Friday, 6 December 2013
The First Light from down under in 1978
My favourite fusion album from Australia, no question. It really covers a lot of territory in one album, with Mahavishnu-style guitar arpeggios, softer jazz ballads, acoustic guitar solo, etc. I'll let the music speak for itself. First example, the stunning ballad (track A5 called Zenith), starting with a chromatic descending arpeggio on acoustic guitar, leading into a beautiful female chorus singing the lines, the chord changes, to a musician, are just astonishingly creative. As usual flute provides a delicately bucolic and transcendental experience to the whole. Again, there has never been another song with this sequence, guaranteed-- (in the stanza not intro) (major chords unless otherwise indicated) C, Dflat, Bflat, Eflat, Eflat minor, Dflat, Eflat7, Bflat, C7, Gminor7, Gmajor. An incredible sequence that works because of the wavering melody which pulls all the disparate keys and modulations together. Have a listen:
The ninth track (Solar Illusion) is your basic Mahavishnu guitar-fusion machine, but beautifully composed:
The well-reputed and usually on-the-money Tom of course was ahead of us and gave it a priority 3:
' First Light is a mighty fine instrumental jazz rock effort. Sunny in its approach, with some fine guitar leads, at times reaching a Santana like intensity, but falls just short (sadly). Some nice ensemble unison runs with sax, flute, electric piano, and the female voice on side 2 gives it a Northettes feel, that adds points. Back cover says: "Mellotron and special effects kindly supplied by Aleph". Solid effort. File next to Crossfire and Mackenzie Theory. A natural choice for Aztec I think.
According to a good friend of this site, we have it on authority (someone who knew the band) that 1978 is the correct release year.
Martin from Germany tells us: "FIRST LIGHT from australia is the band formed by ALEPH drummer Ron Carpenter. He also plays with AC DC in 1974 and COLD CHISEL in 1978. Release date must be 1979 i guess." '
[ -- P.S. is he talking about Martin Pruckner, the famous krautrock specialist? -- Editorial note]
There is more information to be found here in the comments, credit to the prognotfrog group. Btw those links he gave go to a different rip than the one I am presenting here, which is fresher. And of course this record deserves to be bought as vinyl to be truly enjoyable-- I think that goes without saying.