Friday, 21 October 2016

James Vincent's wonderful Waiting for the Rain in 1978

It always amazes me when albums that are so cheap and plentiful turn out to be so good.  Why a certain subset of vinyl collectors pays thousands for rarities that inevitably turn out terrible mystifies me.  James Vincent is an American guitarist, and the vocalist on this record.  His song Resistance:

Most of the tracks were written by him as you can see on the database page.

The 20th Etude reminds me of an old favourite, Don Mock:

BIO from progarchives:

James VINCENT is just one of many excellent musicians from Chicago area. As a guitarist he changed through a lot of styles, and through his career was not just a solo artist but a studio musician, writer and composer. 

One of his first more known bands in blues ridden Chicago were THE EXCEPTIONS in which he worked with Pete CETERA who would become lead singer of CHICAGO. After working as a studio musician for many Chess Records recording artists, VINCENT became a guitarist for the proto-prog band H.P.LOVECRAFT. Then he met Howard WALES & Jerry GARCIA with whom he toured for a brief time. While touring and playing the blues/funk influenced fusion at the time, VINCENT became inspired with their opening band and their guitarist, which was John MCLAUGHLIN and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. 

Afterwards he began recording and released four albums up to 1980 before taking a longer break with his solo career. His earlier records can be reminiscent of for example SANTANA with whom he used to work with and his RnB roots show in a lot of his work but amongst those there is fine energetic instrumental jazz fusion.

More to come later.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Anli Sugano's wonderful pop-star 2nd called Shining Wave from 1979

Anli (or Anri) was a Japanese pop-vocal jazz singer active in the late seventies through the eighties.
In that period she put out quite a few albums, and this her second is particularly interesting, well-crafted and enjoyable in the standard pop tradition of that era-- think Stephen Bishop, Roberta Flack, Phoebe Snow, etc., with perhaps a couple of trivial nudges towards progressive composition, such as was common for pop artists of the time (e.g. Joni Mitchell's 1977 Paprika Plains opus).

For those like me who detest cover songs, it's a bit of a slog at times, but I thought some tracks were very artistically done with some of the sensitivity of my old favourite Radka Toneff (though obviously not as suicidally depressing).

Eric Carmen's old pop song Change of Heart, magnificently done here:

Enjoy a little change of pace...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

D. Humair, J.-L. Ponty, Phil Woods, Eddy Louiss in 1977's La Sorcellerie A Travers Les Ages [by request]

La Sorcellerie A Travers Les Ages was composed as a Soundtrack to the Movie "Haxan" by Danish filmaker Benjamin Christensen.

First track called Générique (Theme):

The last track, which was missing heretofore, turned out to be quite entertaining and although digressive, interesting enough in its originality to sustain some attention.

Clarinet – Michel Portal
Drums, Composed By – Daniel Humair
Organ – Eddy Louiss (tracks: B)
Saxophone – Phil Woods
Vibraphone – Eddy Louiss (tracks: B)
Violin – Jean Luc Ponty (tracks: A)

Friday, 14 October 2016

German Tau's masterpiece album

Well, back to the stunning masterpieces.  From Tom:

Tau - s/t. 1981 private. 

Simply put, Tau play a symphonic rock style, with bits of humor spread throughout. The progressions are very much out of the early Genesis school, and Tau could be considered contemporaries of Ivory or even Neuschwanstein. But there's also a strain of late 70s Grobschnitt found throughout, both in the zaniness and even in the AOR moments. Sung in German, which is unusual for this type of prog rock. Lots of mellotron for an 80s album. Not a monster or anything, but fans of neo progressive rock are likely to really enjoy this one.

I beg to differ, to me this is a masterpiece of progressive music.  Certain tracks really stuck with me throughout my progressive listening career such as the utterly bizarre Lucy in the Sky with the siren-like riff in the background, the drinking song / death song (todesfuge), and particularly the variety of the inventiveness on display here with widely divergent styles exhibited on an admittedly Genesis-derived background including Brecht-like political chants, folk or acoustic, and acidy 'psych'.  Then there's the quality of the modern-music-like composition.  As was so often the case a poor rip has been circulating for some time and this brand new vinyl rip will really delight everyone with its clarity and beauty.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Karl Ratzer is back with the Zipflo Weinrich Quartett in 1986's For You

This artist was introduced before, here is another from the mid eighties in which he teams up with the  guitarist Joschi Weinrich and violinist Zipflo Weinrich.  It's unfortunately very much in the 'gypsy jazz' tradition, that is, bluesy dixieland with an acoustic emphasis and a very clean barely amped electric guitar sound.

First and title track as sample:

Monday, 10 October 2016

Virgilio Araque Reyes's Jamin In Venez (1980)

Many thanks to my generous friend again for this beautiful slice of high-energy fusion.  Nothing cliche'd or hackneyed in this music.

Colors of the Sun presents the arguments of the band, in a masterfully played rocket propellant of rhythm section fuel the guitarist, the inimitable Rhodes piano and other soloists bang on to your ears with the insistency of

Saturday, 8 October 2016

String Summit's One World in Eight, 1981

When you look at the involvement here of famous jazz or fusion musicians you get the feeling it's like a high school reunion.  From discogs:

Bass – Barre Phillips, Bo Stief
Cello – Abdul Wadud
Drums, Percussion – Fredy Studer, Pierre Favre
Engineer – Franz Wagner, Norbert Kloevekorn*
Flugelhorn – Ack van Rooyen
Guitar – Christian Escoudé, Harry Pepl [note that these two have appeared here before, separately, both more than once]
Piano, Synthesizer – Wolfgang Dauner
Trumpet – Ack van Rooyen
Violin – Didier Lockwood, John Blake, Krzesimir Debski

Bringing in so many luminaries does not though lead to a nonlinear multiplication in quality, as is so often the case, with the opposite effect perhaps in evidence.  Dauner once again as he did with the Family of Percussion pulls out his old Trans Tanz composition.

First crazy track called One World in Three (written by the violinists D. Lockwood, Blake and Debski):