Friday, October 26, 2018

Heavy Joker - 1978 - Caesar's Palace

Heavy Joker 
Caesar's Palace

01. Caesar's Palace 6:05
02. Rainy Day 5:50
03. Blue Counterpoint 5:40
04. Heavy Duty 3:00
05. Wet Dreams 2:10
06. No Joking 6:50
07. Mama 4:30

Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Lyricon – Jens Haack
Bass – Henrik Bødtcher
Drums, Kalimba, Percussion, Chimes– Jan Sivertsen
Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer, Strings – Jørgen Kaufmann

Recorded at Werner Scherrer Studio, Dec. 1977.
Mastered at The Music Center, Wembley-London.

Warm and slick, this smooth jazz album is similar to the American group Spyro Gyra. The first album is MUCH better. Quite mellow Fusiony stuff, dosent realy have the edge to grab me but saying that it's nice enoth to be on in the background without being totaly boring.

Heavy Joker - 1976 - Heavy Joker

Heavy Joker 
Heavy Joker

01. Ace Of Spades 3:10
02. That's It! 5:00
03. Heavy Joke 3:30
04. Canasta Funk 2:35
05. Ambrosia 5:50
06. Symphonia 19:55
 a. Highway Habits
 b. Leaving For Cala Bassa
 c. Suburban Heaven
 d. Transylvania Chase

Bass – Henrik Bødtcher
Congas, Percussion – Klaus Nordsø (tracks: B1b)
Drums, Percussion – Jan Sivertsen
Grand Piano, Organ, Electric Piano, Vibraphone, Marimba – Max Leth Jun.
Guitar, Strings – Michael Bruun
Keyboards – Kasper Winding (tracks: A2)
Soprano Saxophone – Jesper Nehammer (tracks: B1d)
Strings – Palle Mikkelborg (tracks: A3)
Tenor Saxophone – Anders Gårdmand (tracks: A4), Jesper Nehammer (tracks: B1c)

Heavy Joker was a Danish short-lived Jazz/Fusion act. Started out as a Tyggegummibanden (mid 70's rock and cover songs pop band that released three albums) side project band for members Michael Bruun, Henrik Bødtcher (both ex Thor Hammer, Henrik also of Buki-Yamaz fame) and Jan Sivertsen, who would all co-found Tøsedrengene after Heavy Joker's second and final album.

The opening side of the LP contains five tracks, each credited to a different member and guest keyboardist Kasper Winding, with ''Canasta Funk'' featuring also sax player Anders Gardmand.The music is mostly excellent, keyboard-based Prog/Fusion with also some fiery guitar at moments and plenty of shifting moods, ranging from breezy Fusion with dominant synths to Canterbury-styled jazzy Prog with powerful keyboard work, electric piano and fast tempos.Still Heavy Joker's approach reveals a strong melodic content at moments as in ''Heavy Joke'' and ''Ambrosia'', characterized by light symphonic FOCUS-like melodious themes and great keyboard/piano treatments.The flipside contains the great long 20-min. instrumental opus ''Symphonia'', composed by Max Leth Jun and divided in four parts.It marks no significant changes to the style already presented, maybe the guitars of Michael Bruun and the keyboard overtones have a Latin-flavor at moments, but the overall approach is demanding still easy-listening Prog/Fusion with superb diversity and strong presence of percussion, sax, vibraphone and marimba.From keyboard-led interventions to jazzy sax solos and from ethnic tunes to virtuosic solos, ''Symphonia'' is a decent and tight instrumental journey, mixing the aesthetics of Jazz and Prog/Fusion in equal doses.

Very good, still pretty unknown debut by these Danish masters, with both technical and melodic parts.Strongly recommended, and even more if you are deep into jazzy Prog.

Buki-Yamaz - 1978 - Live


01. Sweet Sommer 3:03
02. Rainflower 5:12
03. Sesul 2:44
04. Some Solos 5:25
05. Strange Woman 5:11
06. Afroiden 11:00
07. Shufflin' 6:25
08. Funny Feelin' 5:05

Recorded live in Denmark 24th Sept. - 8th Oct. 1977 by Sweet Silence Studio.

Bass – Kim Yarbrough
Congas, Percussion – Klavs Nordsø
Drums, Timbales – Jeppe Reipurth
Flute – Aske Bentzon
Guitar – Kim Sagild, Mikkel Nordsø
Piano [Fender, Arp, Yamaha Grand] – Ben Besiakov

Buki-Yamaz - 1976 - Segundo


01. Moonfighter
02. Rain Flower
03. Lazy Bones
04. Trade Winds
05. Zingaro
06. A Hunk Of Funk
07. Your Beauty Is Devine
08. St. May

Kim Sagild - Lead Guitar
Mikkel Nordsø - Lead Guitar
Aske Bentzon - Flute
Henrik Bødtcher - Bass
Ethan Weisgaard - Drums
Klavs Nordsø - Percussion

Additional Performers:
Jesper Nehammer - Tenor Sax (06)
Kasper Vinding - Piano (01)
Palle Mikkelborg - Fender Rhodes (02), Trumpet (06)
Ben Besiakow - Fender Rhodes (03,06), Piano (03)

String Section:
Kaspar Vinding - Conductor, Arranger (01,07,08)
Palle Mikkelborg - Conductor, Arranger (02)
Per Walther - Strings
Erik Vedel Petersen - Strings
Boris Samsing - Strings
Bent Jørgensen - Strings
Niels Peter Gudbergsen - Strings
Ivan Leth - Strings
Willy Jensen - Strings
Kurt Jensen - Strings
Finn Ziegler - Strings
Jørgen Haslev - Strings
Lars Holm Johansen - Strings
Lucyna Lange - Strings
Erwin Jacobsen - Oboe

Additional Contributors:
Stig Kreutzfeldt - Engineer
Aske Bentzon - Producer
Leif Roden - Co-Producer

Recorded July - August 1976 at Sweet Silence Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark

Liner Notes:

It is too easy for young musicians today to succumb to the commercial pressures that weigh down so heavily upon the music business, so it is refreshing and rewarding when one realizes that there are still young players who will fly in the face of fashion and produce music that they believe in rather than stuff that might bring instant fame and riches.

Buki-Yamaz are such a band of bold hopefuls who stick to their musical guns and won't compromise their standards. They have the technical expertise and capability to churn out chart pop to order, and could easily retire to the sanctity of the recording studios to channel their musical skills into unworthy projects.

Instead they concentrate on instrumental music that allows them freedom of writing and playing expression. But this does not mean they wish to be introverted and produce inaccessible music.
For Buki-Yamaz are lovers of melody as typified by the flowing string sounds on the beautiful performance of their composition "Rain Flower" featured on Side One. This melodic aspect stems from arranger and composer Aske Bentzon, who plays the romantic flute solos that give Buki-Yamaz music its flavour and identity.

Most of the music revolves around the sensuous flute sounds that pick out neatly constructed songs like "Lazy Bones", which is redolent of hot Summer days spent lying in the long grass observing the buzzing of bees and perhaps the passing of young girls' legs.

Aske is joined in his venture by some fine players. Aged between 19 and early twenties, they have only been together for 3 years, and yet they have a calm assurance and sophisticated style one might expect from much older and more experienced musicians.

Ethan Weisgaard on drums can handle a whole variety of approaches, from the solid back-beat required for funk drumming to the subtle Latin American rhythms of the exhilerating "Trade Winds", that opens Side Two. Cowbells and Klavs Nordsø's extra percussion give a bright lift to proceedings and provide a firm base for solo flights by two fine guitar players, Kim Sagild and Mikkel Nordsø, who contrast in styles, one slightly harder in attack, the other more supple and fluid. And helping the
swinging feel that pervades this collection of sophisticated arrangements is the bass playing of Henrik Bødtcher.

My personal favourite is the jazz-flavoured "Zingaro", where the flute lines are woven in unison with spare acoustic guitar picking over some very attractive chords.

The band are by no means mindless bashers who rely on brute force and volume for their effect, and their music must come in bright contrast to the more obvious route taken by so many so-called heavy metal groups. Buki-Yamaz like to build atmosphere and create pastoral tones, and with this second album Segundo, they will find a ready audience for those who believe rock and melody are compatible.

And it will prove to those who think Scandinavia can only produce successful commercial pop groups, that there are young musicians aplenty waiting for an opportunity to show they have the talent to compete with the best in European jazz and rock.

Just listen to the drive of "A Hunk Of Funk" and you'll hear a band itching to blow. Now is your chance to share their excitement.
 -- Chris Welch (Melody Maker)

Buki-Yamaz - 1975 - Buki-Yamaz


01. Hot Funk 5:37
02. Buki-Yamaz 5:49
03. Mambo For Lone 3:25
04. The One I Love 3:31
05. Do The B.Y. 2:28
06. Some Stardust From Cosmos 4:52
07. Brasilian Grass 3:58
08. Heavy Chops 2:27
09. Pescador 4:07
10. Mysterious Funk 2:53
11. Travel To Paradise 2:55

Recorded at Easy Sound Studios July 1975.
Track B6 recorded at Sound Track Studios February 1975.

Bass – Henrik Bødtcher
Congas, Percussion – Klavs Nordsø
Drums – Ethan Weisgard
Flute – Aske Bentzon
Guitar – Kim Sagild, Mikkel Nordsø
Percussion, Synthesizer [String] – Kasper Winding
Saxophone – Anders Gårdmand, Jens Haack
Synthesizer – Kenneth Knudsen
Synthesizer [String Man] – Ben Besiakov

Buki Yamaz was a Danish Latin / Jazz / Funk group, inspired by Latin American music and Miles Davis. Some of the group members met at a music summer school in Vallekilde in 1970. The group started when the Nordsø, Mikkel and Klavs brothers expanded their quartet, “Frederiksberg Blues Orchestra”, with two members, Kasper Winding and Henrik Bødtcher: The six-man band Buki Yamaz became in 1973. The first performance for a larger audience was in 1974 at the Multimusik Festival in Randers and at Roskilde Festival in 1974. Their first release from Christmas 1975, called Buki-Yamaz, the record companies had difficulty accepting because there was no song. Kasper Winding was Buki Yamaz’s first drummer, and when he stopped in January 1975, Ethan Weisgard took over the job and he participated in the first two recordings. After the second LP, Ethan Weissgard and Henrik Bødtcher left the group in late 1976 and were replaced by Kim Yarbrough and Ben Besiakov.