Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Gary Epps' Thru my Eyes, 1980







It certainly seems outrageous that people can still dig up great albums, totally unknown to even the "cratedigger" cognoscenti, after the innumerable from this period that have been resuscitated year after crazy year, in terms of Greek philosophy more than the reckoning of the grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth.  Particularly in the US late seventies blended dept. of aor-fusion-prog-ssw, there still seem so many.  Here's one that truly surprised me by the strength of the compositions and the wonderful variety the band is able to showcase.  In the database, thanks to apps for entering the information, perhaps for finding this, it's clear this is a one-off and a private pressing.  Right away I can't help but comment on the photos they used,  I think it's well worth arguing over which, front or back, is more egregious, the tanktop-wearing cowboy in a desert diorama howling at the moon, or the disco dude with shirt collar larger than the now-retired supersonic Concorde's wings?

Track a2, called Too Few Answers, brings the quasi-fusion home to you, baby:





Those were the days "my friend, we hoped they'd never end..."

But it just keeps getting more interesting, I found track A5 (Quake Of Your Smile) to be shockingly well composed:





So many thanks to the multitude of people who bring these lost treasures back to me and all of us.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Olivier Bloch-Lainé - Des Mots 1976




A lost French chansonnier album that recalls the beautiful Xavier Gernet I posted long ago, though lacking a song as decisively unforgettable as Mimmie, or alternatively Gerard Pisani's great Loup des Steppes, chanson combined with folk and a touch of jazz, a bit less folky acoustic than Le Chien des Dunes-- anyways, you get the idea.  The title track is without doubt the big hit here, and the professional skill is quite impressive altogether:





A good bio and review in French appears here.




Friday, 14 July 2017

Csula Jazz Ensemble - Crusade 1980






Recall from earlier.
I presented the first album back there and this is the second one from 1980 with Bob Curnow still leader and prime composer.

A track called Manstae II really surprised me with its nicely unique chord changes:






Fewer horns, more electric guitar(s) and fender rhodes and it would've been sublime in my books.

Tracklist:

A1 Crusade (Bill Holman)
A2 Of Another Time (Bob Curnow)
A3 Manstae II (Jeff Holmes)
B1 Shuffluphagass (Les Hooper)
B2 A Time For Love (Johnny Mandel, arr. by Hank Levy for the Stan Kenton Orch.)
B3 The Tenth Planet (Bob Curnow)






Wednesday, 12 July 2017

More Zipflo Reinhardt with Oceana from 1979





To complement the later release posted earlier this is in a similar style but perhaps not quite as good, with the latter album edging this out in terms of variety of tempos, moods, and creativity in melodies.  Too bad there was nothing to follow that masterpiece, Light of the Future...  (light indeed: more like the bright light at the beginning of a tunnel into a dead end...)

Empty Road:





Note that all compositions are by Zipflo.


Drums, Percussion – Christoph Haberer
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass – Hans Joachim Schmidt
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Günter Möll
Keyboards – Hans Peter Hepp
Producer – Wilhelm F. Schmid



    Monday, 10 July 2017

    Connivence III from 1984 by request






    Look at the terrible cover photo for III!  what was the idea I wonder??? Renaissance artist meets Miami Vice set inside Tron?  Hello beautiful can I blow a trumpet up your...?  well as we all know we must be nonjudgemental when it comes to that decade.  At least the music is not Duran Duran-influenced.

    Recall Gilles Legault, and his 1981 solo album?  Here's the remainder from his former group.  As I mentioned in his post, I believe he wrote the most beautiful songs out of all here, quite an achievement considering the size of the group initially, being quite magically haunting, expressive, and very poetic in terms of word choices.

    With regards to this album, their third, his best contribution (of only 2) called Ou Vent Frissonne, is perhaps a bit too brief though clearly authentically inspired:





    The remainder of the songs on III features a quite eclectic mix of reggae, folk-gigs, 80s style commercial pop, and a progressive instrumental track called Detour that is perhaps the highlight for the serious music fan:





    Written by Steve Burman, who wrote a few other remarkable tracks for the first 2 albums.

    Which recalls their 1977 installment in which an absolutely sublime progressive instrumental track called Lapin closed it out, written by one Charles Fairfield.  I always wonder about these artists who disappear after composing such majestic one-off things.  They must have done more, never revealed to the rest of us, perhaps abandoned...

    In general the first two albums are the masterpieces, very similar to Broussard which I posted compleat in the comments last time, but perhaps a tiny bit better in terms of progressive inventiveness in the instrumental sector and sheer unforgettable melancholy beauty in the dept. of Legault's magnificent songs.  I sure hope and pray I'm not the only one who will start crying each time I hear his magnificent harmony vocals in the chorus of S' il y a de l' amour:





    "If there is love, if there is love,
    the shadow of my shadow will wait for me
    nothing will allow it anymore to disappear
    except the summer nights-- 

    If there is love, if there is love, then so be it"


    Wednesday, 5 July 2017

    Peter Thorup's 1978 Rejsen Til Kina [temporary only]





    "Poems from China" by Tom Kristensen first published in 1922.  Music by Thorup.

    Looking over the information on this release I was surprised to see it was released to CD some time ago, accordingly, I won't have a link....

    A nice surprise to see Knudsen on keys.  (Of course I posted his masterpiece Anima some time ago in a lossless.)

    The first track really sets the tone here:





    I think we should all be grateful that this doesn't descend-- not even for a moment, or note-- into the pentatonic simplistic silliness so typical of "chinese"- influenced music.



    Monday, 3 July 2017

    Atlantic Bridge - Atlantic Bridge (USA - 1970)


    If you enjoy jazz-rock interpretations of pop songs like "MacArthur Park," "Something" and :Dear Prudence," this is for you.  Nothing ground-breaking, but considering that it was released in 1970, it was a bit ahead of its time.

    Sunday, 2 July 2017

    Norwegian Band Vanessa, in 1975's City Lips and 1976's Black and White








    This band blew me away when I first heard them, very early on in my prog initiation, since they sounded so much like my favourite Orchestra Njervudarov.

    Their first record shockingly sells for several hundred euros now, though it seems like a basic funk-fusion work along the lines of Kjol, Moose Loose, Scope, Kornet, my / our old discovery Alpha Omega from Australia, and so many others....

    Leaves of Love: