Monday 29 August 2022

The Galapagos Duck and The Removalists OST plus others


These folks are a bit too traditional jazz to my taste but here and there come up with some interesting fusionary arrangements and composed pieces, and as always thankfully the improvs are brief on these pieces.

Discography here. In the period until Voyage of the Beagle, released in 1983, they made an astonishing 9 albums (!) starting with Ebony Quill in 1974-- bear in mind that these are stuffed with cover versions and sometimes jazzed-up of really obnoxious songs like Grazing in the Grass.

An example of their smooth fusiony jazz style, Self Bloody Control from the OST 1974:

As usual from imdb, a synopsis of this movie:  A good and a bad cop assist a battered wife as she tries to escape her belligerent husband.    Not much more info than this unfortunately.

Voyage of the Beagle was of great interest to me as it's obviously a thoughtfully composed concept album about Charles Darwin's explorations so you can certainly imagine the creative and evocative potential of the subject matter, but it's not quite as successful as I would have liked overall.  Note also the dramatic difference in cd and lp covers as shown above.

Friday 26 August 2022

Tony Gould Plays Gould, from 1979, with John Sangster and Best of Friends 1984

Very similar to Bill Evans' collaboration with Claus Ogerman called Symbiosis which I raved about, with good reason, back here, this is the kind of lost music I get so excited about combining orchestra, piano, and jazz/fusion elements hopefully in a cohesive whole, as I like to say, all the best musical inventions of humankind combined into one tasty soup.  And on top of that, completely lost to time and unknown as hell.

Information here.

Of course I was led to this release through John Sangster who I posted and mentioned back here.  So when it came up I quickly snatched it. In fact this release combines his two records from 1979 and the follow up contemporary ecmish jazz release from 1984 (don't worry, absolutely no hint that we're in that Orwellian digitalese year).

First Movement from the piano concerto album, called Brown; gives you an idea:

You can discover the next part on your own, which is just gorgeously beautiful.

In 1984 Tony also released a more straightforward cool jazz album, info here called Best of Friends. Taken on its own terms, it's quite good and worthy listening.  From that one,  Lament:

Another nice find brought out into the light of day, 40 plus years later...

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Mark Gray with Boogie Hotel, 1982, and with Superfriends in the Silencer, 1984 (by request)

Mark Grey:

US keyboardist, mainly in the jazz / fusion genre (* 1949 or 1950; † 20 June 1999).

Superfriends, which appeared before here with Nakamura:

A project group with various session/studio musicians from the fusion jazz genre. Different selections of the artists collaborated on releases by guitarist Barry Finnerty, saxophonist John Stubblefield, pianist Jorge Dalto, keyboardist Mark Gray and bassist Teruo Nakamura. Related to various musicians line-ups from the Teruo Nakamura Rising Sun Band. Nakamura also produced most of the Superfriends recordings.

Sadly Mark only made these two albums, Boogie Hotel and The Silencer both of which are quite similar in style, that being the smooth US early 80s fusion style of course, mostly instrumental but with a commercialese vocal track on the 1982 album.

The track called Night Watch has a distinct Dave Grusin sound to it, imho as the kids say (and by kids as usual I mean anyone under the age of 40):

Saturday 20 August 2022

The Visitors, in 4 albums

 From Discogs:

The Visitors are made-up of saxophone playing brothers Earl and Carl Grubbs.

Interestingly, John Coltrane's wife Naima Coltrane is the first cousin to Earl and Carl Grubbs (aka The Visitors), and they did a cover of John's classic "Naima" on their album "Neptune".

Astonishingly beautiful cover art for their first album.  Surprisingly this is a photo not a drawing, as I initially incorrectly thought.

They made 4 albums as you can see, Neptune (1972), In My Youth (1973), Rebirth (1974) and Motherland (1976) all very similar relatively simple modal style jazz with the double saxes from the brothers.

Title track of the first album:

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Swedish Tears' Romantic from 1976


Pretty classic band photo, isn't it?

From discogs:

Glam rock group, founded in 1968 in Katrineholm, Sweden and disbanded in 1979.

Not to be confused with the other Tears from Denmark posted here, they made 3 albums back in the day, with the latter 2 being superior in my opinion.

Clearly most influenced by the Rolling Stones you have some basic, nonprogressive blues-based hard rock, some of it quite enjoyably well written, if you like the style.

The track called Casablanca Friend:

Sunday 14 August 2022

Conexion's Harmony, Spain 1973


From Discogs, as usual:

Conexion was a kind of Spanish version of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago, i.e. up-beat, song-oriented jazz-rock with brass and guitars. Their first album had a side-long track of greater interest, an ambitious instrumental named "Concierto Uno".

It's also similar, particularly in the harsh baritone vocalizing, to the early 70s Dr. Music I posted here before.  Our Music gives you an idea:

Of course, given the above, pay attention to the sidelong concerto, it's quite good though perhaps not 'quite good' in the sense of Valentyne Suite or the Grand Canyon (Suite) by Patrick Moraz, or from this blog, the much rarer but masterpieceial Garuda Suite.

It's too bad they didn't put out more music like this.

Thursday 11 August 2022

Metarythmes de L' air - Phagocyte 1984, requested

Beginning in the highly literarily overrated year of 1984, they made a few albums and this is their first.  I've posted a great deal of this style of jazz-based RIO, which was popular especially in Germany but also among jazz musicians in France.  Some of it is clearly improvised, and therefore rather meandering, but some of it is well worth hearing for its unique sounds, melodies, chords.  

The first track as a sample, called Vertige (dizziness):

Monday 8 August 2022

Flux, 1973 UK

From discogs:

Short-lived art rock/fusion band comprised of ex-Motiffe and ex-Babe Ruth members. They were offered recording contracts but split up and went in different musical directions. Grimaldi went on to Argent directly after Flux, and helped craft their forgotten masterpiece Argent - Circus, while another member went to Flea On The Honey.

This is well worth hearing, featuring some genuine progressive material here and there.  There is definitely a lot of variety to the tracks, with some ranging from all out crazy to others just ordinary.  My biggest complaint actually would be the recording sound which is a bit subpar.

The song called Atonal is not that, unfortunately:

Friday 5 August 2022

Plesni orkestar RTV Ljubljana – Križanke (1976)


Information on this interesting release can be found here.  Note that these guys made a ton of stuff in the period in question but it seems mostly covering standards I think.  And also you can observe that the wonderful trumpeter Petar Ugrin posted earlier plays here.

The driving energy on the track called Krizanke '73 is beautiful:

Tuesday 2 August 2022

B P Convention Big Band, 3 albums

Mentioned by a commenter, they made 3 LPs back in the seventies as you can see here.
It's very much in the old big band tradition from earlier however with very little fusion.

Albert Mangelsdorff, Art Farmer, Boško Petrović, Clark Terry, Damir Dičić, Ernie Wilkins, Gianni Basso, Karlo Takač, Ladislav Fidri, Marcel Fuchs, Marijan Domić, Mario Mavrin, Ozren Depolo, Salih Sadiković, Zlatko Dvoržak

Note that the middle album, with vocals from Josipa Lisac, is basically rock or pop standards (Yesterday, Didn't We, Something, Sunshine of My Love, etc.)

Title track of the first album, Blue Sunset: