Monday, 13 June 2016

Ashby-Ostermann Alliance from the US 1981


A beautiful cover drawing indeed!  Information here.  But first let's see what Tom had to say, way back when:

Another fine entry from MM, Chicago based Ashby Ostermann Alliance is a good example of early 80s fusion mixed with a strong rock aesthetic. This latter element is often missing in the progressive rock & jazz rock genres. In fact the AOA album doesn't give that indication early. It seems to be pointed in the direction of Latin Jazz, but about midway through Side 1, the guitarist begins to take over. Then the compositions take on more complex forms, and before you know it, you have a mighty fine progressive fusion album on your hands. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that these guys knew or played with fellow Chicagoan group Proteus.  Dusty Groove, the superb record shop from Chicago whose primary focus is in the soul-jazz-funk-fusion fields of music, has recently had a used copy of AOA album in stock. Their quick review says "Obscure fusion from the Chicago scene – played by a group with heavy guitars from Vince Ashby and wailing keyboards from Dennis Ostermann! The sound is jamming, but with some nice tight moments that almost get funky." That's pretty much spot on.  Hard to grab a story line here, but I think this one would go down a storm with the obscure fusion LP buying community. Neat cover art too.

Priority: 3

For myself only side 2 holds any interest at all, the first side being only fuzakoid with a bit of the latin irritation.  Consider the grand opening though of b1, with the equally grand title of Theme from universal melody:

Subsequently, b2's Tidebreaker, really takes it away:

Not too bad on the strength of those two tracks though.

1 comment: