Saturday 31 January 2015

Benoit Gignac's two ST albums from 1976 and 1980 from Quebec

A nice little discovery from my friend, recalling some of those symphonic-folky albums from the same Province as "Les Seguins" and "Le Temps."  This artist seems to be completely unknown, even in his native land.

The knitted image of the first record is of the Village of Baie-St.-Paul credited to Josee Filion.  For many of us it will remind us of the hobby that was popular in the seventies, not to mention the sweaters.

One impressively arranged track, which recalls to me the tender and well-thought-out Canadian folkist Raoul Duguay, called "Les Immortelles:"


And another, from the first album, called "Aria:"

Though these trend towards the melancholy and introverted as is my wont, be it known he was at ease also with jazzy, pop, and more proggish styles.  

And from these samples I think we can all agree his talent at songwriting was not just undeniable, but neither worthy of overlooking nor in the worst case, abandonment.

Friday 30 January 2015

Ghanaian Mack Sigis Porter wishes Peace On You from 1972 [no download review only]

This is from a reissue of the LP.  The Italian Wikipedia has a page about this singer who only made this one, outstanding, record.  Hopefully someone can tell me what it's saying.  I received this courtesy of a friend and again I will not be able to provide a full album but the quality of the music compels me to popularize it.  At first I was a little put off by his vocal resemblance to Jimi Hendrix, but after a few listens, I really 'dug it.'  This man is truly a unique artist.  The odd mixture of lyrics in French and English in particular makes for a really soulful sound, along with the deep and absolutely to-the-bone musical spirit of the artist.  Musically this is similar to what Don Anderson (Edo Zanki) attempted on the classic "Eagle Flies."  Please note the vinyl is not at all unaffordable (being a reissue).

Here with the amazing dropped-D tuning effect is a hard number, "Sunday in Neon Lights:"

Contrast that with the bluesy and almost Jackson Brownian "Till the Fall:"

Dear Mack Sigis Porter:

Homo sapiens is not just the wise human, he is the artist human.  This album could be the anthem of our species.

What talent, and what an unjust obsolescence.

I will have more of the review-only posts coming this February for records that really knocked me out-- altogether good news, because we can be assured there are still tons of gems out there!

I would love to share this with all y'all but of course the powers that be, powerful as they be in their constellation Orion looking down upon us from the musical heaven that is their domain, will not allow this to happen-- and I for one completely understand this.  I will do nothing to stop the starflow of hot light down because this music would lead me, were I to be Odysseos, to follow the path to their Siren's song no matter how many beautiful Penelopes awaited me at home sweet home, some ten years ago, some ten thousand leagues hence, nor will I hesitate to give myself completely to their song, untied from the mast, though I pay the price in shipwreck...

Thursday 29 January 2015

Jan Rigo & Friends - ... in time for 1982!

This avuncular elder guitarist wrote all the music here.  It surprised me his discography is not larger. Not in the same league as my adored Georg Lawall, less progressive and more basic along the lines of the earlier jazz output of George Benson (before he evolved to vocalizing), but still enjoyable.  A lot of interest to certain tracks.  For example, the spontaneous improvisation:

Then again, when I see yet another jazz record with a cover version of Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight (or Body and Soul, or Giant Steps), I head straight for the local pub and down a few pints whilst weeping and asking myself repeatedly, why is everyone not yet bored of these songs played literally trillions of times in the history of humankind?  It's as if someone who loved The Great Gatsby in high school, continued to read it every season of every year for the rest of their life.  Surely we call such a person autistic? (pardon to all those disturbed by the analogy).  And worse, that unfortunate scatting swing style makes a torturous appearance on the second side...

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Silent Partner - Hung by a Thread

This album is very Genesis and Stackridge-like with the music-hall type numbers, folky material, silly lyrics, etc.  However the last track is a power-blast of fusion that will sweep you away like a jet engine does an unfortunate pigeon.  Having said that, it's quite hit and miss with a number of super-annoying songs, just as Stackridge used to do.

A Stackridge imitation, track 4 (or Genesis, either one, makes no difference to me):

I won't include the last, nine-minute long fusion track that blew me away utterly and made this lost album a classic entirely on its own, but pay attention to it, it's a stunner!

Many thanks to my friend for purchasing this record and sharing it with us.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Bertha and Friends 2, the Child of the Town (1980)

Back with the second installment of this funky German group.

The track "Further On" is particularly gorgeous, I could listen to it all day, with its kind of indolent and sunny peaceful feeling:

Friday 23 January 2015

Bertha and Friends' first Work of Art (and indeed it is) from 1978 Germany

Gotta love the over the top funk content on this one, the warm sound of the rock-pop with a huge surplus of energy and creativity that drives it right out of the seventies ballpark or rather amusement park midway.  It's the dial turned up to 11 on happy-go-funky stuff, ready to spinal tap you with all the self-created ecstasy bodily fluids you will need to pay your way across the river Styx forever.  Here's their Balade:

Most assuredly, the kind of work of art I really love.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Mike Santiago / Entity, White Trees, USA 1977

Speaking of osurec, finally an upgrade on this magnificent American fusion album that at least for me was an old discovery from the mighty one himself.  This is a one-off from Mike, his only composition that I can see, his masterwork, and it's really truly brilliant, showing Chick Corea influences and some really advanced progressive composition wrapped up in some insanely fast and almost impossibly hyperactive guitar playing.  A terrible mono rip was circulating of course, which didn't do it justice.

I always confused this album and the similar sounding "Mike Warren and Survival Kit" which of course is just as good in addition to being quite similar, being electric-guitar based in sound like the great Tony Palkovic.  My one criticism here is that, having purchased a VG+ record, it's quite clear that the sound of the recording is not ideal, you will see what I mean because I'll let you get a go at the wav file I recorded just now.  I would go so far as to say that most of the instruments sound like they're recorded in mono.  Therefore on some of the really dexedrinic songs like "On the edge of forever" it's almost hard to follow the individual instruments, and the fusion gets sorely muddled.

Here is that track, which has some of the fastest unison fusion riffs I've ever heard, and will of course remind you of the famed band Return to Forever:

Gotta love that cover photograph too, almost like a nineteenth century British landscape.

And here are the credits:

All tracks arranged and composed by Mike Santiago except the Rue Veine track, written by Rick Montalbano.

Drums – Ronnie Glick 
Guitar – Mike Santiago 
Percussion, Congas, Vibraphone – Tom Baker
Piano – Richard Sussman
Producer – Hank O'Neal, Mike Santiago 
Recorded By – Bruce Gerstein 

Recorded 13-14 October, 1977 

"The music on this record is dedicated to Bonnie Santiago"

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Spinning Motion's Confidence in the Future in 1980 [review only, my apologies]

A beautiful little shiny gem of outsider art like those paintings classified as 'primitifs' who never received any art training, although, as I understand it, these musicians did play in the German jazz scene, as you can see from the database entries on RYM and discogs.  I believe the singer and pianist Manfred Tapper would be the mastermind behind this little priceless piece, although I shouldn't say priceless so much as budgetless in the case of those hoping to purchase it.  Nonetheless due to the odd gentle atmosphere and curious style of acoustic progressive pop-jazz they play, including some bossa nova rhythmed numbers that seem twenty years out of date, I would say this is really a progressive treasure.  Expensive and rare, but understandably so, as who could have enjoyed this music in the year 1980?

As usual I will post something when I am given permission, if it ever comes to be....

To get a taste of this style, here is the utterly unusual and charming "Playground of Burial Funds:"

Not only the title but the lyrics are worth listening to, with their oddly macabre but soothingly melancholy atmosphere.  The remainder of the record is just as good.

Monday 19 January 2015

Paradis from Iceland, 1976-- a discovery of the mighty osurec

Utterly unknown album, with some great Beatlesian tracks and jazzy moves at the end of side b.  Occasionally it veers too much into the 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' annoying McCartney style of music hall (which apparently he learned from listening to his father play the piano) but throughout you will see that they mix it all up: funk, tango, pop, and to me it really ties together nicely.  Wonderful to hear something so unknown turn out to be interesting after all the stuff we've heard over the years!  Credit of course to the mighty osurec.

Information is here, and note the cost of the record.

Not a terribly artistic cover painting, they could have pushed the Rousseau side of it a bit more, but don't you love the back photo with the seventies style on the guy in the middle, especially the uncomfortable bulge and the helmet-like hairstyle?


Bass, Backing Vocals – Gunnar Hermannsson
Drums, Percussion – Ásgeir Óskarsson
Guitar – Björgvin Gíslason
Lead Vocals – Pétur Hjaltested (tracks: A5), Pétur W. Kristjánsson*
Organ, Mini-Moog, Rhapsody, Backing Vocals – Pétur Hjaltested
Piano, Clavinet, Clarinet, Backing Vocals – Nikulás Róbertsson

I love the dance queen funky track on side b:

Friday 16 January 2015

Vesselin Nikolov with White, Green and Reds in DON JUAN from 1978, Bulgaria -- wow!

Is there anything more beautiful than the curves of a female shape?  For us men, we must admit that not even music can come close...

Special from my dear friend:

"We all know of the excellent Seventies/Eighties prog-fusion groups from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, even Romania... but what about Bulgaria? The only name that comes to mind is that of Vesselin Nikolov, who made the great "Jazz and something more" in 1987 - and it is he who leads this group, a decade earlier: another really good record!"

And I thank him for introducing me to this astonishing artist!!  Note that the oddly named group he is playing with made quite a few interesting looking records, of which I posted a folky one last time.

This record is different though, it's 70s style fusion of the highest calibre.  Let's hear the track generically called "Riffs" with its gorgeous dissonant chords and powerful electric piano sounds that make me squirm in ecstasy:

But listen all the way to the end, where you hear an Om-like (Rautionaha, etc.) soprano sax wail above the thick electric eel of a piano riff, screaming in its poetic monologue a passion of exciting city nights and glorious emotion never held back, reminding me of walking New York City at midnight with my wife that time years and years ago when we were looking for a famed little-known Malaysian restaurant called the Fatty Crab that we had heard served the best spiced seafood outside of Southeast Asia and the hot tires and dizzying lights of the East Village were a vortical blur after a few drinks as we kept asking those well-meaning city folks with their hand-pocketed purposes and aims the way for us ahead while they laughed at us and we eventually found it some two hours later and it was oh so beautiful to sit down from the January cold and have a hot hot curry bowl full of seafood and laugh together in the tiny place being, as we were at the time, newly married as of a month before...

So please savour this record, astonishingly full of invention, from my friend who 'rediscovered' it for us...


Furthermore, I apologize in advance for this record being excessively scratchy, one must always be so careful with these Eastern European purchases, they are always NM, though when received they are horrifically etch-a-sketched just like a scuffed up pavement tile recently removed from a grand central railway station installed in the nineteen-twenties--and they were installed already used at the time.  Always they are scratchy, perhaps due to the heavy Russian winters... (or is it the relative scarcity of toilet paper?)  But no, according to sellers, of course, in Russia, there are no scratchy records.  "Nyet, nyet, nyet, there is no scratch on record," Igor will pronounce, "there is no scratch!  where do you see scratch!  is no scratch!  we do not have scratches on record in mother oops in Russia!  HA HA HA HA HA!!! Nyet!  HA HA! hey, you want cheap ipad mini too?  Is real cheap.  Is new.  No scratch."

In fact didn't Vladimir Putin himself once declare the same?  "There is no scratch in long-player record in Mother Russia.  Now you stupid reporters you stop asking this stupid question.  Is not happen here.  Is not important, like which beautiful woman I make love to last night, or whether Ukraine is now part of Putin empire (was not Jennifer Aniston! No!  Ha ha ha!!!  OK maybe.)  Yes you colonialists, you American hegemonial people with you army bases in pacific islands you use to bomb muslims, you have scratches on record like you have the blood on your hands.  Perhaps you want to scratch the Bear's back?  watch out-- for he will eat your liver... !  Is american invention, no? we have wax here, is best, is purest in the world, it has no scratch, is Russian wax, is made by Baba own hands in fish factory.  NO SCRATCH!  when you people you bring us capitalist 33 speeds and negro jazz music, you ruin mother Russia.  We had 78, is best speed for gramophone! fast fast fast! fast like when I ride snowmobile over tundra rabbits! perfect! you stupid american 33 speeds, is not even make sense, it is fraction, what school kid doesn't know 33 is not real speed for LP record?  78 is real speed!  HA HA HA HA!   You are babies, you, you no wrestle with siberian tiger like me, you afraid of radioactivity in North Sea, and nuclear explosion in reactor, maybe you europe people, you mother still wipe you behind?  yes? is it? radioactivity!  ha ha! It is use in russia soap, the radium, with strong vodka.  Use to clean chest hair real good."

And then I believe president Putin proceeded to drink a quart of crude petroleum sitting on the table.

But seriously, I love Putin.  I mean for those of us who used to laugh at cold war craziness, it's like being back in the eighties all over again, and who doesn't miss those eighties?  Now if only the mullet would come back too....  or what if Putin had a mullet? even better!

Addendum: a cleaned rip was posted thanks to a wonderful listener...

Wednesday 14 January 2015

The Bulgarian flag's White, Green And Reds in Plovdiv Folk Jazz Band (1984)

Everyone out there familiar with Bulgarian jazz and fusion?
Uh-- Bulgarian?  yes, absolutely.  Soon I'll post an album that made me absolutely throw up in shock when I heard it, being so unexpectedly great and interesting.  In the meantime we can have a listen to this group, named of course after the Bulgarian flag's colors, perhaps in order to conceal the fact this is not communist propaganda style music.  Which it definitely isn't, being progressive ethnic-flavoured (or smelling perhaps I should say) fusion of the highest calibre.  Information is here.  There is one astounding fusion-orchestral work we already knew about from the same country, it was called Septet Rousse and it was released in 1980.  It recalls Orchestra Njervudarov, my favourite representative of this style and for me one of the all-time masterpieces of progressive composition. Of course it is not as good, but well worth seeking out for a listen.

I love the Marc Chagall-like drawing on the cover.  Great image to admire while listening to this stuff.  Artwork credited to this guy, Емил-Велчев.  And I think after this month you will be quite impressed with the jazz output of Bulgaria.

Sunday 11 January 2015

More Capon / Escoude [Confluence] with their Gousti from 1980, by request

This album features more of the gypsy guitarwork of Escoude and less of the avant-garde / free jazz that Capon (and his bandmates in Confluence) seemed so enamoured of.  Yet, straddling that humongous, almost Bering-straits-like 1980 divide between good music and garbage, it is so interesting to hear the changes between the two continents, never the twain shall meet.   Having said that, the Capon track "Astarte" is a dead ringer for a Confluence track, listen and see what I mean:

There are quite a few others that will make you, if they did me, quite nostalgic for the seventies obsession with utter artistic beauty...

With regards to the last track, called Gondwana (really it should be Gondwanaland), I was quite amused on reading recent geology tomes that the supercontinent Pangaea (which united all continents some 250 million years ago, just before the age of the dinosaurs) will be reunited again, some 200 million years from now, when the continents now so clearly widespread on the globe return together again, and that this is a long-scale cycling activity, with a period of about half a billion years-- yet when that occurs no human being will be alive to see it... what will be the dominant lifeform then? insects? birds? some variety of rats' and pigeons' descendants, or the children of cockroaches, possibly become intelligent again?  Unfortunately they will not be able to avail themselves of precious metals, rare earths, iron, or fossil fuels, since humanity will have used those up in the process of its inevitable extinction...
It's so fun to imagine what the earth will see, so many millions of years from now...  One thing I do know: it will no longer bear witness to this music, since even today there are so few who do.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Sokal, Scherer, Kaenzig, Dudli from Austria 1984

Uli Scherer was the fabulous avant-garde jazz pianist who composed the best tracks on Part of Art's Son Sauvage.  Would this record be as excellent as the former?  One never knows, right?

Unfortunately it turns out composition is handled by Harry Sokal and Heiri Kaenzig, the sax and bass players, respectively.  This was recorded in Austria in 1983.  Track B1, "Jupiterstrasse," which was composed by the latter, is particularly beautiful:

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Tidying up the discography of Georg Lawall and Orexis - PART 2

An astonishing set of acoustic guitar music from this awesome genius, note that, so far as I can tell, only one song is borrowed from another disc, as was the case in the live album from pnf I think.

I think somewhere in the past I mentioned that artist shocks us by how uncompromising he was, even in 1982 he was still utterly dedicated to pursuing progressive avant-garde music even as the world was filling up with fuzak, digital keys and drums and all-round silliness everywhere.  And like the German band Alcatraz, he never gave up the progressive spirit.

Simply have a listen to the most wondrous track on this record, called 'perpetuum mobile,' and be prepared for your jaw dropping if perchance you have ever tried to learn to play the guitar at one time, so long ago, in your past history:

An amazing, amazing artist, a true artist...

Monday 5 January 2015

Confluence, from beginning to end, 1976 to 1978

Confluence made three albums in the great French tradition of avant-garde jazz, that is, progressive jazz linked with modern music a la Stravinsky or Schoenberg.  So it's a style I love very deeply, personally.

Capon and Escoude were in the first two, I posted their album Quatre Elements here, the link is new for those who need it.  I also have the 1980 Escoude album, Gousti, which has some gypsy elements (for which he had a predilection) but is still quite enjoyable and progressive.  My personal favourite album is the middle one, with the outrageously beautiful and oh-so-french-sounding Les Quais En Automne (a reference to the quais on the river Seine in Paris?) which was written by none other than Capon, and note the melancholy of the oboe:

Here are some earlier remarks about them from pnf (four years ago!) by permission:

"Here we have the final unavailable French Confluence album (chronologically the first). The second and third albums, Arkham and Chroniques Terrestres, were made available at mutant sounds some time ago. As far as I know this one was not before online, but it's nice to complete the work of this undeservedly unknown band.  "Quietly gorgeous French jazzy prog of a very airy, languid and spacious sort, often focused around the wistful cello work of Jean-Francois Capon, whose devastating outfit Baroque Jazz Trio recently had their one eponymous album reissued. One of France's great undiscovered treasures" is the surprisingly subdued description from mutant sounds of Arkham. I would say that it is actually chamber jazz, with a very well-worked melding of chamber orchestra (a lot of violin, flute, cello, double bass) and jazz. Less rock is in this recipe. Unfortunately one of the jazz elements employed is the long tedious and boring jazz solo. I defy anyone to listen thru the last track without fast-forward. This long "4 voyages" (through the sahara desert no doubt?) drags on quite too long before finishing in a gorgeous flute and violin passage using second notes on top of minor chords for that oh so plaintive effect. It is debatable whether the trip to that last 2 minutes was worth the wait...

These progressive musicians wrote a kind of music that has no rules, they use rock, jazz, and european classical in equal measure to create a whole that is perfectly harmonious and has no borders or styles. In my life I listened to modern classical, even Berg and Schoenberg, to jazz, to rock, and I feel like with this music I have come home, it has everything I have looked for in a lifetime of listening to music, all in one package. I hope you who enjoy this agree.    But when I come to work and on the radio I hear for the ten thousandth time "Signs signs everywhere there's signs" or even "Hotel California" playing it fills me with despair at the human condition.  

On a personal note, I wish I could post more albums but time constraints are again a problem with wife returning to work as a spaceperson (cosmonautova) and two small children which I have a lot of trouble to get rid of.  Surely when they finally go to school I will devote more time to this "weird, weird strange hobby" (my wife's words) of sharing progressive albums from the seventies ("Long before I was born???" as my receptionist always says).  A lot of people suggest to get a nanny but I wouldn't inflict these terrible, abnormal children, on any human being no matter how patient or expensively we pay them."

Well, since that was written, my wife is inside the Russian space station again conducting medical research on how to syringe out earwax blockages in zero gravity, my kids are in school currently driving their teachers crazy, and guess what?  I have all the time in the world to indulge in my "weird, weird hobby" as my wife put it of collecting old and forgotten music everyone finds quite off-putting and kind of useless from "long before I was born?" as the receptionists at work always love to tell me  in order to fill up the entire volume of my basement with vinyl records sure to get destroyed in the next crazy flood that hits our town...  hey, rock on, bros...

Marcia Meyer's magnificent oeuvre, part 2, Oregon Summer from 1983

In this record we have more lengthy compositions compared to the mildly slapped-together first record which was like an artist throwing all her ideas into a package as quickly as she could, albeit beautiful they were indeed.  She seems to have recycled two compositions, notice that the 'song for you' gets translated into French for 'chanson pour toi'-- fair enough, it's a song I could listen to every day; as well the B.C. Rainforest flute and guitar duet reappears briefly in the gorgeous 'medley' that is the highlight of side one and that I wish would go on and on but ends all too soon.  A big difference is the loss of vocals on this record which seems more to be pushing the chamber music dimensions, or perhaps proto-new age as I mentioned earlier.  Note the touches of synthesizer here and there.  As well, this time, arrangements are by Mary Watkins and the album is coproduced with Al Rempel.  It is to be presumed she plays all instruments, including the lovely oboe for the Canards (what other instr. could you use for the nasally sound of a duck?), flutes, guitars, and piano. Yet compositions are just as gorgeous, with the highlights being 'Cedar' with its majestic Gmajor7 and Cmajor7 chords and cello arrangements, and the title track, the 'Oregon Summer.'

Here is the former:

As I said with regards to Memo, I love you Marcia Meyer, and I pray your music could be better known today by everyone-- for what you created artistically is in no way inferior to the greatest art any human being has ever fashioned, at least to me.

A quick update, it appears her music is available directly from the artist on her website.  I will point you there and ask you do not share the download and I encourage you to purchase directly from her.  My apologies to the artist!

Saturday 3 January 2015

Tidying up the discography of Georg Lawall and Orexis - PART 1: Carnaval and Bittersüß Wie Stuttgart

I thought I had completed the Orexis discography in long ago pnf days, but I was wrong, two albums were missing as you can see.  The Bittersüß is just spoken word but has some awesome guitarwork from our hero Lawall, while the 1984 album here presented turned out to be quite good, not at all silly Hispanic or fuzak throughout (it is, of course, here and there) as one might have expected from the late year.  No, it seems Georg was an uncompromising artist all the way to the bitter end....  as it was indeed the end for progressive (ethnic) fusion for us in Europe and North America, only in Eastern Europe did it prosper a little.

Here is the best track, which was written by Gert Kilian (the band's percussionist), it's called 'Morgentau:'

So in short we will present to you the following missing albums:
Musical portions from Stuttgart, Palette from 1982, and Carnaval from 1984.  And I think that's all that I'm interested in hearing.

With regards to our Bittersuss, what a shame we can't edit out the talking to just focus on the music which I however attempted to do in the excerpt posted below, which guaranteed comprises all the music on the record and a bit of the speech.  Because really the compsition is fabulous and highly inventive and definitely in the realm of progressive folk-jazz. The record is in mint condition, but I'm not surprised since everyone who owned it probably only played it one time!

That opening riff is simply fantastically killer and I won't be surprised some deejay somewhere borrows it and turns it into a current pop hit with ridiculous lyrics.  But isn't the cover copied from Thick as a Brick?

Now if there is one musical excerpt you should hear it's this one.  Just listen to the improbably dissonant and oddly rhythmed riff that opens the record and speaks to me of the genius of the man:

If anyone needs the other pnf albums which are Orexis 1977, Inspiration, Reflection, Communication, and Georg Lawall Live, let me know, I have them all and reviewed them for the purpose of this post.  Here follow a few comments from the earlier posts (on pnf):

"Continuing on with the Orexis completion, we have their first album from 1977, entirely composed by the amazing Georg Lawall, who plays not just guitars but percussion and sitar. Back of the vinyl describes his musical formation, he was in Total Music Association (free jazz I believe) which produced the LP Walpurgisnacht, then formed the Georg Lawall Trio before Orexis. He was educated in the Munich conservatory and played concert guitar as soloist (not surprisingly given his virtuosity). The other members are Erik Erker, bass, and Gert Kilian on percussions. Erik plays I think cello with a bow in the track 'Tombstone' -- as usual giving it a plaintive funereal sound especially when playing in a very light way on the highest notes. Erik played music by Bartok, Webern and Stravinsky, as well as with Albert Mangelsdorff the great german jazz musician, and other jazz combos in Frankfurt. The percussionist played with the "Ensemble for new music" in Stuttgart as well as multiple jazz groups.  In general this is acoustic music with a great many jazz and classical elements in the composition. Similar to Contact Trio, for those familiar.  In my opinion Lawall's writing is not quite as proficient as the two later albums, Inspiration and Reflection. Several songs meander with the acoustic guitar soloing with no real direction. A couple of tracks are marred by monotonous sitar.

Finally, I include in the comments a new good quality rip of Reflection (1979), which to me is the big masterpiece of Georg Lawall. I can't help but mention the incredible photo cover, in which the mirror shows a lovely blonde topless german girl (Lawall is holding a small mirror inside the wall-mounted mirror). Again Lawall is responsible for all compositions except Bassart, by Wolfgang Lauer the bassist on this record. Trilok Gurtu plays tablas and percussions, along with Gert Kilian. Dieter Bihlmeier plays flutes and Bruckdorfer oboe on the second side, called the Catalan Suite. (Side one is the Reflection Suite.)"

And indeed with hindsight, Reflection was his masterpiece, though Communication really came close to equaling it.

Incidentally the files now have a password, which is the obvious: progressreview.

Friday 2 January 2015

Daybreak recorded in 1976, composed by Herbert Joos (requested by October Country)

Astonishingly, the gorgeous cover is not credited to Joos, though he is certainly a most capable artist (in the visual sense).

As usual this comes directly ripped in lossless from one of my dear friends' LP collections:

Herbert Joos is a German trumpet and flugelhorn player. He is also a graphic artist.

His bands during the years:

Fourmenonly, Herbert Joos Quartet, Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe, The, Part Of Art, Südpool, Sputnik 27, Vienna Art Orchestra

Now again this is an outstanding combination of modern classical music and intellectual jazz.  For me it just doesn't get any better.

And of course for a minus 10 morning with the wind chill and dusty snow covering the asphalt everywhere, what more could you ask for than to gaze lovingly at this dark blue cover, listen to the track "Black Trees" and miss the warmth and green of the summer...