Friday, November 4, 2016

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1972 - April Fool - Coming Muhammad Ali

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 
April Fool - Coming Muhammad Ali

01. “Muhammad Ali” Call – 3:22
02. Clay – 7:03
03. Press Conference At Benihana, New York, To Announce The Muhammad Ali And Mac Foster Fight – 2:32
04. Sand Bag – 3:49
05. Muhammad Ali Interviewed In His Home – 3:52
06. Keikotan – 3:07
07. At A Press Conference Just After Arriving In Japan – 1:25
08. Laughing – 3:06
09. Muhammad Ali Answering Questions Asked By Rocky Aoki – 4:33
10. Clay – 0:58
11. At The Weigh-In Press Conference – 3:49
12. Clay – 7:19
13. 10 Counts To Bury His Slave Name, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. – 0:34

Yosuke Yamashita: piano
Seiichi Nakamura: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Takeo Moriyama: drums

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 include Muhammad Ali speaking at press conferences and in an interview; sounds of his training; and an announcer's introduction and the 11-year-old singer Little Dion's rendition of the U.S. national anthem before Ali's fight
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 recorded in November 1971

More Yamashita, this time with his original bass-less trio, with Nakamura Seichi and Moriyama Takeo doing the honors on sax and drums respectively. This was the last album with this line-up (before Sakata Akira took over from Nakamura). Originally released in 1972 (U.R.C Records), it was inspired by the Muhumman Ali-Mac Foster heavyweight title fight that took place in Tokyo earlier that year — on April 1st, hence the title.

Back to the album: What you get is interviews and Ali soundbites interspersed with plenty of Yamashita's high-intensity free playing. It's tempting to say the album is a knock-out but like the actual fight (which Ali took the full 15 rounds and won by a decision), it isn't a classic. Once you've heard the spoken word sections a couple of times, you'll probably want to edit them out and focus on the music tracks.

If this grabs you, then check out this brief sliver of footage of the Yamashita trio from Wakamatsu Koji's equally out there "Ecstacy of the Angels" from the same year.

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1971 - Gugan

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 

01. Hachi (T.Moriyama) 11:10
02. Ballad for Y.Y. (T.Moriyama) 09:04
03. Take One (T.Moriyama) 10:24
04. Gugan (Y.Yamashita) 07:18

Yosuke Yamashita Trio
Yosuke Yamashita: piano
Seiichi Nakamura: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Takeo Moriyama: drums

Brass 12
Hisahide Katoh: tenor saxophone
Mabumi Yamaguchi: alto saxophone
Kunio Fujisaki: trumpet
Susumu Kazuhara: trumpet
Tohru Oogoshi: trumpet
Kenji Yoshida: trumpet
Masao Suzuki: baritone saxophone
Shigeharu Mukai: trombone
Naoki Takahashi: trombone
Hisashi Nishimura: trombone
Hisashi Imai: trombone
Kyosuke Aikawa: tuba

Recorded by Kenichi Kosuge at Toshiba Studio, September 25, 1971

The big band set-up is quite unusual for Yamashita, but it works very well. In some ways this album resembles something Archie Shepp might have done around the same time, while another influence would have to be Mike Mantler's Jazz Composers Orchestra. Those touchstones are mixed quite effectively with the classic sound of this trio.

"Hachi" starts with flailing speedfreak drumming and Yosuke's standard epileptic piano glissandos, but with some much welcome horn backing from time to time. The horns stab and jab, but play medium tempoed phrases. There's a flighted alto sax solo that's a wonderful counterpoint about halfway through which starts to give
way around 8:30 to the horns and piano smashing and thrashing in bombastic unison. 9:30 finds a pause for drum solo. By 11:15 the horns start layering into a duet with the drums. A thoroughly interesting piece with an obvious head and tail, and plenty of shifting dynamics, colors and contrast in between.

"Ballad for Y.Y." is a fabulously odd one begun and ended by 40 seconds of solo horns that seem to imitate a declining record player thorughout the piece; bringing a mood of the fantastical and pensive with a taste heroin-nodding thrown in. When the piano and drums interject, it's in a dark and taut manner that illicits Italian Horror film soundtracks of the time. Even when spasms overtake the piano and drums it's initially by jags before undertaking a full wall of movement. The sax blears in about halfway through and sticks with an Albert Ayler-ish tone and attack. As they pass the 7 minute mark the group coalleces into an actual unison attack on some phrasing that surely brings to mind JCOA; which eventually drifts back into a near mirrored ending of this tune's beginning. Unique, evocative and powerful.

"Take One" takes up the JCOA torch of group attacked pharses followed by classic YYTrio frenzy. The horns disconnetedly blow some phrases over the top from time to time. Just after the 4 minute mark all but the drums drop out for the start of the wailing sax, which is soon joined by the full group. At 8 minutes everyone drops into a JCOA mode again, followed by the drum solo and a return to the beginning phrases at the end.

The actual tune "Gugan" is a drum solo, with horn interjection, which seems rather odd considering it is written by the pianist?! In fact, the piano doesn't enter the piece until the 4 minute mark. The title comes from an onomatopoeia of the written theme of the title composition, which goes "Gu-gan, Gu-gan, Da-pa-to-ton, Gu-gan, Da-pa-to-ton". You can notice that each solo returns to the theme right after the drummer plays the answering phrase "Da-pa-to-ton". Therefore, other members have to listen to the drums very carefully!

As a Yosuke Yamashita Trio album, GUGAN may be the most approachable for it's use of some standard Jazz techniques usually cast aside by them throughout the 1970s.

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1970 - Mokujiki

Yosuke Yamashita Trio

01. Mokujiki
02. Comunication

Yosuke Yamashita: piano
Seiichi Nakamura: soprano saxophone (1), tenor saxophone (2)
Takeo Moriyama: drums

Recorded at Victor Japan Studio 2, January 14, 1970

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1969 - Mina's Second Theme

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 
Mina's Second Theme

01. Mina's Second Theme 19:11
02. Roihani 15:07
03. Gugan 5:36

Drums – Takeo Moriyama
Piano – Yosuke Yamashita
Tenor Saxophone – Seiichi Nakamura

Recorded at Victor Studio, Tokyo, 1969

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1969 - Dancing Kojiki

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 
Dancing Kojiki

01. Agitation 0:50
02. Theme 15:40
03. Mokujiki 17:07

Drums – Takeo Moriyama
Piano – Yosuke Yamashita
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Seiichi Nakamura

Recorded live at basement of Eighth Building, Waseda University, Tokyo, July 1969

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1969 - Concert In New Jazz

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 
Concert In New Jazz

01. Sate (Well) (Moriyama) 13:11
02. Mina's Second Theme (Yamashita) 06:44
03. Mokurin (Nakamura) 11:52
04. Gugan (Yamashita) 07:49

Yosuke Yamashita, piano
Seichi Nakamura, tenor & soprano saxophone, clarinet
Takeo Moriyama, drums

Recorded live at Sankei Hall on September 21, 1969.

This was the third LP of the Yamashita Trio, still with the original sax player Seiichi Nakamura. It was reissued as CD in 1991 with one piece more. Also some pieces were longer than on the LP.
But both are out of print.

Yosuke Yamashita is in Japan much more famous for his movie acting and his books which are bestsellers - as I was told by a japanese friend.
Sometimes he is marked as the japanese Cecil Taylor - but I think it is obvious that he has a voice all his own. However - C.T. was/is his "hero" - and there was a concert in which both played together. It seems it was filmed - something I would like to watch.

Oscar Pettiford & Attila Zoller - 1959 - The Legendary Oscar Pettiford featuring Attilla Zoller

Oscar Pettiford & Attila Zoller 
The Legendary Oscar Pettiford featuring Attilla Zoller

01. Cohn's Limit 4:32
02. The Gentle Art of Love 6:47
03. All the Things You Are 3:58
04. Vienna Blues 4:43
05. Oscar's Blues 7:27
06. Stardust 6:10
07. Blues in the Closet 5:17

Oscar Pettiford: bass, cello
Hans Koller: tenor saxophone
Attila Zoller: guitar, bass
Jimmy Pratt: drums

Man-o-Man ... there’s one sure way to know that you love a record, and that’s instantly wanting more as soon as it’s over.  Case in point, this 1959 gem from cellist and bassist Oscar Pettiford, sounding for all the world like a Joan Miro painting come to life, swinging ever so gracefully and warmly, refusing to knock you back, yet smoothly holding your attention like a loving parent lulling a child to sleep ... and more, to dream.

Dying young, and often overlooked, the man is a virtual who’s who when it comes to artists he’s played with.  Yet ask nearly any jazz aficionado for a top ten, or even a top twenty-five list, and I seriously doubt that Oscar Pettiford will be among them.  And that’s a down right shame.  Certainly one could make the argument that bassists don’t gain the attention or notoriety, they seldom have scorching solos, or manifest a demanding stage presence, nor does their instrument get the respect it deserves.  Most people only think of baselines as holding down the foundations of the rhythm, an aspect that merely moves the music forward, relying on more well known instruments to shine and command the adulation.  But you need to forget all of those concepts, you need to spin on your heels, you need to hear Oscar lay down solid lines of brilliant eloquence and a musical movement that any musician would aspire to.

In a word, this album is “understated” and “brilliant”.  Alright, that’s two words, and I would love to write thousands, anything to get you to hear this quiet restrained masterpiece, where a true genius does so much more with so much less.  Had Oscar’s life not been so short, we might find him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ray Brown or Milt Hinton ... but the truth of the matter is that we have been graced with mere moments of music from this great artist.  So please, don’t miss a single one of them.

Zoller Koller Solal - 1965 - Zoller Koller Solal

Zoller Koller Solal 
1965 -
Zoller Koller Solal

01. Mr. Heine's Blues
02. The End of a Love Affair
03. Stella by Starlight
04. After Glow
05. My Old Flame
06. Away From the Crowd
07. All the Things You Are
08. Stompin' at the Savoy
09. H.G. Meets M.A.H.

Guitar – Attila Zoller
Piano – Martial Solal
Saxophone [Tenor] – Hans Koller

Recorded in Villingen Germany, January 1965.
Gatefold cover with liner notes in english and german by Joachim E. Behrend.

Attila Zoller - 1979 - Common Cause

Attila Zoller
Common Cause

01. Kaybee 6:26
02. Common Cause 5:14
03. Tshitar 7:48
04. Lady Love 7:10
05. Meet 8:20

Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Joe Chambers
Guitar – Attila Zoller

Most of Hungarian guitarist Attila Zoller's early recordings have not been made available in the United States, but fortunately his two 1979 Enja releases were leased domestically by Inner City, allowing Americans an opportunity to hear Zoller's unique sound. Like his countrymate Gabor Szabo, Zoller (who has a much more introverted style) uses aspects of his Hungarian folk heritage in his music while playing creative jazz. This quiet trio date with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Joe Chambers (which is comprised of four Zoller originals plus a tune from tenorman Bobby Jones) is a good example of Zoller's subtle improvising style.

Attila Zoller - 1970 - Gypsy Cry

Attila Zoller 
Gypsy Cry

01. Wild Wild Wes 2:37
02. Another Kind of Love 4:07
03. Horns 5:00
04. Meet in Berlin 4:45
05. The Birds and the Bees 3:48
06. Alicia's Lullaby 5:15
07. At Twilight 3:45
08. Gypsy Cry 7:00
09. Sweet Hustler 3:34

Attila Zoller: guitar
Sonny Brown: drums
Herbie Hancock: electric piano, piano
Victor Gaskin: double bass, bass guitar
Reggie Workman: double bass
Lew Tabackin: tarogato

Produced by Herbie Mann

Hungarian-born guitarist Attila Zoller was perhaps the least-known guitarist in jazz to the general public. His 50-year-long career, which ended with his death in January of 1998, was filled with professional heights and the wide acclaim of his peers and bandmates, who included at various times: Joe Zawinul (back in Budapest), Lee Konitz, Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, Ron Carter, Tal Farlow, Herbie Mann, Herbie Hancock (who is the pianist on the this date), and others too numerous to mention here. This set is comprised of two dates, both of them recorded in 1970. Hancock plays both acoustic and electric piano. He was struggling to find his new voice after semi-leaving the Miles Davis band to go on his own; Victor Gaskin and Reggie Workman both play bass for reasons that shall be explained in a moment, Lew Tabakin joins on a track or two, and so does drummer Sonny Brown, who disappeared from the face of the jazz world shortly after these sessions. Produced by Mann, the music here is divided into two distinct camps: the "commercial" music as Zoller called it in cadence, music that was in some way accessible to people as jazz, and his freer music, the music that was inspired by Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, two of his classmates at the Lenox, MA, jazz school. It hardly matters, however, because Zoller wrote all the material here. From his warm and breezy "Wild Wild Wes," which is a tribute to the late guitarist, and his open string chord voicings to the knotty electric charge of "Meet in Berlin" that features Hancock riffing away on the electric piano and trading eights with Zoller, to the gorgeous title track built on Hungarian folk melodies, Zoller's tone is always just on the soft side of raw; it is edgy and full of passion and pain no matter how smooth his chords or riffs were. He could go around edges but never completely round them off. On the funky "Sweet Hustler," which ends the album, Zoller's stinging runs turn around the entire harmonic structure of the tune, even though it's just a funky soul jam. He manages to move through the chord progression turnaround and slip the melody inside out, changing both harmonic and lyrical concerns from straight singing lines into modal intervals. This was Attila Zoller just doing his thing, and on Gypsy Cry he was at his best doing it. This album is a kind of groove-jazz masterpiece. One more word on the Collectables jazz reissues series, called the Collectables Jazz Classics. It's true that many of the titles in this series are lesser-known works, far from the standard canonic lines that make labels like Blue Note or Fantasy's original jazz classics or even Verve such trademarks. But that should matter little because the route Collectables has taken is to insure that very deserving recordings like this one or any one of dozens of others gets the decent presentation, good liner notes, and fine sound it deserves in reissue. In fact, Collectables is doing in its own way what may other labels should have been doing a long time ago: the research to seek out the finest and most overlooked records and get them out onto the marketplace at a price where they can either be reconsidered by those who may have overlooked them, found at last by the few that revered and treasured them in the first place, or discovered in the first place by an entirely new generation of jazz fans. Bravo.

Attila Zoller - 1968 - Zo-Ko-Ma

Zoller - Konitz - Mangelsdorff 

01. Zores Mores
02. Feeling-in and Filling-in in Villingen
03. Ach! Tavia - Skertzo - Alicia's Lullaby
04. At Twighlite
05. Struwwelpeter
06. Alat's Mood
07. Freeline Fräulein
08. Danke for the Memory
09. Rumpelstilzchen

Lee Konitz: alto saxophone
Attila Zoller: guitar
Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone
Barre Phillips: bass
Stu Martin: drums

Guitarist Attila Zoller, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff had played with one another on earlier occasions for over a decade, but this 1968 recording was their first together though Zo-Ko-Ma is officially billed by producer Joachim Ernst-Berendt as the "Attila Zoller-Lee Konitz Quartet with guest Albert Mangelsdorff." Joined by bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin on some tracks, a good deal of the music has an experimental feeling to it, especially Konitz's "Feeling-In and Filling-In Villingen," which feature overlapping improvisations by the three players. Zoller's easygoing waltz "At Twighlite" and Mangelsdorff's "Alat's Mood" (the latter a trombone/guitar duet) are straight-ahead arrangements, while Konitz's haunting "Danke for the Memory" is a spacy trio piece with bass and guitar. Issued on LP by MPS in Europe, this extraordinary session is long overdue to be re-released on CD.

Attila Zoller - 1965 - The Horizon Beyond

Attila Zoller 
The Horizon Beyond

01. The Horizon Beyond 7:00
02. Explorations 5:12
03. Blizzards 6:40
04. Ictus 5:50
05. The Hun 6:30
06. Flash Back Two 7:21

Bass – Barre Phillips
Drums – Daniel Humair
Engineer – Peter Kramper
Guitar – Attila Zoller
Piano – Don Friedman

Recorded on March 15th, 1965
Berlin Germany

The Hungarian-born Attila Zoller was never quite a household name, but jazz musicians in the know considered him one of the music's finest and most original guitarists. After initially achieving a reputation as an excellent bop-oriented player, Zoller developed an interest in free jazz, and in the '60s became one of the music's most accomplished practitioners.

As a child, Zoller was taught classical violin by his father, a professional violinist. In his teens, he switched to flügelhorn, then jazz bass, and finally guitar. Zoller quit school during the Russian occupation of Hungary following World War II and began playing professionally in Budapest jazz clubs. He escaped Hungary in 1948 just before the permanent Soviet blockade of the country, hiking across the mountains to Austria, carrying just his guitar and a few articles of clothing. Zoller became an Austrian citizen, settling in Vienna, where he formed a jazz group with the accordionist Vera Auer. Zoller moved to Germany in the '50s, where he played with pianist Jutta Hipp and saxophonist Hans Koller. Visiting American musicians (notably Oscar Pettiford and Lee Konitz) admired Zoller's work and urged him to move to the U.S., which he did in 1959 after winning a scholarship to the Lenox School of Jazz. There he studied with Jim Hall and roomed with Ornette Coleman, whose influence sparked Zoller's interest in free jazz. Zoller played in drummer Chico Hamilton's group in 1960 and with flutist Herbie Mann from 1962-1965. In 1965, Zoller began leading a free jazz-influenced group with the pianist Don Friedman, and in 1968 co-led a group with Konitz and trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff. Zoller never turned his back on more traditional forms of jazz, playing swing with vibist Red Norvo and clarinetist Benny Goodman, and bop with saxophonist Stan Getz, among many others. In 1974, Zoller founded the Attila Zoller Jazz Clinics in Vermont (Zoller incorporated in 1985 and the clinics became the Vermont Jazz Center). He remained active as a performer -- in the U.S. and overseas -- until the end of his life. During the '80s and '90s, he recorded several albums for the Enja label with such artists as vibist Wolfgang Lackerschmidt and guitarist Jimmy Raney, as well as longtime collaborators Konitz and Friedman.

Zoller was also a designer of electronic instruments; he patented a bi-directional pickup for guitars in 1971 and helped design his own signature line of guitars with the Framus and Hoefner companies. He also designed a line of strings for the LaBella company. Zoller's final gig was at New York's Zinc Bar with pianist Tommy Flanagan and bassist George Mraz on January 6, 1998; the trio recorded the next day. Zoller died of colon cancer less than three weeks later.

Toncho Pilatos - 1973 - Toncho Pilatos

Toncho Pilatos 
Toncho Pilatos

01. Espera (Wait) 1:54
02. Kukulkán 3:09
03. Drunk Again (Borracho) 3:13
04. Blind Man (Hombre ciego) 4:18
05. Déjenla en paz (Let Her Be) 3:25
06. Tommy Lyz 3:47
07. La última danza (The Last Dance) 14:39
08. Dulce Monserrat (Sweet Monserrat)

Alfonso Guerrero Sánchez "Toncho" (vocals, harmonica, flute, violin, guitar, 1972-92)
Rigoberto Guerrero Sánchez "Rigo" (guitar)
Miguel Robledo "El Pastel" (bass)
Raúl Briseño "El Güero" (drums)
Alberto López "Beto" (piano, organ)

Yet another Mexican gem of progressive-psych rock.  Most of the songs are in Spanish but the guitar playing is excellent, as is the flute interludes that pepper many of the songs.  "Blind Man" and "Drunk Again" are excellent as is the longer jam "The Last Dance."
Laid back and influenced by plenty of drugs. Psychedelic rock that's rooted in the time period in some ways and a musical prediction of the future in other ways. Great song structures and a psych vibe that never gets old so peep it.

Nahuatl - 1975 - Vol. II

Vol. II 

01. Ed, Ed, Ed (bonus) 03:15
02. Explicame 03:04
03. Rock Jarocho 02:49
04. Mi Amor por Ti 04:57
05. Himno al Rock and Roll 05:52
06. Todo y Nada 02:34
07. Explain to Me 03:04
08. No te Voy a Rogar 03:01
09. Nina, Nina 03:15
10. La Probreza 09:37
11. Ya Ni Hablur (bonus) 03:13


 Ramon Torres - Bass, Back Vocals
 Ricardo Ochoa - Vocals, Guitar
 Carlos "Bozo" Vazquez - Drums, Back Vocals

Bonus Tracks:
 Ricardo Ochoa - vocals, bass, guitar and programming
 Julio Moran - drums

Not at all as fun as the first one. This album is more polished, and based on more serenade-like numbers. Gone are the crude charm and the quasi-tough cuteness.

This one is nowhere near as interesting as their first. But it is surprisingly difficult to obtain on the original vinyl. It's somewhat light, fairly commercial rock, featuring some synthesizer, along with guitar, and Spanish vocals. The sound on this CD reissue is quite acceptable, plus the inclusion of the single is also appreciated.

Nahuatl - 1974 - Nahuatl


 01. Kong (bonus) 03:23
 02. Machismo 05:07
 03. No Se Quien Soy 02:23
 04. Evolucion 03:27
 05. Dejame 02:37
 06. Tiempo Perdido 04:39
 07. El Hongo 04:49
 08. Volvere 03:31
 09. Watch the Sun Going Down 02:29
 10. Contaminacion 04:23
 11. Ella Es Fuego (bonus) 03:50


 Ramon Torres - Bass, Back Vocals
 Ricardo Ochoa - Vocals, Guitar
 Carlos "Bozo" Vazquez - Drums, Back Vocals

 Omar Jasso - keyboards
 Kenny Aviles - vocals
 Luis Rojas - keyboards

Bonus Tracks:
 Ricardo Ochoa - vocals, bass, guitar and programming
 Julio Moran - drums
 Kenny, Kathia, Alejandra Guzman - Chorus on "Ella Es Fuego"

Pretty consistent LP for an early 70's Mexican heavy psych record.  If you've come to this because you happen to LIKE what you have heard from this period in Mexican Rock history, than this will not disappoint you.   That said, you have to like this stuff to begin with.  You either get the appeal or you don't which is many folks reaction to these bands.  This one combines all the amateurish crudo-fuzz elements of the best Dug Dug's and Three Souls in my Mind and perhaps even ups the ante in the songwriting department vs. some of those bands' output.   A couple on here, "Evolucion" in particular,  are up there with the best of this genre.

Grupo Ciruela - 1973 - Regreso Al Origen

Grupo Ciruela 
Regreso Al Origen

01. Padre
02. Acapulco Dorado
03. Regreso Al Origen
04. Nada Nos Detendrá
05. Falsa
06. Despertar
07. Peste

Daniel Valens "El Hermano" (vocals)
Cesar Cal (guitar)
Billy Valle (guitar)
Sergio Saul Soto (bass)
Guillermo Garibay (drums)
Luis Pérez (vocals, flute)
Felipe Maldonado (vocals)
Miguel Esparza (bass)
Javier Villafuerte (guitar)

Grupo Ciruela formed 1971, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Their 1973 album is a mix of hard rock boogie with a Jethro Tull/Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin influence and some fine twin guitar leads. Similarities to fellow Mexican rockers Los Dug Dugs. One of the heavier bands from south of the border whose music has that stoner booze filled hippy vibe; all original material.

Their 1973 album is a mix of hard rock boogie with a Jethro Tull/Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin influence and some fine twin guitar leads. Similarities to fellow Mexican rockers Los Dug Dugs. One of the heavier bands from south of the border whose music has that stoner booze filled hippy vibe; all original material. This is a mega rare original Mexican pressing of a rare heavy progressive acid psych rock album, with some long tracks. With twin lead guitars, fuzz, flutes, and heavy rhythm section.

El Tarro De Mostaza - 1970 - El Tarro De Mostaza

El Tarro De Mostaza 
El Tarro De Mostaza

01. Obertura - Brillo De Luz
02. Final - Avances
03. En Caso De Que Mi Reloj Se Pare
04. El Ruido Del Silencio
05. Amor Por Telefono- Brillo De Luz (Reprise)
06. La Fuente Del Jardin
07. Final

Juan Felipe Castro Osornio
Jorge Clemente López Martínez
Francisco Javier del Ángel "El Indio"
Óscar García Casados
Santiago Galván Díaz

Lot of misinformation about this title, but deep in the bowels of the internet (yea, I don't recommend you go there often either), I found a Spanish language interview (from a local Veracruz newspaper!). And with the ever trusty help of Google translate, I was able to discern a few interesting facts.

The album was actually recorded in 1968, but not released until two years later. Apparently it was a "happening sound in", and the band was forced to play for hours on end, with no chance to sleep, eat, bio breaks, etc... Obviously not a pleasant experience for the participants. The name of the band was Los Sonidos (The Sounds), but the producers (rightly I think) suggested that the moniker was boring. And so the band arbitrarily picked Mustard Jar because it was both solid and hard (ummm... sure.... ok). I also found a little nugget that Spain's Guerssen has (or had) been in hot pursuit. The article goes back to 2009, and Guerssen is one of the best - if not THE best - reissue label today. So if they can't get it done, not sure anyone else could - legitimately of course.

Musically, the album consists of two distinct sides. One is a lengthy jam with killer organ (really old stock too - like a Farfisa) and guitars. The other side is more psychedelic pop, but you're never too far away from a blistering acid guitar solo. For 1968 Mexico, this was really quite a pioneering effort.

Recordando O Vale Das Macas - 1977 - As Crianças Da Nova Floresta

Recordando O Vale Das Macas 
As Crianças Da Nova Floresta

01. Ranchos, Filhos e Mulher (3:08)
02. Besteira (4:05)
03. Olhar de um Louco (3:53)
04. Raio de Sol (6:08)
05. As Crianças da Nova Floresta (18:10)

Bonus Track (1982)
06. Sorriso de Verão (3:00)
07. Flores na Estrada (2:34)

Total Time: 41:04

Fernando Pacheco: electric & acoustic guitars
Miltom Bernardes: drums (1-5), percussion (1-5), vocals (1-5)
L. Gotti: drums (6,7), percussion (6,7)
Eliseu Filho (Lee): keyboards, violin
Ronaldo Mesquita (Gui): bass

Fernando Motta: acoustic guitar (5,6)
Domingos Mariotti: flute, digital horn
Fernando Ramos: keyboards

RECORDANDO O VALE DAS MAÇÃS (translated: Remembering The Valley Of Apples - RVM for short) is a very good example of mellow Brazilian instrumental symphonic prog-rock. Besides the standard guitar / dual keyboards / bass / drums lineup, the sound includes violin, flute and digital horn. Their music mixes in very good proportions the calm symphonic passages of a South American flavored CAMEL with Brazilian Folk (MPB), some North American Country reminiscences, a lot of good taste textures and even some baroque and renaissance sparkles.

With only one exceptional album recorded in 1977: "As crianças da nova floresta" is a very nice South American heavy, melodic classical progressive album from the 70's. This is very well balanced between great, GILMOUR-like guitar, flute everywhere, double keyboards, and classical guitar. Here the influence of CAMEL and generally of light symphonic/light Canterbury is evident. The arrangements are always very tastefully done, musically involved, and consistently interesting. "1977-1982" is the re-issue of this album with two bonus tracks. Recommended if you appreciate bands such as the South American "O TERÇO", "OS MUTANTES", "SAGRADO CORAÇÃO DA TERRA, PABLO EL ENTERRADOR and the classic CAMEL.

 Latin America in general, and Brazil in particular, sported its own back to the earth young folks back in the early 1970s. The vicissitudes of communal life and the music industry being what they were and are, their ideas often were not committed to vinyl until later in the decade or beyond, at which point their sunny optimism was swallowed whole by the prevalent cynicism of the time. One must be careful to judge the whole of the effort independent of its time while still acknowledging the conditions that inspired the artists on their quest. RECORDANDO O VALE DAS MACAS (Memory of Apple Valley) only produced one album in their day, to which several later tracks were added on the CD reissue currently under discussion. It's assuredly a trip back to an era long past, but with timeless virtues to be appreciated in any era - acoustic instrumentation and occasional flourishes, sprightly melodies, and gentle harmonies.
The centerpiece here is "As Crianças da Nova Floresta" which closed the original album, and might be of greatest interest to readers here. However, while it is often brilliant, it is also a bit too much of a collage rather than a suite or an epic, and accentuates how the group was first and foremost a more simple folk/country act with progressive touches. The flutes of guest Domingos Mariotti are worth highlighting, as are the jointly shared vocals, which are lovely in both genders. While linguistically apart, this work recalls the Argentinian 1970s group MAGMA in its deceptive gentility.

The band's strength lay in the less brocaded material, especially the stunning "Besteira", apparently rescued from a trash bin after a moment of frustration. Its twists and turns, flutes, fiddles, and arresting chorus come closest to capturing the coda to a generation. I even hear some Eastern European rhythms. It is the only cut that fully works for me, although everything but the rather disinterested "Olhar De Um Louco" is worth hearing, and the flourishes of a Brazilian country music style in the album opener and the closing bonus track work well. Keyboards generally represent background accompaniment but are clearly informed by the progressive rock of the day.

Recommended for prog folk fans and gentle Latin tinged world music fans, Recordando is a thankfully resurrected memory worth retaining, even if it might not be as essential as your daily apple.

Luis Pérez - 1981 - Ipan In Xiktli Metzli, México Mágico Cósmico, En El Ombligo De La Luna.

Luis Pérez
Ipan In Xiktli Metzli, México Mágico Cósmico, En El Ombligo De La Luna.

01. Suite Al Culto Solar - In Altepetl Tonal 3:19
02. Suite Al Culto Solar - Xochiyaoyoloh 5:32
03. Suite Al Culto Solar - Ketzalkoatl Yauh Miktlan 14:34
04. Ipan In Xiktli Metztli 21:21

Cover – Laurence Giordano
Music By, Arranged By, Performer – Luis Pérez
Recording Supervisor – Fernando Roldán, Francisco Miranda
The intruments were played in the album are from pre-colombian culture and design from the several regions of the Mexican Country. "Expresión de cultura musical, fomento sostenido por el ISSSTE, subdirección de Acción Cultural". México 1981.

**Hand-numbered edition of 500 housed in gold ink screen-printed jacket and Spanish liner notes**

The highly promising Sacred Summits label debuts with a reissue of Luis Perez's private-pressed cosmic obscurity, 'Ipan In Xiktli Metztli'. Beautifully recorded in Mexico, 1981, it offers a mescaline-sharp vision of deep grooving "cosmic ethnography" combining pre-Colombian percussion and wind instruments with electric guitar, tape delay and synths in free-roaming and extended suites. Perez's background in well-known (in Mexico, at least) folk ensemble Huayucaltia evidently feeds into this, one of only two known solo albums, but the key descriptor is blatantly psychedelic. The side opens with a pair of concise, light-footed groovers, all rattlesnake shakers and melodic percussive cadence rent upwards with astral wind instruments and richly evocative nocturnal atmosphere, seemingly preparing us for two extended trips coming off like a prime Jodorowsky soundtrack. The first, 'Etimología Del Nombre Mexico' projects ritualist prog grooves into a haunting soundsphere of synth swirl and chant awash with tape delay and riding the wave between lush ecstasy and abyssal darkness while the 2nd suite, 'Al Culto Solar' peers further still with truly desolate, shivering synth atmospheres pierced by a comforting voice which leads further into the "other" side and a phantasmic array of patterned basslines, demonic wail and utterly mind-blowing synth hallucinations. Serious stuff, treat with care for celestial rewards.

In the early 1980s, there was a small explosion of interesting and very unique progressive music coming out of Mexico. One of the paths being explored at that time was music that fused progressive music and ambient music with the instruments of pre-Hispanic Mexico; the sounds BEFORE the conquerors came and changed the continent hugely. The bigger names in the field were Suso Saiz and Jorge Reyes, but one of the first people to release a record that gained attention outside of Mexico was Luis Perez, who released this album in 1981.
"This tantalizing prospect of a label splashes down with an amazing LP first released by Luis Perez in 1981, originally within his native country of Mexico only. A kind of cosmic ethnography combining pre-Columbian percussion and wind instruments together with guitar, tape delay units, and analog synthesizers: a mystical weft of giddily deep grooves and experimentation. A limited edition beautifully presented in numbered, silk-screened sleeves, with notes."

0.720 Aleacion - 1989 - Leyenda

0.720 Aleacion 

01. Leyenda (5:02)
02. Tenochtitlán (5:34)
03. Mamímeros Acuáticos (4:26)
04. Árbol De La Noche (6:14)
05. Marcha Sideral (5:01)
06. Capricho Ponceano (4:01)

Carlos Torres: Violín, ocarinas de barro, flautas prehispánicas, sintetizador y coro.
Abraham Vinas: Flauta transversa, 5ta huapanguera, guitarra chamula, citar y coro.
Arturo Lezama: Guitarra, vihuela, 5ta huapanguera, citar y coro.
Jorge Lona: Tambores tarahumaras, sonajas, huesos de fraile, timbal de aire, batería electrónica y sintetizador

- Ramon Sanchez: Sax
- Severo Vinas: Bass

All instrumental progressive rock from Mexico. There are more pre-Columbian influences than on their first album and some of this reminds me of Jorge Reyes.

0.720 Aleacion - 1986 - Unidos Mexicanos

0.720 Aleacion 
Unidos Mexicanos

01. Caifan (1:19)
02. Tarahumara (5:01)
03. Antes Que Amanezca (4:25)
04. Danzante (4:39)
05. Templo Mayo (3:49)
06. Campana Del Silencio (3:52)
07. El Corredor (4:15)
08. Para Estos Tiempos Tan Ciertos (4:25)

Bonus tracks from video shoot "Memorias del Olivido"

09. Y Retiemble En SU Centro (1:00)
10. Todos Otra Vez (0:42)
11. Y Ora Pa' Donde (0:53)
12. Pese A Todo (1:02)
13. Huapango De La Reconstruccion (1:54)
14. Hijos Del Averno (0:33)
15. San Juan De Letran (1:00)
16. Eolo Aqui (0:54)
17. Las Casiitas (0:22)

- Eduardo Zamarripa / guitars
- Carlos Castro / drums
- Job Hernandez / bass, guitars
- Abraham Viñas / flute
- Carlos Torres / violin

The 1985 Mexico City earthquake was one of the most devastating earthquakes in the history of the Americas. On Thursday, September 19, 1985, at 7:19 AM local time, Mexico City was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 on the Richter scale. As a result of the earthquake, according to official government statistics, at least 9,000 people were killed, 30,000 injured, and 100,000 left homeless. 412 buildings were destroyed and over 3,000 seriously damaged. (from Wikipedia)
Numbers... large numbers .. but numbers all the same. To those of us who sit in our posh homes, with your parents or spouses waiting on you hand and foot.. those are exactly what they are ...just numbers. Imagine... if you can... the erasing in the span of minutes.. 9000 of your friends, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors. The rich and famous, the poor and faceless, the very young, and the very old all taken without any regard to money, status, or age. Relief and assistance poured in from all over Mexico and the world. Most will remember how our nation pulled together after September 11th and gave.. money, blood, our time when tragedy struck here. Imagine that response on a grander scale, in a much less fractured society as ours. While many gave such things as time, shelter, blood to relief efforts the musicians of Mexico also stepped up. To lift spirits, and to honor those who didn't make it.

In 1986 five musicians banded together to offer music to help honor and to help heal. They called themselves 0.720 Aleacion . They released a single album in 1986. The album is an all instrumental album of 8 original tracks plus an additional 9 more bonus tracks. The music itself, is a wonderful blend of mood inducing music and a folksy style with wonderful acoustic guitars, flutes and violins. The music of course varies between upbeat and sorrowful. Very pleasant to the ears.. but as with prog.. not a sleep inducer. While not loud and abrasive the music is performed at very high standards.

Some highlights for me that bring home a bit of the flavor of the album. The song which led me to the album, Danzante was a sample that I found by accident (like an idiot downloaded the song thinking it was the sample from another group I was researching during one of Ivan's Symphonic death marches hahahha) Later I discovered the mistake and ordered the whole album.. based on this song. The song starts with a sawing violin riff.. that slowly fades into some vocal chanting with the bass chiming along underneath.. suddenly the pace explodes into a frenetic acoustic guitar solo, then followed by a fiery violin solo. The pace slows again with some tasteful guitar playing over top the violin ..then the violin takes another featured spot. The track hooked me. The other song that had really grabbed me is Antes Que Amanezca. A song that sort of hits a sorrowful note.. I love the piano over the repeated acoustic guitar figure in the beginning. Beautiful violin playing on this. Over the course of maybe even a 100 listens since I got this album.. my favorite of the album.

The album is a wonderful album for those who want something with a little less fire but some real feeling to it. To think of the album in the context of it's creation, not just as a prog music album but a statement of loss and recovery, adds greatly to appreciation of the album. The triumph of the human spirit over the worst that can be thrown at us. Music is art. .and art expresses all kinds of feelings.. love, hate , and in the case of Aleacion 0.720 loss and recovery. Take a listen.. I bet you'll hear it in the music as well. It adds greatly to appreciation of the album.