Sunday, 21 June 2015
Derwyn Holder's Astral Visions and their Time Open from USA, 1977 [Review only no download]
Derwyn is a bassist. He assembled an amazing group for this release. Because everything seems to have come together just beautifully (perhaps with the exception of the singer, her name is Jo Ann Stephano Young). None of the artists actually played elsewhere it seems. The guitarist is Ken Navarro, pianist Bob Hallahan, percussionist Mike Smith. I will simply quote the blurb on the back for insight:
2500 odd years ago Plato and Aristotle initially purported that the purpose of Art was to give pleasure. They went on to discuss the means to achieve this, thus beginning a controversy that has raged ever since. The arguments and the Art have become enormously complex over the centuries and the pleasure has become predictably diluted. Derwyn Holder the talented composer-musician and creator of Aastral Visions has succeeded in creating a musical ambience which delivers that quintessential ingredient sought out by the ancient Greek sages, pleasure. Indeed it is a pleasure achieve in a manner akin to that of the classical philosophers themselves-- simplicity...
Born in Canada and brought up in New England, DH brings to this album a panorama of talent. He attended Tufts Univ. and received his Masters in composition from American U. He studied sax and began playing professionally at sixteen. Later he taught music and directed school bands, choirs, orchestras. Switching his focus he began to play the bass and studied with H Stevens Brewster of the national symphony,. In the past 10 years he has performed in clubs located in the Wash. D.C. areas etc...
--Dr. Nick Catalano, New York City, May 1977
Side b is the more interesting side being devoted more to electric instruments (I believe the first side is entirely played by their acoustic versions). So as debut we get the obviously unusual track called Strange:
Immediately subsequent the vocal song called "She" just threw me off my chair when I first heard it with its utterly bizarre melody:
This is not, absolutely not, FM radio hit material. Thank god!!!
Reverting back to some acoustic instruments check out the incredible evocation of bells ringing here perhaps in a deserted cathedral town, for Carillon:
After listening to this you will agree with the Doctor: these guys really understood beauty and the sheer pleasure of beautiful art. But this record is not simple-- not at all. His diagnosis was guilty of malpractice on that score-- thank god.