Friday, 31 July 2020
Many thanks to those who are willing to help out with these stunning gems which never fail to surprise, coming as this one does, from such unexpected corners-- in this case Indonesia.
The artist, discography here, seems to have been quite prolific, beginning in the early 80s, and as we might expect from these far-flung lands the sound here is squarely mid-70s fusion with no sign that the digital-drum-machine 80s / well-mulleted Duran bands were afoot in the rest of the world. Consider the stunning track called Kenyataan Terpisah:
And by all means keep considering it for the next few days, as I had to do when I yelled to my wife, 'wow, a gem again!' and she had to said 'you know that your kids think you're in the jewelry business?' which I guess is just about right.
If you take a look at the different versions on the release page, note that this rip, from cassette, has 2 extra songs which didn't appear on the LP or CD from just after, one of which was that amazing sample just above. Damn those record companies for removing some of the best music, once again! But thanks to the wonderful folks who are on the lookout for precious gems, and who, I am always supremely grateful to be able to thank, are willing to share these with not just me but everyone, you can enjoy this with its bonus tracks for a long long time to come.
Note that the LPs that come before and after (Nostalgia 1982, Tragedy 1985, and For Earth and Heaven 1986) are quite ordinary and commercially oriented. They are not worth hearing, trust me. I am not keeping any secrets here, as my wife well knows.
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
I think we've said enough about this remarkable library composerette in the two past posts. Here's a lossless for everyone to enjoy, and the mint record sounds really fine, to boot.
You will recognize the opener called Avventura appeared on the compilation if you are well-versed in her oeuvre:
I think everyone out there and I'd be surprised if some didn't will agree the sweetness and approachable lightness of this music makes it the best of the library records she put out, making allowances for some of the truly generic and bouncy pieces mixed in, with Art Modern a very close second.
Monday, 27 July 2020
Once again some very intelligent and uncompromising music from this Contact Trio-like group hailing from Germany, very little known, as is usual for all or most of the music on this blog, led by the guitarist of course called Michael Sagmeister. Discography is here to save us.
The opener with the beautiful minor chords with added 7ths and 9ths called February straightaway gives you an idea of the tasteful and original composition, all of it having been composed by the guitarist:
And really, the good ideas just keep on rolling in from one instrumental to another, with the added bonus of very little percentage improvised wankery, the bane of American jazz, wherein a one-minute song leads into a twenty minute long improvisation.
Friday, 24 July 2020
It's annoying that he loved the Magritte-inspired naked chest so much he felt the need to repeat it in consecutive album covers.
Here's an artist probably everyone knows from his Escalation, which came out in 1974 and featured the side-long title track. Actually I thought it was disappointing, and both the previous Lucifer's Dream album and the one called 2 were, despite being much less known, better in many ways, the first being more progressive fusion and the last one being more approachable with great songwriting and the contribution of Edo Zanki (remember him?) aka Don Anderson. His lovely baritone voice comes out beautifully in the song called Wishing Well from the Ralf Nowy 2 album:
My usual comments, why was this song not a number one hit on radio back in the day? Surely the composition is indelibly memorable and the hook just fantastic, not to mention the mellifluous singing. Quite a bit of interesting fusion rounds out that one. In fact, consider the very first track of Lucifer's Dream with the odd title of Breadhead, with its masterful fusion:
Note from the database that he also appeared in the ancient krautrock band Drosselbart, which if I recall was terrible, and on the wonderful and unknown Don Anderson Eagle Flies album that I raved about so long long ago. Today, that eagle of course-- is a little slower than it used to be, and might even be hooked up to multiple tubes on a stretcher...
I included all three of the 70s albums. Note that the other records are not worth purchasing (e.g., Dilly Dally Dancing.) As well, the library stuff he made with the name Colours in the 80s is also terrible and generic.
Wednesday, 22 July 2020
A mix of ethnic or world and percussion-based so-called contemporary jazz the primary component.
The title track:
Note the politically correct but very high schooly poem on the back, written by Nasera Hassan "both the painting and the poem were created live at the concert".
Man of earthbeat
melt your simple intricate sound
to that of icicles played
in a glittering cavern.
Echoes of madness.
Echoes of sadness
wheel around in space
and time and motion.
White gloved hand
interplays with the sounds
of delicately woven silk
across a woman's body
Echoes of a gladness.
Echoes of a sadness
of Eternity in strife,
and play and peace.
Monday, 20 July 2020
Some basic guitar-based instrumental fusion here, from this fine Nebraskan gentleman with an extensive discogs bio:
Jazz guitarist, born September 21, 1940 in Alma, Nebraska.
Hahn is known as one of jazz’s high-ranking guitarists. He became a key name in the 1960s for his input to the up-and-coming fusion movement, and has remained one of its dedicated promoters until today.
At the age of 7 he began playing the guitar and was playing professionally with the Bobby Wiley Rhythmaires at the age of 11. He joined the John Handy Quintet in 1964 and recorded two albums for Columbia Records with them.
His next stations were The Jerry Hahn Quintet (1967, one record for Arhoolie Records) and the Gary Burton Quartet with Roy Haynes and Steve Swallow (1968, three albums). Then the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood was initiated by him in 1970. This formation has been described as one of the “trailblazers of rock-jazz integration”. Later he joined the Bennie Wallace Quartet and he also performed, toured, and recorded with former Cream drummer Ginger Baker. Hahn has a Doctor of Music degree and has taught at several universities. He continues to perform, record, tour, and conduct guitar clinics. Hahn has also written columns for the Guitar Player magazine and a textbook for jazz guitar.
The track curiously called Prime Time has absolutely nothing of interest to primetime TV itself unless you live on another planet where the TV stations are far more intelligent than earth's, perhaps having evolved in a more positive direction compared to homo sapiens, note the tritonal riff leading into minor second dissonance almost instantly:
Musically, the album is similar to some of the less progressive, more basic jazz-rock guitar albums like the later German Karl Ratzer, or more recently, Jim Zuzow-- we can't have another Space Traveller like James Vincent every day, right? Or even, every decade, sadly... And unfortunately side two is given over to those awful jazz standards some of which like Joy Spring make one want to shoot not just horses but jazz musicians. A cover version of the execrably abhorrent Donovan's Sunshine Superman is, if such is even possible, even a worse state of affairs for this side of the disc.
Bass – Mel Graves
Drums – George Marsh
Engineer – Jim Stern
Organ, Synthesizer – Merl Saunders
Photography, Art Direction – Tony Lane (2)
Producer, Guitar – Jerry Hahn
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, Cal. January 8, 9, 10, and 11, 1973
(P)1973, Fantasy Records
Tenth and Parker
Berkeley, California 94710
Saturday, 18 July 2020
Surprisingly good Hungarian fusion coming, again, late in the game. It seems to have been led by the sax player, whose name is Dés László and who made quite a lot of other good fusion/jazz which you should check out, with contributions from other members including pianist Robert Szacsky.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020
Here's a band I'd never heard of until it was mentioned, recently, in passing at the finish of a wonderful comment to the Coley Goodbye Brains post from long ago, which you should check out. Those brits really have a flair for this kind of discursive personalized annotation as I discover every time I read the obituaries from one of their newspapers, though nowadays one can spend every waking minute carrying out exactly that activity if one so chooses. Which one never does, of course. But the point is, one could choose to do so. It's all about choice.
Anyways as the commenter alluded to, the four official Back Door albums are all quite similar to Coley's, which came out in 1972 and whose tracks for the most part were written by the sax player Barry Cole. On Back Door the composers were Colin Hodgkinson (bassist) and Ron Aspery (sax and flute, also keyboards), the two were augmented with percussionist Tony Hicks. Info is here for the first release. Most of the music is instrumental, every once in a while on one side maybe on average there is a bluesy vocals song, usually these are inferior to the remainder, being pretty basic. Despite the genre description, this is trio jazz-rock (more the latter than former) in the primitive or proto style with a nice deep rocky bass-driven energy without any of the 'swingin' style of jazz. Typically, the rhythm section will carve out a nice funky riff with some unusual aspect that the sax will then build on with its own slightly demented off-topic melody. It reminds me of the Sweet Smoke albums (Just a Poke) which I'm sure you all know already. And the compositions are solid right from the beginning in the early 70s contemporarenous to Coley's Goodbye Brains, all the way to the 1976 Activate record which had absolutely zero commercial sacrifice-- the kind that for example led Black Sabbath in the mid-70s to synthesizer and pop plus uptempo soul beats, and that very full production sound typical of the times.
An example from the second album of the jazzier, sweeter Sweet Smoke-like sound featuring the wonderful flute talents of Aspery:
An ex. from the last album of the Coley-like instr. riffin' and the total absence of musical compromise:
Monday, 13 July 2020
Here's a remarkably unknown artist apparently hailing out of CO, USA, who self-released on cassette and/or CDR operating in the genre of 'electronic' prog, perhaps most similarly to the Danna and Clement I posted earlier. You can see that starting in 1986 with Segments, highly unfashionable at the time, he put out a slew of albums throughout the 80s, the 90s, irrespective of the musical zeitgeist obviously. I have here his first two which are quite similar, with the digital keyboard sound and fake percussion and occasionally vocalizing plus acoustic guitar in the usual mildly Genesis-like (Gabriel) manner. The compositions are interesting though, this is not boring drony electronic, but rather thought-out songs like for example Germans Luna Set.
Could also be compared to our lovely Busser's Warship Suite, if you recall, with a bit less inventiveness / variety.
The song-like material is exemplified by the second track on the first release, called Trillian:
The interesting chord progressions of the arpeggiated acoustic guitar on the track called Logic (for cm) give you a taste of the proggyness to be encountered here too, from the second album (obviously):
For those who enjoy electronic music, this is a blessing indeed.
Oddly rare for the prog fans I believe, worth seeking out for sure and hunting down more.
Saturday, 11 July 2020
Somebody asked me if I had reripped the Ambush album from here. As a matter of fact, in the middle of last summer I found a copy that was in good condition and not as expensive as others, though still in the hundreds, and now after deciding I'm never going to sell it, I figured I can post the rerip finally. (Wasn't sure if I wanted to recoup my losses.) In the meantime too I discovered the band posted some interesting info about themselves on this site here:
This, from Wayne Givens, from his "Ticket to the Beatles" bands' website:
In 1979, we formed the group Ambush. This band featured high powered vocalist Randy LaBrott, drummer Kevin Simon, and Dave Bohannan on guitar and vocals. This was a rock 'n' roll band! Later, we added guitarist John Smith (who, In my humble opinion, was the most naturally talented musician I've ever seen) and started playing originals. We had a pretty large following that got even bigger when we were selected as one of K-SHE's SEEDS bands. This is where the radio station picked out 10 of St. Louis' best bands and put out an album. It received pretty much air time and is still a collectors item to this day. Later, KWK put out a similar album called Moonshine and we were on that too. We did put out our own album that did pretty well but our main thing was our live show. We ran into some bad breaks but overall, we had a great time. Randy and Kevin are still jamming strong with their own group, Poppies 3. John Smith passed away a couple of years ago, but he continues to be a huge influence on me musically.
You can also note that (bassist) Wayne Givens made some comments on the last post:
Hi Everyone, thank you for the kind words. I have been putting a couple Ambush songs on YouTube on my Wayne Givens channel. For some reason the sounds you have here are indeed sped up and sound like chipmunks. :)
So here's my new rip, with the now normal-sounding best hard rock band that never made it in the big time, in my opinion. And check the image of their van in the junk yard, with the caption:
This photo dramatically signals the end of the band!
First track to give you an idea of my new rip:
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Thanks to an incredibly generous and kind commenter we have more Daniela Casa, which so many people seem to have enjoyed as much as I did. Unfortunately a lot of the music here is totally generic, especially the Pathways of the World series. Even the covers are unchanging from one to the next. It makes me wonder how she could put her mind to the task, which admittedly is well accomplished for each country in question, but I suppose it's like the writers or poets who wrote for advertising agencies: the thought of a paycheck at the end of the work is what led them on. In fact the album called Rock and Folk has titles which suggest bands, like the tracks called Stones or Black Sabbath, but both really fall flat in terms of composition, surprisingly, maybe showing she hated that particular style. Then as well she must have hated Dylan. On the other hand it's obvious she loved modern art, because the first Vernissage album is just amazing and full of interesting ideas. Quite a bit as atonal as you'd expect from the references to abstract art, structuralism or Dada, but sometimes the modern classical compositions really are worthy:
This seems to be where her heart was.
And a musical idea of impressionism is almost too easy to write given the influences of Ravel and Debussy, with the whole tones and smashing wavy chords and so on.
The other interesting album is the surprisingly late 1986 Confidential album under the moniker of Elageron. Here the music is quite tender and expressive and approachable like the recent British Mansfield material. If it's not expensive I'll get the others from "Elageron."
Monday, 6 July 2020
Oddly missing from the MIA online discography, an Argentine group hopefully everyone is well familiar with, sparse information here. (M.I.A. stands for Músicos Independientes Asociados.)
Briefly, they made beyond-brilliant progressive at its finest albums with a perfect meld of folk, chamber, fusionary elements, and occasionally delicately sparkling and beautiful songs through the mid to late 70s period with Transparencias (1975), Magicos Juegos (1976) and the masterpiece in my opinion Constorpicum (1978). So far as I recall, because I haven't listened to that stuff in ages, the En Vivo in between was disappointing and so was the other live set called Conciertos. Nonetheless because it's less well known I included it downstairs for download. I thought that was the end of the band, but subsequently it turns out a collaborative work showed up in 1982 with artists Nono Belvis (bass player) and Kike Sanzol (drummer) -- a band created or linked by the oddity of their names no doubt.
The music here is quite interesting and varied covering abstract, free jazz styles, percussion tracks, folky acoustic guitar, and even fusion, all over the place. Not necessarily as brilliantly composed as the MIA material though. When one listens to the softer track called Minimo de Quietud we are reminded of all the progressive material built up over the 70s in master artists like Alas, Americans Oregon and Ralph Towner, etc., etc. That combination of vibes and guitar plus original chords and ideas is just what I miss from that musical period.
Saturday, 4 July 2020
In this period that we are interested in, Danish fusion band Santa Cruz made only one album in 1985. (They made 2 CDs in the 2000s.) Not to be confused with Santa Claus, a ridiculous North Pole myth. Most of the music was written by the keyboardist, Frans Bak. Shockingly there is an instrumental version of James Taylor's Golden Moments, a great song in fact, but usually only when sung and done by him. I grew up with James like so many others and as a result, don't enjoy being reminded of him. Of note, "Live recordings (A5, B1 to B3) recorded March 27th, 1983, at "Musik + Madsmeden" in Nyborg"
Musically this is very similar to the Entrance posted before.