Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Albert's 1970 album from US [not my rip, thanks to the ripper]

This album has been extensively documented in the past but was completely unknown to me, I heard it for the first time earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised by it.

It turns out it was first 'discovered' on the red telephone blog, here.  The album that I have here, though, is slightly different from the one written up below.  I'm not sure what the explanation would be, did the album get released twice with slightly different tracks, explaining why there are two ST albums?

First I will quote verbatim below (the first two paragraphs are from Tom on rateyourmusic, of course):

And the award for most confusing discography goes to…. The Albert! Two albums, both self-titled, same year [(no, that’s not true ashram, the first LP was released in 1970, the second in 1971) an editorial note], and on the same label. Yea, that makes it easy to research. The Albert definitely fall on the soul-jazz/pop side of the horn rock equation.

But there’s some really fine horn charts, hard guitar and organ that separate this one from the pack. Also check out the well done sax and trumpet solos. I think fans of the genre will definitely want to hear this. (ashram RYM)

Horns n horns, more horns n horns. are still a mystery to me redtelephone66 has taught me to stick with it and allow myself to go with the flow. After Track ONE to FOUR.. this is a stone cold jazz psyche classic. The Albert sound like a band that played for themselves and to hell with the audience thinking that the audience would be bound to get it.. however, the recordings on show here are very complex and classical. this is serious head music not for the type-cast dance floor?? I sure would have liked to see the cool cats grooving to this!

The depth and wealth of creativity on show here is astounding, a lot of which does not stir me or make emotional contact this is the music of streets I have not walked this is music to be appreciated by those living 8 Days a Week.

TRACK 5. “Pity the Child” kicks in with a most regal/stately opening we are at a funeral. this is OST land for an essential film that needs to be made. this is so cool as it fades into a gentle piano and world weary voice opens up around the two minute mark this is pure socially relevant poetry.. this is Panther Land down at Smokey Joe’s all night cafe, this is the land explored by Gil Scott Heron. this is the land of accusations after Hurricane Katrina this is an anthem for the dispossessed, oppressed, depressed and the moral of Pity and how it is absent within our collective responsibility.. is powerfully explored in this STAND-OUT TRACK. God was present during this recording..

“Cold N Hard” mercifully takes us into the safety of pure jazz funk.. “Candle Burns” opens menacingly and it builds up tension through the high hat the trumpets increase the volume. Sidney Poitier is about to step up to the mike? and more jazz poetry is on show The Albert’s musicality is complex there is tons going on, this is a very engaging album (I was expecting B,S&Ts sonic attack) .. these boys come from a very deep vibe.. listening to this takes me back to a flat listening to Elvin Jones and Richard Davis, Heavy Sounds..

“All Her Vows” whats this we have a Spanish Grenada guitar intro wow. groovy. and we get a song straight off the plantation.a cross between a Child Ballad and a freed slave.. this track hits me between the eyes. wow. we are in the land of Showboat. and our minstrel uses his freedom to float away like Huck Finn down the Mississippi.

“Tribute” takes us out and be prepared to strap yourself in as the boys give full range to their undoubted talents this is Sun Ra meets John Cage meets fuzz guitar king meets one and all at avant-garde corner down at the dark end of the street. this track is A MONSTER who are these guys how did they not make it just go ask Ars Nova or Rhinoceros for the answer.. (Cy at Pck)

It might be important to state that the above review overstates the case just a little bit, sounding more like an advertisement for a thousand dollar record from 'record collector's dream' than an honest review.  However it's true there is a kind of 'screw-you' quality to the progressive arrangements that we dearly love all of us.  I would add that the album is a little uneven too.

Notice that the tracks 'Candle Burns,' 'All her vows' and 'Tribute' are not on this post.  Instead we do have the 'Pity the Child' track:



  2. julian it doesnt say it but i believe that howard wyeth the keyboardist is the same person that went on to play drums for dylan he passed away in 1996 he was a drummer and piano player from a family of well know musicians thanks for the share

  3. I had updated these reviews in February of this year. I wasn't aware of the Red Telephone entry, but it looks like his retort came in 2011. At the time I wrote the first review (2009?), all the discographies had 1970 listed for both albums.

    Here's my current reviews:

  4. Thank you for the rare music you share with us!!!!

  5. Great stuff this album was on my wishlist for a while and i was not disapointed. I might be the worlds biggest Horn Rock fan. Pity The Child is my favorite track the opening Horns sound similar to one of my favorite Chicago songs Poem For The People. Good Review

  6. I (Bill Elmiger) played bass on most of the album reviewed above--that was the first "The Albert" album. We formed in NYC as remnants of 2 Syracuse-based bands, Otis Smith and The All Night Workers along with The Tradewinds, Howie Wyeth's band. Howie added horns from Juillard, and we were just going to be a recording band with Otis as singer. When the band decided to tour, some of us left and the rest cut the second self-titled album which benefited greatly from the band having played live gigs together. In between, we recorded a jazz album called "The Teacher" with James Moody, and a single instrumental cover of "Didn't I Blow Your Mind this Time" with Moody. Otis went on to record a number of singles after The Albert broke up (can be found on YouTube), and Howie joined Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. Barry Lazarowitz, the drummer, later toured in Janis Ian's band. Jay Thomas, one of the horn players, returned to Seattle where he has a Big Band. Steve McCord from the ANW played the "Spanish Grenada guitar" on "All Her Vows" reviewed above, and I still have that guitar which I later bought from Steve.

    1. wow that is so damned interesting to read... I love it when artists notice these reviews, and I gotta say, this was one helluva recording, everyone agrees... thanks a million