Title track with its over-dramatic intro chords:
Monday, 30 November 2020
Title track with its over-dramatic intro chords:
Sunday, 29 November 2020
Requested by the commenter whose hard drive crashed. I'll post a limited time only for obvious reasons. For those who don't have the patience to listen to it all the way through, like me, there is one CD that really stands out.
It's described thusly in the database, and it's CD 15:
15:1 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Seven Sisters 14:05
15:2 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Social Climate 9:47
15:3 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Mr. D.C. 12:53
15:4 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Tony 7:21
15:5 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Acid Jazz 12:53
15:6 –John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things Jazz Jungle 9:40
Tracks 15:1 to 15:6 Recorded July 11,1998 Stravinski Auditorium.
The backing band called The Heart of Things seems to have been a nonce band (one-off, for this occasion?).
Saturday, 28 November 2020
Again, a beautiful cover, especially for the times (1982).
Another remarkably unknown but gracefully crafty set of compositions that highly deserve to be better known and heard widely. The amazing thing here is the fact this quartet plays a mostly acoustic set of instruments but achieves quite an amazing variety of tones and emotions with just those building blocks: acoustic piano (sometimes the electric, or synth), electric guitar, and rhythm section. Sadly only this one release from this group. I always confuse it with the very similarly named and similarly sounding, but not as good, Masal Galgal album which came out 20 years later. (Note that Masal was the band of Jean-Paul Prat, who made his own amazing prog composition called Masal earlier, in 1984.)
Sentier des Meilliers (so far as I can tell the last word is a name, not an actual word, also, not a misspelling for Meilleurs as you can see from the scans despite google insisting in its translation pages that the word is a mistake):
Friday, 27 November 2020
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Neil Larsen is described as a multi-instrumentalist, Buzzy Feiten is the guitarist here.
There's a handful of good songs in there, with less and less as you move from year to year from 1978's Jungle Fever, through 1979's High Gear and 1980's Larsen-Feiten band. Subsequently comes the second ST Full Moon album from 1982 posted before.
From the first album, From a Dream:
From High Gear, Futurama:
From the 1980 one, the best track is the instrumental (most of the album is simplistic vocal commercial funk-pop) Aztec Legend:
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Monday, 23 November 2020
Ginga Rale Band Part Two: Information from 1984, by request, plus two singles from the same band as Rockdream
I posted the masterpiece, brought to light by Tom Hayes of course, earlier here. Database information for this 1984 release here. This is very similar to the situation with Epidermis discussed earlier, where an initial foray into extreme progressiveness led to more toned down, watered down, digital-80s-compromised music further on down the road. Or the band Trilogy, with their Nachtlieder which was actually pretty good.
Like Trilogy, this album is still hugely enjoyable in some places imho. Consider the track called Seven to Eight, which demonstrates a stunning facility with complex fusion:
What a shame they gave up on the progressive!
The hard rock and electric guitar edge is mostly gone in favour of angular jazzy, horn-based fusion along the lines of so much German fusion posted here in the past, like Das Pferd, Part of Art, etc. Obviously, there is the huge (and dumb) Duran Duran influence too.
The singles under the moniker Rockdream were disappointing average eighties rock, the new wave style with electric guitar. Notably, the 45 inch covers were very interesting:
Saturday, 21 November 2020
Here's a cool little requested jazzy fusion album from 1983 when artists (especially in France and Germany) were still capable of progressive and intelligent compositions in this genre and format.
It's very similar to the recent Pandemonium and Francois Jeanneau opuses of the 80s showing the same now-lost taste for angular riffs or melodic patterns and bizarro chord changes to throw you off every once in a while. As usual for jazz artists there are the usual long solos which are kept to a relatively short 2-3 minute total timeline. The artist is a clarinetist and saxophonist and put out albums every couple of years starting with this first one and you can see he was productive all the way through the CD era to the current digital era.
On the release information note that the familiar Barthelemy appears here on guitars, Texier on bass, and keyboardist is Siegfried Kessler, well-known in the French jazz-fusion-prog scene (from his works with Serge Bringolf (e.g. Agboville) and Yochk'o Seffer.
The title track has a diminished chord intensity that to me recalls a little bit old French prog-masters Carpe Diem, minus the synths and airy vocals:
Thursday, 19 November 2020
Consider the second song, E Volando con Te:
While the title track really really recalls the magic of Rocchi we know and love so much:
Pretty sure everyone out there who has not heard this before will be shocked and delighted by the magical enchantment and variety of the emotions crammed together into this mini masterpiece.
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Bill Mays and Bob Shanks return in Explorations 1980: A Journey into the world of flute and piano music
Here's the information for this one.
The first side is the suite composed by Bill Mays which is a bit all over the place, disconnected, a bit ADHD, in the sense it mixes classical composition, sometimes baroque even Mozartian, not at all amateur but a lotta Amadeus, with the more fanciful flights of flute jazz we have heard before on other fusion records, especially the Europas. But it's strictly acoustic piano from Bill with the flute from Bob Shanks.
The second side is given over to jazz interpretations of classical pieces, some very famous like the Girl With the Flaxen Hair which has been reinvented so many times in the jazz canon, not sure if you know this CD for example by Israeli group Platina, I remember learning it in the conservatory piano programme and hating the multiple flats that made it so difficult at the time until I realized I could just play it as written and ignore the flats, as if it was in C. But that's cheating. The whole point about learning piano is the difficulty of it-- as a millenial being would have so much trouble understanding. Wait, what? Not just by watching youtube? That's so dumb...
Going back to side one, Bill's Suite gets better as you go further along, as if moving forward in time from centuries ago to the current (!) 1980 progressive jazz time. Of forty years back. The Star Sail of part 4 is just wonderful, note the high virtuosity of Shanks coupled with the very delicate breathing, technically as beautiful musically as anything I've ever heard:
Sunday, 15 November 2020
I threw in here a mostly acoustic and mostly solo Peter Sprague release from 1980 I thought would be interesting, but isn't really, called Bird Raga. There is another from him with the lovely title of Na Pali Coast, a name which will be familiar to those who have ever visited Hawai'i, but there is a track missing and the names have been mixed up, I threw it in too.
Friday, 13 November 2020
If only, we were turning to spring... More like turning to the dead of winter. Or turning to the rolling over in the grave. Or turning into zombies. Turning to the makeshift morgues...
For a big change in mood for these very dark times here's another pretty and laid-back jazz album that is almost identical to the predecessor post featuring again the keyboardist Bill Mays that will bring you back, I guarantee you, to a time long before pandemic viruses. Bill's compositional contributions are the highlight here. Note the delicate expressiveness achieved on the electric keys + guitar interplay on No Hurry:
On the database page you can see the credits for songwriting are all over the place, luckily there's only one throwaway jazz standard in Hoagy Carmichael's hoary old Skylark who I'd love to shoot out of the sky with a skeet rifle in mid-song.
Most likely the name Howard Roberts is well known (ha ha ha!) among the true progressive cognoscenti because in the first half of the 70s he put out two tremendously inventive and creative progressive fusion albums in Antelope Freeway (1971) and Equinox Express Elevator (1975) and I hope everyone knows and has those already. So far as I know that pair were the only masterpieces, and I see tons and tons of dross in his long, long discography.
More from Bill Mays shortly.
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
The track called Zephyr by Bill Mays demonstrates a lot of creative ideas:
Monday, 9 November 2020
Saturday, 7 November 2020
(It's amazing how much this foreshadows that 'Lilith Fair' female alternative ssw style that became so so huge in the nineties with artists like Sarah McLachlan.)