Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dharma Quintet - Mr. Robinson (FRA, 1970)

Now here's an album that I've seen requested quite a bit in years past that I finally got a chance to hear myself despite the rarity and expense of the actual vinyl.  We know this band from their famous "End Starting" which was posted way back in 2007 by the wonderful defunct blog mutant sounds that carried so many unknown albums from the progressive arena to the (non-plentiful) masses.

If you take a look at their discography you'll see they did another record, a third one, as accompaniment to Collete Magny in 1977 (Visage - Village) which is not recommended at all, being simply French chansonnier-type stuff.  What is less well known altogether is that in the same year as this installment, the pared-down group of Jacques Mahieux (perc), Michel Gladieux (bass), Patricio Villaroel (keys) made a record called "Snoopy's Time" with the basic keyboards-bass-drums outfit playing very ingenious and progressive noodling, in the manner of for example Coronarias Dans, Or Denny Zeitlin's Material, musically very much recommended for an intelligent and thought-provoking listen.   The threesome was then augmented like a C major chord with the musicians Gerard Coppere (saxes), Jean-Francois Sicard (saxes), Gerard Marais (guitars) (on different albums, hence not sextet) for the later group.

Now on to the music which is basic free jazz stuff with a lot of wankery and overlong improvisation.  It's perhaps most similar to fellow French band Machi Oul which put out a few hard bop-fusionoid-free jazz and very modernist atonal-style records, or like the Wiebelfetzer LP posted by prognotfrog.  There are only three songs, such as one might call them; for the purpose of sampling, I brought together the most interesting eight minutes from the whole record.  For those who are not jazz fans it might be that this eight minute reduction sauce is the sum totality of the album one needs to own, as is the case with me:

Nonetheless due to its rarity, it's quite an expensive purchase, like the US Mosaic and Dreamworld Gates to Eternity I mentioned in the past....


  1. any possibility to lossless upload ??
    Thank you very much for great obscure music

  2. any possibility to lossless upload both first albums please??
    thanks in advance

  3. Wow Julian!

    Thanks for sharing this! I actually never thought I would get to hear it having chased these albums for years since the MS posting. It would be awesome to hear Snoopy's Time should you also manage to have that.

    There is actually another LP before the Magny album. It was released in 1973 and entitled Archipel. It's again credited to the Dharma Quintet the group being: P.VILLAROEL / G.MARAIS / J RONDREUX / M. GLADIEUX / JF SICARD.


  4. Yes I checked the discography after this write-up and noticed the album Archipel which is even more rare and expensive than this one I take it. But because it's later, it might possibly be better, worth looking for at any rate. I will see about Snoopy's Time, I have to first ask for permission to post it, will keep you updated.

  5. Thank you!

    I've been looking to hear more from this group for a long time! If you are able to share Snoopy's Time that would be amazing!

    Thanks again.

  6. A real disaster!! The link is dead !!! I used to rehearse at Jef' 's place, boulevard de la Villette à Paris in the 80's and he often joined our band. We were young and we consider him as a legend ! A real nice cat !
    Could you please, I beg you, re-up this gem ?

  7. no worries sir, here you are, new upload;

  8. So quick ! I can't believe it ! You make me so happy ! Thank you mille fois. Je reste votre obligé !! And I wish the best for you!