Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hadley Caliman - 1977 - Celebration

Hadley Caliman

01. Presenting Mr. Jones 5:54
02. My Marie 6:52
03. Gala 7:12
04. Separation Blues 3:30
05. Schyleen 4:35
06. Lush Life 8:30
07. Two For T 4:52

Bass – David Williams
Drums – Elvin Jones
Flute – Hadley Caliman
Piano – Hotep Cecil Barnard
Tenor Saxophone – Hadley Caliman

Recorded At Sage & Sound Studios Hollywood California, June 7, 1977.

Incredibly soulful work from 70s west coast player Hadley Caliman – a great talent on both sax and flute, and a player who only cut a very small number of albums under his own name! The album's got a really seductive feel – gently spiritual, with a style that bubbles with restrained energy, but which runs very very deeply through the length of the set. The album's really well put together – stuffed with original tracks, and featuring backing by Hotep Cecil Bernard on piano, David Williams on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Both Caliman's tunes and playing have a lightly magical feel to them – a sadness behind the sun, done at a complicated level that we appreciate more and more over the years.

Hadley Caliman - 1976 - Projecting

Hadley Caliman

01. Projecting 5:18
02. Smearzo 5:42
03. Her 5:44
04. I Love You 4:22
05. Song For My Queen 6:36
06. The Latin Thing 5:17
07. Little One 6:16

Bass – Kenny Jenkins
Drums – Brent Rampone
Piano – Hotep Cecil Barnard
Tenor Saxophone – Hadley Caliman

Inspired by Dexter Gordon, Hadley Harold Caliman (1932-2010) began playing tenor at 14 and from 1949 to 1951 was part of Roy Porter’s youthful L.A. band that included such soon-to-be notables as Eric Dolphy, Sonny Criss, Joe Maini, and Art and Addison Farmer. A drug-fuelled decade of prison terms, however, put his potential on hold.

Released in 1960, he cleaned up and by 1963 made his first record date as a soloist on pianist Frank Strazzeri’s debut album for Pacific Jazz, but neither it nor two pieces he recorded with altoist Earl Anderza’s sextet were released at the time. He spent the rest of the 60s mainly in Bobby Bryant’s quartet and Gerald Wilson’s band, and worked with Bola Sete, Don Ellis and Mongo Santamaria.

If his diverse capabilities were appreciated among musicians at the highest level, he remained dissatisfied and moved to San Francisco area. There he was finally recognised as an original soloist on sax and flute, making his leader debut on record in 1971. During that decade he led three more albums and was a sideman on several with jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson or Bobby Hutcherson, and rock star Carlos Santana.

These Catalyst albums, Projecting (1976) and Celebration (1977), illustrating perfectly his vibrant, virile playing—which, despite echoes of Coltrane, is very much his own—remain the best examples we have of the most creative years in his extensive career.

Projecting was a rare, tough independent fusion from saxophonist Hadley Caliman along with Hotep Barnard on piano, Kenny Jenkins bass and Bent Rampone on drums.Released on Catalyst Records and featuring the jazz dancers favourite 'The Latin Thing'. Tough tune! RARE

Hadley Caliman - 1972 - Iapetus

Hadley Caliman 

01. Watercress 3:45
02. Ambivalence 7:38
03. Dee's Glee 7:39
04. Iapetus 9:59
05. Quadrivium 3:48
06. Green Eyes 5:17

Bass – James Leary
Congas – Victor Pantoja
Drums – Woody Theus
Flute – Hadley Caliman
Piano – Todd Cochran
Tenor Saxophone – Hadley Caliman
Timbales – Hungria Garcia
Trumpet – Luis Gasca

Cochran's acoustic piano and rhodes work on Hadley Caliman's second Mainstream release "Iapetus" (1972) is outstanding, with controlled use of wah-wah and some inspired solos amongst a great group of musicians. The album's suffused with a latin vibe - not "latin jazz", but jazz that references latin rhythm, similar to the sort of merge that was taking place in Carlos Garnett's work. I've put a whole track here, so listen through to Cochran's great solo from 1:26, and get the album from the link above. Recommended album!

Hadley Caliman - 1971 - Hadley Caliman

Hadley Caliman
Hadley Caliman

01. Cigar Eddie 6:25
02. Comencio 7:40
03. Little One 4:44
04. Blues For L.L. 8:40
05. Kicking On The Inside 4:50
06. Longing 2:46

Bass – Bill Douglas
Drums – Clarence Becton
Guitar – John White Jr.
Piano – Larry Vuckovich
Producer – Bobby Shad
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Hadley Caliman

There's a big problem on this 2014 reissue of the first Hadley Caliman album. Tracks 4, 5 & 6 are not from the original album, but from 1972 Hadley Caliman 2nd album : Iapetus. Sadly enough that is the version you will find on most blogs and download sites, presented here is a rip from the LP, thus with the proper tracklisting.

Tenor saxophonist Hadley Caliman is part of the living history of jazz music in America. He has performed, recorded and toured with musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Gerald Wilson, Carlos Santana, Dexter Gordon, Elvin Jones, Mongo Santamaria, Joe Pass, The Grateful Dead, Joe Henderson, Don Ellis, Flora Purim, Phoebe Snow, Bobby Hutcherson and many others.

Just in case you’re encountering Hadley Caliman for the first time, here’s a little background. His long career in jazz began at Jefferson High in Los Angeles where his classates included Art Farmer, followed by gigs on Central Avenue in the 50s where he was known as “Little Dex” (for Dexter Gordon with whom he studied). In the 60s he played with Mongo Santamaria, Gerald Wilson’s Big Band, Willie Bobo and Don Ellis. In San Francisco in the 70s, he played and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Nancy Wilson, Hampton Hawes, Jon Hendricks and Bobby Hutcherson and led four albums of his own. One of his high profile dates of the period was touring and recording with Santana at a time when rock bands were trying to expand their musical horizons by employing jazz musicians.

The pervasive influence of John Coltrane is noticeable in Hadley Caliman’s playing, but it’s tempered by the earlier West Coast bop experience and rounded into his own sound by the years of playing in a myriad of gigs of all description. West Coast tenorists like Dexter Gordon, Harold Land, Joe Henderson, Ernie Watts, and Hadley Caliman generally have a more rounded sound than their East Coast counterparts.

It’s also true that one learns from teaching. Hadley was on the music faculty at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for over 20 years and his influence can be heard in dozens of young saxophonists and others who studied with him

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Caliman was active leading a quartet and quintet in the Seattle area, served on the music faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, and taught private lessons to area musicians. He died of liver cancer in September 2010, at the age of 78.

Although Caliman was born in Idabel, Oklahoma, in 1932, he is so closely associated with the early Bebop scene in Los Angeles that it's easy to think of Southern California as his birthplace. The Central Avenue clubs (the Cotton Club, Club Alabam, The Downbeat, Club Araby, Club Finale) first opened Caliman's eyes to jazz. The studios in nearby Hollywood included jazz in its films and on its recordings. The predominantly African American high schools in South Central Los Angeles boasted small big band programs with a number of talented young musicians. At Jefferson, Caliman's high school, an anonymous donor provided tubas and saxophones. An instructor was hired and a big band was born. Caliman joined that big band (along with another tenor saxophonist, Wilbur Brown) and learned charts by Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
The high school band was only part of Caliman's education in jazz. The clubs and its touring musicians helped foster his musical interest. "When I was a kid at that age," recalls Caliman, "it was nothing to see musicians live. Duke Ellington? Count Basie? Lionel Hampton? You got the chance to see the guys and know them. There's a band that Eddie Vinson used to play with -The Cleanheads. Every time they came to town, I saw that band. I knew the guys in the band."
Another important influence on Caliman was the great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon. Caliman's family lived on the same street as Gordon's. The young saxophonist had listened to his records in high school, and emulated the lanky, gifted Gordon. "Everyone was trying to sound like Dexter or Lucky Thompson back then," says Caliman. "I had all Dexter's records." Caliman wasn't shy. He introduced himself to Gordon -4 years his senior- and they connected. Gordon sometimes borrowed Caliman's horn. "That's how I really got to know him," he adds. "I had the same kind of saxophone that he had." In one instance, Gordon had dropped his saxophone, damaging the instrument. He visited Caliman and asked if he could borrow his horn. "Of course!" Caliman recalls, laughing. "I thought maybe some notes would stick up in there!"
The connection was made. Gordon provided instruction to Caliman. Caliman, in turn, became know as "Little Dex" around the Central Avenue scene. Unfortunately, the pair had something else in common: both musicians were junkies. Caliman's Bebop career was starting to take off. He was performing at clubs around Los Angeles, and touring with various combos and ensembles. Cocaine, heroin, and crime however, were bigger influences than Bebop. In the early 1950's, Caliman would find himself in prison alongside his mentor and idol Dexter Gordon.
Caliman's first run-in with the law was in the 1950s. By his own admission, Caliman (along with his girlfriend at the time) burglarized an office in Los Angeles, stole the company's checkbook, and began forging checks in order to pay for their drug addiction.
The police were soon onto Caliman and his companion. The pair fled to Idabel, Oklahoma then moved to Cincinnati (his girlfriend's hometown). Her father was the top juvenile officer in the city, and helped Caliman find a job delivering flowers. Shortly thereafter, her father learned about their run-in with the Los Angeles law enforcement, and Caliman was offered a choice. "Her father told me, 'I'll help you anyway you want,'" Caliman recalls. "'You can run or you can turn yourself in.'"
Caliman turned himself over to the authorities. The pair was flown back to Los Angeles and thrown in jail. She was bailed out immediately. Caliman, on the other hand, remained incarcerated. "My dad said, 'Well, I know where you are. You're good and healthy. They'll feed you. You're not out on the streets. I'm not worried about you.'"
Caliman's girlfriend eventually bailed him out of jail. The next day, Caliman was busted for attempting to steal a cigarette truck. He landed in prison this time, at Chino, with Gordon and a number of other jazz musicians. Caliman's addiction was not uncommon at the time. Many jazz musicians were struggling with heroin and cocaine addiction, and landed in jail throughout their careers. "It was a trend at the time," explains Caliman. "Everyone was [messed] up." Caliman remembers spending a stint in jail with Miles Davis and Art Blakey. "They were busted and sent to this segregated tank," says Caliman. "Nobody knew who they were, except some of the musicians. I recognized who they were, and brought them up to the front section where it was privileged to be. I had been in there long enough."
Meanwhile, back at Chino, Caliman was waiting to learn which prison he would be sent to: the maximum security San Quentin facility? Or the minimum-security facility at Chino. He was twenty years old and facing eighteen months of incarceration.
He was sent to San Quentin. It was there that he met other musicians, including a saxophonist named Yama Johnson. "The guy played exactly like Charlie Parker," Caliman recalls, clearly in awe and still amazed by the musician. "This guy was self-taught. He played out of the side of his mouth, he couldn't read a note, but he could play exactly like Charlie Parker. We would go down to the yard and play. I learned a lot of stuff in prison. Nothing about technique or tone or armature or finger position. Just blowing. Just making a loud sound."
Caliman was returned to Chino shortly before his release. He joined Gordon, Roy Porter, Honsey Matthews, and other jazz musicians. Caliman and Gordon would walk the yard and talk about music. A teacher from Pomona College taught the inmates dictation, theory, and even some classical music. "I tried to play the clarinet," he says (he would later use that instrument on recordings with Carlos Santana during the 1970s, in addition to his own recordings). "Dex tried to play the flute. We just did different stuff. And then we would have jam sessions."
Caliman was eventually released from prison. But things were hardly any easier. "Prison turned out to be a stigma," says Caliman. "You were dead. 'Oh, yeah, I'm a trustworthy person. I just got out of jail. I can get a good job.' No. It was an economic squeeze. If you came out of prison, the only job was being a jazz musician. As a jazz musician, the environment was really bad for someone with an addiction. So it might be better if you got yourself a straight job. Don't play music anymore."
Quitting music was not an option. Kicking his drug addiction was equally as challenging. Caliman's choice was both difficult and mature. It was a choice that would also turn his life around and rescue his jazz career. "I started paying attention to the horn," he says, frankly. "I realized that drugs were keeping me from the horn. I was through with that [stuff]. If there was a room full of drugs, I didn't want any of it. It was hard to turn it around, but it was the last straw. That was it. I wanted to play my horn. I wanted to play my saxophone and stay out of jail."
Caliman began to network with other musicians in Los Angeles. He went to Sunday jam sessions. He hooked up with Bobby Hutcherson, performing at a gig six nights a week for nearly three years. He also made a living working at recording sessions. He performed at casuals and dances. Anything to keep him away from drugs.
A phone call from Gerald Wilson also helped. Walter Benton had quit Wilson's big band, and Caliman was offered the spot. He headed to Salt Lake City with the group. "It was a totally different thing," says Caliman. "It really encouraged me. I had lots of solo space, and Gerald really liked me."
A similar phone call from Louis Gasca, inviting Caliman to play with Mongo Santamaria, provided more opportunities. Gasca had kicked Bobby Capers out of the group, and he needed a tenor horn. Caliman joined the group and performed for a month at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, a month at the El Matador in San Francisco, several years at various clubs in New York City, and a long recording stint in Philadelphia.
Caliman eventually quit the band and returned to Los Angeles, where he recorded with Leonard Feather, Joe Pass, Joe Harris, and others. Caliman also spent the 1970s recording with rock musicians. He recorded a number of sessions (and subsequently toured) with Carlos Santana and The Grateful Dead. "There was so much money on the rock and roll side," says Caliman. "It was phenomenal."
Caliman had turned things around. He had a solid professional career. Most importantly, he recorded four albums as a composer and bandleader: Hadley Caliman (1971), Impetus (1972), Projecting (1975) and Celebration (1977). Prior to these recordings, much of Caliman's studio work consisted of side projects with other musicians. Caliman's albums were different. He wrote most of the songs, and his soloing abilities were punctuated. The first two albums are on vinyl only (and collector's items for hardcore jazz fans). The other albums were re-released on compact disc in 2003 by Catalyst Records.

In 1980, Caliman and his then-girlfriend moved to Washington State. They landed in the town of Cathlamet (his girlfriend had family there), located along the Lewis & Clark Trail. He spent some time looking for students to teach, but otherwise had very little success as a jazz musician. "If you want to lose your momentum as a jazz player," says Caliman, "move to a little country town like Cathlamet and teach. Nobody knows who you are."
Caliman was also performing at gigs in Portland. And he started looking to Seattle for work. He introduced himself to Julian Priester -an instructor at Cornish College of the Arts- who offered Caliman a substitute teaching position. That position later turned into a full-time teaching job. He retired in 2003.
"I really like the SRJO [Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra]," he says. "It's forcing me to read music again. And the camaraderie is good, too. I had seen them, but I didn't know them. I heard Jim Wilke playing one of our songs on the radio yesterday, and it sounded good. That sax section sounded good."
Now, he is most excited about the quintet he leads. The group entered the studio last fall, recording seven tracks, including: "That Old Black Magic," "Delilah," "Close Your Eyes," "Linda," "You Leave Me Breathless," and "Soul Train." Those tunes are performed regularly at the group's performances. The result is amazing. During a show at The Triple Door earlier this year, Caliman kicked the evening off with "Commencia" - a jumpy, fast-paced Latin tune that gave the audience a jolt. He also introduced the song "Linda" -a ballad (written for his wife) that floated and dipped in melodic beauty.
"Playing with Hadley is very physical," says the group's drummer Byron Vannoy. "He's from the old school of driving Bebop, and it's very physical stuff. It's a workout with him every time. The guy is seventy-two years old, and he will run you into the ground if you don't rise to his thing. He's a wonderful musician and a great person, and he's got a lot of life. There's a spirit in this certain generation of jazz musicians that, I hate to say it, I don't see it in a lot of generations younger than them."
"He is the sweetest person," adds Linda, Caliman's wife. "In all that he has been through in all of his life, he is untainted. It's a spirit. The spirit has remained intact. He's not been jaded or been cynical by all that he has seen."
Caliman really enjoys each performance. The magic that can happen between musicians is his goal. Rather than trying to control the musicians and their performances, Caliman is often standing in the corner between solos, clapping along with the audience when he hears what he likes. True, he is the star and headliner. But he also knows how to pick his musicians and concede the stage. And his quartet has a signature Caliman sound that speaks to experience, talent, and improvisational excellence.
One Saturday evening in January 2005, the Hadley Caliman Quartet was wrapping up its first set at Tula's restaurant and nightclub in downtown Seattle. Caliman had just led the group through a spirited set of Bebop standards. As Caliman exited the stage, Halberstadt grabbed a microphone. "Ladies and gentleman," he announced, "there is a saxophonist here tonight who is turning 72 years old." Halberstadt pointed to Caliman. A moment later, a waiter appeared from the club's kitchen carrying a large birthday cake marked with glowing candles.

Caliman was surprised by the gesture. The crowd applauded and cheered. The evening was remarkable for several reasons. At seventy-two years old, Caliman was hardly slowing down. The set would last well after midnight. The show would be followed by performances at the Seattle Art Museum in February, The Triple Door in March, more concerts at Tula's, and a series of performance dates that would send him back and forth between Seattle and San Francisco. Moreover, Caliman's responsibilities in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) recently expanded, particularly after the passing of Don Lanphere (a veteran of the early-1940s New York Bop scene) last fall. And Caliman had spent the later part of 2003 in the studio with his quartet, recording his first album as a leader after nearly two decades.
Several months later, speaking with Caliman near his home in Poulsbo, Washington, he was reflective. "I'm lucky," he explained. "Maybe God is answering my prayers now. I know that he does answer prayers for me. It's just been me. If I could have just gotten it right, it would have been cool. He was doing his job, I just kept screwing up and misjudging." Caliman paused. "I've still got a long ways to go. I want to play forever. That's the main business at hand."
With the help of Todd Matthews / Earshot Jazz Magazine June 2005

Review from the April 1972 issue of Black World magazine:
Hadley Caliman (Mainstream), the saxist's debut as a combo leader, is characterized by an attractive roughness and lack of gimmickery, from the catchy "Cigar Eddy" to "Little One," with its masculine gentleness. Like "Blues For L.L.," where he stretches out, or "Longing," which features him on flute, the tunes were composed by either Caliman or pianist Larry Vukovich. Drummer Clarence Becton and Bassist Bill Douglas complete the quartet.

As Caliman says in the liner notes "I never really got a chance to do my own thing on record before". Here he did it! And the following three Lp's are really of the same brand. Great brand!

John White - 1971 - John White

John White
John White

01. Right Off            06:45
02. Number 3             03:28
03. Granite And Concrete 07:44
04. City                 03:02
05. Help Us Out          07:38
06. Tried To Touch       07:01
Guitar: John White
Electric Piano, Organ: Merl Saunders
Drums: Philip Wilson
Saxophone: Hadley Caliman
Trumpet: John Wilmath
Trombone: Jock Williams
Bass: Dale Smith
Bass: Terry Hensley
Congas: J. Burr
Vocals: Robert Williams
Saxophone: Sonny Red

John White who? That's one of the biggest mysteries of Mainstream and his almost comically generic moniker makes it nigh impossible to root out whatever meagre morsel of info might be floating around in the cloud. Making matters worse, this has to be the most poorly documented recording in the entire MRL collection, which in itself is a pretty impressive feat. This time the only crumbs dropped are a roster and a photog credit. No liner notes, no bio, no other credits, no nothin'. To this day it seems no reliable reference can say who produced the affair, who engineered it or even what studio hosted the session on what date(s).

It was obviously a Bay Area endeavour which one can suss not only from the scenery but also from the presence of locals Hadley Caliman, occasional grateful Deadhead Merl Saunders and Terry Hansley of prescient 'frisco freak-out unit Fifty Foot Hose. Phil Wilson could have been anywhere at the time since he was in between gigs with The Butterfield Blues Band and Julius Hemphill's St. Louis cadre while the lack of photo for New Yorker Sonny Red is a tip-off he probably did overdubs back East when the tapes came in to the office, perhaps unsolicited. Merely speculation, of course.

The rest of the crew is a textbook study in nobodies. Go ahead, google 'em. More than likely they were either fellow buskers or jamming partners since none of them forged a musical career of any note. Heck, maybe they coulda just been neighbourhood drug buddies. Which brings us to the obvious hook up for JW's (alleged) only recorded outing, one Hadley Caliman. Since he had previously recorded for Shad and wrote the only track on the disc not composed by White ("Granite & Concrete," covered by Blue Mitchell on Blue's Blues) it's clear Hadley had a strong hand in developing the project.

The music itself is obviously inflected with that spoonful and the playing so loose it stumbles along with an ungainly grace like the musical equivalent of a Drunken Master Style disciple. The firm blues base, earthy electric bass lines and pro touch brought by Wilson and Saunders tether the funky cacophony of the off-kilter horns, offsetting the amateurish aspects of what was obviously a lets-just-get-in-the-studio-and-jam-then-see-what-happens approach. There are a few strong melodies and some genuine moments of inspiration scattered throughout and if it was tightened up in some places and stretched out in others, it might actually be a burner. Had it been released four years earlier it might even have made some impact as is.

Although it's really neither a rock record nor a funk record, White himself is pretty damn funky and riffs as well as proficient both in soloing and in a support role. His appeal lay in the fact he relies less on pyrotechnics than on wringing the right feel from his instrument to convey the emotional aspect of his material like a classic bluesman. However, adept as he is, no Hendrix he and White would likely be well into the triple-digits in a ranking of music's great electric guitarists. It's an enjoyable listen though, and it's grown on me the last few weeks since it arrived in the post. Definitely worth a listen for those who like horn-laden electric R&B with heavy jazz overtones.

Shades of Joy - 1970 - Music of El Topo

Shades of Joy
Music of El Topo

01. The Desert Is A Circle 7:40
02. Man Of Seven Years 2:00
03. Flute In A Quarry 7:11
04. Together 3:20
05. El Topo's Dream 2:29
06. Slowest & Saddest Waltz 4:10
07. Freakout #1 11:20

Acoustic Guitar [12 Strings], Guitar [Rhythm] – Peter Walsh
Acoustic Guitar [6 Strings], Guitar [Lead] – Jackie King
Bass [Acoustic], Bass [Upright Electric], Cowbell, Tambourine – Eddie Adams
Bass [Electric 6 Strings Acoustic, Fender] – Roger 'Jellyroll' Troy
Congas, Triangle – Ivory Smylie
Cowbell, Flute, Saxophone [Alto & Tenor], Scratches – Martin Fierro
Drums – Jerry Love
Drums, Scratches – Jack Dorsey
Electric Piano, Organ – Howard Wales
Flute, Tenor Saxophone – Hadley Caliman, Mel Martin
Maracas, Saxophone [Alto & Tenor] – Frank Morin
Maracas, Trumpet, Trombone, Tambourine – Ken Balzell
Piano [Acoustic] – Jymm Young
Trumpet, Tambourine – Luis Gasca

The mysterious Shades of Joy recorded the wholly instrumental album The Music of El Topo in San Francisco, the LP finding release on the Douglas label in 1970. Co-produced by Alan Douglas (famous for his controversial posthumous work on some Jimi Hendrix material), it's an odd but listenable mix of early jazz-rock fusion, psychedelia, funk, and the kind of meditatively somber and pretty music you might expect to hear on the soundtrack to a period drama. And in fact most of the compositions are credited to film director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who was responsible for the early-'70s cult film El Topo. Fifteen musicians are credited with playing on the album, the most noted of them being occasional Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia sideman Howard Wales (on electric keyboards), though there are also numerous percussionists, brassmen, and flutists; in fact, there are three combination flutist/tenor saxophonists alone. (Jodorowsky himself does not play any of the music, however.) Martin Fierro (who played flute, tenor sax, alto sax, and cowbells, as well as being credited as a "scratcher") seems to have been the musician most involved with the project, also doing the orchestration and horn arrangements. The Music of El Topo, incidentally, is an entirely different album than the Apple-issued El Topo soundtrack, for which Jodorowsky got composing credit for all of the music.

Recorded in San Francisco in 1970 and originally released on the Douglas label, obscure Shades of Joy's Music Of El Topo is commonly associated with the visionary western-on-acid epic film El Topo by Chilean born Ukrainian Jewish multi-medial artist Alejandro Jodorowsky as its soundtrack, despite another unrelated album on the Apple label being credited as the true soundtrack to the flick. Nevertheless, this intriguing piece of urban jazz funk fusion delivers seven instrumental mantras whose core is neatly amalgamated by the fine art of a great ensemble, here together only for this seemingly extemporized job. The idea of 'soundtrack' is here superbly interpreted and leaves the listener puzzled about the short life of this incredible gathering of exceptional musicians

Don't make the mistake of picking up the awful 'soundtrack' version of this album on Apple Records - it's not the same at all! This is the excellent original music, composed by Alexandro Jodorowsky and played by an all-star band. The band include the superb Grateful Dead (and rare funk record) keyboard genius Howard Wales among others, so you'd expect it to be good. It is. Excellent, well-produced, chunky organ-fuelled beaty jazzy funk with rock overtones. The best track is the excellent jazzy organ flute-funk 'Desert Is A Circle', as featured on the Mood Mosaic compilation series. Hard to find but well worth it. 

Shades of Joy - 1969 - Shades of Joy

Shades of Joy
Shades of Joy

01. Icarus Revealed 3:30
02. Come And Throw The Rye Bread 2:53
03. Crying Bag 2:35
04. 4th Stride 6:40
05. It's Time 4:25
06. Bye, Bye Love 4:10
07. Andy's Dream 4:10
08. Blues For Millie 6:23
09. Tada 3:28

Bass – Edward Adams
Drums, Tambourine – Jose Rodriguez
Effects [Sound], Violin [One String] – Lee Charlton
Guitar, Sitar – Jackie King
Piano, Flugelhorn – Jymm Young
Saxophone [Alto Tenor, Soprano], Flute, Vocals – Martin Fierro
Vocals – Millie Foster

Shades of Joy was a short-lived supergroup of a bunch of hippies jamming out some funky, trippy, and soothing grooves on a plethora of instruments. It's a mystery who was actually in this loose-knit group but supposedly Jerry Garcia was part of it. If you notice on the cover it says "arranged and conducted by Martín Fierro". After a little research I learned that Martín Fierro was a saxophonist who played with not just The Dead but also The String Cheese Incident, David Grisman, Yonder Mountain String Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sir Douglas Quintet, and the Allman Brothers, just to name a few- holy cow. Sadly, Matín Fierro aka "The Meester" passed away just last year.

Friendly cocktail vocal jazz/faux-Tropicalia/vocal blues/primitive (read: dull) jazz-rock. I grabbed this after hearing of their Music of El Topo album (which I'm listening to next), but nothing I've read about the music of that album is applicable to the music on this one.

The exception is 4th Stride, which goes back and forth between the aforementioned polite jazz and some much, much more out there territory. But it's one track out of nine.

Hiatus - 1984 - Avant-Demain


01. Bleu Outremer 7:13
02. Même Si 8:09
03. Farfadet 6:15
04. Dans L'Escalier 2:27
05. Qui Vole Un Œuf Vole Un Œuf 11:14
06. Rock Saoudite

Recorded At – Studio Bob Mathieu, Montgeron
Mixed At – Studio Bob Mathieu, Montgeron
Originally privately issued as HI 5893 in 1984 and then by Cryonic Inc. MAD 3014 in 1985

Bass – Pascal Gutman
Drums, Producer – Jean François Riviere
Guitar, Producer – Franck Marsicano
Keyboards, Producer – Stephane Deschamps
Tenor Saxophone, Producer – Abdoulaye Fall

French experimental jazz-fusion band. They made just the one self-produced album, which (due to its Zeuhl edges) gained a reissue on the Cryonic label alongside Art Zoyd and others.

Somewhere between French Zeuhl and Avant-Garde/Jazz with some King Crimson guitar abnormalities thrown in.Hiatus operated as a five-piece band with Pascal Gutman on bass, Jean-Francois Riviere on drums, Franck Marsicano on guitar, Stephane Deschamps on keyboards and Abdoulaye Fall on sax and their obscure album ''Avant-Demain'' (1984, private) passes through intense experimentations, dissonances, smooth atmospherics and complex guitar fests, featuring also lots of sax battles, acoustic piano and synthesizer.Mostly lengthy pieces with a freak-out jazzy instrumental sound, consisting of odd rhythms, instrumental isolations and improvisations, industrial acoustics and some great interactions of three instruments.Superb bass work as well and a unique album in its own way.The Zeuhl tendencies were enough for the 80's label Cryonic to re-release the album the next year.

Lagrima - 1978 - Lagrima


01. Nacimiento
02. Busqueda
03. Ancestros
04. Encuentro
05. Canción Para Un Hijo
06. Influencia
07. Propuesta

Bass Guitar – Guillermo Reuter
Vocals, Percussion – Chango Farias Gomez
Bandoneon – Juán José Mosalini
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Tommy Gubitsch
Flute, Alto Saxophone – Enzo Gieco
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer – Gustavo Beytelmann
Quena, Moceño, Charango, Sampona – Sergio Arriagada

Artwork – Napo

Seven man Argentine band exiled France. Lagrima plays a leisurely and thoughtful progressive folk with bandoneon with an abundance of traditional wind instruments and on the other (at the same time) traditional pianos, vibraphones, saxes, flute, guitars, bass and synths. Reminds me of some of the folkier moments of Arco Iris, MIA and Rodolfo Mederos y Generacion Cero (Gubitsch also played on one of his albums) Recommended listening!

If you find it, buy it, even if it's only for the gorgeous cover art by Argentinean illustrator and tarot card designer Napo!

Moonstruck - 1976 - Moonstruck


01. Opus 1
02. Slidin'
03. Rondo In G Major
04. Cog
05. My Mother Forgot To Tie My Shoes This Morning
06. Oceans Notions
07. Dance Of The Aardvarks
08. The Joker And The King
09. Gord's Tune
10. Interlude In F Major
11. A Space In Time
12. Invention
13. Heather

Gordon Tucker (Guitar, Bass, Vocals)
Daniel Iceton (Drums)
William Wallingham (Guitar, Bass, Flute)
Tony Murphy (piano, mellotron).

* Original founding members, drummer Dean MacDonald and bassist Bo Hanson left the band just before this album was recorded.

Lunatunes Records SAR-2003,  1976 original issue Private pressing (Canada)
Very rare mid 70's Private pressing from Nova Scotia (Canada).

Instrumental Progressive Rock with strong guitar, flutes, piano and some mellotron with Jazzy overtones (their sole release). Starting off as a cover band in Eastern Canada, Moonstruck quickly morphed into a tight progressive outfit playing small live gigs in the region.   However, without a recording contract, the group privately recorded/pressed these 13 tracks at Solar Audio & Recording (*SAR) studios in Halifax, composing all their own tracks, self-producing and self-financing the effort on their own "Lunatunes" label, reportedly pressing only around 500 copies.
Solar is well known in Canadian vinyl collectors' circles for having pressed some of Canada's rarest LP's to come out of the Atlantic provinces (Blue Max, Happy Dolls, Moonstruck, Molly Oliver (EP), etc).