
08. It’s Your Thing – 5:12
09. If You Don’t Want Me – 3:08
10. Bad Moon Rising – 5:05
11. Mean Greens – 5:13

Harold Jones — vocals, rhythm instruments
Harlan Rogers — vocals, organ bass, piano
Hadley «Hawk» Hockensmith — guitar, bass
Bob Beasley – saxophone
Mark Underwood  — trumpet
Bill Maxwell – drums

Beautiful 1970 Original From The Blue-Eyed Jazz Funksters Falling Somewhere Between Tower Of Power And The Albert. Includes The Outstanding "Come And Get It" Plus Covers Of Eddie Harris, The Isleys And More.

This starts off a little slow with some average covers, certainly played well, indicating the quality of this groups playing. The covers are instantly recognisable, "Rose Garden" not one I care for a lot. The next track is much better with a second vocalist who has a familiar sounding voice and the music is firmly in the Blood, Sweat & Tears school of Pop-Rock and also sounds like something The Blues Brothers would do. After another couple of well executed but not outstanding covers things take a decisive turn for the better with a great "Super Session" Blues number in "Hawks' Blues, followed by a classic Blood, Sweat & Tears sounding  funky number in "Don't Make Me Laugh" Things stay brilliantly Blusy, Jazzy and funky on "Come and get it and I'm not sure of any of the last three tracks are originals or covers, but they are impressive to say the least. "It's Your Thing" keeps up the relentless tempo of great music before they slow things down again with what I believe is another cover. "Bad Moon Rising" is the best cover here as the actually do something slightly different from the original and pull it off well. The album finishes on a high with a great jazzy instrumental that is most impressive and the Sax is great. Overall a pretty good listen with the music getting much better on the later part of the album when things get more uptempo and funky.