Sunday 30 January 2022

Dutch Treat's Tranquility, 1979 by request


One-off from this Dutch band who, forgivably, misspelled tranquillity.  

Similar to so much late seventies softer fusion from the same country such as the recently uploaded Spins.   As usual there is the European tendency to add classical sounds into the fusion.

A track called Unexpected Tidings:

I encourage you to post requests, those that I don't have sometimes turn out to be wonderful surprises of course, for myself, those that I do have I can usually fulfill.

Saturday 29 January 2022

Sharon Chatam's 1973 Fantasy Library LP

Here's a wonderful library album with some really gorgeous hidden compositional gems, although mostly stuffed with cover versions that are of much much less interest. No info relating to the artist on discogs, somebody out there knows far more, as usual.  The two tracks I've listened to over and over again repeatedly for years now are sample below.

E poi:

Quel che non saprei etc.:

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Daniel Ruyneman in Hieroglyphs, with lossless


This was suggested by a commenter a long time ago, with regards to its similarity to Albert Alan Owen's Keyboards music my old 'masterpiece alert' favourite from 3 years ago.  The database info for the composer, Daniel Ruyneman, is limited and likely incomplete.

And it indeed is highly similar, at least the one composition called Hieroglyphs, but the other 2 on the record unfortunately are generic atonal style modern classical.

Information for this record can be found here.  And here is the Hieroglyphs:

I find the arrangement absolutely fascinating in here.  The flute plus the harp, piano, and that high pitched keyboard (a koto?) produce such an amazing sound.

Monday 24 January 2022

Famed Band In Spe in Bonus Tracks

Well these guys created one of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever heard in my life with their Typewriter Concerto, literally in terms of creative accomplishment, using an old typewriter as a musical instrument surely breaks all records for inventiveness, especially when coupled with such engagingly perfect composed fusion music-- not just classical European music.  I never get tired of listening to that typewriter go and the ingenious way the composer added every sound from it to the music like the return of the head's whir or the bell's tinkle.

The first album, obviously, also just such a lovely cover with the girl on the beach.

To my surprise, appended to one of their CD releases, came a bunch of really impressive bonus tracks and I have no idea where or when they were made.  I'm guessing they are from a third unreleased album. If anyone has info please let me know.

For example the last track, called Charlotte, is as good and as beautiful a composition in the lighter chamber fusion as any I've ever heard:

Overall this set of songs has a more rock-oriented direction though, with the opener giving you an idea:

Saturday 22 January 2022

Topos Uranos' Suite Mistica from 1992

Discogs info here.  Just a magnificent opus we have here, surprising from such a late year.

It's sad that these folks only made the one remarkable album which clearly is wholly influenced by the traditional keyboard prog style of the late seventies with symphonic touches everywhere, like the German Ocean two I posted long ago on these pages or the well known SFF of Symphonic Pictures fame, or the great Trilogy.  Instrumental, dissonant keyboard passages, multiple instruments to add colour and occasional chamber sounds with quite interesting chords and those arpeggiated riffs.

Duende combines a kind of proto-video game soundtrack with the classic 70s style of dissonant keyboard symphonic:

Sad we don't have a better resolution cover scan to provide too.

Wednesday 19 January 2022

The missing and long-awaited Jazz in the Classroom Number XIV, 1975 lossless included

Installments 10, 12, 13 are here, missing 11 is here, then 15 is here, and now we have 14.

As usual a nice collection of intelligent and original arrangements with almost no generic music like blues, swing, etc. I would go so far as to say that compositionally this is the strongest of all the albums they put out--of course I haven't heard the first 9 but I'd be surprised if they were this stunning.

I love the track called Ambivalences by Canadian pianist George McFetridge:

Another track called Idioms, recalls the old birth of the cool modal complex, and oh so cool compositions, but at such an advanced level:

Monday 17 January 2022

Back to Jun Fukamachi with 1998's Midnight Dive (with lossless)


Discogs information here.

I guess you can never miss with this guy, as a whole this album features composition which in places is just as good as the wonderful Daisy Chain.

L'ombre de Neptune:

Saturday 15 January 2022

Michael Moss and Four Rivers with Cross Current, 1978


The side long track called Ain Soph is just brilliant on this record, the remainder maybe not as much since it's basically free jazz. I note they made another record in 1980 which was a live one, then another one, age unknown. For those curious, the name comes from Jewish Kabbalah and refers to "God prior to His self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual Realm." (Wikipedia as always.)

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Manfredo Fest, 2 albums


From discogs:

Manfredo Fest (May 13, 1936 - October 8, 1999) was a legally blind bossa nova and jazz pianist and keyboardist from Brazil. He was also a famous bandleader. He was born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and he died at 63 years old in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA. Spent many years in Minnesota. He was husband of the composer Lili Fest and father of the guitarist Phill Fest.

The 1976 album Dorian Dream is quite lovely from beginning to end with light fusion but interesting compositions altogether, minimal commercial pop pandering.

Check out the electric piano opening to Braziliana No. 1:

Sunday 9 January 2022

Discus 1st (1999) and Tot Licht (2003)

Information here.

Here's another remarkable recent progressive group that sounds very much like the old classics--except when it doesn't, which is in some tracks where either they are approaching a more commercial sound with lighter melodies and standard chord changes especially those with added vocals, or when they add the heavy metal electric guitar to get some of that modern guitar-heavy thrashy prog sound that others really enjoy. From track to track it might seem like they are going in too many directions at times.  Just as you'd expect from the Indonesian origin of this there is also plenty of the gamelan thrown in but it isn't excessive.

But mostly I wanted to post this due to the astonishing beauty and overwhelming capability of composition featured in the one track called Condissonance, which you can hear here:

The beginning reminds me so much of those classic progmasters just like the recent Nostradamus going back into the chamber music European tradition but notice the music evolves into many different moods as it progresses on, always changing and hardly ever repeating any ideas. The composer's name is Iwan Hasan, for what it's worth.

The second album carries on just like the first with a mix of commercial vocal tracks, some heavy electric guitar riffing, some chamber music compositions.  The great opener is called System Manipulation and really covers everything:

I really love the crazy weird-tempoed part that commences roughly at the one minute mark though I don't think the heavy metal guitars are anything but extraneous. I guess the flip side to that is this is one area where this music is quite dissimilar to the older material it's pulling from.

Thursday 6 January 2022

Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma Q


He has made a lot of music and in fact is described on discogs as A big name in the Mexican RIO/avant-garde musical scene. His masterpiece though is the 2000 album with the long title Dicen Que Somos Dioses Y Nos SoƱamos Hombres with its remarkable mix of hard guitar fusion and chamber composition in a seamless whole, for example, the second track called 90 Dias:

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Back to Kadans with Sign of Blues, 1989


In this album there is less of the classical compositional element than the others and more return to the 'Birth of the Cool' tendencies of the late 50s, early 60s of American jazz.  The arrangements for what are I guess mostly standards, it's hard for me to tell as usual with the alphabet, are really original, however. A good example of this is Track B2: