Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hideto Kanai Group - 1971 - Q

Hideto Kanai Group 

01. April Song For Kanai, Zui-Zui-Zui-Du-Tubadaba 13:46
02. Q 10:00
03. Kaleidoscope 5:54
04. Meditation 12:10

Hideto Kanai: bass
Kosuke Mine: alto sax
Allan Praskin: alto sax
Tadayuki Harada: baritone sax
Masamichi Suzuki: trumpet
Hiroshi Koizumi: flute
Choyo Kanda: xylophone
Masayuki Takayanagi: guitar
Mototeru Hino: drums
Hiroshi Yamazaki: drums

Recorded at Aoi Studio, Tokyo on May 9 & 17, 1971.

Japanese jazz veteran bassist Hideto Kanai started playing jazz in US Army bases after WWII. Later during 60s he switched from mainstream to free and together with other celebrity guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi founded the Jazz Academy in 1960. Surprisingly during his half of a century-long career on scene Hideto recorded only four(!) albums as leader, all on legendary Three Blind Mice label.

"Q" is his debut release, and the album which made him famous around the world. Actually, four quite free compositions aren't all that different from that what Japanese advanced jazz of the time has been offering. Just time was great for innovative artists and almost every album, released by best country's musicians during early 70s is at least good, often really great.

Ten-pieces Hideo Kanai Group, formed for the recording, contained some leading artists of the time(incl.Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar,Mototeru Hino on drums and Kosuke Mine on alto sax among others). Album's opener and closer(two longest album's compositions)are pre-composed by two contemporary Japanese classical composers Shuko Mizuno and Hiroshi Nanatsuya specially for this release. Both sounds still quite free though, even if one can hear some classical structure and elements here.Two other short songs are just free improvs. 

Kanai-led combo doesn't sound as orchestra - all music is build on Eric Dolphy's tradition of hard-bop backup with different artists free soloing over it,changing one another. Revolutionary for the time of release, this music dated well and today sounds as free jazz classics.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Splash - 1972 - Ut På Vischan

Ut På Vischan

01. Jag minns min gröna dal (5:19)
02. Jag drömmer om en annan värld (6:15)
03. Stormen (4:34)
04. Ut på Vischan (3:58)
05. Frihet (3:00)
06. Spelmannen och forskaren (6:51)
07. Vår dröm (3:47)
08. Smutsig jord (4:58)

Christer Holm Saxofon, klarinett, bassoon
Christer Jansson Gitarr, fiol, sång
Gösta Rundqvist Orgel, piano
Håkan Lewin Saxofon, flöjt
Jan Erik Westin Trummor
Kaj Söderström Bas, sång
Leif Halldén Trumpet, horn
Lennart Löfgren Trombon, horn

The first disk wonderful Swedish jazz-rock group. Determined Nordic sentiment well-designed music is divided into 8 rather short stories. Skeleton keys are confident Gösta Runkvista against which depict landscapes as many as four wind instrument player, often simply playing in unison. A kind of barrage to a masterpiece: self-titled album, which the group will shoot in 2 years. Very fun and challenging group. Think will attract the attention of fans of the genre, definitely.

Progressive/Jazz-Rock act coming from the city of Söderhamn in Central Sweden.Splash were formed in 1969 as an eight-piece group - some of the members played in the Pop band Why [SWE] in the 60's - however suffering from some line-up changes during their early years.In 1972 the band released the debut ''Ut På Vischen'' on Polydor.By the time they had two sax players Christer Holm and Håkan Lewin and two trumpet/horn players, Leif Halldén and Lennart Löfgren.The line-up included also drummer Jan Erik Westin, bassist/singer Kaj Söderström, guitarist/singer Christer Jansson and keyboardist Gösta Rundqvist.

Splash were greatly influenced by bands lile CHICAGO and BLOOD,SWEAT AND TEARS,so their sound was much driven by the band's horn section, including refined sax attacks, melodic horns and bluesy trumpet parts, especially in the instrumental parts.The keyboard work of Rundqvist still played a major role though, filling the tracks with organ preludes and calm jazzy piano passages.Unlike many Jazz/Blues-based Progressive bands, Splash focused on producing some lovely and melodic tunes,moving far from the Jazz improvised structures, creating thus memorable and delicate song-based material.Vocals are all in Swedish with an excellent color and become real highligh throughout the listening.The style overall is quite rich, polished and elegant.

Good early-70's Jazz/Blues-Rock with nice balance and melodic arrangements, far from being too complicated.A bit dated for today's standards but definitely well-played and recommended.

Friday, September 22, 2017

La Banda - 1980 - La Banda

La Banda 
La Banda

01. Rock De La Calle
02. Muy Lejos Te Vas
03. Candombe Llamada
04. La Música Es Mi Amor (Music Is My Love)
05. Malísimo
06. Mamá Reloj
07. Montevideo
08. Es Una Constelación

Ruben Rada: Vox, percussion
Bernardo Baraj: Sax
Benny Izaguirre: Trumpet
Jorge Navarro: Keyboards
Ricardo Sanz: Bass
Luis Ceravolo: Drums

Daniel Homer: Guitar
David Lebon: Guitar

Ruben Rada is a famous Uruguayan artist who has successfully completed over 30 albums, many of which have come to be considered as classics. This amazing musical genius has not only created beautiful songs but is also a composer, percussionist, and creator of a brand new genre of music called “Candombe.” This unique style was created through his integration of different genres and instruments such as, Rock and Mexican music. He has also appeared on television and in films. His unfortunate inability to form or find a stable band has followed him in his entire career. Over the years he has tried to find stability with the Fattoruso Brothers, El Kinto, Totem, Otros Shakers, La Banda, and La Rada. Despite being very successful, both when performing solo songs and when performing with his band mates, he could never find members to stick with over the years. In spite of all this, he has been able to find global fame performing from the United States to his home country Uruguay
Ruben Rada was born on July 17, 1943 in the Palermo district of Montevideo, Uruguay. Growing up he had a special love for music with some of his favorite singers being Ray Charles and the Beatles.
His first job required him to do song covers and imitations of famous artists on a radio show. Though he did not gain any quick fame, he was exposed to and quickly learned music ranging from Mexican songs to tangos.
In 1956, he got his first big break while riding the public bus. He met some jazz musicians who turned out to be the Fattoruso brothers. They were impressed by the young boy’s love for music and invited him to join their band, the Hot Blowers. He continued to play with them until he was 20 years old.
In 1964, he teamed up with Eduardo Mateo to form the band ‘El Kinto Conjunto’. The band’s unique sounds came from their innovative use of Latin American elements fused with Rock and other genres. They were also the first band in his country to create the beat genre in Spanish.
He decided to briefly relocate to Argentina where he was able to record his first solo album and hit single ‘Las Manzanas’. The single was a major success and due to his popularity he was invited to participate in the Rio de Janeiro’s Festival of Popular Music in 1965.
In 1966, he joined the band ‘Totem’. Together, they successfully recorded two albums and became one of Uruguay’s most popular bands in their unique genre.
In 1977, his former band mates, the Fattoruso Brothers, invited him to come to the United States to assist in the recording of their second album, ‘Magic Time’. Together with his new band, OPA, he created one of the best musical works of his time.
For the next few years he tried unsuccessfully to create a lasting band. He recorded albums with the bands: La Banda, Otros Shakers, and La Rada. From 1980 to 1991, he produced an average of one album each year.
Ruben Rada literally created the Spanish beat genre later named the “Candombe Beat”. The style has its root in the unique combination of the piano, chico, and repique. The beat became widely popular and has been utilized by countless musicians.
Paul McCartney is rumored to be a huge fan of Ruben Rada.

La Banda Del Paraiso - 1972 - La Banda Del Paraiso

La Banda Del Paraiso 
La Banda Del Paraiso 

01. Rock De Matías
02. No Quiero Perder Mi Fe
03. Mouskill Boudja
04. El Fondo Del Ojo
05. Chicas Que Patinan
06. El Tapiz Mágico
07. Sos Vos Mismo
08. No Lo Veo

Daniel Manzini: Guitar, Harmonica
Raul Fernandez: Guitar, Harp, Vocals
Ruben de Leon: Percussion, Vocals
Nestor Paul: Bass
Juan "Black" Amaya: Drums
Eduardo Kohan: Sax

Ciro Fogliatta: Piano
Buddy Mc Cluskey: Piano
Mariano Tito: Organ
Claudio Gabis: Sitar on "El fondo del ojo"

Boogie blues with hamonica, brass & honky tonk piano etc. It's very American-sounding with proficient musicianaship, not hugely exciting music though not terrible if you like that kind of thing. No Lo Veo is the strongest track here and the nearest to hard rock, with cool wah wah riffing. El Fondo Del Ojo is probably the least conventional track and most psychedelic, with some awkward sitar in there... Love It!

Banda Black Rio - 1980 - Saci Perere

Banda Black Rio 
Saci Perere

01. Saci Pererê 3:45
02. Miss Cheryl 3:49
03. Melissa 3:30
04. De Onde Vem 3:30
05. Subindo O Morro 3:12
06. Amor Natural 4:04
07. Profissionalismo É Isso Aí 3:40
08. Broto Sexy 3:51
09. Tem Que Ser Agora 3:26
10. Zumbi 2:32

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Cláudio Stevenson
Drums – Paulinho
Electric Bass – Decio
Keyboards, Vocals – Jorjão
Percussion – Bebeto
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Oberdan Magalhães
Trombone – Carlos Darcy
Trumpet – Barrosinho
Vocals – Abobora, Gerson

One of the best albums ever from Brazilian soul legends Banda Black Rio – a tight batch of jazzy funk that's their last testament of greatness! The group are in fine form here – grooving like a Brazilian version of Earth Wind & Fire as they mix together bubbling basslines, smooth keyboards, and funky horn riffs – plus a few regional twists too, like work on cuica and Brazilian percussion! The record's a bit smoother than some of their 70s work, but that gives it a sophisticated jazz funk sound that makes things a bit more soulful than usual – and which has the same appeal as some of the best late 70s work by Azymuth, particularly their classic album for Warner Brothers!
This is a fabulous soul funk rare gem...... Think Earth Wind and Fire with a Latin twist. Super sonics as well. 

Banda Black Rio - 1978 - Gafieira Universal

Banda Black Rio 
Gafieira Universal

01. Chega Mais (Imaginei Você Dançando) 2:50
02. Vidigal 3:37
03. Gafieira Universal 3:06
04. Tico Tico No Fubá 3:30
05. Ibeijada 3:24
06. Rio De Fevereiro 3:23
07. Dança Do Dia 3:02
08. Samboreando 3:10
09. Cravo E Canela 2:20
10. Expresso Madureira 4:10

Bass, Cuica – Valdecir Nei
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Luiz Carlos Batera
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Clavinet, Organ [Hammond], Synthesizer [Mini-Moog, Oberheim], Vocals – Jorjao
Guitar – Claudio Stevenson
Pandeiro, Cuica – Carlinhos "Pandeiro De Ouro" (tracks: A3, A4)
Percussion – Bebeto
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Oberdan Magalhaes
Trombone – Lucio
Trumpet – Barrosinho
Xylophone – Cristina Berio (tracks: A3)

This is an obscure Brazilian funk band who have been re-released on the back of the resurgence of all things 70's and funky. They were no doubt a very famous band in Brazil at their peak in the late 70's but as far as the rest of the world goes, virtually unknown. So it's nice to get the chance to hear them, because they developed a nice latin spin on the American funk played by the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Ohio Players. There are some great instrumental tracks on this which highlight the percussion and all round jamming nature of the band, and only a few tracks with vocals (in spanish). The vocal tracks are fine, but not knowing the lingo it kind of takes away from them a bit. However definitely worth getting for the music. If you want to try something with a slightly different flavour in your dance music get this.

Banda Black Rio - 1977 - Maria Fumaca

Banda Black Rio 
Maria Fumaca

01. Maria Fumaca 2:22
02. Na Baixa Do Sapateiro 3:02
03. Mr. Funky Samba 3:36
04. Caminho Da Roça 2:57
05. Metalúrgica 2:30
06. Baião 3:26
07. Casa Forte 2:22
08. Leblon Via Vaz Lôbo 3:02
09. Urubu Malandro 2:28
10. Junia 3:39

Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Oberdan P. Magalhães
Bass – Jamil Joanes
Drums, Percussion – Luiz Carlos Santos
Guitar – Claudio Stevenson
Keyboards – Cristóvão Bastos
Percussion – Geraldo Sabino, Luna, Nenê, Wilson Canegal
Trombone – Lucio J. Da Silva
Trumpet – J. Carlos Barroso

Banda Black Rio’s ‘Maria Fumaca’ is one of the strongest Brazilian samba-disco-funk-soul-fusion albums of all time. As regularly played by Theo Parrish, Gilles Peterson and co.

Banda Black Rio were formed in 1976 by the late Oberdan Magalhães in Rio de Janeiro. They revolutionised ‘black instrumental music’ at the time with their Brazilian re-interpretation of soul, jazz, funk and disco grooves, inspired by the likes of Tim Maia and reminiscent of Kool & The Gang and Earth Wind & Fire during their most on-point period of the 1970’s. ‘Maria Fumaca’ is the groups first album, originally released by Atlantic in 1977; a record that bought the group worldwide fame.

‘Maria Fumaca’ features in a list of the 100 greatest Brazilian albums of all time published by Rolling Stone Brazil, coming in at number 38.

Characterized by a sound in which rhythm & blues served as the vehicle for danceable variations incorporating the gafieira style, samba, and jazz, the band had in its variable formation, the trumpeter José Carlos Barroso, drummer Luís Carlos dos Santos, keyboardist Jorge Valdir Barreto, guitarist Cláudio Stevenson Jorge, and bassist Valdecir Ney Machado, among others. Their first hit was the samba-funk “Maria Fumaça,” released in the eponymous LP (WEA, 1977). The song was the theme of the soap opera Loco-Motivas (TV Globo). Recording originals and versions for songs like “Na Baixa do Sapateiro” (Ary Barroso) and “Casa Forte” (Edu Lobo), they were compared in the specialized press to other soul-funk bands like Kool and the Gang and Earth, Wind and Fire, having success in England’s dance houses in the late ‘90s. The band recorded two more LPs — Gafieira universal (RCA,1978) and Saci Pererê (RCA 1980) — until 1980, when they dissolved. In 1999, the Banda Black Rio resumed activities with a new formation led by Oberdan’s son William Magalhães.

Band Aide - 1978 - Uchuu Junkan

Band Aide 
Uchuu Junkan

01. Cycric Universe Out-put 4:01
02. I Typed Fixed Star 2:06
03. Star Wars 2:38
04. II Typed Fixed Star 2:28
05. Mopp 2:14
06. Tavern 2:18
07. 6th. August.B.C.5001 1:50
08. Over Lap 2:56
09. Flying Object 2:27
10. Discovery 2:03
11. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind 2:20
12. Angel-Dusts 2:17
13. Message 1:27
14. More 1:29
15. Contact 4:08
16. Cycric Universe 4:46

Nobuhiko Shinohara - keyboard, chorus, gloken, recorder
Hideki Ishima - electric guitar, sitar, keyboard, chorus
Muneo Sagara - drums
Ryoichi Arimoto - electric bass

Shibaoka - percussion
T.Muraoka - t-sax, shinobue
Takesan - strings

After Japanese Psych Rock legends Flower Travellin' Band disbanded in mid-70's, their guitarist Hideki Ishima went on to form this offshoot band with keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara, drummer Muneo Sagara, bassist/percussionist and Ryoichi Arimoto.For their sole album ''Uchuu Junkan'', released in 1978 on Columbia, Shinobue Takesan performs on strings and Takeru Muraoka, formerly a collaborator of Hiro Yanagida, provides the sax parts.

An album split in 16 short tracks, scanning various musical styles, but instead of inconsistency you will get a mass of enjoyable, well-composed and fairly progressive tunes.With Ishima coming out FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND, it is quite reasonable that the album contains lots of spacey soundscapes, although this time they are delivered in a more melodic manner with careful synthesizer work and happy guitar work around, based on mid-tempo, optimistic rhythmic lines.The presence of Muraoka adds some lovely jazzy flavors in another package of pieces, while a few tracks even swirl around Folk and light, symphonic territories, based on the pastoral flute passages, the acoustic sounds of what appears to be a traditional Japanese string instrument and the deep sense of melody around.Despite being in 1978, the discreet organ and piano presence recalls the earlier years of the decade, while there are also some Pre-New Wave echoes in the album in a pair of tapping and very groovy cuts with a touch of funky beats within the process.Total mess you would think, but I tell you the joyful atmosphere is the main characteristic of the whole album and the music is played with good energy and inspiration.

It is quite impressive the fact that keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara eventually appeared in Flower Travellin' Band reformation in mid-00's, almost three decades after Band Aide's only work.

Very rare, propably Japanese-released only LP.Varied, optimistic, multi-influenced Art Rock of good to great quality.Warmly recommended.

Banana - 1979 - Aun Es Tiempo De Soñar

Aun Es Tiempo De Soñar 

01. El Escultor Y La Estatua (9:15)
02. Un Hombre En La Hoguera (6:10)
- a. Preparacion
- b. Sacrificio
- c. Humo Y Cenizas
03. Aun Es Tiempo De Soñar (5:50)
04. Vispera (9:52)
05. Preguntas Al Cielo (10:13)
06. Quien Se Acordara (2:10)

- Alberto Bengolea / guitars (5)
- Miguel Cerviño / bass (4-6)
- Juan Gelly / guitars
- Pablo Gullot / guitars (4)
- Toro Martinez / drums (5)
- Fori Mattaldi / bass (1-3)
- José Luis Meniño / drums (1-3)
- Arturo Parona / drums (4,6)
- Cesar Pueyrreden / vocals, keyboards
- Jose Torres Zavaleta / saxophone

Formed by Cesar Banana Pueyrredon (b. in Buenos Aires, 1952), BANANA play a somewhat typical symphonic prog with a strong emphasis on guitar and vocals. The youngest of eight children, Cesar's rather timid disposition prompted him to take refuge in piano playing. He took lessons, attended the Catholic University (Argentina) and got together with brothers and friends for a few jams. Eventually, they decided to take on the name BANANA and in 1979, they released an album which boasted honourable sales in South America (Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama).

Their album, entitled "Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar", is at times very good, at times quite average prog. The music shows a variety of influences ranging from YES to NEKTAR, FOCUS, KAIPA, GENESIS and CAMEL. Though their sound is very melodic and the guitar most prominent, the rhythm section is pretty basic and the keyboards (mostly Fender Rhodes) are usually relegated to the background. As for the vocals, they are fairly abundant but sound rather AORish, or crooner style, if you like. What this album lacks is perhaps a little Latin flair - something similar to what their fellow countrymen ESPIRITU do. This definitely would give their material a bit more punch and originality.

Don't get braked by the band title or unexpressive album cover, relax and taste this BANANA; the music in "Aun es tiempo..." is simply beautiful, delicate, dreamy, uplifting, peaceful and emotional 1st class symphonic prog.
Mainly influences are YES, GENESIS or even some melodic FOCUS, but what keeps more rejoicing is the own band melodic Argentina expression. Yeah, the music is more in accessible side, probably not requiring repeated listens to grow on like more adventure Argentina bands such as ALAS, MIA, BU BU, even so I highly recommend "Aun es tiempo..." as the proposal is perfectly reached, I mean the mood is in heart beauty art realm; to get pretty convincing is this field, is also a gift.

"Aun es tiempo de sonar" is a jewel; you have masterly placed organ, moog, ARP, electric piano by the band leader Cesar Pueyrredon (compositions comes from him) and his voice and chorus band are stellar (yeah sometimes his vocal interpretation talent can fit to AOR or popish side). Guitars comes in precise measure. Compositions are coherent and tight.

This BANANA can be compared with PABLO EL ENTERRADOR, but has the advantage of having perfect 70's studio sound production while the last suffers with sonic problems. The authentic south American melodic emotion can also be compared with the Venezuela masterpiece ESTRUCTURA "Mas alla?", but "Aun es tiempo?" is overall a more coherent album.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bambibanda E Melodie –-1974 - Bambibanda E Melodie

Bambibanda E Melodie 
Bambibanda E Melodie 

01. Pian Della Tortilla – 15:14
02. Libera E Felice – 6:48
03. Calabuig! – 6:34
04. Piccolo Gitano – 4:13
05. Mare Delle Terre Medie – 7:17
06. Canto Del Sole – 2:08

- Bambi Fossati / guitar, vocals
- Maurizio Cassinelli / drums
- Ramasandiran Somusundaram / percussion
- Roberto Ricci / bass

In 1974 a new incarnation of GARYBALDI was formed by Bambi Fossati along with old cohort Maurizio Cassinelli, bassist Roberto Ricci and indian percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram as BAMBIBANDA & MELODIE. Their only album has the usual leading role for Bambi's guitar, but the use of percussion gives a more latin-inspired feel that sometimes reminds Santana.

Percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram, previously active as session musician, also released an album and no less than three singles (in a more commercial vein) between 1974 and 1976 on the Magma label.

Bambi Fossati kept playing under the name of BAMBIBANDA for some years before reforming the old group in late 80's with a new line up including Marco Mazza (guitar) and Carlo Milan (bass) along with Maurizio Cassinelli, and they released an album, more song-oriented, in 1990, as Bambi Fossati & GARYBALDI.

It´s incredible how broad this scene is, and how it just keeps unfolding itself before you. When you think you´ve got it pinned down, it spits out another gem that makes you think twice about the true nature of the music. It´s symphonic, no wait a minute it´s eclectic - or maybe it´s more heavy based? The fact of the matter is, that it´s a very shifting and varying scene that boasts nearly every category featured here at PA. This album is no exception, as it sports a very uncharacteristic approach to the scene, but still retains its bond to RPI through melody, heart and soul.

Bambibanda E Melodie is a wonderful new experience to me, and one I hadn´t quite prepared myself for. Recently I´ve been listening a lot to Krautrock and some of the more out there electronic artists, and here the other day whilst teasing my cat with a piece of bacon, I found this record hiding underneath a commode collecting dust. It had been quite a while since my last listening, and I immediately popped it on the stereo. A far cry from the freak out records that´s been playing at my apartment the last couple of months - no doubt, but a much needed change. I had almost forgotten the sheer pleasure of being lured into ecstasy by butter instead of sandpaper and gravel.

In describing the music within, I find it almost impossible not to make references to the smooth and Hispanic rhythm based fusion of Santana. But the comparisons stop there, as Bambibanda E Melodie sounds much more melody driven and laid back. It´s music you put on, when you´re out on a moonlight drive, or going for a swim in a calm and quiet lake, where the waters nestle around you like a longtime fluid friend. From the beautiful guitar work that very melodiously leads these pieces in between bluesy wails and smooth jiving riffing, - to the tight percussion section that never tries to break the image of the aforementioned midnight swim, - this album makes you smile with conviction and relaxes you like an early morning blowjob in the shower.

Although this album only sports one guitarist, it sure sounds as a twin-duo cooking up solos that intertwine themselves as well as juxtaposing each other - and always at the right moments. Like Santana, the melodies seem to come from out of nowhere, but they are there, and rely mostly on a single guitar string at a time. Again there´s an overwhelming smooth texture attached to it, that conveys the image of a musician who´s taking his time - waltzing with the morning light. A thing he obviously enjoys together with the bass player here, who is the booming proof that the bass can be a sensuous instrument.

I guess the only thing about La Bambibanda E Melodie´s sole record that seems out of place, is the sparsely used vocals. Normally I turn to RPI for a dose of what might be the most beautiful language outside Portugal - sung with vigor and warmth that´ll break through the hardest of nutcases, but not on this release. They are a bit flat, and sound like they belong to an indecisive hangover. On the other hand, the vocals here take up about 1% of the experience, and you nearly forget about them as the music plays it´s buttery tribute.

If you´re into the fusion part of Santana´s output and just can´t keep still whenever the congas starts their hypnotic and persuasive ode to the first simian invention - the beat - you ´ll want to check out this wonderful album. Warm and smooth like a woman´s breast bathed in orange sunlight.

After the breakup of Garybaldi, Bambi Fossati decided to form a group together with musicians from Genoa, with whom he had jammed in 1974. The group was composed of, besides Fossati, another ex-Garybaldi member Maurizio Cassinelli, bass player Roberto Ricci and Indian percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram (also a featured session man with French prog band Magma on several of their singles). At the end of 1974, this quartet recorded an album called “Bambibanda E Melodie” for Fonit Cetra.

The principal instrument here is obviously the guitar, but the great “vibes” happening between the two percussionists are also making a distinction. This album is distinguished by a very rhythmic rock orientation; the lyrics are reduced to a minimum, while the music flows fast and direct due to the overall spontaneity of the concept. Not typical Italian symphonic rock of the era, mainly jazz/fusion oriented.

Bambibanda continued their live activity for several years, however, without producing any more recordings.

Baltik - 1973 - Baltik


01. Leslie Briggs
02. Wildness Meant My Freedom
03. Keep On The Run 5:42
04. One More Reason 3:42
05. City Girl 6:13
06. Ocean Blue 2:45
07. Round And Round 6:02
08. Every Raindrop Means A Tear 5:18
09. No Registration, Please 5:05
10. We Can't Change The World Alone 2:57
11. Long, Long Weekend 4:29

Janne Schaffer   -  guitar
Björn J:son Lindh   -   piano, flute, saxophone
Göran Lagerberg   -   bass
Ola Brunkert   -   drums
Bengt Dahlén   -   guitar
John Gustafsson   -   lead vocals  (3A, 5A, 1B), bass  (3A)

Anders Henriksson   -   organ  (2A), synthesizer - moog  (4A, 1B, 2B)
Jan Bandel   -   tambourine  (3B), vibraphone  (2A, 5A, 2B, 3B)
Mike Watson   -   bass  (4A, 2B, 3B)
Anders Nordh   -   guitar  (2B), acoustic guitar  (4A)
Tomas Ledin   -   acoustic guitar  (5A, 6A, 4B), lead vocals  (5A, 4B), backing vocals  (4B, 5B)
Adrian Moar   -   acoustic guitar  (5A)
Beverly Glenn   -   lead vocals  (2A, 2B), backing vocals  (2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 1B, 4B, 5B)
Claes Jansson   -   lead vocals  (5B), backing vocals  (2A, 5B)
David Garriock   -   lead vocals  (4A), backing vocals  (2A, 4A, 5A, 1B)
Karin Stigmark   -   lead vocals  (6A, 4B), backing vocals  (2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 1B, 4B, 5B), chimes-wood (6A)
Paul Sndlin   -   backing vocals  (4B)
Claes Dieden   -   backing vocals  (4B)
Charlotte Hedlund   -   backing vocals  (3A)

This somewhat gloomy, progressive album, comprising cream of the crop of the era's Nordic session scene, plus one bass virtuoso from England, John Gustafson (Roxy Music, Quatermass, Ian Gillan Band, Hard Stuff) is now one of the ultimate collectors items for most Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster and Roxy Music afficionados. It starts off quite heavy, then the pace is slowed down with a gospel-flavoured ballad a-la early Elton and maybe Joan Armatrading (who lead singer Beverly Glenn certainly sounds like), which sets the mood for the rest of side A. Side B is filled with quirky, interesting but somewhat murky prog rock, which takes a little bit of getting used to - especially if it doesn't grab you from the first listen; give it another chance.

Bakerloo - 1969 - Bakerloo


01. Big Bear Ffolly (3:55)
02. Bring It On Home (4:16)
03. Drivin’ Bachwards (2:06)
04. Last Blues (7:04)
05. Gang Bang (6:15)
06. This Worried Feeling (7:03)
07. Son Of Moonshine (14:52)

- Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson / guitars, piano, harpsichord, harmonica, vocals
- Terry Poole / bass guitar
- Keith Baker / drums

Bakerloo originally formed around 1968 under the moniker “Bakerloo Blues Line” in the Birmingham area. The line-up then was Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson on guitar and vocals, Terry Poole on bass and John Hinch on drums. Initially they stuck to a largely blues based set, yet like so many of the innovative acts of the era grew tired of the formula and began to experiment. They attracted Black Sabbath’s future manager Jim Simpson, and attracted a considerable following- enough to win them a slot on John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show “Top Gear”. However, there was a touch of spinal tap syndrome with drummers as Hinch was replaced with a multitude of players until they finally settled on Keith Baker. They also decided to drop the “Blues Line” and became the shortened Bakerloo, and were put on a package tour called “Big Bear Ffolly” (which inspired Bakerloo’s song of the same name) with other local bands Tea and Symphony, Locomotive (another highly innovative proto prog combo) and Earth, who would of course later evolve into the massively successful Black Sabbath.

They recorded their album prior to getting a record deal under the aegis of legendary, recently deceased producer Gus Dudgeon yet eventually, Simpson secured a deal with the new progressive/underground imprint Harvest Records, which housed the likes of Pink Floyd, Edgar Broughton Band and aforementioned fellow Brummies, Tea and Symphony.

Though the album received very enthusiastic reviews and the band had a sizeable cult following, it sold little. This was a shame, because it remains a genuinely progressive album with blues, jazz, classical and heavy rock meeting head-on, yet seamlessly.

However, internal ructions ripped the band apart anyway and despite some line-up reshuffles, with noted rock drummer Cozy Powell joining the band. That line-up lasted a small amount of time before Jon Hiseman, who had been impressed with Clempson’s guitar prowess, invited him to join the legendary jazz rock combo Colosseum. Keith Baker joined Uriah Heep for their classic “Salisbury” album and Terry Poole turned up on blues/jazz rock innovator Graham Bond’s albums of the era. Clempson, after Colosseum split, went on to work with heavy rockers Humble Pie who were a massive success, and Rough Diamond with ex-Uriah Heep singer David Byron, who were not. Clempson continued to work with a variety of artists. However, the other members seemingly fell off the radar after the 1970s.

Still, Bakerloo’s one and only album is a definite underrated classic and has a lot to offer fans of the genre.

Herbert F. Bairy - 1979 - Traumspiel

Herbert F. Bairy

01. Traumspiel (13:48)
02. Runnin' (7:39)
03. Lady Ollala (14:40)
04. Redpeter's Dream (3:25)

Composed By, Percussion, Drums, Piano, Zither, Wind [Windharp], Harmonium, Voice, Noises – Herbert F. Bairy

Cello – Martin Klenk (tracks: A1)
Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Flute [African Flute] – Bernd Konrad
Dilruba, Tambura – Georg Heinen (tracks: A1)
Double Bass, Bass – Thomas Stabenow (tracks: A1 to B1)
Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar – Michael Weilers (tracks: B1)
Engineer [Engineers] – Christof Wertz, Johannes Wohlleben
Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Bass – Rob Terstall (tracks: A1, B1)
Horn [Pocket-horn] – Frederic Rabold (tracks: A2)
Organ [Church Organ] – Ulli Süsse (tracks: A1)
Percussion, Drums, Congas – Manfred Kniel (tracks: A1, A2)
Producer [Produced By] – Herbert F. Bairy, Wolfgang Kadolph
Synthesizer, Bass, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Voice – Jeff Beer (tracks: B1, B2)
Synthesizer, Sounds – Jürgen Bräuninger (tracks: A1 to B1)
Tabla – Dizzy Pandtli (tracks: A2)
Trumpet – Rudolph Reindl (tracks: A2)
Voice – Dietburg Spohr (tracks: A1 to B1), Jeanette Mc Leod (tracks: B1), Michael Körber (tracks: A1 to B1)

Recorded 1979 at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik Stuttgart.

Herbert F. Bairy is the pseudonym of Ferdinand Försch, German musician and sound sculptor born 1951 in Bad Brückenau. In 1980 Ferdinand released one album under the Herbert F. Bairy name, Traumspiel. Recorded in 1979, Traumspiel is a wild album, composed of loud and avant-garde jazz and fusion, Indian and raga music influences, and trippy lysergic folk and electronics. A true forgotten cult album.

I have never come across an album that so effectively conveys it's title like Traumspiel does, or Dream-game to you English speaking folks out there. There is a deliberate dream-like veil pulled over every peep and musical gesture uttered herein - be that the rather flickering way the record goes from one piece of music to another, or the manner in which the different instruments are being played. It's the very essence: dreams, no matter how bonkers and bizarrely astral they may appear. It's the red thread running through this album like an enigmatic sleepwalker telling mystical stories of old. I throw this record on the stereo and thousands of lysergic images zap through my head in an up-lit highway of movie scenes from Kubrick, Lynch, Aldomóvar, Gilliam and, perhaps most noticeable, Alejandro Jodorowsky - with the esoteric expression found on Traumspiel forever reminding this bewildered listener of the breathtaking climax of 'Holy Mountain', where the thief tumbles down the rabbit hole of dreams, Carl Jung and his own subconsciousness.

The music can loosely be described as a strange meeting between the Atom Heart Mother suite, Shakti and an album I never thought I would be drawing a parallel to, Clivage's Mixtus Orbis. A record notorious for not sounding remotely like anything else.

Starting off with the title track, Traumspiel lures you into the dream with howling wind effects sounding like they're steaming out of a synthesiser, what sounds like wind-chimes and this eerie female vocalisation which comes incredibly close to mimicking a theremin. The surroundings start quivering and you are served with fizzy electronics and vocals that seem to have been lifted straight out of a Sergio Leone movie. With the additional cello, zither and ominous organ bursts joining in - my mind instantly thinks Ennio Morricone only he's directing the soundtrack to a pirate movie set in India. The feel is far away from being jolly though as the music intensifies and starts biting with some seriously snarling grunts from the cello. At this time I vividly picture a good dozen slaves sitting beneath the deck of the ship, banging away on tin cups and cutlery. Though what may seem crude in description defies belief. This is not only Long John Silver's long lost Indian theme but infinitely more than that - when these beautiful wavering female vocals start to swoop around. This is truly mermaid music, if I've ever encountered such a thing. In dives a clean sounding electric guitar and katjing we're finally treated to rock with drums, funky piano and bass lines and most importantly that guitar soloing away. Abruptly, and quite telling of Traumspiel itself, the music subsides and somehow gets diverted into a haze, where everything feels gelatinous or like a dream set in a treacherous forest. The track ebbs out and you feel like you just ran the marathon. Wheeew what a way to start an album!

Badabing! and the bumbling and frenetic percussion led Runnin' sets off. With equal measures RIO wind instruments and fast paced Billy Cobham-like drumming, the tune agilely moves between gorgeously played space funk sections to more upbeat Latino inspired fusion stints. Again, bearing in mind the overall emphasis of Traumspiel, this actually feels remarkably like running from something frightening in your dreams.

Alright, next up comes Lady Ollala and with her 14 minutes of glacial drones, Eastern rhythmical phrasings a la Krautrockers Between, and a very delicate form of psych music that I dare not describe in words, as they might dissolve in the midst of my typing. This may just be my fave on the album, which probably also is why I have such a hard time describing the music. I always imagine snakes dancing to the wavering and bobbing Lady Ollala, only with a raw and ancient sensuousness underlining everything - ultimately throwing a beautiful Indian woman with fiery red eyes into the midst of the serpents. This is a dream.

Is it really? Oh yes, and you're reminded for the last time with the ending Red Peter's Dream as electronic and ritualistic segments of music ooze in and out of each other - perfectly capturing the illogical movements of our dreams and why you sometimes feel as if you're several places at once and that big black holes are travelling through your body like being pierced by a sea-slug and that the very lines separating your dreams from real life blur and turn misty, trade places - move about in order to tell you something...something that you can never explain to other people, only really fathom when you play music like this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bahamas - 1976 - Le Voyageur Immobile

Le Voyageur Immobile

01. Jimmy 7:11
02. Motel 3:40
03. Norway Samba 5:55
04. Bahamas 3:55
05. Oscar Chesterfield 3:57
06. Bizarre 6:15
07. Il Pleut Des Fleurs Sur Mon Piano 4:25

Recorded at studio Ferber, Paris, France.

Bass, Vocals – Didier Batard
Drums – Roger Rizzitelli "Bunny"
Guitar, Vocals – Patrice Tison
Mixed By – René Ameline
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender], Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals – Dominique Perrier

Bahamas was a short-lived French group from Paris, which released one album for Polydor and that's because the musicians involved were all members of famous singer's Christophe backing group.These were Patrice Tison on guitar, Didier Batard on bass), Dominique Perrier on various keyboards and Roger Rizitelli on drums.Their sole work ''Le voyageur immobile'' was recorded at Studio Ferber in Paris and came out in 1976.

Despite an exotic-sounding name, Bahamas' music was fairly rooted on what was musically going on in the country around the time and considering the facts of the local Rock music scene.They seem to be based on the instrumental qualities of legendary groups like ATOLL or ANGE and combine them with elements of French Pop and Singer/Songwriter stylings.It's not accidental that they were the same guys supporting CHRISTOPHE in his most proggy effort ''Samourai''.Of course this is not a high quality Prog Rock LP, it has a rather confusing sound, which doesn't settle somewhere and goes all over the place, borrowing elements from Fusion, dramatic French Prog and sugar Pop.The instrumental lines are pretty decent, led by the varied keyboard work of Perrier on electric piano, organ, acoustic piano, but mainly built on synthesizers, while when the guitar jumps in the album obtains some sort of Symph Fusion flair, even if not very close to some of ATOLL's monumental passages.Very spacious, flashy and quirky keyboard lines with a good and solid support by bass and drums.The vocal moments come from  a different story.They are offered mainly in a sentimental or melodramatic mood, typical of a French singing romanticism.Anyway, these are too few to dominate the album and ''Le voyageur immobile'' is fairly driven by both laid-back and more tricky instrumental parts with symphonic, jazzy and poppy leanings and an apparent pre-Neo Prog taste due to the consistent use of synthesizers.

By 1977 Bahamas were history, but all members had decent musical careers.Perrier and Rizzitelli found the Electronic duo Space Art, Perrier got involved also in a similar-sounding project in the 90's, called Stoned Age.Didier Batard worked for several years as a session musician, same luck for Patrice Tison, who even made it to the supporting group of famous Canadian singer Celine Dion.

Decent amalgam of French Chanson with synth-dominated Classic Prog and Fusion.Not among the priorities of a prog fan, far from trully compelling, but definitely a work to be included in the list of 70's unknown proggy efforts.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Badger - 1974 - White Lady

White Lady

01. A Dream Of You (4:15)
02. Everybody - Nobody (3:17)
03. Listen To Me (4:56)
04. Don't Pull The Trigger (4:02)
05. Just The Way It Goes (4:45)
06. White Lady (4:47)
07. Be With You (3:37)
08. Lord Who Give Me Life (3:04)
09. Onemore Dream To Hold (4:01)
10. The Hole Thing (6:09)

- Jackie Lomax / vocals, rhythm guitar
- Paul Pilnick / lead guitar
- Tony Kaye / keyboards, Mellotron, Moog
- Kim Gardner / bass
- Roy Dyke / drums

- Bryn Haworth / slide guitar (3)
- Barry Bailey / slide guitar (4-8)
- Jeff Beck / lead guitar (6)
- Allen Toussaint / piano (3,4), organ (9), congas (1-3,10), vocals
- Carl Blouin / baritone saxophone, flute
- Alvin Thomas / tenor saxophone
- Lester Caliste / trumpet
- John Lango / trombone
- Mercedes Davis /backing vocals (1,3,5-8)
- Joan Harmon / backing vocals (1,3,5-8)
- Teresipa Henry / backing vocals (1,3,5-8)
- Bobby Montgomery / backing vocals (2,9)
- Jessie Smith / backing vocals (2,9)

 In late 1993, I bought Jackie Lomax`s first solo album from 1969 called "Is This What You Want?" (which was produced by George Harrison and released by Apple Records). I found it in a supermarket in the records section being sold at a very cheap price with also other albums by other artists from the Apple Records label (Mary Hopkin, Billy Preston, Badfinger, James Taylor, etc.) that were re-issued in 1991 on CD with bonus tracks. In fact the price was so cheap that I bought some of these Apple Records` CDs from these artists. I had the curiosity to listen to Lomax`s album because it was produced by Harrison and also because it has two tracks recorded with an all- star line-up (with three Beatles: Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney; Eric Clapton; Nicky Hopkins) and with one song composed by Harrison. Lomax was a friend from The Beatles and he was also managed briefly as a soloist by Brian Epstein, and when Epstein died and The Beatles founded Apple Records in 1968, Lomax was given then a recording contract with the label. He recorded only one album for Apple Records and several singles, all of which unfortunately for him were not very successful. He later recorded other 4 solo albums for other record labels during the seventies and a final solo album in 2004, without having much success, before his death in 2013. His only solo album for Apple Records is a mixture of Rock songs, Ballads, Pop Rock music from the sixties, with some psychedelic influences, and also with some Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Motown music influences. He was a good singer and composer.
BADGER`s first album ("One Live Badger", released in 1973) was recorded live in December 1972 and was produced by Jon Anderson. That first album is a good Prog Rock album well played and produced. But unfortunately that album was unsuccessful. I don`t know the full details, but for this second album from BADGER called "White Lady" from 1974, only keyboard player Tony Kaye and drummer Roy Dyke remained from their first line-up and their first album. The band also changed record label, and had Jackie Lomax as their new lead singer and rhythm guitarist, plus new bassist Kim Gardner and new lead guitarist Paul Pilnick . This, their second album, was produced by Allen Toussaint, who also plays some congas, piano and organ on some tracks. There is also a horns section added to most songs. The band also changed their original Prog Rock style to a new style which is a mixture of Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Rock Pop music, with even some Funky influences. With Lomax being the composer of all the songs in this album, it is not really unexpected that the songs sound influenced a lot from his work as soloist. It really sounds like BADGER became a vehicle for Lomax as a composer and singer, not really sounding very different from his first solo album (which is the only one album that I have listened from him as soloist), but with only updating his songwriting in sound for the commercial music of the mid-seventies. Jeff Beck plays a guitar solo on the title track, doing a good job. There are also some female backing vocals in some songs. The songs all sound in a similar style. As a whole the album is not bad. But this album is not a Prog Rock album. The musicians are good and they did a very professional job. Tony Kaye`s keyboard playing is good, adding some good organ and mellotron parts, but in some songs his keyboards really sound distant and more in the background. With this album, it seems that the BADGER`s band name was only used to give a commercial connection to a previous band with the same name and with a previous album in the market, but this new line-up really sounds very far from the original Prog Rock style the band had in their first album. There is not a real connection between both albums and line-ups apart from having Kaye and Dyke. Maybe they should have changed the name of the band for this second album. Maybe this album was even more unsuccessful than their first, so they did not record another album. Kaye later formed a new band in the mid- seventies called DETECTIVE which recorded three albums for LED ZEPPELIN`s Swan Song records label, with a more Hard Rock musical style, before they split in the late seventies, also without having much success.

A curious thing: apart from playing with Jackie Lomax in BADGER, Tony Kaye also played with another Apple Records` former band called Badfinger. But it was with a reformed Badfinger, playing with them between 1979 and 1981, and in fact recording with them their last album as a band called "Say No More", which was released in 1981. In 1983, while recording the "90125" album with YES, Kaye left YES for some months due to some problems with producer Trevor Horn and re-joined Badfinger for their last months as a band, returning to YES when he was asked to do it in late 1983. Kaye also played with Alan White in YES, a drummer who also had connections with The Beatles thanks to his work with John Lennon and George Harrison in some of their solo albums.

Badger - 1973 - One Live Badger

One Live Badger

01. Wheel Of Fortune 7:40
02. Fountain 7:12
03. Wind Of Change 7:00
04. River 7:00
05. The Preacher 3:35
06. On The Way Home 7:10

- Brian Parrish / electric guitar, lead vocals (1, 4 - 6)
- Tony Kaye / keyboards, Mellotron
- Dave Foster / bass, lead vocals (2, 3)
- Roy Dyke / drums

Recorded live at the Rainbow Theatre 15th / 16th December, 1972.
Produced by Geoffrey Haslam, Badger and Jon Anderson
Cover art by Roger Dean

That the nucleus of Yes got rid of Peter Banks on guitar to make space for Steve Howe was not really a beautyful gesture , but to get rid of Tony Kaye was even worse ( they will invite him back during the eighties and those mediocre albums - feeling guilty Mr Anderson?) especially for the second most pompous KB player around (behind Keith) , Rick Wakeman . Of course this paid of incredibly well, as Fragile outsold all previous albums together, but the Yes Album is still my Yes fave album and Tony Kaye was really excellent.
So Kaye will first join Banks in a group called Flash (unlike most proghead , I never really enjoyed that openly commercial semi-hard-prog . Commercial ? look at the covers to see how hard they tried ) and after one album Kaye , obviously not pleased with this band , left to form the much better Badger. Most people think Highly of this album and I do too but just barely making the fourth star ( your life will not be affected if you own it or not or even if you never hear this while you are alive , you will not have missed that much) . But I do give this album four star because Kaye really got a bum deal from Yes and to a lesser Extent frm Flash , and here he shows what he can do. Releasing your first album as a live is rather odd choice , but why not ? It was probably cheaper than a full-blown studio album. I think the drummer was from Ashton Gardner and Dyke who made a few good almost prog albums .

If Kaye does not develop by himself the masterful songwriting from Yes (Anderson getting too much credit IMO for the composer part as he developped the idea and heard jingles and all the other four musicians ) but it is clear with this album that He held his share of the creation in his former group. This was of course very raw sounding and I would've like to hear the studio versions, but alas this never came to be as some of the members left after this and the following album sounds nothing like this , especially with Lomax singing. Give it a try , but I tell you there are better bands still to be discovered before this one. Worth a spin .

Badfinger - 2000 - Head First

Head First

101. Lay Me Down
102. Hey, Mr. Manager
103. Keep Believing
104. Passed Fast
105. Rock And Roll Contract
106. Saville Row
107. Moonshine
108. Back Again
109. Turn Around
110. Rockin' Machine

201. Time Is Mine
202. Smokin' Gun
203. Old Fashioned Notions
204. Nothing To Show
205. You Ask Yourself Why
206. Keep Your Country Tidy
207. To Say Goodbye
208. Queen Of Darkness
209. I Can't Believe In
210. Thanks To You All
211. Lay Me Down (Demo)

Vocals, Bass – Tom Evans
Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Percussion – Mike Gibbins
Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer – Pete Ham
Vocals, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Bob Jackson

Recorded at Apple Studios 1-7, 9-15 December, 1974.

The recordings for Badfinger's third Warner album began at the end of November 1974. You would expect the members of the band at this point to be totally exhausted from touring, financial worries, commercial and the departure of Molland; and of course they were.Never the less they were still convinced that they could/had to work their way out of their crisis. For their latest British tour they had recruited Bob Jackson (keyb.), because of a short departure of Pete Ham. This tour had been as a 5-piece and by the end of the tour Molland had left the band. Two you producers were found for the new album; Kenny Kerner and Ritchie Wise - before Badfinger they had produced The Stories. 

New songs did not come easily to Pete at this point; he was losing faith in the the whole thing, but he worked hard to come up with more quality material. Of his three contributions for Head First the two of them are among his best ever. The opener "Lay Me Down" is a very catchy and powerful rocker with great commercial potential. "Keep Believing" was written to Joey Molland and it's a typical Ham ballad; a very beautiful melody. Pete's third track is a short instrumental called "Saville Row". Tom Evans is back as a very important songwriter on the album. He'd written two songs alone and two songs in collaboration with with Mike and Mike/Bob. The first two are angry comments to the music business; both of them very intense; especially Mr. Manager is bound to become an all-time Badfinger favourite. Rock'n Roll Contract was rerecorded for Say No More, but this version is much better - I love the middle part. Passed Fast and Moonshine are well-known from Best of Badfinger Vol 2 - both of them very strong and indicating that this new line-up might have become their most interesting ever. Bob Jackson demonstrates powerful vocals and songwriting abilities on Turn Around; a track that could have been written and sung by Steve Winwood. Mike wrote Back Again and Rocking Machine. Back Again is close to My Heart Goes Out in style and feeling - perhaps even better. Rocking Machine though it sounds a bit unfinished is a charming little tune; I think Mike sounds a lot like George Harrison. 

All in all the band play and sing their best on this album that is among Badfinger's strongest - perhaps the best. Pete Ham does not sound burdened by having to play all guitars and they all appear extraordinary inspired. 

Forbidden Records had originally planned to release the album in April 1999, but there were complications and delays. Forbidden Records did not possess the original master-tapes but a 4-track reference master copy. The original master-tapes which have been considered lost seem to have been rediscovered in the vaults of Warner Brothers. This means that they may release the album some time in the future. or maybe license it to another label. Until that may happen luckily we have this Snapper release remastered from Bob Jackson's tape copy of the original Apple mixes. 

The bonus tracks are all great songs; some are them are at an early stage and the sound quality is not very good on most of them. Still it's always nice to hear new songs by Pete Ham. I believe his 4 new songs here could have been developed into great Badfinger tracks. Of the other songs I especially like Mike's You Ask Yourself Why .

Badfinger - 1997 - BBC in Concert 1972-73

BBC in Concert 1972-73

01. Better Days
02. Only You Know And I Know
03. We're For The Dark
04. Sweet Tuesday Morning
05. Feelin' Alright
06. Take It All
07. Suitcase
08. Love Is Easy
09. Blind Owl
10. Constitution
11. Icicles
12. Matted Spam
13. Suitcase
14. I Can't Take It
15. Come And Get It

Bass – Tom Evans
Drums – Mike Gibbons
Guitar, Vocals – Joey Molland
Guitar, Piano, Vocals – Pete Ham

Tracks 1-7 recorded in concert 8/6/72 Paris Theatre, London
Tracks 8-14 recorded in concert 10/8/73 Paris Theatre, London
Track 15 recorded Top Of The Pops 1970

Badfinger did 3 live performances for The BBC, this CD contains the first two, the third unfortunately seems to have disappeared (erased?). The first 7 tracks are from a 1972 concert at Paris Theatre, London; the next 7 are from a 1973 performance also at The Paris Theatre and the last Come and Get It is from Top of The Pops 1970. The sound quality is good and the performances are mostly very good; a few wrong chords can be noticed some of last tracks. It's interesting to hear their versions of two Dave Mason songs. Both tracks feature long guitar-solos and are good examples of the difference between their records and their live-act. 

Badfinger - 1990 - Day After Day

Day After Day

01. Sometimes 2:58
02. I Don't Mind 3:13
03. Blind Owl 5:40
04. Give It Up 7:23
05. Constitution 4:14
06. Baby Blue 3:32
07. Name Of The Game 5:17
08. Day After Day 3:04
09. Timeless 7:57
10. I Can't Take It 4:58

Bass, Vocals – Tom Evans
Drums – Mike Gibbins
Guitar, Vocals – Joey Molland
Guitar, Vocals – Pete Ham

Recorded live in 1974 at the Cleveland Agora.

Day After Day - Live is undoubtedly one of the most discussed/criticized Badfinger CD-releases. Furthermore there have been/are legal disagreements about the financing of the album and division of the profits. What comes out of all this will probabably known in near future, when a court has come to a conclusion ( more details on the matter can be found in Matovina's Badfinger Biography p. 409-411). 

The album was first released in 1989 on Joey Molland's initiative, and it comes from a concert given in Cleveland March 4 , 1974. The concert was originally taped for a possible Warner Live-album release. Joey got hold of the tapes before he left the band late 1974, and towards the end of the 1980's he began to work on them. Joey has overdubbed most of his own singing and playing, which, judged from bootleg versions of the concert, was pretty bad. What's worse is that he's also overdubbed Mike's drumming; I've never heard a good reason for his doing this, and it seems to quite unnecessary as Mike's original drumming was quite okay, moreover the overdubbed drums are mixed too loud and a lot of the fill-ins are done very clumsily. Joey has also been criticized for changing the track listing so that his own songs come first and Pete's last. What his reasons for doing this were you can only guess. 

If you/ your ears able to repress the annoying sound of the drums, there is in fact a lot of good music on this album. Personally I believe it gives a pretty good impression of a Badfinger concert 1974. The sound quality on the bootleg version of the concert is very bad and Pete's guitar and vocals can barely be heard. Of course a release of the whole concert without too much overdubbing would have been more interesting; a little overdubbing may be required, though,as some of Joey's playing and singing is out of key. A shame, too, that Perfection is not featured on the album.

Badfinger - 1981 - Say No More

Say No More

01. I Got You 3:49
02. Come On 3:26
03. Hold On 3:30
04. Because I Love You 2:58
05. Rock N' Roll Contract 5:45
06. Passin' Time 3:33
07. Three Time Loser 3:31
08. Too Hung Up On You 3:24
09. Crocadillo 3:20
10. No More 4:42

Drums – Richard Bryans
Guitar – Glenn Sherba
Keyboards – Tony Kaye
Vocals, Bass – Tom Evans
Vocals, Guitar – Joey Molland

The new line-up which recorded Airwaves had already disbanded before the album was released. For Say No More Tom and Joey had brought together another strong version of Badfinger. Tony Kaye ( known from Yes) played the keyboards, Glen Sherba played guitars, Richard Bryans played drums and Tom and Joey played their usual bass and guitar. This album should be the last Badfinger album; Tony Kaye and Tom Evans actually did rehearse for a second Radio Records album, but nothing came out of that. 

Their ideas for Say No More was to produce a rock album; not so slick and commercial as Airwaves. Unfortunately the material on the album is not up to the same standards as its predecessor. A few strong tracks can be found here, though. Too Hung Up On You by Tom Evans is the outstanding track on the album; to my ears the only song where the vocals sound like Badfinger. Hold On is a good song too; it actually was a minor hit. Joey wrote some of his compulsory rockers for the album, but they all sound more or less noisy, probably due to poor production. He also wrote the commercial Because I Love You, a Blondie styled track. The song is okay, but the sound of it isn't very "clean". We can hope for a future release of the album will have a cleaner sound; after all the album deserves it. 

Badfinger - 1979 - Airwaves


01. Airwaves 0:30
02. Look Out California 3:27
03. Lost Inside Your Love 2:41
04. Love Is Gonna Come At Last 3:37
05. Sympathy 4:26
06. The Winner 3:25
07. The Dreamer 5:18
08. Come Down Hard 3:46
09. Sail Away 3:30

1997 CD bonus tracks

10 One More Time 2:57
11 Send Me Your Love 4:12
12 Steal My Heart 3:56
13 Love Can't Hide 2:45
14 Can You Feel the Rain 4:03

Tom Evans - bass guitar, vocals
Joey Molland - guitar, vocals (4,7,8,13)
Joe Tansin - guitar, vocals (10,11,12,14)
Ken Harck - drums
Andy Newmark - drums
Duane Hitchings - keyboards
Nicky Hopkins - acoustic piano
Steve Foreman - percussion

Airwaves from 1979 was the first Badfinger album to be released without Pete Ham, who tragically committed suicide in 1975. Of course he is sadly missed on this album, which only features two earlier members ; Tom Evans and Joey Molland. After Pete's death the group has disbanded and both Tom and Joey had been in other bands. 

In 1978 they felt like reuniting and drummer Mike Gibbins had also been at a rehearsal before this recording. Unfortunately Mike quickly left again and he is therefore not on this album. The line-up is: Tom Evans: bas vocals; Joey Molland: guitar, vocals; Joe Tansin: lead guitar; Ken Harck: drums; Andy Newmark: drums and Nicky Hopkins: keyboards. Ken Harck left during the recording and he was replaced by Andy Newmark to finish the album. Joe Tansin left soon after the final recordings. Nicky Hopkins only work a session musician; he was not a member of the band. 

The popular pop/rock music had changed during the 5 years since the last Badfinger album, so obviously the album had to be a lot different from their earlier albums. Producer David Malloy has often been criticized for poor production on this Badfinger album. "He had not been able to find the real Badfinger-sound". I think that's an unfair and wrong evaluation. Actually a lot of the album is pretty good. Tom Evans' songs Lost Inside Your Love and Sail Away are true highlights ( a version of Sail Away with bas, guitar and drums is supposed to have been recorded - I hope this will be featured as a bonus track on the CD-release ). Joey's Love is Gonna Come at Last is a very commercial number and it was released a single; it did not do very well, though. The Dreamer, also by Joey, is a nice ballad, a track you may not discover the two or three times you listen to the album; but it gets better every time. Joe Tansin wrote two songs for the album; Sympathy and The Winner. Sympathy is too commercial for my taste, almost disco-like; The Winner is a rocker similar to many of Joey's songs. Tansin shows on several tracks that he's a fabulous guitarist and some of the weaker tracks are helped a lot from his guitarplaying. The playing time is rather short, so luckily the CD version feature 5 bonus tracks. 

One More Time is an outtake from the original "Airwaves" sessions - It should have been included in the first place; it would have been nice ending to side one on the original LP. It's an acoustic song beautifully sung by Joe Tansin and Tom Evans - Beatles/McCartney-inspired. A highlight. 

Send Me Your Love A fine catchy pop ballad by Joe Tansin - it was written in the "Airwaves" days but recorded later by Tansin. When I first heard the guitar intro, I was sure that this was the "Molland" tune which I knew would be there. 

Steal My Heart Another Tansin song from the "Airwaves" days recorded later. An upbeat poptune - not very interesting. 

Love Can't Hide A Molland/Tansin collaboration. The sound of the rhythm guitar is very poor. Incredible that the sound could not have been improved. Molland is credited as the producer of it. The song is good - the lyrics sound familiar. 

Can You Feel The Rain This last tune was recently written by Tansin to the memory of Tom Evans. A fine song, though a bit far from the original album. 

Badfinger - 1974 - Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

01. Just A Chance
02. Your So Fine
03. Got To Get Out Of Here
04. Know One Knows
05. Dennis
06. In The Meantime / Some Other Time
07. Love Time
08. King Of The Load (T)
09. Meanwhile Back At The Ranch / Should I Smoke

Horns – Average White Horns (tracks: 1 & 9)
Orchestrated By – Anne Odell

Vocals, Bass – Tom Evans
Vocals, Drums, Keyboards – Mike Gibbins
Vocals, Guitar – Joe Molland
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards – Pete Ham

Badfinger's second album for Warner Brothers was recording during two sessions - the first took place at The Caribou Ranch, Colorado in April/May 1974; the second at AIR studios, London in June. Though financial worries had begun to have great influence on the 4 members; they all felt that they had to put everything they had into these recordings. And this really shows on the album - another masterpiece - one of the really great albums of the seventies. It has been called "The Sergent Pepper of the 1970's"; personally I feel that it has more in common with "Abbey Road". 

Badfinger had grown into an albums-band, and this album really works as a whole, especially the original side 2 which features two very successful medleys. The album opens with Pete's very powerful Just A Chance and with Mike's light and catchy You're So Fine song by Joey and Pete - once again Mike proves himself as a competent songwriter. Joey's Got To Get Out Of Here really shows how Joey felt about about the music business and being in the band ( as we know he left shortly after the album's release) a very strong song by Joey. Know One Knows is another powerful melodic rocker by Pete - I love the Japanese voice that meddles with leadguitar part. The first side closes with another grand production which characterizes most of the album; Pete's Dennis written to his step-son. Besides the two medleys side two features Tom Evans' King Of The Load ( one of my favourite Tom Evans songs) and Joey's quiet Love Time. No singles were released from the album; this was a period when hit-singles didn't matter much to the progressive/ambitious bands. Just a Chance or Know One Knows might have been able to make the charts with the right promotion, though none of them have immediate hit-potential.