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....