Friday, March 27, 2020

Yusef Lateef - 1969 - Detroit Latitude 42º 30º Longitude 83º

Yusef Lateef
1969
Detroit Latitude 42º 30º Longitude 83º



01. Bishop School 3:00
02. Livingston Playground 3:37
03. Eastern Market 4:15
04. Belle Isle 3:12
05. Russell And Eliot 4:47
06. Raymond Winchester 2:35
07. Woodward Avenue 2:11
08. That Lucky Old Sun 7:25

Bass – Cecil McBee
Congas – Norman Pride (tracks: A2, A3, B2), Ray Barretto (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B3)
Drums – Bernard Purdie (tracks: A1 to B3), Roy Brooks (tracks: B4)
Electric Bass – Chuck Rainey
Electric Guitar – Eric Gale
Percussion – Albert Heath
Piano – Hugh Lawson (tracks: A1, A4, B1,B3)
Strings – Emanuel Green (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2), Gene Orloff (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2), Kermit Moore (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2), Selwart Clarke (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2)
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Yusef Lateef
Trumpet – Danny Moore, Jimmy Owens (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B3), Snooky Young, Thad Jones (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B3)


After issuing the spiritually compelling and contemplatively swinging Complete Yusef Lateef in 1967, Dr. Yusef Lateef's sophomore effort for Atlantic shifted gears entirely. Lateef chose his old stomping grounds of Detroit for an evocative musical study of the landscape, people, and spirit and terrain. Lateef spent the late-'50s in the city recording for Savoy, and this recording captures the memory of a great city before it was torn apart by racial strife and economic inequality in 1967. There is no way to make a record that suggests Detroit without rhythm, and Lateef employs plenty of it here in his choice of musicians: conga players Ray Barretto and Norman Pride; Tootie Heath on percussion; Cecil McBee, Roy Brooks, and Bernard Purdie; electric bassist Chuck Rainey; electric guitarist Eric Gale; pianist Hugh Lawson; and a string quartet that included Kermit Moore. In other words, the same band from the Complete Yusef Lateef with some funky additions. The string section, as heard on the opener "Bishop School," "Belle Isle," "Eastern Market," and "Raymond Winchester" is far from the pastoral or classically seeking group of recordings past, but another rhythmic and melodic construct that delves deep into the beat and the almighty riff that this recording is so full of. For all of the soul-jazz pouring forth from the Blue Note and Prestige labels at the time, this album stood apart for its Eastern-tinged melodies on "Eastern Market"; the "Black Bottom," gutbucket, moaning bluesiness on "Russell and Elliot," with Gale and Lateef on tenor trading fours in a slowhanded, low-end groove; and the solid, Motown-glazed, rocking Latin soul of "Belle Isle." The album ends curiously with the nugget "That Lucky Old Sun," played with a back porch feeling, as if the urban-ness of the set, with all of its polyrhytmic intensity and raw soul, had to be tempered at the end of the day with a good-old fashioned sit in the yard as the city's energy swirled around beyond the borders of the fenced lot. Lateef blows a beautiful tenor here, uing a motif from Sonny Rollins' version of the tune and slides it all the way over to Benny Carter in its sheer lyricism. It's the perfect way to close one of Lateef's most misunderstood recordings.

Fred Van Hove / Wolfgang Dauner - 1969 - Requiem For Che Guevara / Psalmus Spei

Fred Van Hove / Wolfgang Dauner
1969
Requiem For Che Guevara / Psalmus Spei


01. Wolfgang Dauner Psalmus Spei 13:07
02. Fred Van Hove Requiem For Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, John Fitzgerald And Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X 17:30

A for choir and jazz group.
Wolfgang Dauner: Organ
Manfred Schoof: Trumpet
Gerd Dudek: Tenor Sax
Eberhard Webber: Cello
Jurgen Karg: Bass
Fred Braceful: Drums

B for organ and jazz group, based on Martin Luther King's "Mitten wir im Leben sin von dem Tod umgeben".
Fred Van Hove: Organ
Cel Overberghe: Sax
Kris Wanders: Sax
Willem Breuker: Sax
Ed Kroger: Trombone
Peter Kowald: Bass
Han Bennink: Drums

Recorded live at the Berlin Jazz Festival in the Kirche am Südstern, November 10th, 1968.

Sleeve & MPS icon & release number all point to a 1969 release date for this French release.


A electrifying document of Europe's answer to the searching transcendence of New York's fire music/loft jazz scene, this astonishing split LP, one of Wolfgang Dauner's rarest, deserves your immediate attention. Though the front cover seems to indicate that Van Hove's Requiem comes first, it's legendary jazz keyboardist turned krautrock avatar (and NWW list artist) Dauner that leads things off here with a genuinely stunning recording that features the rhythm section of Eberhard Weber and Fred Braceful (both members of Dauner's later krautrock-oriented unit Et Cetera) abetted by Manfred Schoof on trumpet, Gerd Dudek on tenor sax, Jurgen Karg on bass and a full choir; the fusion of outwardly bound jazz ensemble and choir here affording the proceedings an abstruse and unsettling air of almost Igor Wakhevitch-like menace. Van Hove's Requiem (featuring the remarkable line-up of Van Hove on organ, Peter Kowald and Han Bennink holding down the rhythm section and a three-part sax section of Willem Breuker, Cel Overberghe and Kris Wanders) navigates a path through the sweet mournfulness of Ayler-esque funeral marching band stylizations with explosive depth charges of free action, thematically reconstituting itself before all parties involved run screaming toward a cathartic group action blast.

This live 1968 Berlin Jazz Days recording of “Jazz in the Church” arose from the festival’s desire to shine a light on the music’s religious aspects. Two leading European Avant-gardists were commissioned to present works to be played in Berlin’s Sudstern Church. German Keyboardist Wolfgang Dauner already stood at the forefront of European jazz. Continually a winner of European jazz polls, his trio of Eberhard Weber and Fred Braceful, anchor the piece, with two of Germany’s foremost horn players and the St. Martin Kantorei rounding out the ensemble. On Dauner’s Psalmus Spei, songs, texts, chants, whispers and moans mingle with melodic riffs and free instrumental passages to achieve an impressively colorful emotional palette. A pioneer of European free jazz, Belgium’s Fred Van Hove fronts a septet of leading players in the European free music scene, including Dutchmen Willem Breuker, Han Bennik, and German Peter Kovald. Based on Martin Luther's choral "Mitten wir im Leben sin von dem Tod umgeben", Hove’s Requiem has its moments of serenity; more often it recalls the tempest, as the musicians explore the sonic limits of their instruments, and the organ throws blankets of sound over the proceedings; colors and textures are more to the point than melody, but Albert Aylerlisch hymns occasionally resonate, and there is even a hint of Iberia some 10 minutes in.

Miles Davis - 1969 - In A Silent Way

Miles Davis 
1969
In A Silent Way


01. Shhh / Peaceful 18:30
02. In A Silent Way / It's About That Time 20:00

Bass – Dave Holland
Drums – Tony Williams
Electric Piano – Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock
Electric Piano, Organ – Josef Zawinul
Guitar – John McLaughlin
Tenor Saxophone – Wayne Shorter
Trumpet – Miles Davis


In A Silent Way, released in 1969, marked a transitional moment, not only in Miles Davis’s career but in the future development of jazz as a whole. Considered by many to be the first fusion recording, it also commenced the composer’s most divisive phase – commonly referred to as his “Electric Period”. This groundbreaking album would test latent tensions surrounding the future identity of jazz, its relationship with new technology, and the questions of authenticity which these contentious issues would draw into focus.

By the late ‘60s, whilst Davis was no longer the young, hip savant that he once was, his new relationship with the youthful singer Betty Maybry had renewed the composer’s interest in the contemporary pop landscape. Introducing him to the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Sly Stone, Maybry (alongside recommendations from Williams) would unknowingly guide the musician into one of the most distinctive and contentious eras of his work.

In A Silent Way would be the grand consummation of a plethora of fresh ideas, solidifying Davis’s new creative approach in a typically bold manner. To realise his vision he had assembled a team of fiercely talented musicians, enjoying a wide variety of options thanks to his strong industry connections. Having already cultivated a bond with Wayne Shorter, Hancock, and Williams, via his second quintet, Davis also reached out to the rising young bass player Dave Holland, whose band he had seen opening for Bill Evans whilst in England. Following a recommendation from Williams, Davis also tracked down Boston’s Chick Corea, a keyboardist who would later become immersed in the avant-garde jazz scene, after beginning his career in the early ‘60s with the likes of Stan Getz and Herbie Mann. Austrian keyboardist Josef Zawinul, and British guitarist John McLaughlin, were also asked to participate after just a few weeks in the states since joining The Tony Williams Lifetime band.

Taking place on February 18, 1969, at the CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City, the single recording session that would capture In A Silent Way lasted a mere three hours. As Hancock recalls, “He knew that it was about risk taking, and encouraging the musician to capture the moment, how you’re feeling in that moment, and having the daring and conviction to go for it, even if you don’t make it.”

The presence of electric keyboards such as the Fender Rhodes, which Miles was now using almost exclusively in the studio to compose and record also shifted the group’s approach to the music. Hancock remembers that, “Miles began stacking several keyboards on a track. We might have two or three keyboardists going. And we’d all try to go somewhere, play some ornaments that would add a different element to everything else that was going on.” Davis encouraged unconventionality from his players, reportedly telling McLaughlin to play as if he had never used a guitar before. But he was also keen to emphasise the panoramic scope and languorous pace he desired, willing his musicians to play in a considered, minimal, yet unrestrained style, often suggesting how melodies should be played, and for how long.

Davis’s increasingly fragmented approach to composition was applied to both his own ideas and those of his collaborators. The album’s A side, ‘Shh / Peaceful’, used the Sonata form Davis had explored in previous work to create an understated sense of tension and relief, giving the piece it’s distinctive cyclical character and binding its contrasting segments together into a cohesive whole. Producer Teo Macero, with whom Davis had worked on Kind of Blue, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain, was a hugely influential presence, utilising his studio editing expertise to weld together the multiple recording takes that would make up each side of the album. His mixing innovations heightened the role of the producer in jazz composition; his relationship with Davis has since been likened to that between George Martin and The Beatles.

The album’s second half begins and ends with a composition previously created by Josef Zawinul, titled by his collaborator Julian “Cannonball” Adderley whilst the pair were in the same band. Giving the album its title, ‘In A Silent Way’ dwells in an introspective atmosphere, commencing and concluding the piece in a misty haze of sustained chords and plaintively melodic trumpet. Taking the original composition as a jumping-off point, Davis endeavoured to follow a rock-oriented approach in his reinterpretation, stripping out chords that he felt were unnecessary or disrupted the song’s cool liquid flow.

In A Silent Way’s release marked the beginning of a whole new era; not only in jazz but the wider popular music industry as a whole. Synthesising an array of creative techniques and forward-facing musical ideas from rock, jazz, orchestral, and electronic music, it created a blueprint which the composer would soon detail further on his outstanding 1970 follow-up, Bitches Brew. Described as “proto-ambient”, In A Silent Way also reimagined the listener’s relationship with music, predicting how future generations would utilise sound to establish subtle aural atmospheres, years ahead of the likes of Brian Eno and Harold Budd.

This doesn’t mean the album didn’t meet its fair share of resistance. Often dismissed as heretical and antithetical to the organic and spontaneous ideals of jazz, Teo Macero’s process of editing several recordings into one composition was met with particular scorn. Notably the critical divide ruptured between rock and jazz critics; the former pleased by Davis’s psychedelic approach which seemed to reinforce their worldview as part of a music press then growing in prominence, the latter no doubt feeling a sense of betrayal as Davis moved beyond the established boundaries of an industry that was suffering a decline in mainstream popularity.

In A Silent Way was not just an album, but an existential crisis. In its stubborn resistance to established genre labelling it provoked both paranoia and excitement about the future, foreshadowing a decade which would bring yet more innovation and tribalism within popular music. But listen close enough and you’ll hear the album’s influence within a plethora of styles, from avant-garde electronic dance music to chart-climbing pop, ushering in our new fascination with technology and it’s invaluable creative contribution.

Miles Davis’s quiet storm continues to rumble on.

Luciano Berio - 1969 - Sinfonia

Luciano Berio
1969
Sinfonia


Sinfonia
01. Section I 6:31
02. Section II 4:47
03. Section III 12:21
04. Section IV 2:58

Chorus – The Swingle Singers
Composed By, Conductor, Liner Notes – Luciano Berio
Orchestra – New York Philharmonic


Premiered in 1968 and finally completed in 1969, Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia for Eight Voices and Orchestra is a kaleidoscope of ideas that is both intellectually playful and viscerally powerful. The vocal parts were originally written for The Swingle Singers (now The Swingles), and over five decades the group has built up an unrivalled understanding of the piece and its technical demands. 

Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary, Sinfonia is written in five movements. In the central third movement, Berio uses Mahler’s 2nd Symphony as the framework for a journey through 400 years of Western music. The amplified voices are both an extra section of the orchestra and a dramatic chorus as they sing, scat, whisper, shout and recite fragments of text over increasingly chaotic textures. The result encapsulates the turmoil of the 1960s, offering a commentary on the symphonic tradition while opening up exhilarating possibilities for the future.

As a group that continually strives to innovate, The Swingles love returning to the revolutionary Sinfonia, which they perform as eight singers. Although the ensemble’s line-up changes over the years, each of the current members is an experienced Berio performer and highly responsive to the interpretations of different conductors and orchestras. The piece is approximately 40 minutes in length, and works ideally as one half of a concert, programmed alongside orchestral pieces and/or pieces from The Swingles’ a cappella and light orchestral programmes.

Since it was first performed in 1969, Luciano Berio's Sinfonia has become a classic, certainly the most widely known of all his works, and arguably the most successful concert piece by a composer of his generation. The third of its five movements has been largely responsible for that popularity, for the whole structure pivots about this tour de force of musical memory, which uses the scherzo from Mahler's Resurrection Symphony as the framework for a collage of quotations that compresses the musical history of the 20th-century into a single span.

As a group of vocalists (the Swingle Singers in the early performances) offer a commentary culled from Samuel Beckett's The Unnameable, the orchestra sets out on Mahler's scherzo only to be constantly diverted by other references - Debussy's La Mer flashes by, so do fragments of Stravinsky and Schoenberg, Ravel and Alban Berg. As the journey unfolds, Mahler's structure gradually disintegrates,' the quotations get closer and closer to Berio's own time (with references to Boulez and Stockhausen), and finally as the Beckett quotations become more and more desperate, the movement peters out. It is a piece of intense compositional virtuosity and instant appeal.

Cultural cross-referencing of this kind was very much a feature of music in the 1960s, and Berio extends that process into the other movements as well. The first compiles fragments of texts from the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the second is a tribute to Martin Luther King.

When the Sinfonia was premiered, it consisted of just four movements, with just a quiet postlude following the Mahler collage, but soon afterwards Berio added a fifth section, which revisits what has come before in the same way that the rest of the work feeds upon deeper historical associations.

The composer's own performance of the work was recorded just after the premiere with the New York Philharmonic and the Swingle Singers, and only includes the original four movements (Sony Classical), but the three subsequent versions have all used the full version of the score. Pierre Boulez's on Erato was the first of those, characteristically lucid and mastering all the problems of balance that this multi-layered work throws up, though his recording's very forward placement of the voices in the third movement is problematic; they are not soloists, but one element in Berio's ever-changing iridescent web of colours, and should be heard as such. Both the more recent recordings - Semyon Bychkov with the Orchestre de Paris (Philips) and Riccardo Chailly with the Royal Concertgebouw (Decca) - get that right, though Chailly's is the one to go for: not only do the other Berio works on his disc (Formazioni and the Folk Songs) make for a more valuable collection, but he, unlike Bychkov, manages to preserve the sense of freshness in the Sinfonia, to convey the sheer vitality of the invention and the one-off brilliance of its third movement.



Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia may not be as well known as “Pet Sounds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or the Simon and Garfunkel songs for “The Graduate.” But in its way this seminal work from the modernist wing of 20th-century contemporary music is equally emblematic of the 1960s.

Gary Burton - 1969 - Throb

Gary Burton
1969
Throb


01. Henniger Flats 4:22
02. Turn Of The Century 5:03
03. Chickens 2:25
04. Arise, Her Eyes 3:45
05. Prime Time 3:59
06. Throb 4:27
07. Doin The Pig 3:40
08. Triple Portrait 4:25
09. Some Echoes 6:54

Bass – Steve Swallow
Drums – Bill Goodwin
Guitar – Jerry Hahn
Vibraphone [Vibes], Piano, Liner Notes – Gary Burton
Violin – Richard Greene


It must have been hard for a vibes player like Gary Burton in 1969. Bobby Hutcherson was doing moving into uncharted free jazz territory, and Roy Ayers was moving funky prime form--his mallets leaving vapor trails.

Where did that leave a player like Burton, as talented as his vibe contemporaries but making more conventional, but just as legitimate music.

I am really not sure, but I hope he sold a lot of records, because one listen to Throb finds he absolutely deserved to. He here has the fire power of bassist Steve Swallow and guitarist Jerry Hahn

Amazing raw material, raw material Burton uses however he pleases: a psychedelic opener that could be Pink Floyd with vibes, a violin experiment that could work on Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, blues and trippy ballads.

Basically, many experiments taking place in rock are visited on this album. These are jazz guys with jazz chops, but make a "jazz album" as of wonderfully unhinged experimentation the way most rock bands of the era were.

Burton here does not show the flash of Ayers of the harmonic adventure of Hutch, but that is only because that is not the path Throb rides. Burton is more interested with--I guess literally--chiming in and decorating his jazz rock psych stew at just the right point. You would probably not know listening he is the leader, and that is to his credit. His ensemble approach here shows incredible restraint and taste. The vibes being such an underused instrument, hearing them inserted in the sweet spot--our musical erogenous zone, our ears G-spot, has amazing impact.


Kifu Mitsuhashi with Kiyoshi Yamaya & Contemporary Sound Orchestra - 1977 - Komuso World In Shakuhachi

Kifu Mitsuhashi with Kiyoshi Yamaya & Contemporary Sound Orchestra
1977
Komuso World In Shakuhachi (尺八 虚無僧の世界)



01. Fuke Jobutsu (普化成仏) I. Yobidake Ukedake (呼竹 受竹)
02. Fuke Jobutsu (普化成仏) II. Tori (通り)
03. Fuke Jobutsu (普化成仏) III. Kado Zuke (門付)
04. Fuke Jobutsu (普化成仏) VI. Hachi Gaeshi (鉢返し)
05. Fuke Jobutsu (普化成仏) V. Yobidake Ukedake (呼竹 受竹)
06. Marobashi-Sugagaki ( 転管垣)
07. Reibo (鈴慕)
08. Mukaiji (霧海)

Composed By, Arranged By, Conductor – Kiyoshi Yamaya (山屋清)
Ensemble – Kiyoshi Yamaya & Contemporary Sound Orchestra (山屋清とコンテンポラリー・サウント・オーケストラ)
Shakuhachi – Kifu Mitsuhashi (三橋貴風)




Born in Tokyo in 1950, Kifu Mitsuhashi studied Kinko-school shakuhachi with Sofu Sasaki and the classical honkyoku repertoire of the Fuke school with Chikugai Okamoto.

He was awarded the Prize for Excellence by the Agency for Cultural Affairs for his first recital (1980) and the Arts Festival Prize by the same agency for his 1989 solo recital. He was awarded the Osaka Cultural Festival Prize in 1981, the 10th Nakajima Kenzo Music Prize in 1992, the Arts Festival Works Prize for his CD of works by Makoto Moroi, Chikurin Kitan, and the Yokohama Cultural Encouragement Award.

He traveled to Europe as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonia in 1994, gaining high acclaim for performances in venues such as the London Festival Hall.

He has also become active as a producer, organising events at the Serbia Expo and Festival Asia. He has given 77 recitals to date overseas, and twenty in Tokyo alone. He holds the qualification of shihan (master) in the Kinko school, and runs his own group for shakuhachi performance, the Kifu Kai.

Japanese folk meets psychedelic jazz ! And the use of the bamboo flute (or shakuhachi) puts me in trance 
Kifu Mitsuhashi is playing the shakuhachi, and you’ve got some tasty, heavy breaks too ! And keep in mind that it’s very very rare, even in Japan.

Specially dedicated to the Austrian collector that has a bunch of the albums by these two musicians on soulseek but will not let anyone download them so he can feel important.
So I hope there are more people with copies of the albums by these two gentlemen and that are in more inclined to sharing them with us mere mortals!

Emil Richards And The Microtonal Blues Band - 1969 - Spirit of 1976

Emil Richards And The Microtonal Blues Band 
1969
Spirit of 1976


01. Spirit Of 1976 6:42
02. Peek-A-Boo 4:52
03. All Blue 8:01
04. One Tooth Grin 5:15
05. Like Me 6:42
06. 10 To 5 7:04
07. Jordu 2:48

Bass, Bass [Fender] – Ray Neapolitan
Drums – Joe Porcaro
Percussion – Mark Stevens
Piano, Percussion – Dave Mackay
Vibraphone [Vibes, Electric Vibes], Marimba [Octave], Percussion – Emil Richards

Recorded in performance at Donte's, North Hollywood, March 18 and 19, 1969.


Lacking the esoteric hippie chants of its predecessor Journey to Bliss, Spirit of 1976 (released in 1969 and sounding not like 1976 at all) takes only the infectious grooves and shameless swing and applies it to a couple of jazz standards played live in concert. There's nothing revolutionary about this album, just virtuoso playing by a super-tight band at the top of their game. Everybody interested in vibraphones and marimbas should definitely check this one out. Infinitely enjoyable.

Emil Richards And The Microtonal Blues Band - 1969 - Journey To Bliss

Emil Richards And The Microtonal Blues Band 
1969
Journey To Bliss


01. Maharimba (02:50)
02. Bliss (04:45)
03. Mantra (04:26)
04. Enjoy, Enjoy (05:41)
05. Journey To Bliss - Part I (03:05)
06. Journey To Bliss - Part II (04:07)
07. Journey To Bliss - Part III (03:08)
08. Journey To Bliss - Part IV (03:06)
09. Journey To Bliss - Parts V & VI (05:09)

Bass – Ray Neapolitan
Drums – Joe Porcaro
Guitar – Dennis Budimir, Tom Tedesco
Keyboards – Dave Mackay
Percussion – Mark Stevens, Mike Craden

Meditation Suite In Six Movements.


In his masterful book The House That Trane Built, Ashley Kahn refers to this album's "cultural curiosity" and "otherworldly" nature. According to Kahn, Impulse under Bob Thiele was always looking for cross-over records and latched on to the emerging hippie scene in California.
Records such as this, Gabor Szabo's Jazz Raga, Bill Plummer's Cosmic Brotherhood (read about it here) and Gary McFarland's Point of Departure were all intended to be pop-jazz, rock-jazz cross-over hits. Unfortunately they rarely were. The slightly split nature of record label is shown in the linear notes which try to draw a parallel between Richards' modal experiments and those of his label mate Coltrane. Yet at the same time Richards reveals that he hopes that "the kids" will dance to his music. Perhaps - listen to this opening track and see what you think. Tommy Tadesco's guitar and the leaping percussion work do make it possible to dance to, but I can't see many people in late 1968 choosing this over the Doors!

Richards had a pedigree as a jazz musician having played with Charles Mingus, Shorty Rogers and Don Ellis by the time he made this record. All of whom would also experiment with some fairly out-there music. However, at the same time he had also developed a career as a studio musician and had played with some more pop-orientated musicians such as Sinatra and Doris Day.
He also appeared on the Zodiac Cosmic Sounds record and I can't help thinking that record and Journey to Bliss are very similar. Both utilise a wide variety of instruments, although there is no Moog on this record. Both also play on some very sixties ideas about spirituality and belief as well as a rather over-serious exploration of so-called 'alternative' views of life. Both records also included a number of LA session musicians. Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Mike Melvoin on Zodiac Cosmic Sounds and Dave Mackay, Tommy Tedesco and Joe Porcaro on Journey to Bliss. And although the Journey to Bliss voice-over is not as smooth as Cyrus Faryar there are distinct similarities, not least the portentous seriousness of it all.

There is something to my ears that is just too 'clean' and 'studio' to convince that this is a serious record. I am reminded of another vibes player, John Sangster, who also came from a jazz background, played a great deal as a session musician as well as dabbled in 'exotic' sounds.
There is, I think, also a touch of exotica in this record. Many of the musicians on the exotica records of the 50s had jazz backgrounds and Martin Denny clearly wanted to be Dave Brubeck!
Just listen to Mantra and imagine it slightly slowed down with some ridiculous bird calls. Reminds you of Martin Denny doesn't it?

The second track, Bliss is really the younger brother to the four part B side track Journey to Bliss, with Richards playing a very similar riff on a similar instrument (I'm afraid I just don't know what it is and there are 58 to chose from according to the sleeve! There is a sound at 2.40 in the clip that I love. It has that slightly mad Radiophonic quality that Delia Derbyshire's treated sounds had. Great stuff.

Side One finishes with Enjoy Enjoy. As the sleeve notes point out it is "in a twelve-based meter and can be counted (take a deep breath) as 32331 or 57 or 444 or 3333 or 6/8 or 3/4 or 12/8 or 4/4 or, as Emil puts it, as ????!!! Indeed." Reminds me of some of the extravagant sleeve notes for exotica and easy records. Through the careening percussion Tedesco's guitar once more adds a dash of rockiness together with Dave MacKay's keyboard. It doesn't last long and the whole track slides into atonality before coming together for a joyful reprise.


One Side Two we get back more firmly into a very Californian attempt to 'trancend' using 'eastern' methods. And its rather fabulous, if somewhat of its time. Using what sounds like all 58 instruments and Barbara Gess's poem intoned by, I think Emil himself, the suite flows forward in a dream-like and possibly drug-like state. Here is the second half of it.

In ways in which exotica satisfied the desires of Americans for far away places without the need to leave their homeland, so to did albums like this. By emphasising the jazz element and replacing the obvious tropes of exotica with a new psychedelic 'now' image records such as this appealed to a new audience who would never have listened to Arthur Lyman but perhaps ultimately wanted the same thing - the thrill of a new world without leaving home.