Thursday 30 July 2015

Trinity Church In The City of New York With Angels and Archangels from 1975

Now here's a super interesting find that really knocked me out-- once again!  How encouraging that there is still so much special brilliance in the old bins...

Here is the background information, thankfully included in this package, from The Episcopal Archives:

Diocesan Press Service (from May 12, 1975)

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The choir of Trinity Church in New York City, under the direction of Larry King, has just completed two records, A Recital of Renaissance Motets and American Anthems, and With Angels and Archangels.

The Archangels album consists of music to be sung by congregations, with accompaniment by choir and instruments, with one side devoted to new music developed at Trinity Church.  Trinity's choir is a small "chamber choir" fully equipped tonally and musically to present the bulk of the great repertoire of church music.

Mr. King, who has been organist and choirmaster since 1968, changed the choir from men and boys by adding women's voices. "To preserve the aura historically associated with the world's greatest sounds in liturgical music," Mr. King said, "we carefully chose sopranos with natural clear voices, or those, who because of excellent training, could blend with this sound. The mixture of a male alto with female altos made further contribution to a pure, liturgical sound. "

In 1973, Mr. King began an experimental music project with a performing-composing trio called the Archangel. Besides Mr. King, the others were Dr. Dora Schively (an MD in Neurology with a music degree from Julliard School of Music) and Glenn Billingsley, a graduate student in sacred music at Union Theological Seminary.

After Mr. Billingsley's graduation and subsequent move from New York, Archangel added guitarist Louis Gimenez, drummer Zachery Margaritis, and bassist John Rotondi.

All of the music on the Archangel album can be performed with or without the choral parts and instruments. The recording gives some variations.

The People's Music on side two is recorded only with the organ, whereas The Missia Archangelus uses the full symphonic rock band. The album also contains a concert version of a simple humntune called Creation using a text by Isaac Watts depicting the creation of the world with an interlude of sounds of nature including waves, rain and other.

Mr. King said of the recordings: "Trinity's cathedral-like proportions and acoustics are best suited for early, unaccompanied music, and hence renaissance music has become the choir's specialty.

" Trinity's commitment to things contemporary have made important new music a secondary specialty, and quite unique in a society in which the church generally insists on being bathed in the comfortable sounds of the 19th century. "

Both recordings were made on the Columbus Day weekend in 1974 in hopes that the holiday subway schedule would provide for a cleaner tape. "In spite of our hopes," Mr. King said, "the sessions were plagued with disruptions from the eight subway routes behind and in front of the church.

"Several trains defied splicing and filtering, and will pass through the listener's living room if he or she has better than average playback equipment. "

The records are available for $6 each from Trinity's Music Office (74 Trinity Place, New York, N.Y. 10006). An additional dollar for each is needed for postage and handling.

A record completely lost to time, created forty years ago, composed by the aforementioned group headed by Mr. Larry King with shockingly good music.  What more can you ask from life?
The first side mentioned above consisting of organ music is missing from this rip, and it's a shame.  Surely it will turn up someday.  How many of these records were pressed?  Precious few and of those so many must have been tossed in that half a lifespan, and we'll be lucky to see another rip before our lifespans end, but I'll be looking out for one.

Here's the introductory Procession:

What a superlative musical time that must have been when one could find such progressive music at the drop of a hat or rather halo everywhere one turned!

Tuesday 28 July 2015

More Library: Bruno Nicolai, Alessandroni e altri in Rebus 1971 [SR ST 125]

As you can see not a cheap album as is so often the case with these Italian libraries (a copy is on sale for 375 euros should you be fanatic enough to seek out the LP), this one features Bruno Nicolai and the incomparable and prolific Alessandroni whose guitar poetry album I once ripped long ago.  The music is quite modern classical with atmospheric effects such as you'd have found on Hitchcock soundtracks with dark imaginings and mysterious effects.  Overall, not the best Alessandroni or Nicolai, but well worth hearing, especially considering the early year of 1971.

A review to be found online:

Anyone exploring Italian library music should be aware of two great labels, Gemelli and the associated imprint Sermi. These labels released a series of amazing library music and cult soundtrack recordings during the 1970s including many of Bruno Nicolai’ scores to cult Italian sexploitation, horror and Mondo films, as well as the phenomenal output of experimental composer Egisto Macchi. Represented here we have a various artist album titled Rebus, a selection of very dark psychedelic thriller themes suitable for soundtracking a “Giallo’ style film. With a bit of research I’m sure these tracks could be identified as the score to an Italian crime or horror exploitation film(s). Most of the Gemelli and Sermi LPs are housed in extra thick sleeves with stunning graphic design making them a choice object for collectors. Another album on the Sermi label worthy of attention is the amazingly beautiful recording, Prisma Sonoro by Alessandro Alessandroni.

Then again, taste is so different for everyone when it comes to music...  as I notice every time I turn on the radio...  I wonder when I will be hearing Bruno Nicolai's Tra sogno e vita, track 2, on the local radio station...

Sunday 26 July 2015

More Auvidis: Philippe Féret - Ballades Printanieres from 1980

A little bit more disappointing, the highlight of this album is the first track on side b, Un Soir.
But don't get excited, the rest is not up to snuff.


P. Feret ‎– Ballades Printanieres
Label: Auvidis ‎– Av 4163
France.  Released: 1980

A1 La Prairie Aux Oiseaux  
A2 Immensités  
A3 Avec Deux Sous En Poche  
A4 En Allant Aux Champs  
A5 Vers Le Soleil Levant  
A6 A L'Ombre D'Un Pommier  
B1 Un Soir...  
B2 Dans Une Vague Bleu  
B3 Ritournelle ...  
B4 Lever De Lune  
B5 Clochettes Dans Les Prés  
B6 Au Coeur Des Algues

Friday 24 July 2015

A. R. Luciani: Eau. Mer. Profondeur-- finally a complete and lossless !

I guess there are already four records I posted from this amazing composer (Eventi, Divertissement Baroque, Nature et Montagne and the amazing Aspetti).  He was very prolific however and it's doubtful we will see the end of them.  Without more ado then here's another very classically-influenced record which was available in truncated form earlier.  At least it was enough that it convinced me I had to buy a copy of this to hear the totality in its enlightening glory.  The two sides are somewhat different, with the first being mainly full-on orchestral borrowings from classical composers (the Rite of Spring makes an odd appearance with polytonality on one track) while side two is much more accessible featuring harp or vibraphonal backgrounds and chamber or woodwind instruments playing melodies above.

Example, Lumiere sur la mer, which showcases the always-plaintive melancholy sound of the oboe atop a harp and synthesizer or electric piano, thereafter building more with flutes and strings. Really quite gorgeous, and as I said multiply in the past, the sort of stuff I wish were played in concert halls throughout the world instead of the usual old boring programme that draws such apocalyptic hordes of hearing-aid-eared nonagenarians whom I often see drinking the cream from the tiny little free cups they place beside the sugar for those who buy cheap coffee...  such is old age (and mine and everyone's future), I guess...

Wednesday 22 July 2015

KAOS-FM's Alive In Olympia, from the Evergreen State College 1983

Hard on the heels of the wonderful Evergreen albums, this record mixes mostly pop rock and proto-alternative, some of which is quite enjoyable, with an occasional more progressive composition in the US style, e.g. Travelog's Over the Brink:

Sadly there is no evidence this band made an album, despite the strength of that composition.  Or perhaps,  because of its strength?

Monday 20 July 2015

FLP 118 Modern Sound Quartet's Floreama from 1977 and Horoscope from 1978

Instead of alcohol, flowers and horoscopes now, thanks to my libary friend.  Somewhat more uneven, disco-veering, and less inventive than the first record, as may perhaps be expected.

Hopefully new computer ready later this week so I can start ripping again, and awaiting this technology: some more great library records coming up new to the digital domain as I believe.

Saturday 18 July 2015

FLP 116 - Modern Sound Quartet's 1976 Cocktail Bar, featuring the amazing Oscar Rocchi

Certainly Oscar Rocchi was one of the most brilliant unrecognized composers of this library era that strikes us today as full of formidable riches.  And that's especially obvious when you listen to this record for which I profusely must thank my library collector friend for locating and allowing me to overhear.  It's just a little incomprehensible that this music was thrown into an odd kind of remainder bin junkyard without any further attention paid to it.  Where were the listening human beings who first or thereafter played this and considered that maybe the music here was worth preserving and disseminating, given that it stands comparison to some of the best fusion of this admittedly already over-rich time?  It's an utter mystery to me...

Each track obviously is a musical image of some alcoholic libation, some successful evocations, some leave me a little puzzled in terms of how styles relate, but the music is always strong and impressive.  Consider the vodka entry, which makes one think of impoverished and depressed Russians in Red Square, where the life expectancy of the average male is now down to less than 60:

Probably the most successful mixology between music and cocktail is Kirsch, wherein the German or Swiss cherry-based liqueur achieves a wonderful pick-me-up quality from the guitar figures.  And notice how in the background the odd tempo of the rhythm section compliments those same phrases of the much slower melody.

The track called Kummel (a dutch liqueur that shockingly, I had never heard of), on the other hand will surely make all the fusioneers out there jump back into their spaceships for a light-speed interstellar drive to Andromeda (please include me in, with a window seat):

Killer stuff.  And I know-- I just know, that many of you out there will literally fall out of your chairs as I did when you listen through from beginning to end to this astonishingly well-composed and played album...  It goes without saying we will be trying to seek out more hidden treasures that fell from the mind of Oscar Rocchi...

I mean, wow...

Thursday 16 July 2015

The Evergreen State College Music Project in the 1980s, USA

When do we ever get such riches as these?  All these records are available in lossless and mp3 on the website of the school, plus more from later years:

The first two records above, Collaborations and E = etc., are double-LPs so we are embarrassed by a total of 6 records to listen to!  Obviously since these are VA albums it's a mixed bag, with as usual folk, songwriter, reggae, new wave especially, but there are some true treasures of composition inside.  I've selected a few fantastic progressive numbers from the records, as follows, first from the 1980 LP,

Bob Majors'  wonderful RIO track, Music to Fold Towels To:

While Michael Land's (same guy as next album, despite database entry) Forest Fall clearly was Genesis-inspired:

On the second record (sides c and d in other words) we get experimental tracks (Imagine how it must feel), more wonderful progressive attempts with folk (Paul Prince's Tempest), etc. and even some RIO (NGC, the last track).  More detailed info on the discogs page.

Moving on to the best probably, the oddly named E = mc2 plus or minus 1 db, we have a knock-you-off-the-chair prog track from Michael Land (who contributed three tracks here!) Patterns of Doubt:

This is progressive rock at its finest, recalling perhaps Yezda Urfa, Mirthrandir, Yes, etc.
Quelle surprise!  Incidentally I read that he went on to compose music for video games.

As we get to the third one, Maze in Music, the pickings get slimmer as might be expected, particularly with the departure of Michael, though it is not without its moments, consider the following experimental piece called Dawn Prelude, by Carol Howell and Rich Green:

The last record, Fresh Tracks, has been utterly given over to new wave, reggae, and assorted garbage.  What a pity!  Here's the best track I could summon up for example, Illumination by Chris Bingham:

Now please go and gorge on this embarrassment of riches!

Monday 13 July 2015

Jean-Pierre Martin - Flute Et Guitare En Liberté from 1982

The next installment from this artist.  Exactly as the title says.  Still issues with computer. Microsoft the new evil empire?  Time to go to the computer store, buy a much too powerful computer with 'upgrades'  I will never need in a hundred more years, pay hundreds of extra dollars for programs I already had and used for decades (like word), plus more programs I can completely dispense with even if I were a supercomputer solving the mysteries of existence, throw in, unwillingly, enough memory to record all of western civilization and a few aliens ones too, and still, it's guaranteed to crash and break down in one year causing untold agony as I'm forced to replace everything.  It's wonderful, how technology moves forward.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Jean-Pierre Martin - Voyages et Paysages from 1984

Of course in the same series as the gorgeous Dominique Guiot albums L'univers de la mer, and La dame a la licorne I presented to you earlier, from Auvidis, with the always beautiful circular picture in the bottom right corner, this is fairly typical straightforward gentle French library music with not much pushiness.  Some information here.

Note the beautiful track, Irisee:

Stay tuned next I'll be serving up his album from 1982, Flute et guitare.

Thursday 9 July 2015

Daddy Warbucks: another brilliant tax-scam label release from 1976

[No Back scan unfortunately]

Fantastic name for a band, agreed?  It was then, and it still is now...

The full story of tax scam releases was told here.  Despite what I read, I still find it hard to believe.  In particular I just can't conceive that these record producers would pretend to create a record and a false run of thousands of copies, but only print out a hundred to sit in a warehouse, for the sake of accounting.  Why not falsify the whole enterprise and just keep it as a paper loss?  Why bother to take actual demos or recordings: was there an expectation that someone from the IRS was actually coming to listen to these?  And the scale of the project surprises me, as well as the fact the practice was widespread across different labels.  What about all those poor but brilliant concomitant artists forced to privately press their beloved records-- why couldn't they just join forces with the fake labels and print those instead considering they were never going to sell many?  At least it would introduce some realism into the scam.  It seems almost tragic, a complete waste, for the sake of what-- a profit of a bit of money for the major label?

At any rate, here's an instance (along with Sunshine Makes my day, and Ilian's Love me Crazy) where a really excellent progressive album should have gotten more notice, instead, it wound up in truncated, 22 minute form, on a tax scam label!  Again we will see the same symptoms of this syndrome: uneven recording quality, some demolike imperfections, short album length, a missing track (the back lists 8 but in reality there are only 7 songs)...

First, from rateyourmusic:

This typically obscure Tiger Lily LP has something most do not: accurate credits. Members of this band were previously in GoodThunder and would later form the melodic hard rock/AOR bands L.A. Jets and 1994. Daddy Warbucks are cut from the same cloth, but with some added prog moves (despite short songs.) This album is chock full of wonderfully used synthesizer and has its share of tricky rhythms/time signatures. It also has a bunch of catchy tunes. Check out the frantic bass playing on "Blue Eyes" or the atonal synth on "There's a time" [ed. this seems to be erroneous, or an incorrect use of the term atonal] and you can see that these guys had serious pop smarts. In fact, if it wasn't for the typically early 70s bluesy male vocals, this would be a grade-A power pop album. As it is, it's a grade-A mainstream rock album. In a similar fashion to the first two Cars albums, it shows that synthesizers need not be used only to make "synthesizer music," but can be beautifully integrated into a rock band as lead and rhythm instruments. It's a bit mainstream for psych fans, but if Crack and Steve Drake can be highly sought after by collectors, it stands to reason that this equally (maybe more?) rare album should be too. Note: A song from the GoodThunder album is remade here with a new title and new lyrics. In usual hilarious tax scam fashion, the back cover lists a song that's not on the album and the total time is a scant 21 minutes and 53 seconds, not a second of which is wasted. 

Ignore the reference to the Cars-- they have nothing to do with this record, which in style is like any mid-seventies (hard) pop-prog record.  Notice here the extensive information on performers and composers, including the shocking presence of one Peter Cetera (on track 2).  Notably his entry is by far the weakest song.

There is one outstanding prog composition on the first side, which is (time has a) "Hold On You."  Check out how absolutely dynamically interesting the melodies are with their unrepentant and unflinching chromaticity, with the stanza deftly, or deviously, moving from the initial E minor to C sharp minor, and listen to the intermission instrumental passage with its climbing atonality (using the term appropriately here):

Ending on a majestic guitar solo, it just doesn't get any better than this folks...
This track was written by one Wayne Cook, of whom not much information here.  It was placed in pole position on the earlier Goodthunder album, with, as noted above, different lyrics, and a watered-down sound which to me sounds inferior to this Daddy demo-like version.

Amazingly the progressiveness gets even more enjoyable by the all too short side two.  Listen for example to the instrumental Space Suitor on the second side, starting with that familiar fat and fuzzy thick sustained B on the guitar evoking, probably unintentionally, the Tommy Pinball Wizard B:

How is it possible this track was never officially released, when it's so brilliant?

The other thing I love about this record is the fact it forms a cohesive whole, showing someone was thinking about this as a totality (presumably the band members), almost all the songs referencing time or the changes in life, as you will hear on listening closely to the lyrics, with an accent on a slight cynicism or perhaps the jaded melancholy of reflecting on how quickly our lifespans pass.

And then, consider how bizarrely and bitterly ironic it is that those avaricious and pathologically self-absorbed music execs made sure a piece of music that would otherwise have been completely forgotten will now be remembered forever!

What a story, and what a work of hard rock art we have here...  thanks to those jerks...  Such are the mysterious ways of art...

Look at the stunning cover art of the 1972 Goodthunder record mentioned above.  This has been released to CD.  On comparing the music side by side to the Daddy Warbucks opus, it is without a doubt inferior.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Liberty Bros. No Time Lasts Forever from USA 1977

A Texas mixed rock album that required an upgrade, another that the (no longer?) mighty osurec ripped once long ago.  In fact I bought it from him and paid 170 dollars for it-- recouping a mere $50 when I resold it at a later date-- demonstrating what a great businessman I am...

Some of this album is quite ordinary, particularly the entirety of the second side, e.g. "I've got the reds-- it's different than the blues" [-- ouch!]  But you can't help but pay attention when within a minute of the first track you hear the heavenly strains of the string-mellotron playing background angel, and that guardian angel keeps popping up throughout.  Thus, a somewhat or rather very uneven album, that seemingly wanted to have its multi-styled pop cake and eat it too, with hard rock songs, ballads, acoustic numbers, etc., and a nod to an ELO-type faux-classical admixture (Two AM):

It doesn't quite have the punch of "Mr. Blue Sky" for sure.  I guess as a whole this reminds me a lot of Klaatu's Beatles-inspired art rock.

And as you look at those band member photos, note the Robert Plant lookalike on the left and the Tom Selleck-like guy second from the right... man those seventies were fun...

Sunday 5 July 2015

The Other Sailor Band I mentioned, requested... from USA 1976

And now for a complete change in direction.

I almost forgot about this one, which someone requested when I mentioned the other, rare and expensive, fusion 1974 Sailor album.  This one is totally different in style, country-rock with a west-coast sunshine feel.  Some of the tracks are extremely endearing.  It's tragic that this record has been lost to time and fans.  My favourite, I Looked Around You,

Dig those gorgeous harmony vocals and that cool seventies vibe: and get that old surfboard on top of your stationwagon...

Friday 3 July 2015

A. VAPIROV + Leningradskij Jazz Ensemble (USSR, 1976) [lossless]

Alternate sleeves:

I could gaze at those album covers all day long, never stopping, without breaks, not even when my wife is yelling across the room and asking me what I'm staring at... don't tell her it's not her that I'm staring at...  I'm not too crazy about getting yelled at!  Back from the no download holidays here with some really beautiful lossless material.

This album was available before but it really needed an upgrade.  Listen to the gorgeous sound of the orchestra on this magnificent new rip:

And turn it up loud so you can hear all those beautiful details including the guy in the second violin row getting a blowjob from some cute redhaired russian floozy...

As with all Russian fusion or jazz there is that wonderful education in European classical music that  takes this so much farther...


Thursday 2 July 2015

Buchenfeld from Germany, 1982 [last of the no download!]

Shockingly this gorgeous, sublime folk rarity has a discogs page, for which Rhea and Nimbus don't. We have here two contrasting reviews on rateyourmusic, first from Tom:

As soon as the needle drops, it's clear we have landed in Basementopolis. This is some real primitive stuff right here. Primarily instrumental, with a slightly amplified guitar leading the charge. There are a few off-key vocals, and even some woodwinds, and there's a jazzy undertone throughout. As stated, we are talking raw material here, and I don't mean the UK band either. You can expect the sounds of Kaputter Hamster (whose guitarist is named Peter Buchfeld, hmmm) and Dorian Gray as played by Crystalaugur. However, Buchenfeld have a genuine positive disposition, which separates this from the typical dour German mood - at least for this type of music. Not a bad record all things considered, and worth finding a copy for a listen. I suspect this was a demo not ready for prime time, so it's probably not a good prospect for a reissue, unless they have a stash of studio quality material sitting around.

Then the review I agree with:

Requires a deeper listening session, but as far as 1980s German private pressings go, this is a clear winner. I hope I'll find time to return to this one later and write a proper review, but in the meanwhile if you see it anywhere (not that you're likely to, but miracles happen), grab it without hesitation.

This track gives a good idea of the progressive credentials of these musicians, note how the soft sax intro atop an electric piano leads very quickly to a modulation into minor, setting the basis for the whole song, which switches quite pleasingly between major and minor keys.

And here's anosther fine piece, the closer to this album:

So I think you will agree we need to get Tom to go back and reassess, this is not so much basement as poorly recorded in my opinion, and it really deserves to be heard by everyone on a CD!

Soon I will be back with new material to hear...  no more holiday for ripping and listening!

Wednesday 1 July 2015

The ultra-rare Rhea Sad Sorceress from Belgium 1980 [No Download!]

I mentioned this album before in a past post and I finally managed to get a great, complete, and lossless copy to listen to recently from another big-shot collector.  Everyone wants to hear it, but not for thousands of dollars.  It's good, but not great.  Tom's remarks were a bit too harsh.

Have a listen to this first track which is the title track;

I'm sure you'll agree: no masterpiece of prog, but still not bad in the customary Euro-symphonic vein with female vocals, a la Renaissance, but not comparable.  Track A3 Black Cat is simply godawful.

What about the best, i.e., most progressive track?  I think this little instrumental about the lunatic asylum would be it:

The track called Inside on the other hand, is a little bit symphonic, a slight bit progressive, and a little bit mediocre too:

So you can get some idea whether you are going to remortgage your home for the privilege of owning this rarity.

Rhea track list:

A1 Sad Sorceress
A2 Going Through The Time to Live
A3 Black Cat

B1 Close to the night
B2 Lunatic Asylum
B3 Inside
B4 The Demented Girl

The amazing track 2, by request:

Enjoy it brothers