Tuesday 4 February 2014

Aspects of Paragonne, from 1987 (Tony Hymas, Stan Sulzmann, John Taylor, Frank Ricotti, and Chris Lawrence...)

I featured some Tony Hymas - Stan Sulzmann material before, this album also has John Taylor on piano on some tracks and the legendary Frank Ricotti on percussion and vibes.  Despite the late date this is very much a part of the seventies spirit of fusion and progressive jazz.  It is without a doubt superior to the preceding "Insight" library album, although it appeared the next year, it might be that this combination of artists just felt like hitting gold again or were nostalgic for the classic sound of old, as indeed am I.

I wonder if "Monica and the Pirate" is a homage to Soft Machine's gorgeous "Chloe and the Pirates:"

And the "Aggression and Regression" track provides stunning chords (essentially, G sus, but with added G sharp, etc.) on top of a screwed-up scale of D - E - Fsharp - Gsharp - A - B - return to C.  Quite a shocking scale and chord to complement it.  Not in the Greek classification of scales, I believe.

The last track, "Before and After Zara" with the beautiful flute of Sulzmann really sounds like it came from a late seventies record, there's nothing to indicate the year of 1987 here, not at all:

There's the kind of nostalgia I like, the kind that delves 30-40 years into the past...


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  2. Thanks for that, I enjoyed it enormously

  3. Sounds nice. The written material for the 'Zara' track's first couple of minutes if I'm not mistaken turn up as the extended opening solo piano statement of 'Silver' on 'The Touchstone' by Azimuth (ECM 1978), John Taylor's long-running (now dormant?) very spacious, chamber-jazz trio. Beautiful stuff, with the sort of glorious cover the company shuns nowadays.

  4. wow, I wasn't aware of that album, must check it out...

  5. Any chance of a reup of this?

  6. yeah sure