Saturday 31 July 2021

Michael Borner's Sun, a one-off from 1981

Yet another brilliant German fusion album from this period of unbelievable fecundity, not as well known as the others I don't have to mention, not quite as perfect as German Nimbus which I always have to mention, but what can we ask for.

Info can be found here.


Song of my way:

Thursday 29 July 2021

Bipsautru, Chu Content, 1978 lossless limited time only

Here's a radical change in direction with a folky French-Canadian one-off unknown release which I think I posted before in pnf days, long, long ago when the earth was still green and the viruses still innocuous.  I could check it out and confirm but being older than 20 of course I don't use google to check everything.  I rely instead on something called memory-- amazing.  Unfortunately the aforementioned capacity is very much in decline.  So google would be a better idea, inevitably.

Anyways, you can see the information here.

The first and titular track is quite entrancing, for those who enjoy sweet acoustic:

The lovely guitar instrumental that closes out this work is called Asticou:

Wednesday 28 July 2021

As the World Grits [lossless] plus Rare Birds and Rock and Roll Madness, limited time only

From discogs:

Washington, D.C. based band in existence from 1970-1980. They had a diverse mix of influences, including jazz, hard rock, progressive, symphony, opera, and country. The four members of Grits were classically trained and grew up in musical families. Founder and keyboardist Rick Barse, who wrote and arranged the material on the CD, studied piano starting at the age of eight. Guitarist Tom Wright (10) began playing violin as a five-year-old. His classical studies included training at the Oberlin Conservatory. He picked up a guitar in junior high school so he could play rock music with friends. Wright later played viola with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Bassist/vocalist Amy Taylor (2) sang as a child and took up the violin at the age of nine. Bob Sims studied with a National Symphony percussionist, but found the raps more fun.

Here's a band well known from one album, Rare Birds, but who actually made a superb less known masterpiece in the CD As the World Grits, ostensibly from 1975, which achieves heights of brilliant progressive rock and Zappaesque flights of creative fancy that have rarely been heard before or after.  Similar to the Tracks from earlier, but with elements of Dopojam in their best moods (not their dumbass silly ones), or perhaps like Locals Young Lovers (recall that one?), they clearly absorbed and recomposed a master class in the technique.  You've read they all had conservatory or post-graduate musical educations and boy does that shine through dramatically in the aforementioned, a work that should be a Ph.D. dissertation for the field, well worthy of being considered by Swedish Seniles for a Nobel prize of prog, especially when you recall that even mediocre losers like Bob Dylan, nowadays, can win those.

The album Rock and Roll Madness is I assume a new album, composed in the recent era and released in 2008 (unlike Rare Birds, which is a recording made live in 1976), and in fact the change is evident--I think. Assuming that it is recent. If it's not recent, and was recorded back in the 70s, then it's also disappointing. Doesn't make much of a difference, really.

I'm going to vehemently disagree with the review of apps on rym here, for once, with some well chosen examples of the music on As the world Grits.  And indeed I must GRIT my teeth when I note the reviews on that site give this cd a lower rating than the inferior Rare Birds album. The detraction though is that when the vocal tracks come up with the female singer, I do tend to agree they get a bit irritating and are, occasionally, close to generic. But each song usually also contains some kind of original idea or hook that takes it past the ordinary. And I mean we're not asking for perfection here, a good album is one with at least 3 good songs, while a masterpiece, by definition, has at least 5 great songs, if less than 3 minutes. 3 songs, if more than 5 minutes. A really precise definition indeed.

Consider Hyattsville Hospital:

Scared So:

The most motherly Zappa track is clearly Beef the Diver, and I just love listening to the way the guitar soloing complements the unusual chords underneath, plus the sudden changes in melodic speed so typical of the digressive style of the Frankish master genius:

Overall, just a wonderful 33 inch slice of lost rock.

Sunday 25 July 2021

George Kochbek with In Time, 1982, with lossless, by request

We saw him already in relation to his more electronic Hamlet concept album, back here.

This, his first from 1982, is totally different, being commercialese fusion, but there is a kind of Andy Goldner vibe to this album that is (obviously) not unpleasant, although the whole is a little too much targeting the all too familiar eighties synth-pop feel.  Furthermore there are other times he sounds a bit like a Beatlesian copycat from the early sixties but transplanted into the musical production style of two decades later, oddly enough.

The first track as an example:

Friday 23 July 2021

Ring of Myth's Unbound, 1996, by request


We know from experience there are those who go absolutely nuts over this recent style of progressive with the heavy guitars and loud drumming, a little influenced by the alternative sounds of the era, and those like myself who are not a little annoyed by the bits and pieces of classic progressive rock elements that have been stitched together not necessarily in an un-Frankensteinian way.  As an example, the song called Wishing for the Truth, which to me recalls especially the Swiss band Sisyphos which I exhaustively covered in the past like here:

Looks like they made 3 albums in total, this was their first.  Incidentally this is very much Yes-influenced, not so much Genesis.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Rolf Kuhn's CUCU ear (1980), Don't Split (1983) and the library LP Sound 46 (1985) by Request


For me this is a bit too jazzy, the fusion of the Rolf Kuhn Group's Total Space is missing in action.
However the library album was a real surprise, being very well composed thematic music with a lot of intensity and some great, great ideas:

If you need to know more about this guy, surprisingly, here is the database page.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

The Operation Breadbasket Orch. & Choir 1968 and 1970, by not quite Request

Info on the band here.  They made two albums, in 1968 and 1970.
Note the following info from wikipedia about The Operation Breadbasket:

Founded 1962
Founder Fred C. Bennette
Purpose Improving economic conditions
Location United States
Operation Breadbasket was an organization dedicated to improving the economic conditions of black communities across the United States of America.  Operation Breadbasket was founded as a department of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1962, and was operated by Rev. Fred C. Bennette of Atlanta.[1] The first activities were in Atlanta and other Southern cities.  A key figure in the later history of Operation Breadbasket was Jesse Jackson. In 1964, Jackson left his native South Carolina to study at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He participated in SCLC's movement in Selma. When Jackson returned from Selma, he joined SCLC's effort to establish a beachhead in Chicago.

In 1966, SCLC selected Jackson to be head of the Chicago chapter of its Operation Breadbasket. Influenced by the example of Rev. Leon H. Sullivan in Philadelphia, a key goal of the organization was to foster "selective buying" (boycotts) as a means to pressure white businesses to hire blacks and purchase goods and services from black contractors. Sullivan's plan was not without its predecessors. One was Dr. T.R.M. Howard, a wealthy doctor and community leader on the South Side and key financial contributor to Operation Breadbasket. Before he moved from Mississippi to Chicago, Howard had developed a national reputation as a civil rights leader, surgeon, and entrepreneur. As head of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, Howard had successfully organized a boycott of service-stations that refused to provide restrooms for blacks. Jackson's application of these methods, however, had a seamier aspect including cronyism and strong-arming businesses to donate money to Operation Breadbasket. Noah Robinson Jr., who had just graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania, came to Chicago in 1969, to become full-time director of the Commercial Division of Operation Breadbasket. Robinson was Jesse Jackson's half-brother and sometime rival. Robinson would later be sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a rival known as Leroy Barber.

In December 1971, Jackson had a falling-out with Ralph Abernathy, King's successor as head of the SCLC. Jackson and his allies broke off from SCLC and formed the wholly independent Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). The founding goals were similar to those of the Operation Breadbasket. Despite Jackson's departure, Operation Breadbasket continued for a brief time under Robinson's leadership.

Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir

The Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir, with Ben Branch as musical director, performed benefits for Martin Luther King Jr. and Operation/PUSH. Just moments before being assassinated, King had asked Branch to play a Negro spiritual, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," at a rally that was to have been held two hours later.  Cannonball Adderley, in the introduction to the title track of his 1969 album Country Preacher, makes a specific mention of Branch in recognition of his work as leader of the Operation Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir.

Note that the music here is 100 percent gospel, so definitely not quite the usual material featured herein.

The spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" was done really well by Van Morrison here partly due to the wonderful orchestration/arrangement btw, anyways this is their version:

Monday 19 July 2021

Back to Jeff White in 1978's Wilcox / Lavery / White - Schooled For You

Obviously, quite curious to see if there was more interesting Jeff White on this official CBC release which featured, unfortunately, two other performers in a mixed tripartite bag.  The first side is given over to country-bluegrass folk artist David Wilcox who is really, really, not my cup of tea at all and shouldn't be yours, either.

Thereafter the first three songs on the second side are from Fred Lavery, who is more traditional folk from the era, for example:

Amazingly Jeff was able to marshal jazz luminaries Guido Basso who mostly played with the Rob McConnell Boss Brass and our very own Moe Koffman on flute for the final three songs which are his, and clearly, head and shoulders above the other 2 artists.

Jeff White's Prisoner of Dreams:

Saturday 17 July 2021

Jeff White in Grey Lord, Canada 1976

Again, the kind of self-released LP that is just shockingly good considering how unknown it would have been back in the day, 44 years ago, half a lifetime now.  Clearly a labour of love, I note the following info:

Jeff is Baha'i as explained on the liner notes, his gentle nature is apparent in his songs, beautiful male and female vocals, lovely acoustic and electric guitar, percussions, flute, violin, celesta, drums, synth in a couple of tracks, etc. all of the tracks were written between 1970 and 1974, they were copyrighted in 1976 and released in i'm sure a very small pressing the same year , the lp ranges from soft and fragile folk/psych to heavier progressive folk and even in the Eastern territory with the amazing 5 minutes plus "Tahirin", lot of trippy percussions, guitar and bass, along with the progressive "Merchant of Shiraz" and the awesome ending track "Grey Lord" .

White, Harold “Jeff”, in his 70th year passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on January 12th, 2019 at University Hospital in London, Ontario. Jeff will also be greatly missed and always remembered by family and friends. His musical talents will live on and provide peace and many memories for all that knew him. A private family burial was held on January 16th at Oakland Cemetery, Glencoe, Ontario. If desired, donations to in Jeff’s memory would be greatly appreciated.

It covers a lot of ground indeed but its well-composed acoustic style is just priceless.

Consider the Merchant of Shiraz:

Halfway through the song it gets weird and electric in the oddest way, but just so wondrous to behold for us who love this kind of progressive space oddity.

Note that this rip, if you've heard the digital album already, is superior to the previous one you might have earlier and have been acquainted with.

Thursday 15 July 2021

Tiit Paulus, Uus Generatsioon

Incredible cover painting on the top album of course, looking a little like the surface to the sea from above but abstract enough to also make it mysterious.

This is a 1981 one-off really from artist Tiit Paulus, described thusly on discogs:

Estonian jazz guitarist. Born : June 14, 1945 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Topi, which was written by T. Paulus, features to me just about everything beautiful about the melding together of jazz-rock and classical:

There is some also astonishingly interesting music in the collection of recordings credited to Uus Generatsioon, which was never released back in the day.  Unlike the previous this is electric guitar-based (virtually never acoustic) elegant and thought-out principally rock fusion, all instrumental.  For ex., the track called Tormijooks teadmatusse as you can hear begins with an exciting riff, moves into some blues patterns, and never lets up in energy:

Monday 12 July 2021

One-off Swiss band Lost Peace from 1977

Here's a one-off from Switzerland, evidently the brainchild of this guy (Willy Muller) who surprisingly didn't seem to make much more in the style.  We have here all instrumental funky fusion with a bit of a generic quality to it--think of the music of Renato Anselmi, the guy who was in Container (which is a better album), Emphasis, and the magnificent To His Friends LP.  I really hope you all remember I posted that one after purchasing it, and how great it was.

For the uptempo tracks, the nice Coley Goodbye Brains vibe of Herbschtetlet's sax riffing is very pleasant:

For the downtempo, note how lovely is the combination of clarinet playing melody on top of electric guitar gently adding arpeggios, plus electric piano nicely in the background, the kind of arrangement that is totally missing of course from music today, on a track called Studweid Ballade:

As usual the online reviews are really just a joke, completely unreliable, with every LP being a masterpiece or as they call it the holy grail, as well, everything is compared to Placebo, a band that is not that much more than good to begin with:

Lost Peace was a very talented Swiss jazz rock band from Bern featuring Marc Hellman, Willy  Müller, Peter Lehmann, Martin (Tinu) Heiniger, Markus Küng, and Claudio Bischoff.

Super rare and still underrated monster jazz funk album from Switzerland ! Deep Fender Rhodes solo, raw drumming with many open breaks, loud bass, funky moog & synth, horns. Tracks such as "Fun king" / "City West" / "As Herbschtetlet" / "Papera" would please any serious jazz funk collectors. Super hard to find nowadays, check the long audio and don't miss this Holy Grail ! ©

This independently produced set contains some amazing breaks and beats too so please read on! If you are into funky fender rhodes, raw fender bass riffs and seriously tight drumming then this Lp is for you! FUN KING opens with a fat drum break / loop (a must for beatheadz and producers!) before the bugged out basslines, jazzy horns, wah wah, fender rhodes and funky synth take off! Lots of funky breakdowns (great drumming and fender rhodes here) all played with skin-tight precision! CITY WEST is even funkier! More wicked basslines, breakbeat, funk drumming, heavy rhythms and fender rhodes solos etc. The track clocks in at 9 min dead and is a masterpiece! ÄS HERBSCHTETLET is another super-funky toon with more mad basslines, deep keyboard solos, wah wah and jazzy funk rock style horn riffs! Our absolute favourite is the extremely funky fusion groove of PAPERA! Driving bass riffs, drums and heavy horns map out a seriously tight groove that start and end the track but it is the deeply trippy (and long) Eastern scaled middle section of bells, gongs, finger cymbals, shakers, and other, unknown exotic percussion sounds that make this track special! If that is not enough, this movement then changes into a slow building (funky) drum solo before exploding into one of the best percussion breaks we've heard in years! Really wild and delirius jungle sounds a la Eberhard Schoener Bali-Agung! If you like Euro funk / fusion stuff like Second Direction or Placebo but with a twist, YOU WILL LOVE THIS! © 2013 - WorthPoint Corporation

This a really exceptional laid back jazz rock/funk album from the Swiss band, Lost Peace, with tight horn rock instrumentals, and a lot of soul. HR by this blog. Check and listen to some tracks from this obscure but top-notch Swizz jazz rock band. Does anybody have any more info about this band?

Friday 9 July 2021

Back to Carsten Bohn's Bandstand for the last time with Brandnew Volume 3


More from this marvelous series of old-school instrumental fusion.

One track that really brings me back to the old sound is Kinda Sad And Sometimes Too:

Note that the last track is 22 minutes long!  I didn't listen closely enough to see if it's worth that amount of time.

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Back to Carsten Bohn's Bandstand with Brandnew Oldies Parts 2


More of the same instrumental late seventies styled fusion as the last install.  For example, a lovely throwback, library-like track called Alone at Last:

Sunday 4 July 2021

Black Page's Open the Next Page one-off from 1986 in temp flac

Databased here.

Pretty much, perfect progressive rock and I'm sure most have heard this already who are reading this blog.  It's an amazing mix of fusion, symphonic, King Crimson-like dissonant progressive, and gentle sung tracks, the kind of brilliance we know and expect from the Japanese sphere, e.g. Mr. Sirius my all-time favourites.  Note that a cd release came out some time ago and this comprises the flac, with scanned booklets, many thanks to the ripper.

Every time I hear the closing lullaby-like song it give me chills, musically very simple with a handful of chords but incredibly effective in its gentleness and repetitive melodic pattern, and I love too how the band plays with the bridge and turns it into an extended improvisatory instrumental passage (like Neil Chotem's band did in their Live au El Casino album), as if you're drifting off into a dream before returning to the lullaby:

"We will say goodnight..."

Their elegy to S.I. is as good as any Euro-progressive fusion ever written, ever:

And the artwork!  the 1920s art deco guy holding a moon in his arms!

Friday 2 July 2021

Raicho Ivanov and his Rock Jazz Orchestra in 3 albums


Some really nice, enjoyable, hard-ass fusion out of Bulgaria--a country we know well from the earlier White Green and Red (with multiple albums here on this blog) and the Simeon Schterev one-off.  There is another Bulgarian album that's really worth hearing, the 1978 one from "Crickets" band Shtourtsite, databased here.  This is the only progressive album from that particular group though be forewarned they mostly delved in basic and very simplistic pop.  And I guess I never posted the brilliant fusion masterpiece from 1980 by Septet Rousse mentioned several times here and there, which I should have, and which everyone who reads this probably would enjoy.  Add to that the well-known FSB, which despite the name referencing the Russian secret service made such brilliant SFF-like or Stern Combo M.-like symphonic and organ/synth-based prog especially in the album ii.

Here's the artist in discogs.  Note that he recycled many tunes or compositions from one album to the next, though he seems to have several releases, probably more that aren't listed.

From the first, 1980 album ST, the track called Put kum zvezdite gives you an idea of the super-smooth Eastern Euro fusion: