Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Innersections' Tap Dancer in a Minefield (USA, 1980) [and a reup on Franklin Street Arterial]

Another beyond brilliant and masterful US chamber fusion record from the same period, cf. Franklin Street Arterial, Landress/Hart, Lothlorien, or Swiss Impetus, less folky ethnic than East River Consort...  And look at the cover of Charlie Chaplin being blown up in the minefield!

There is enough database information for us to see the names of the musicians and artists including composers, but they don't seem to appear anywhere else.

Cloud Clusters, a gorgeous composition by Richard Lasner (acoustic guitar, and also responsible for the brilliant cover design):

Here, the flute is backed up by a mildly electric guitar and an unassuming alto flute-- why does no one combine guitar and flute anymore in music???

The odd name of Episdectomy referring to surgical removal of, but prefixed with Epistemology [?] penned by keyboardist Stuart Sigmond (on piano):

The Transition Suite, cowritten by these 2, starts with some very carefully chosen piano chords and then evolves almost like an electric guitar sonata as it progresses:

I don't know how these guys came up with such beautiful sounds, I look at the piano and wonder how to extract something so original & beautiful and have always come up short.

Since there is no way for me to find out where I posted the Franklin Street Arterial album (it was in the comments to some other album) I'll include it here for easy reference, because I seem to mention it all the time.  From Tom:

And yet another great submission from the AC. If you all remember from the original teaser post for this series of rarities, I mentioned one of the albums is posted online by a band member. And here it is! This is quite a rare album, and it definitely has been rising in price amongst those in the know. So don't miss out on this generosity! As I write this, there are no ratings in RYM (though it's been cataloged) and not even listed in Gnosis. That's all about to change I suspect.

The Franklin Street Arterial were from Portland, Maine and are the type of band I've come to appreciate since I started this blog. Mainly due to the enthusiasm of both Midwest Mike and The AC - and reinforced by many others. It's that late 70s and early 80s light fusion sound (but not smooth jazz!). Definitely more on the jazz side rather than rock, but with well crafted melodies and solid professional playing from all. There is some absolutely sublime synthesizer work here, with fine guitar (including one nice ripper), and fantastic sax. This latter comment is not something you will usually hear from the CDRWL, but this is how I personally like to hear the instrument played. All these dudes who squonk like cats-in-heat drive me batty.

And as a bonus, The Franklin Street Arterial had a very nice professionally done video (in 1978!) that has been shared on the same website (and is also on YouTube). It's a superb video, so don't miss out (Oh, and that synth solo! Goosebump stuff right there).

Priority: 3


  1. Innersections

    Franklin Street Arterial

  2. Glad I got to hear this. Nice one Julian, thanks once again.

  3. well, the FSA album was originally posted here.. , not that it matters now... this reminded me I wanted to comment on Chateau Breakers but never got around to that... I always get so many associations in my head that I tend to block myself from commenting altogether.. but thanks again for all the interesting music

    1. at least you remember better than I do, I could never recall where it appeared since it was in the comments

    2. Oh I didn't remember, I just searched and then checked the comments of the earliest result... still, I think there's a way to search the comments, think I've done that before... maybe Google site-search or something...

  4. Thanks so much Julian! This blog has been absolutely delighting me for years, I'm thrilled that you're able to keep the most beautiful & beguiling sounds flowing like fine wine.. The music you share is a much needed balm to the inanity/insanity that seems to have become the default for contemporary consensus reality! Again, very much appreciated. Is it possible to re-up the Chateau Breakers? Best Wishes!

    1. I'll reup chateau breakers when I return from holidays in about 2 weeks and thanks for kind comments, I think you are totally correct about the insane normality of our times, in fact this music is like an escape into the past for me sometimes

  5. These guys all played in a group called the Philadelphia jazz ensemble which cut a nice private live lp previous to this one around 1977.