Monday, 19 February 2018

NTSU Lab Band in 1971, plus 67, 82, thanks to Simon666

The last cover, its artwork so French, I love it.

Thanks to blogger Simon666 from the rhodes blog of course, we have more from this hugely talented band led by Leon Breeden to add to earlier installments from 1980 and 1975 + 1978.  (And, btw, in the future I'll be posting a lot of new rips from other years of the decade).  So by that time we'll have covered more than 15 years of the discography and then reassess.  One thing I can assure you, if you didn't already realize it: each of the LPs is worth hearing and is guaranteed to contain at least one superb gemological fusion treat.  We saw that especially with the Zebra Soars.

So for example from 1967, usually not a very promising year for fusion except if your name is Miles Davis, there's the track called Anadge:

That stunningly advanced chart written by Robert Morgan, described as a high school jazz band director.  Most of that summer of love year, predictably for the jazz phylum of the kingdom of music/life, is merely cover songs of such ancient, prezoic standards as Nature Boy (George Benson did the best version of that song ever in my opinion).

So moving on to the year 1971 we have a more promising entry, just casually looking at the kooky song titles.  First of all, the artwork is just wonderful, recalling as it does the communist geometric art of those ancient Melodiya Russian jazz LPs we know so well.  God bless the great old union of soviet republics (cccp), soon to be new union of putin republics (ccpp?).  And it would be perfectly true to say this record, from beginning to end, is well worth listening to in the most intent manner you can muster, these days, with wife and screaming kids, sorry, I meant screaming wife and kids in the near distance here at all times.  From beginning track to the extended composition called Liferaft Earth that closes it out.  The A2 track Badi' is my favourite:

It's warm and smooth, but really rewards close listening with its odd chord transformations, as well as the sudden alterations in rhythm and abrupt modulation and it's written by one Jim Milne (if this database if correct).

As might be expected, by 1982 we can no longer bank on the same kind of magical composition.  Why?  I'm not so sure myself, but the 'I want my MTV push' sure wanted simplified music too, and they sure got it.  I have trouble finding a really well written piece on this one, but maybe the Northern Lights comes close:

 At the same time, it doesn't quite compare to the sample immediately above it.

So instead let's look forward to the coming installments, as I said...


  1. Lab 67

    Lab 71

    Lab 82

    These are not my rips, nor those of Simon666, so apologies for low bitrate, but thanks to the rippers.

  2. these LAB records are treasure!

  3. Thanks to Simon! The Rhodes blog was excellent!!