Sunday 31 October 2021

Andrew Taylor's Mohribold, 2011, limited time only


Another recent and outstanding composition, this time in the Mike Oldfield style-- but brilliantly done. As good as anything from that classic artist.  Strongly recommended to all prog fans, limited info here.

Last track, called Dorobo:


Friday 29 October 2021

Gruppe Synopsis, by request, lossless

Free jazz here from East Germany. Artist info here.

Title track of the second album:

Wednesday 27 October 2021

El Gusano's Fantasia del Barrio, by request

Here's a wonderful request that again I wasn't aware of, all instrumental rock and guitar-based compositions with quite a psychedelic feel but also some nice compositional elements recalling at times the wonderful Back Door albums we loved last year.  The track called Melancolia gives you a nice idea what I mean:

Not a lot of information here on the discogs listing unfortunately enough.  Another interesting track called Pleiku:

This was recorded in San Antonio, as you can see from the lovely liner notes handwritten on the back, and translated from Spanish into English, quite charmingly.

Monday 25 October 2021

Back to Northern Illinois Univ. Jazz Ensemble with 1982's Reflections of You

In the past I posted Space Train and Magic Carpet Ride from these guys.  This was almost 8 years ago--!

Full details for this release can be found here.  Not the best cover artwork this time.

In distinction to the NTSU guys this band is more jazzy but occasionally has some progressive composition.  Probably the best is by Mark Bettcher, called Driftangle:

Friday 22 October 2021

Trubrot's Mandala from 1972, plus their others


In 1972 came their masterpiece which I had neglected because I was so disappointed with their earlier psych stuff. Particularly remarkable are the Beatles-style three and four part harmony vocals, never an easy task for anyone, but they make it seem so perfectly rounded and smooth as evidenced by the first and title track, complete with Eastern religious underpinnings:

I love the chromatic changes in the chords for the chorus, so wonderfully effective when combined with the Mandala theme.

The deep emotional resonance and Beatles-like sound continue on the song called Drifting, with the classic distorted harmony vocals it recalls the John Lennon song I'm Only Sleeping about drug use:

Really the songwriting is just so strong from beginning to end, tragic this album isn't better known out there among the rock fans, progressive or not.

Discography here.  Listening to the early material it's quite noticeable how much those harmony vocals improved over the few short years of the existence of this band.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

NTSU One O'clock Lab Band, Lab 2020


More from this talented group of students that seemingly never fail.

Juris Diction:

Sunday 17 October 2021

Alan Hawkshaw, RIP


In my opinion the best of the library composers of the 1970s, he passed away on Saturday: a tragic loss.

A series of albums in the late 1970s which he wrote featured some of the best progressive music I've ever heard, especially in Frontiers of Science (1979) and The Road Forward (1977). I recently posted one of the lesser known ones, called The Rock Machine which was quite funkingly stunning. I've assembled a package of my favourite albums but I know there are many I've missed because he was so productive back then, I mean check out his discography over here.

The song called Saturn Rings almost makes me cry still, to this day, when I think of how it expresses that yearning for space travel, the loneliness, the darkness, the hope, that reminds me so much of childhood dreams:

I think Mystique Voyage is so perfect as a composition, it should be studied in music universities everywhere in the world:

Strangeways demonstrates his amazing complex progressive songwriting skills, never mind the skillful use of synths and electric pianos:


I hope others mention some other albums they love from him.

Friday 15 October 2021

Crash's Kakadu, by request, limited time only

Note that I posted all the material earlier, here, hopefully it's all still active.  This lost tape is a wonderful addition to the oeuvre of this high-energy highly-likeable fusionary band from Poland.  Boy were they talented at the style in that country, back in the day!

Databased here and recorded 1977-1978.

Title track:

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Janusz Muniak's Crazy Girl complete

The astute commenter noticed, which I didn't due to either impatience or attention deficit that the last track was cut off so here's the full album, throw out the previous version.

Sunday 10 October 2021

The ultra-requested Various – Central Illinois Rocks - FM 104 WDBR from 1983


For some reason this record sells in the hundreds of dollars but comes up regularly for sale.  I think it was requested in the past but so long ago I don't remember by whom.  When I had a bit of extra money I splurged and now you can enjoy it thanks to that lucky money.  It reminds me a little, at least in some passages, of my old favourite Ambush with the US late style hard rock, though by side b there are some soul songs, which are equally competent overall.  

The best track I think without a doubt is the proto-hair metal or G 'n' R Everlasting Love by a band called Idol Rumors which sadly didn't record anything, so far as the database can be relied on, and here it is:

Note the wonderful tritonal opening riff which sadly leads into an E riff.  To their credit these guys move out of that super-simplistic key and develop the song into alternations of G and B flat.  What a thrill it must have been for these youngsters to hammer out that hard-assed song, presumably on fender strats.

Record information here.

Art Carey and Magnum Force perform a lovely late-soul track:

Enjoy this nice slice of 40 years ago rock.
Read the liner notes on the back which serve to explain a little the situation with this LP which start like this:

Now in its third year, the Miller High Life Rock to Riches Talent Search offers a new avenue on the road to success in the music business.  Already the careers of the Jon Butcher Axis, John Bongiovi, Twisted Sister, and 1981's National Winners, the Stompers, have exploded since participation in the Search for the Superstars of the 80s.  And the excitement is just beginning for 1982's National Winner 'Artist'.
From Boston to LA more than 40,000 bands have entered the contest, searching for the break that will land them the grand prize of 25000$ in Rickenbacker music equip. and most importantly a national recording contract with a major record label etc...

I guess this LP belongs to a lengthy series, anyone know anything about it in totality?

Thursday 7 October 2021

Back to the NTSU with lab '80

Great cover art!  Just unbelievable design there, the ideas they came up with back in the day...

Information here.  The music still stands strong at this time, already on the cusp of the 80s flood of nutty dance music, the death of fusion and the resurgence of acoustic jazz.

Note the subtle intricacy, the classical education, and the interesting changes throughout the very interesting chart called Winds of Boreas, a composition by woodwinds, etc. player Mario Cruz:

I'm more than a little puzzled there isn't more to discover in this gentleman's discography.  From side b, Tear Drops, by Mike Smith:

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Airto Moreira + Gil-Evans + WDR Big Band in Misa Espiritual / Brazilian Mass from 1983

With the involvement of Gil Evans this looked quite promising, but it's by no means the progressive fusion-chamber masterpiece that Jobim plus Ogerman's Urubu LP was (which I've listened to a million times since I first heard it back last summer, his 1981 LP Terra Brasilis was also a masterpiece). Here, there are way too many parts you just have to skip through, particularly the ones that can only be described as noise. What a mass that must have been, a mess in some places. I guess the last track kind of redeems the whole much like Jesus our Saviour redeemed, uh, Donald Trump... or something like that.  Here it is:

Sunday 3 October 2021

NTSU's One O'Clock Lab Band in 2018, The Rhythm of the Road


Quite surprisingly these guys held up all the way into the recent years. To my utter surprise.

The remarkable composition called Birds of a Feather:

Friday 1 October 2021

Chilean Melissa Aldana's Visions For Frida Kahlo


I was pretty shocked when one of my contacts sent me this composition, clearly written out as a symphonic work, for the old NTSU big band we know and love so well from past posts. Hopefully this search function works though it brings up a lot of other stuff.  Many thanks to him for ripping this off youtube, which is the only place you can find the full work.  You can hear it here, and it's worth watching through to the end without too much fast forward action though some of that will prove necessary for those like me who are bored by the overlong and overdemocratic solos.

Here is the version which is called Visions on one of her albums, which is rather pared down and doesn't have all the movements of the bb version:

It was very eye-opening to realize the progressive big band tradition (from the 60s and 70s) is still alive out there, in small pockets presumably mostly university-related, and I'm sure it would be news to the rest of earth too.