Friday, December 24, 2010

Toshiaki Yokota & Primitive Community - "Primitive Community" {Japan} [1971]

Merhaba dostlar! What we got here is probably Japan's best kept secret. For somedays i was amazing myself listening this album over and over again. Toshiaki Yokota's "Flute Adventure" album is one of my favorite, and i was wondering "Primitive Community" like many others. Since album is private press, 300 copies were made, and since it costs some thousands; we wanted everybody to taste this delicious album. My regards and thanks goes to Toshiaki Yokota himself, to give me a chance to introduce this album to you. A real treasure for the lovers of 70s prog/fusion..

"Born in 1944 in Tokyo. Started his musical carrier at 17 years old. Led his own group 'The Beat Generation' and 'Primitive Community' for 10 years, as well as playing lead flute in Takeshi Inomata's Sound Limited. A pioneer of jazz flute in Japan. Now, He lives in Izu-Inatori and maintains his own studio with beautiful and magnificient sea view. There Yokota creates his original instruments taking nature for a friend. The instruments created by Yokota are mainly fue(Japanese flute or pipe),that is shakuhachi, ceramic flute,YAYOI-BUE and other original instruments of his own ideas. He has been doing several live performances using those instruments."

"Toshiaki Yokota and Genshi Kyodotai is at the meeting place of jazz and rock. That exciting time at the turn of the 1970 decade, long before what is commonly referred to as fusion, when the ambition of free jazz met with rock's exciting psychedelic nature. It wasn't important to display Berklee-trained chops, but rather it was about texture, atmosphere and creativity at its most radical. But fortunately it stops short of free jazz's reckless abandon - that point where it's just noise for the sake of noise. There is meaning to every note, instrument and pattern. As well, we get a peek-through-the-bushes look at a Japanese sacrificial ritual as described by the tribal drumming, Hammond organ shards, wordless monk chanting, Yokota's flute and Mizutani's acid fuzz guitar blazing a wah wah trail all to be one with Kami. And that's before we get to the Hare Krishna chorus. An album like this becomes mythical because it is mystical. It's in the same league of sixth dimensioners like Älgarnas Trädgård's "Framtiden Är Ett Svävande Skepp, Förankrat I Forntiden", Lula Côrtes e Zé Ramalho's "Paêbirú" or Pierrot Lunaire's "Gudrun". If Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser had heard this band, they would have been signed to the Ohr label on the more here"

Toshiaki Yokota and Primitive Community
Toshiaki Yokota  (Flute / Indian / Alto&Bass Flute), Shunzou Ohno (Trumpet), Kimio Mizutani  (Elec. Guitar), Kimio Koizumi (Elec. Bass / Acorstic Base), Yuhsuke Hoguchi (Hamond Organ), Larry Sunaga (Percussion), Pedro Umemura (Percussion), Tadaomi Anai (Percussion), Yoshinori Nohmi (Percussion), Fujio Saitoh (Percussion), Minoru Ishiyama (Percussion), Chito Kawachi (Drums)

related links;

hAre kRishNA...

our thanks goes to Shige :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dew - "Live" Nunoya Fumio 布谷文夫 {Japan} [1971]

Dew was formed in January 1970. Dominated by vocalist Fumio Nunoya, ex-singer with New Rock act Blues Creation and Group Sounds act The Bickies, both of which he had formed with Kazuo Takeda, in 1969. Nunoya was also with band Taboo whom he formed with future Happy End star Eiichi Otaki. Evidence of only two Dew songs survive, both recorded at the Genya Protest Festival, and both featuring on the soundtrack LP on Elec Records. However, the band split up soon afterwards.

1 Empty Bed Blues
2 Hurt
3 The Summer Is Over
4 Hoochie Coochie Man
5 Pair-Blues
6 My Angel
7 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

- Fumio Nunoya (vocals)
- Hisao Ono (guitar)
- Tsuneo Matsumoto (bass)
- Masami Naito (drums)

1 Empty Bed Blues...
3 The Summer Is Over...
6 My Angel...

Link in comments...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Everfriend - "Sphere of Influence" {USA} [1981]

Here's an interesting discovery, if I do say so myself! Totally unknown private press LP by this band, who seems to have been mainly the project of keyboardist Bill Rhodes. It's hard to tell where he was actually from, because the album was recorded with a few different lineups at a number of separate times (1978-1981) and places (New Jersey, Florida, Georgia) and there's no label address on the sleeve. Anyway, it displays an interesting mixture of styles, from spacey and classically influenced keyboard pieces featuring tons of vintage gear (including Mellotron!) to full-blown complex symphonic prog and even some weird synth-fronted jazz-rock. This one could only have come from the US prog underground. It just totally has that "feel", if you know what I mean. I do know that he/they released an equally obscure album in 1980 called "Tropicsphere", and there might be one more from later on as well (I seem to remember seeing it once, but can't remember clearly). I'll definitely be trying to track those down now, as I find this album strangely endearing and have listened to it many times since I picked it up.

Given the Time...

thanks to fusionaut :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

J.F. Murphy & Salt - "Last Illusion" {USA} [1973]

J.F. Murphy & Salt made a huge impact in late 60s and early 70s rock, forming a New York band that achieved cult-like status. Part of the hippie/psychedelic movement, J.F. Murphy & Salt played at the legendary debacle, Powder Ridge Rock Festival.
Aside from the rampant use of recreational drugs, this period in rock developed a political dimension that couldn't be ignored. J.F. Murphy & Salt remains a legend in this era, giving listeners of that era fond rock memories.

01 Sweet Byrd
02 Which One
03 Teenage Fantasy
04 Touched by Love
05 Bell Toll
06 New York City-Home
07 Man Who is Alone
08 Last Illusion

- J.F. Murphy (lead vocals, piano, guitar)
- Ron Allard (background vocals, bagpipes, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, tambourine)
- George Christ (background vocals, harmonica, vibraphone, congas, maracas, chimes)
- Bob Paiva (drums)
- Joe Parrino (background vocals, lead guitar, trombone, flute)
- Russell Warmolts (background vocals, bass)

Last Illusion...

Link in comments...

Monday, November 15, 2010

A.Vuolo & E.Grande - "Desert" {Italy} [1979]

Very rare italian library record from 1979 containing the great electronic tune "Transvesuvian" a cosmic sound track a la Tangerine Dream and other great funk, fusion, progressive and ambient tracks.
But there's also a bit more warmth too, a sensitivity that makes the longer tunes really shimmer and sparkle nicely, and although a sound library set, the tracks have a much deeper sense of composition.
Some tracks sounds like they were taken from a horror film(Goblin), and especially "Leaving", "Blow bubbles" and "Creation".

Side 1
1 Take Flight 5:00
2 Drops In The Wind 4:22
3 Leaving 4:23
4 Soft Melody 2:09

Side 2
1 Desert 4:50
2 Blow Bubbles 3:31
3 Transvesuvian 3:42
4 Creation 2:26
5 The End 1:28

- Antonio Vuolo: Keys
- Rino Diaferio: Guitar, Bass
- Elio Grande: Bass

Thanks to Elitario :)


Link in comments...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thomas & Henry Kiefer "Improvisationen Über Edoardo-Antonius Eumel" {Switzerland} [1980]

Instrumental progressive duo, the Kiefer brothers on guitars. ...more info about this band/album is welcome

Thanks to KC :)

link in comments...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Profondità - "Profondità" {Italy} [197X] Prog/Psych

oi meu amigos! hope you are all well and enjoying whatever you are doing. for me this album is italians' best kept secret for 70s psychedelic rock. i was searching this album for such a long time, and i feel glad to find it. unfortunately i couldnt find enough information for this album, the only review i found is, at ItalianProg site, says;
"Doppio album del astierista / compositore Paolo Ferrara uscito per una piccola etichetta, Profondità è quasi completamente strumentale e contiene musica originale in stile colonna sonora, con qualche somiglianza con i Pink Floyd. I 19 brani dell'album sono quasi totalmente basati sulle tastiere con l'ausilio sporadico di altri strumenti e parti cantate corali. Paolo Ferrara compare come autore ed esecutore di diversi altri dischi." while copy/paste was my friend, google translate might be yours. A hidden treasure for the lovers of early pink floyd..


thanks to tristan stefan :)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

April Orchestra Volume 28

[from wikipedia] Jirí Stivín (born 23 November 1942 in Prague) is a Czech flute player and composer. He graduated from the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). He also studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music as well as at the Prague Academy of Music (AMU). Some of his compositions are featured in this album by April Orchestra. This seems to have been an easy-listening type orch. that published all kinds of dross over the years. Surprisingly there is no wikipedia entry for it, and only a brief one for Mr. Stivin. Note that the April O. Volume featured on Stivin's website, oddly enough, is not the same as this one. However, as pure music, this record has provided me personally with no end of enjoyment, listening to it again today I can go without hitting the fast forward button excessively, which is saying a lot after spending the last 10 years (with 4 year break) listening to an average of 5 albums per day, cumulatively, about 10,000. (Could it really be that few??) The fact that this otherwise ordinary orchestra could produce something so advanced in 1978 is a testament again to the progressive nature of the times.

We start with the Stivin Sanguine humour composition (which is taken from his zodiac album, a progressive masterpiece). It has a string quartet opening that shows his academic training, leading to an odd piano-comped flute ditty. The second track starts with a blues intro but swiftly leads into some insane horn chords and then an ingenious chromatic riff, basically big band meets king crimson perhaps. Next track uses wah wah trumpet on top of C minor, relatively throwaway, as is the next song. Many would love these 'funk breaks' I think but for non-prog reasons. On track 5 we get some twilight zone dissonances and then some early seventies style riffs. Track 7, Festival, has some Charlie Mingus touches. The next one "More Klidu" again feels like it belongs to an earlier epoch, with the breathless Nouvelle Vague female vocals singing on top of a very soft electric piano obbligato, the melody seconded by a bassoon (?) of all things. Very interesting arrangement. What a shame this track was not developed further into a pop song. Cholerici is again a Stivin composition from Zodiac, some really interesting violin sweeps in the string quartet appear with some clarinet (?) melodies and dissonant chords off the harpsichord. This is the kind of track that kills me because it's not performed in lieu of Brahms (or more appropriately Bartok) at the local symphony or chamber orchestra. Mr. Stivin obviously spent quite some time writing this piece and what credit does he get for it in the annals of music? Just some silly paragraphs on a blog in the virtual blogosphere.
More funky tracks ensue, another wordless female track in "sen o zemi" this time with some really interesting orchestral strings accompaniment-- reminds me a lot of Joachim Kuhn in the cinemascope period, or Abraxis (Belgian) with the really colourful mixture of orchestra, piano, and vocals in an accessible (easy-listening-style) format. The last track sounds like a jazz q song, probably someone annoying can correct me here. They again use the minor second for that devilish sound that prog (and fusion, Urbaniak and Mahavishnu) loves so much, how many songs do you hear start with an electric guitar doing the minor second arpeggio on a minor chord? Always we sit back and pray that it doesn't turn into a song with E minor then F major over and over again, that gets so boring when there's only 2 chords in the entire song. At least 2 chords is better than german trance stuff where typically we never get past the E. At least try a different key, guys, maybe B minor, for a change.

I wish there was more information to be found on this whole album other than my own solipsistic interpretation of it through little earbuds but of course to me that doesn't matter at all, the only thing that matters to me is that this music be heard by more people, the maximum in fact.

I hope earlier comments about my children were not misunderstood, I truly love them of course and was only joking about them being terrifyingly abnormal. Since then I must say I have had quite a reaction on my 'mommy blog' (which is my dayjob now, I quit my other dayjob setting licencing standards for dogs, I get a lot of money now from the mommy blog, not as much as Julie and Julia mind you, but that's because my name isn't as catchy, and maybe because I'm not actually a mother) from my prime advertisers (pampers, wetwipes and First Response pregtest kit) threatening to hold off all ads until I recant and swear in a lie detector coupled with a chocolate MRI that I truly do love them. Looks like my long-sought after hollywood movie deal which was supposed to star Julia Roberts as the mom, Jamie Lee Curtis as the dad, and the Jon and Kate sextuplets as my 2 kids (they were to alternate in different scenes) is going to fall through as a result, leading to millions of dollars in losses for myself and my wonderful money manager, Bernie Madoff. Nora Ephron was supposed to pen the screenplay, on a paper napkin. And for director we had of course Ron Howard from Happy Days, along with Emmanuel Lewis as the older boy with a cameo from Pierce Brosnan as the king of England. I want to add that I am getting tired of all these other mommy blogs, do people really have nothing better to do than talk about their crazy kids all day long while seeing them all day, do they have to bore other people about them too? I swear when my wife returns to earth I will withdraw from all my advertising contracts, even the one I just inked with wonderbra. I just wish she would get back from her spacewalk so I could phone her on her cellphone I'm sick and tired of the older guy knocking over the baby. Finally, I would like to sincerely apologize to Pampers and Wetwipes for any malicious emails they received from angry readers, to Firstresponse for any women unwilling to get pregnant as a result of my comments leading to loss of sales, and to my kids' mother (for my help in producing these guys).

Domáci votna mezi telem a dusi...
Den Svatebni...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Skyeros - "Skyeros" {USA} [1975] Prog/Psych

Here's an album that's somewhat coveted by collector's of the underground American scene. These guys were from Missouri and released this one rare private press LP before disappearing into total obscurity. It's become quite expensive over the years, probably due to being mentioned in collector books like Acid Archives, the Pokora guides, etc (also, it has a great trippy cover). I'm not so sure the hype is really warranted, but it's definitely not a bad listen. Quite melodic, guitar-fronted prog/psych with a very "rural rock" feel, which was very common for underground US groups at the time. by Fusionaut

01 Daily Dreams
02 Don't Give Me No Alibis
03 Searchin'
04 With Or Without You
05 Homecoming
06 August - Suite In Time

- Steve Wright - bass, vocals
- Bill Sikes - lead guitar
- John Danieley - twin lead
- Rodney McCarron - keyboard, vocals
- Karl Lawson - percussion, vocals

Thanks to Fusionaut :)

August - Suite In Time...

link in comments...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Orpheus - "Orpheus" {Japan} [1983]

Mega rare Japanese Sympho item. Only LP released. Novela vein
more info welcome

A1. 剣の舞 tsurugi no mai 4:07
A2. マーメイド mermaid 9:49
A3. 組曲「レ・シルフィード」Les Sylphides Suite 13:49
B1. 愛の妖精 ai no yousei 5:09
B2. 組曲「死と少女」shi to shoujo Suite 14:26 (is Scheherazade's original tune)

Les Sylphides Suite...

link in comments...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Varis - "Varis" {Germany} [1979] (jazz rock)

Here's one of the most obscure of the "kraut fusion" LPs from the late 70s, the sole private press album from Varis.
I couldn't found any info on net, line-up is from back cover, more info are welcome

01 - Flink
02 - Ophelia
03 - Ostinato
04 - Moonlight Voice
05 - Superpono
06 - Anno 77
07 - Locus Solus
08 - Ralfi Rock Einmal

- Ralf Pallmann, b, e-b
- Bjorn Gogolf dr
- Karl-Heinz Engelhardt, ta as, fl voc
- Andrey Hiebarolf, g
- Marlin Shaclow e-p

Thanks to Fusionaut :)


link in comments...

August - "August" {Japan} [1989] (cassette only release)

This is thier first recording.
Mega rare item!
To the fans of Renaissance, Illusion, Vermilion Sands

A1 -「秋」aki (means...autumn) 5:56
A2 -「蛍」hotaru(means ....firefly) 2:27
B1 -「マグリット風の空」Magritte fuu no sora (means...the sky like Magritte painted) 5:06
B2 -「ある手品師の話」aru tejinashi no hanashi (means...the story a magician told) 7:28

工藤美鈴(Vo) Misuzu Kudoh
河合良典(G) Yoshinori Kawai
高田礼人(Kb)Ayato Takada
菅野荘(B)Sou Kanno
小野寺寿勝(Dr) Kotokatsu Onodera ( during 88-89)


link in comments...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maffy Falay Sevda "Jazz I Sverige" {Sweden} [1972] (turkish folk fusion)

It was in 1972 that the first album awarded with the title "Jazz in Sweden" came out on Caprice Records. This was the result of a poll running in the two music magazines OJ (Orkesterjournalen) and Tonfallet in late 1971. The readers where asked to vote for a group or an artist that they would most like to be recorded and released on an album. The first album was the group of trumpeter Maffy Falay - SEVDA. Over the years the award has helped to bring forward many of Sweden's active jazz musicians. The award, which nowadays also includes a national and international tour, can be seen as a stepping stone for upcoming jazz musicians. The goal is to help them build a solid foundation for their future careers as active artists.

Maffy Falay / Sevda - “Jazz I Sverige ‘72” (Caprice)
Sevda is a unique fusion of Turkish music and Swedish jazz, which grooves naturally in exotic time signatures (like 7/8 and 9/4), blending textures, rhythms and swinging improvisations into an exciting whole. It was recorded live at a TV studio, and at the time nobody had any idea it would be issued as a record. On drums is the great Okay Temiz, who also played with Don Cherry for some time.

Double Bass - Ove Gustavsson
Drums - Okay Temiz
Goblet Drum - Akay Temiz , Okay Temiz
Saxophone [Baritone], Flute [Chinese] - Gunnar Bergsten
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute [Silver] - Bernt Rosengren
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Piano, Flute [Indian], Arranged By - Maffy Falay*
Violin - Salih Baysal



Friends, as you know prognotfrog was invite-only during 2 days.. During that days, we got massive response from many folks.. unfortunately there is no option to make aware others for what was going on.. and as you also see, things on the site is not finished yet, but anyway, we decided to open it. it was just about that the frog was preparing itself for the next 1000 years :)

Most of the sections are not working currently, but there is plenty of fun to enjoy the new site, so you may comeback to look again to those sections with in a few weeks..

Stay Progressive :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confluence 4 Voyages1976

Here we have the final unavailable French Confluence album (chronologically the first). The second and third albums, Arkham and Chroniques Terrestres, were made available at mutant sounds some time ago. As far as I know this one was not before online, but it's nice to complete the work of this undeservedly unknown band.

"Quietly gorgeous French jazzy prog of a very airy, languid and spacious sort, often focused around the wistful cello work of Jean-Francois Capon, whose devastating outfit Baroque Jazz Trio recently had their one eponymous album reissued. One of France's great undiscovered treasures" is the surprisingly subdued description from mutant sounds of Arkham. I would say that it is actually chamber jazz, with a very well worked melding of chamber orchestra (a lot of violin, flute, cello, double bass) and jazz. Less rock is in this recipe. Unfortunately one of the jazz elements employed is the long tedious and boring jazz solo. I defy anyone to listen thru the last track without fastforward. This long "4 voyages" (through the sahara desert no doubt?) drags on quite too long before finishing in a gorgeous flute and violin passage using second notes on top of minor chords for that oh so plaintive effect. It is debatable whether the trip to that last 2 minutes was worth the wait.
I'll never understand why jazz musicians felt it was ok to throw in ten minutes of pointless, aimless soloing instead of taking the time to compose some actual music with structure and purpose. I mean live, it's OK since you're sitting there essentially with no choice to leave, but on an album it's unforgivably boring.

Anyways, having said that, it seems to be a live album on the basis of applause at the end of tracks. I think the composer is a genius, and obviously studied composition somewhere because his ideas are so interesting, the standout in 'songwriting' being the third track "convergences". So he could have, as in the chronique terrestres album, written more actual music versus improv.

These progressive musicians wrote a kind of music that has no rules, they use rock, jazz, and european classical in equal measure to create a whole that is perfectly harmonious and has no borders or styles. In my life I listened to modern classical, even Berg and Schoenberg, to jazz, to rock, and I feel like with this music I have come home, it has everything I have looked for in a lifetime of listening to music, all in one package. I hope you who enjoy this agree.
But when I come to work and on the radio I hear for the ten thousandth time "Signs signs everywhere there's signs" playing it fills me with despair at the human condition.
To return to Confluence, I think the next two albums are better than this one, esp. the final album appears to be the most accessible. A lot of the music in this one even I find a little hard going (almost atonal). At least it's not weirdly strange like the unobstructed universe I posted earlier.

On a personal note, I wish I could post more albums but time constraints are again a problem with wife returning to work as a spaceperson (astronaut) and two small children which I have a lot of trouble to get rid of. Surely when they finally go to school (1-2 years from now) I will devote more time to this "weird, weird strange hobby" (my wife's words) of sharing progressive albums from the seventies ("Long before I was born???" as my receptionist always says). A lot of people suggest to get a nanny but I wouldn't inflict these terrible, abnormal children, on any human being no matter how patient.

4 Voyages...

3L (Love, Live, Life) - "10 Chapters Of Murder - from Colin Wilson's 'Encyclopaedia of Murder'" {Japan} [1971]

750. LOVE LIVE LIFE + ONE: “Satsujin Juushou – 10 Chapters of Murder” (CBS Sony – SOLL-74002) (Record: Near Mint/ Gatefold Jacket: Near Mint/ Insert: Near Mint). Their follow-up to the highly acclaimed “Love Will Make A Better You”. Unlike its predecessor, “10 Chapters of Murder” is more progressive heavy rock tinted. Released in 1972,“Satsujin Juushou” is a fucking killer LP, taking off where “Love Will Make a Better You” left off and taking towards the next level of delirious madness, mixing outward bound jazzy moves with heavy progressive rock freak-outs and psychedelic incantations and private ecstatcies. Kimio Mizutani’s wrist-slashing fuzzy guitar licks wah’s through it all like a surgeon operating on some defractored brain, Hammond organ lines slice through it all and heavy horn sections give it a LSD soaked mid seventies Miles Davis kind of vibe you wont be able to recover from without leaving behind a piece of your sanity. Demented howling female laughing vocals pop on through at unexpected times, rendering the whole into an even more disjointed teeth-grinding frenzy, all fused in a cloud of smoke, making it a stranger fusion of fucked up eclectic jazz moves, with unhinged psychedelic rock jamming and transporting it into driven jams of explosive jazzed out cosmic rock. The whole disc is booming over with the proper ingredients for a musical outrage, fucking up with and fusing musical traditions and stranding in a hazy but potent universal horizon obscured by mind bending lysergic mutations and sweating out heavy psychedelics. In short this is a fucking MONSTER. One of the best and still undetected Japanese heavy psychedelic & transcendental jaw-dropping jazzy explorations, all embalmed into one cinematic epiphany meshed together into intoxicating boosted crescendos of crystalline hallucinogenic quivering sonic attacks. Head-spinning, mind-altering freeform psyched out jazz rock, a vicious musical beast from the east, still undetected, bloody rare and unreissued. Highest possible recommendation. Price: 875 Euro

*japanese title [meaning]
A-1 イントロダクション [Introduction]
A-2 ママを殺してなぜ悪い [Why bad do i kill a mom]
A-3 聖バレンタイン・デイの虐殺 [St. Valentine's Day Massacre]
A-4 霧の夜の戦慄 [chill at foggy night]
A-5 少女を煮て食う変態男 [hentai man eats girl boiled]
B-1 満月の夜はアベックを殺れ [kill the avec in the full moon night]
B-2 美しき毒殺魔 [Beautiful Demon poisoning]
B-3 西部大強盗団の女領主 [lord woman of Great gang in Western]
B-4 アウシュビッツの大殺戮 [slaughter at Auschwitz]
B-5 エピローグ(レクイエム) [Epilog (requiem)]

*pronounce title
01 introduction
02 mama wo koroshite naze warui
03 St. Valentine's Day no gyakusatu
04 kiri no yoru no senritsu
05 shojo wo nite kuu hentai otoko
06 mangetsu no yoru wa avec wo yare
07 utsukushiki dokusatsuma
08 seibu daigoutoudan no onna ryoushu
09 Auschwitz no daigyakusatsu
10 epilog (requiem)

市原宏祐 : Kohsuke Ichihara (sax fl, arr)
横田年昭 : Toshiaki Yokota (sax, fl)
柳田ヒロ : Hiro Yanagida (key)
水谷公生 : Kinio Mizutani (g)
直居隆雄 : Takao Naoi (g)
寺川正興 : Masayoshi Terakawa (b)
チト河内 : Chito Kawachi(ds)
神谷重徳 : Shigenori Kamiya (arr)

Hentai man eats girl boiled...
Beautiful demon poisoning...

Our thanks goes to Kohsaku ;)

Link in comments...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jukka Gustavson - Valon Vuoski 1979

I am back from extended holidays to the chagrin of all I'm sure. I couldn't keep quiet on hearing this album, Gustavson's second. The first is the most wigwam-like, by the third one (1980) one senses he has lost something or maybe the invincible steamroller of pop rock had crushed his progressive spirit. In the second however he truly went all-out, crafting a kind of progressive rock symphony with elements of jazz, modern classical, and electronics. I repeat the same themes that have come up over and again in my posts, how these brilliant musicians from the seventies assembled a style of music that transcends all styles. It's as if one had the 3 primary colours: jazz rock and classical, and all other artists worked in shades of one colour, but here we finally have a full palette with glorious mixed shades of every imaginable tint. We have three worlds of music that seem to never miscegenate but in progressive we at last get a kind of superior breed that is willing to heterotically mix genes. What makes music truly great? One has to accept that creative originality is a big component because this is an art form whereby one is often seeking new chord changes, melodies, structures-- this is the case even in baroque music or standard AM radio. But the powerful bond with emotion is another factor, like no other in my opinion, music does a kind of open-heart massage that is instantaneous and profoundly mysterious.

When I hear this piece of music, an evocation of the four seasons, I am amazed at every second. What are these chord changes doing clashing into each other so surprisingly? What are the sounds that change so constantly, new harmonies, played by new keyboards, constantly and swiftly moving like ships on enormous waves. How did these musicians so totally reinvent the language we use to communicate harmonious sounds? Certainly no one has played some of these chords in this sequence in the history of humankind before.
The album starts with a gorgeously full sounding shopping centre type electric organ sound that progresses into a very spacey whole tone scale, are we lifting off into the sky with ufos? (If so I hope I packed the prep H.) Suddenly patrick moraz makes an entrance with a sustained chord synth solo which repeats the whole tone pattern in chords this time, E flat F B A major chords all, very effectively giving that aurora borealis-space station feel.
Now we are into spring so the requisite flute and oboes play atop Jukka's keyboards. Some beethoven-like patterns are evocative of birdsongs, but I would give all of Ludwig's musical output for this one little slice of gustavson and as I said so many times before I will never understand why people sit in philharmonic halls for Eroica and not for this masterpiece performed live. Some quite remarkable dissonances appear after the flute heyday reminding me of Olivier Messiaen style compositions. I have to wonder again how deep the musical education of the composer was, or if we are dealing here with pure unadulterated genetic genius. Then the music gets even more symphonic with french horns and other chamber instruments rounding out the one-chord sostenutos. We are taken into Terry Riley territory with electronic pianos swirling all round playing diatonic scales, some repeated pentatonics like tangerine dreaming. Then, abruptly we get wigmamlike piano chords breaking into the electronic efflorescence and the summerish oboe (de rigeur in any estival evocation) plays some really beautiful short melodies atop changing piano chords. Some horn patterns suggest liveliness and the intense activity of the heat.

Side 2 presents the jazzier side of summer with vibes, significant percussion. After a minute we get a sudden break and that gorgeous, inimitable fender rhodes comes out, oh man, if I could marry a sound, I would marry the fender rhodes sound. Why are there so few of us left who adore it? What happened to loving the sound of instruments? It's as rare today in the general population as a night without wide-screen TV. So Jukka plays a very lazy, laid-back type of jazzrock song here, I guess we are in the dogdays of summer, long before there was any thought of global warming and the consequences of human depredations on the earth. Innocent were those days, few ever thought about limits, despite the club of rome, but as the years go by we are getting closer and closer to the bars of our cage, and the imminence of our potential for self-destruction.
A beautiful viola solo ensues on top of grand piano, again we get a sense from this of how great a composer Gustavson was. This track alone would make for an incredible song on its own, but he has hidden it away almost unseen within this symphony on which he must have spent hours and hours of hardworking time. For what sake? For the sake of his work being lost and forgotten on the internet amongst a few hundred fans in a world of 7 billion? Human existence looked at in this way is incredibly cruel. Listen in particular to the chords that Jukka plays, remarkably complex chords that would have impressed Scriabin or been stolen by Stravinsky in a bad mood. Now of course as we get further into autumn we get a cello playing, how predictable but necessary the instrumentation must be in these seasonal works. Why is this gorgeous chamber music not played in the local concert hall? The work closes with a more symphonic and bright passage, fittingly enough evoking the idea of light.

Wow-- this is the kind of work that Mike Oldfield attempted to do but couldn't. It truly is a cohesive, unique, well-crafted whole, flowing together beautifully, packed full of interesting ideas. It is neither rock nor classical nor jazz-rock, but a perfect and perfectly assembled combination of all sounds and styles and streams of music humanity has conceived of. What a masterpiece.

Valon vuoksi (1979): (For the sake of light)

1. Taivaan täyteyttä (Fullness of Sky)
2. Pieni talvinen ylistysruno (A Small Wintry Ode)
3. Kevättalven "kuume" (The Fever of Early Spring)
4. Kevät "raskaus" (Spring Pregnancy)
5. Kevät kesä "syntyneenä talven kohdusta" (Spring Summer Born From the Womb of Winter)
6. Kesä (Summer)
7. Kesän kunniaksi... (For Summer...)
8. Syys kesä (Autumn Summer)
9. Syksy (Autumn)
10. Syys talvi (Autumn Winter)
11. Ikuisuus jatkuvuus (Eternity Continuity)
12. Valon vuoksi (For the Sake of Light)

Jukka Gustavson, keyboards, percussions
Tim Ferchen, marimba, xylophone, clockwork, vibraphone, tubular bells, kettledrums
Pekka Suvanto, drums, gongs, cymbals, bells
Gunnar Lausund, alto flute
Panu Antere, oboe
Pentti Mikkonen, viola
Seppo Ristolainen, viola
Risto Fredriksson, cello

A million thanks to Isabel for this...

Side B...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suspekt Aspekt - "Den Årlinga Vårlinga Konserten På Rösshka Muséet" {Sweden} [1979] (not officially released)

"Di tanto in tanto il mondo del prog ci regala qualche nuova esperienza, che in qualche modo ci sorprende. Se poi la sorpresa è pure positiva è il massimo.
I Suspekt Aspekt sono cinque signori svedesi ultracinquantenni, assieme fin dalla metà degli anni ’70, che qualche anno fa hanno deciso di rimettere su il vecchio gruppo e – finalmente – incidere qualcosa. Il disco in questione si chiama "Minnet Sviker" (Errori di Memoria). E pur essendo un lavoro che unisce un prog di ascolto tranquillo a certo pop nordico non è niente male. L’ascolto di quel disco mi incuriosì e mi misi a cercare notizie del gruppo, finendo sul loro sito ufficiale bilingue (svedese/inglese). Appresi parecchie cose interessanti, ma soprattutto mi colpì la frase che nel 1979 il gruppo registrò un concerto in un locale svedese, contenente i brani composti negli anni ’70, ma mai pubblicati.
Presi la mail e chiesi direttamente alla band, che con gentilezza ed estrema nobiltà d’animo, mi mandò un doppio CD, copia numerata di quel concerto, digitalizzata dal chitarrista e tastierista del gruppo Hans Antonsson, lo stesso che rispose alla mia mail spiegandomi per benino cosa rappresentasse questo lavoro e che quella era la copia n° 23 in giro per il mondo.
Il disco, il cui titolo completo è “Den Årlinga Vårlinga Konserten På Rösshka Muséet”, vive in bilico tra sinfonico scandinavo, psichedelia e Canterbury. Pensate di prendere il primo disco dei Caravan, il primo dei Camel, il primo dei Kaipa, qualcosa degli Schicke Führs & Fröhling e dei Flasket Brinner, senza tralasciare qualche delicato colpo di pennello alla Genesis di Trespass o magari di Wind and Wuthering”, la miscela che ne viene fuori è questo live dei Suspekt Aspekt. L’ascolto dei brani, che hanno anche trenta e passa anni, ci fa capire quanti gruppi blasonati abbiano da riverirli, ma preferisco non fare nomi.
Nella dimensione live il gruppo è perfetto e, soprattutto, consideriamo che a suonare non sono i cinquantenni di oggi ma i ventenni di allora. E’ tutto molto umano e spontaneo e consente di mettere in luce le buone capacità nell’utilizzare il proprio strumento e, al contempo, di evidenziare in maniera più che cruda, quei piccoli errori (pochi, pochi intendiamoci) generati da immaturità musicale, adolescenziale.
Sedici brani dai due agli undici minuti più altre sette bonus per due CD zeppi di buona musica strumentale molto ricca, dove le trame tastieristiche e chitarristiche si intersecano in maniera molto fluida e le ritmiche belle, ma mai concettualmente complesse, accompagnano e scandiscono, ora delicatamente, ora prepotentemente lo scorrere musicale, mentre organi, synth e mellotron di Stig Ankardal si avvicendano tra tappeti per la chitarra a dominatori melodici e orchestrali.
Per un motivo o per un altro i brani sarebbero tutti da citare, ma la trattazione verrebbe lunga. Voglio però ricordare, riprendendo anche un po’ le note del dettagliatissimo libretto, l’heavy tune “Hämnden är Ljuv” un brano che qualche anno dopo avrebbe potuto stare senza problemi in un disco degli Änglagård. I dolci arpeggi e la ricca melodia della lunga “Sans Och Balans” brano in cui convivono i Camel più romantici con alcune atmosfere hackettiane, senz’altro una delle perle del disco. “Chuck’a’Luck” ispirata da una scena cinematografica di Fritz Lang è uno splendido gioco ritmico che mette in bella evidenza le capacità del batterista Hans Johansson e i cui alti e bassi ne fanno un’altra perla molto prog e decisamente azzeccata. Il brano chiudeva, con una finale incredibilmente dinamico e pieno, la prima parte dei loro concerti, che riprendevano con “Känsloyttrigar” il pezzo, non solo più lungo del repertorio, ma anche quello maggiormente pretenzioso sotto l’aspetto compositivo, con una grande varietà di atmosfere e decisamente notevole. Nonostante loro, nel booklet, la indichino come: “Un brano come tanti altri”, “Citat” è forse la cosa migliore di tutto il lavoro e racchiude in soli sei minuti un mondo musicale perfetto, un brano prog da manuale, così ricco di idee che molte altre band le avrebbero sfruttate per un intero disco. Altro grande brano è “Fritt Fall”, prettamente giocato su unisono e sincopi di non mostruosa difficoltà, ma di bellissima riuscita. Altro brano cameliano/caravaniano fino al midollo “Hör och Häpna”, un gran finale, epico con chitarra solista e tastierone di fondo. I brani inseriti come bonus sono suddivisi in quattro tracce recuperate da altre incisioni live dell’epoca e tre che risalgono ad un tentativo di incisione in studio che non ebbe sbocchi discografici. Tra questi sette brani spicca sicuramente “Femkat” un brano un 5/4 risalente ad alcuni anni prima rispetto al concerto e la lunga “Kärnkraftsläten” ispirata da un incidente in una centrale nucleare di Harrisburg di quegli anni e segnata sul libretto come ultima composizione completa degli anni ’70 del gruppo. La sua composizione ruota attorno ad un cowboy-theme stravolto e reso prog da sbalzi continui, tempi dispari e sbotti tastieristici di notevole intuizione.
Restano da citare 3 scherzetti musicali inseriti nella scaletta che mettono in luce il tono anche scherzoso del gruppo rispetto alla notevole serietà della restante parte della loro musica. Così abbiamo un “Tango Jalousi” stravolto e ridicolizzato, “Sverige i Storpolitiken” un medley di inni nazionali nordici e dell’est, e un tema western “Postdiligensen” di assalto alla diligenza, memoria di quando giocavano da ragazzini.
Questo è tutto e, ciò che appare, ad onor del vero, è una gran gioia musicale, sempre che quel senso nostalgico che inevitabilmente assale l’ascoltatore, possa essere letto come espressione di una magia fanciulla, dolce, dal profumo del bosco d’autunno e dal sapore di fieno del primo bacio.
" by Roberto Vanali

- Hans Johansson (drums, 1975-76)
- Hans Antonsson (bass, guitar, keyboards)
- Hans Andreasson (guitar, 1975-76)
- Stig Ankardal (keyboards)
- Thomas Scott (guitar, 1976-present)
- Janne Johansson (drums, 1976-present)
- Ingemar Andersson (keyboard, bass, 1978-present)

Hämnden är Ljuv...

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Petrus Castrus - "Marasmo" {Portugal} [1971] (ep)

"Ok!I know you all know the Petrus Castrus one of the first portuguese progressive rock bands and his great symphonic work "Ascençao e Queda" ("Rise and Fall"), published in 1976 which includes "Indecisão e Demência" ("Indecision and Dementia").

It gets very influenced by Procol Harum, but suddenly turns into a beautiful melody more symphonic GG style, where as usual the voice work is excellent, two male voices of the Castro brothers in collision with the softest and the stunning Lena d'Agua (here knowledge of the Portuguese language matters).

Probably what you do not know (because it is so rare) is his first EP released earlier in 1971

What is most impressive is the number of radical changes that this band can offer in each track.
In "Marasmo" ("Marasmus") enjoy the melodic fluidity of synthesizers, harpsichord, piano and acoustic guitar. The structural complexity of certain passages gives it a dense sound that ultimately ends up in achieving peace and calmitude, and "Batucada Vulgaris" theme included in the LP Psychedelic Portugal drums and percussion are also used either to enrich the timbre work either to score a little more pace, at one time or other.
Excellent EP that deserves much more popularity, good for any listener who does not care about lyrics in a foreign language.
" by Dom - ProgNotFrog

1. Marasmo (5:39)
2. Ovo de Chumbo (2:44)
3. Batucada Vulgaris (2:59)

- Pedro Castro / Bass
- José Castro / Keyboards, Vocals
- Rui Reis / Piano, Organ
- Júlio Pereira / Guitars
- João Seixas / Drums
- José Mário / Xylophone

Ovo de Chumbo...
Batucada Vulgaris........

Thank you Dom ;)

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Finn Sjöberg - "Finn" {Sweden} [1978] (Jazz-Rock/Fusion)

Member of band "Kvartetten Som Sprängde"
I could't found english review...
Finn Sjöberg är en begåvad studiomusiker som spelat med mängder av musikers plattor samt i bandet Kvartetten som Sprängde. Hans soloplatta är precis som alla toppmusikers soloplattor en jazz-rock histora. (är man begåvad musiker vill man naturligtvis ha lite utmaning och inte köra typ Evert Taube låtar och då blir det oftast jazz-rock eftersom så det är en av de mest avancerade, krävande och svårspelade formerna av musik.) Sista spåret "I Fatimas Hand" på plattan är en höjdare med smått psykedeliska drag men i övrigt behöver man vara en stor beundrare av jazz-rock för att njuta av plattan.

Sida A:
1. Första Valsen (1:02)
2. Draklåten (5:08)
3. Mr. Martell (3:41)
4. Lelleby Boogie (5:07)
5. Sista valsen (0:59)

Sida B:
1. Gånglåt från Barrstigen (5:42)
2. Höst (5:12)
3. I Fatimas Hand (5:37)

- Finn Sjöberg - Gitarr
- Hasse Breitholtz - Orgel
- Jan Kling - Flöjt, sax
- Malando Gassama - Percussion
- Mike Watson - Bas
- Ola Brunkert - Trummor
- Rolf Alex - Trummor
- Stefan Nilsson - Elpiano, moog

Första Valsen...
Gånglåt från Barrstigen...
I Fatimas Hand...

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Namu - "Opening" + "Sora Datte Toberusa (Fly Even the Sky)" {Japan} [1974]

NAMU was mid 70's organ hard rock band, played mainly Yokohama city around, no recordings except for only this medley (2 music 10min. aprx) was available
1974 "One Step Festival" held at Kohriyama City, Fukushima, Japan - NAMU played there and only recorded this track. 1978 disbanded

01 Opening (3'14)
02 Sora datte Toberusa (6'46) [meaning ; Fly even the sky]

- Jun-ichi Murakami (vocal)
- Hiro Fukushima (guitar) --> Far East Family Band
- Shigemi Komiyama (drums) --> Hot Tuna
- Kitaro (Keyboard) --> Far East Family Band

- Jun-ichi Murakami (vocal/organ)
- Nishibayashi "Boku-chin" (guitar) = Acid Seven Band
- Soul Tohru (drums) --> Otoboke Cats
- Tammy (bass)

Thanks to Kohsaku :o)

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Xarhanga - Discography {Portugal} [70s]

1971 - Xarhanga - "Acid Nightmare + Wish Me Luck" (single)

Banda onde se destacava Júlio Pereira e Carlos Cavalheiro nas vozes, que participaria também no excelente Lp de Júlio Pereira "Bota Fora" e mais tarde pertenceria á banda Alarme.
Pode ouvir alguns registos no MySpace criado em homenagem á banda aqui fonte

Acid Nightmare...

1972 - Xarhanga - "Great Goat + Smashing Life" (single)

Ambas as canções têm letra de Carlos Cavalheiro (voz) e música de Júlio Pereira, ex-Petrus Castrus e ex-Play Boys (piano, órgão e viola).
Os restantes membros da banda, nesta gravação, são Carlos Patrício (baixo e pedaleira) e Zé da Cadela (bateria).
O produtor foi Victor Mamede.
Os Xarhanga tiveram uma vida muito efémera, em 1973. Banda de heavy metal, deixou apenas dois singles.
O primeiro baterista foi Rui Venâncio que só gravou o primeiro single, também em 1973, "Acid Nightmare/Wish Me Luck" (ZIP ZIP - ZIP 30.043/S)
Da esquerda para a direita: Júlio Pereira (guitarra, teclas), Carlos Patrício (baixo), Carlos Cavalheiro (voz) e Zé da Cadela (bateria). Grande grupo, grandes discos (este e o anterior)!
fonte: bissaide

Smashing Life...

1975 - Júlio Pereira & Carlos Cavalheiro - "Bota Fora"

O excelente álbum “Bota Fora” (Orpheu), editado em 1975 por Júlio Pereira e Carlos Cavalheiro, elementos dos Xarhanga, foi reeditado no final de Março, trazendo consigo os singles lançados em 1973 pelos Xarhanga (“Acid Nightmare” e “Great Goat”).
Uma peça fantástica do rock progressivo nacional, debruçado sobre as temáticas da guerra colonial, da independência das colónias e da liberdade; nesta edição, completada com os discos editados pelos Xarhanga, nome importante no lançamento do hard-rock em Portugal. fonte


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fujara - "Fujara" {Denmark} [1973] prog/psych

There are many mysterous bands that i think most of us looking for, and this is the one that i had big passion to listen, A few days ago our friend mtumba bring this album to our attention at forum. Since then i am listening some songs on the album over and over again, Some information that i found for the album;
"The band from Køge founded in 1970 playing mostly rock affected by hippie subculture with social and political lyrics. This 6-member group was said to have humorous live performances. It had brass section as strong as Dr. Dopo Jam but didn't use it in so efficient and dynamic way. Anyway, Fujara does not sound like one more political group where lyrics dominated the music. Most compositions remain under influence of West Coast rock but especially two of them are in Dr. Dopo Jam vein, and those are IMO the best ones on the whole album: Styvtoget and excellent Majara. All lyrics are in Danish.." read more here

thanks to mtumba :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Otger Dice - Garden of Pleasure (Net 1977)

Sometimes we love an album for no reason other than that we love it, it's the idiosyncrasy of music that makes it so unique. I really really love this one, though I know some out there will consider it banal, some will find it annoying, some will think the singer has too rough a voice, but maybe someone else will agree that it's just impossible to live without and they're willing to listen to it a hundred times from now on, like I did when I encountered it. In style I think it's similar to the Kaz Lux solo album or later Brainbox with basic rock and folk sounds cooked up with a bit of progressive spice to give it some heat for those who want more mental stimulation. Some tracks actually remind me of Jackson Browne from the Late from the Sky period with that cool californial singer songwriter groove off ventura highway. As with earlier posted Memo a lot of my emotional connexion probably has to do with temporal nostalgia, lost childhood.

Let's get to the music first. Actually let's get to the talking about the music first. The first track hits us with a D minor groove and some nice space synth before the hard rock sound of Otger singing all kinds of craziness on "Trashcan:"
"Goin round in circles
waitin for a miracle
instead of the truth
lightning struck me
shattered in my eye
There is a butterfly session in the neighbourhood" (what the--?)
Well, in my opinion it sure beat Mick's lyrics from Goats Head Soup.
The second song uses an ingenious progression (in key of G) involving G maj7, D maj7, F maj7, Eflat maj7. This is the kind of unusual thinking that takes this above average rock. I like how he then puts the melody on top of this odd progression using the out-of-place D maj7 as transitional ('correct' chord should be D7).
"Flim Flam Lover" is a standout track, starts with a lovely electric piano sound (Otger playing I presume), very very reminiscent of Kaz singing on the Akkerman albums. The song could fit in well as more biography of Eli. The smooth quarter note slow rock sound never sounds as good as here with some acoustic and rhodes piano background, very subtle use of nonfuzzy electric guitar and hammond duetting with the singer. There is a beautiful drama to the whole song with guitar instrumental leading into passionate singing halfway through. I like the lyrics on this one too. "He moves out like a flash... hits the road before they do" Oh those free days of the seventies, how long ago they seem now, free love, free sex, could it really have been true and not a dream? (I wouldn't know personally of course having been a child then.)
"Dreammare" reminds me of Jackson Browne's song After the Deluge, not just because it's also in the key of G. The style is in keeping with the piano singer-songwriter stuff from the west coast. Again, it's tragic that music as well written as the perennial 'classic rock' staples is lost to any kind of sizable audience, because it's at least as good as the average Jackson Browne. Maybe what's missing is the simplicity that makes songs like "I want candy" or "I will remember you" such monster hits, people need something really repetitive and childish to enjoy music. Again, same comments I made earlier about the musical artistic 'test of time', which children's music passes but not our beloved progressive which involves real sweat labour and a lot of education.
I grant there are some throwaway blues style songs in here but this is no different from the average rock album with a few filler tracks. Several songs have the unfortunate tendency of relying too much on an I - IV chord progression.

I have trouble finding info on the man, just like with the earlier Memo.
Ratings are terrible on rateyourmusic, surprisingly to me but probably no one else. I really love the country cover with the seventies font. Boy would I love to go fishing in that creek but the way it was in the seventies, not now.


A1 Trashcan 3:00
A2 Bands And Dice 3:38
A3 Flim Flam Lover 4:38
A4 You've Got The Tools 3:31
A5 Dreammare 2:49
B1 Ridin' A Tiger 3:40
B2 See The People 5:43
B3 I Synthesize My Song 3:38
B4 Garden Of Pleasure

Bass - Paul Happener
Drums - David Kemper , Jan Pijnenberg
Guitar - Dean Parks , Eef Albers , Fred Berger
Keyboards, Vocals - Otger Cooymans*
Percussion - Victor Feldman
Producer - Bert Ruiter
Vocals - Anton Verhagen

Flim Flam Lover...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Siamo, Il volo di Icaro

Here we have two light-prog italian albums, late 70s. The first, Il Volo di Icaro, features quite good songwriting. It's worth briefly repeating the ancient Greek story of Icarus although I have a feeling everyone knows it well. Daedalus was an artisan who had been imprisoned on Crete by Minos, with his son, in order to escape he created wings made of feathers and glued with wax. He warned his son repeatedly not to attempt to fly too high but the son became intoxicated with the feeling and the sun melted his wings and he fell into the sea (a specific sea near Samos). Daedalus must have cried hard, it's difficult to lose a son, even in this way. It would've been heartbreaking to have known he could have avoided it with more care, and that it was a fully preventable accident. It generally takes months to years to get over a death like that. Constantly he would have been afraid to fly again, to even look at a bird would have been painful. He surely would have been able to commiserate with prometheus bound.
How close did Icarus have to get? Well since the temperature will drop inversely proportionally to the square of the radius from the sun, starting from a surface t for the sun of 6000 C, to the earth's minus 15 without greenhouse effect 93 million miles away, in order to reach a temperature of 40 degrees or so to melt wax while still being compatible with life would have meant getting about halfway to the sun.
This record doesn't get into the astronomical details, but has some beautiful tracks outlining the tale, some straight pop songwriting, some sweet folk guitar (Giorno di Marzo) some ingenious passages. The last song unfortunately is a throwaway song of street sounds. The second last Meditation is a very atmospheric piano piece in D minor. Check out the beautiful synths that then play out a spacey melody over a nice bass groove.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Arild Andersen Lifelines 1981

I return today, already too soon, and I apologize in advance for returning. My wife's work in her master's degree (studying gross anatomy of extraterrestrials) has kept me away from our shared computer almost as much as her yelling at me to get away. Luckily her thesis is almost done and will be sent out into space anon on one of those chinese tourist rockets, we have been allotted a small plastic box that costs only a few dollars, because it was made in indonesia. Also my import-export business has been booming (we import desert sand and export gorilla suits). After a few more albums we'll be going on holidays to the US east coast to check out the nice big oil slick, already having packed the detergent, until end July.

Here we have a very typical ecm-style low-key jazz album from Norway, it lulls you into complacency only to suddenly launch you into a coma. It is of course very good, as good as the american style of jazz, and somewhat more interesting in my opinion. Utterly absent is the 'swing' that is the hallmark and aficionado's definition of good US jazz, but I can live without swing.

From Wikipedia:
Arild Andersen (born 27 October 1945) is a Norwegian bass player.

Born in Lillestrøm, Norway, he started out as a member of the Jan Garbarek Quartet (1967-1973), with Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. In the same period he also worked with the Norwegian singer Karin Krog and played in the rhythm section for visiting American musicians including Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Bill Frisell, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, and Chick Corea. During this time, he also worked with Don Cherry, George Russell and Tomasz Stańko.

Andersen has recorded over a dozen albums for ECM Records as band leader and with Masqualero, and appeared on many others as side man.

In January 2009 Andersen was named Musicien Europeen 2008 by the French Academie du Jazz.[1]

[edit] Solo discography
"Clouds in my head" (1975)
"Shimri" (1977)
"Green Shading into Blue" (1978)
"Lifelines" (1981)
"A Molde Concert" (1981)
"Sagn" (1990)
"Arv" (1993)
"If You Look Far Enough" (1994)
"Hyperborean" (1997)
"Sommerbrisen" (1998)
"Achirana" (2000)
"The Triangle" (2004)
"Elektra" (2005)
"Live at Belleville" (2008)

01 Cameron 6:23
02 Prelude 5:53
03 Landloper 0:48
04 Predawn 6:02
05 Dear Kenny 6:20
06 A Song I Used To Play 2:42
07 Lifelines 6:28
08 Anew

Double Bass - Arild Andersen
Drums - Paul Motian
Engineer - Jan Erik Kongshaug
Flugelhorn, Cornet - Kenny Wheeler
Piano - Steve Dobrogosz
Producer - Manfred Eicher
Written-By - Arild Andersen (tracks: 01, 03 to 08) , Radka Toneff (tracks: 08) , Steve Dobrogosz (tracks: 02)

The piano solos are really dreamy.


Friday, June 11, 2010

BBL - "One" {Germany} [1982]

I could not find a review in English... infos are welcome :)

Die Formation BBL aus Kassel bestand zwischen 1978 und 1984. Volker Billhardt (g), Kalle Binder (dr) und Helmut Lenk (b) entwickelten einen Stil, der sowohl Elemente aus Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk und experimentelle Aspekte enthielt.
Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt des Trios war die Gewichtung der Improvisation. Natürlich wurden teilweise feste Arrangements und Kompositionen zur Grundlage herangezogen, der überwiegende musikalische Prozess vollzog sich aber im improvisatorischen Bereich.
Als logische Schlussfolgerung daraus wurden auch Konzerte ohne festen Rahmen durchgeführt, die musikalische Struktur ergab sich dann aus der jeweiligen Atmosphäre, den räumlichen Gegebenheiten, der Interaktion mit dem Publikum oder anderen inneren und äußeren Umständen.
BBL arbeitete häufig mit befreundeten Musikern zusammen, die vorrangig aus dem Bereich des Jazz kamen. Auch interdisziplinär fand eine stellenweise intensive Auseinandersetzung mit den Künstlern Albrecht Genin und Nik Barlo Jr.
statt. So wurden gemeinsame Performances im Rahmen von Ausstellungseröffnungen durchgeführt.
BBL nahm in 1982 am kulturellen Beiprogramm der d7 teil.

Seite 1
A1 - Bat
A2 - Play into the day
A3 - Skypictures
A4 - Blisters
Seite 2
B1 - Mar-a-ton

- Volker Billhardt (guitar)
- Kalle Binder (drums)
- Helmut Lenk (bass)

Side A...

Thanks to KC! ;)

Link in comments...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Imants Kalninš - "4. Simfonija" ("Rock" Symphony) {Latvia} [1972]

Imants Kalninš (born May 26, 1941 in Riga, Latvia) is one of the most important composers in the history of Latvian music. Having studied classical, as well as choral music, he has written six symphonies, several operas (including the first rock opera in the USSR - Ei, jus tur!/ "Hey, you there!"), oratorios, cantatas, choir songs, a lot of movie and theater music. However, he is generally best known for his rock songs and is to be considered the first composer of intellectual rock music.

"Travelling the Baltic States the influence of the Russification that was applied by the Soviet regime for more then forty years is notable everywhere. Also in the music scene. During the Soviet period, artists and writers were kept under surveillance and their work was heavily censored. This was done largely through state sponsorship. Artists who were approved by the state were given superior accommodation and the state purchased their work. There were also artists that tried to find mazes in the Soviet regulation and were able to keep local culture alive.

In musical terms the Latvian traditional music originates in the Daina. A mix of music and poetry telling stories about local mythology and legendary Latvian heroes. No wonder the Soviet rule wasn’t to keen on these nationalistic songs. With this in mind the work of composer Imants Kalniņš is undeniable of great importance. Born in 1941 he was brought up under Soviet rule. Still he was interested in the old Latvian daina’s and mixed them in his classical work. This did not go down to well. To make things even worse he became interested in rock ‘n roll in sixties and founded the first Latvian pop-band 2xBBM. After a short-lived succesfull start the local officials banned the band just a year after their first appearance.

Probably pretty pissed off Kalniņš started to work on a project that would be released as ‘symfony 4’ in 1972. The project was no classical work but is in fact the first progressive rock album in Latvia history. Inspired by illegal music like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ and Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ Kalniņš mixed rock and Latvia folklore with classical music. To make things even worse he incorporated poetry from American beat poet Kelly Cherry (who was his lover at the time) for the final movement. Still with all these obvious attempts to irritate the Soviet officials the symphony was allowed to be released if Cherry’s poem would be left off. Although it looks like a minor step for some the relevance of this work for Latvian people must have been huge. Note that a copy of the album is even on display at the Riga Occupation Museum as a symbol of the Latvian culture being cherished in the seventies. (review first published on
by europopmusic

more info...

01 Allegreto (14:14)
02 Andante trnquillo (8:46)
03 Grave molto (8:37)
04 Moderato rubato (17:49)


link in comments...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Continental Uptight Band

Not a lot of info on the web on this netherlandish folk-pop band. Their albums Beautiful Friendship (70) and Roots (72) are from the same period as the earlier Bojoura album, basically from 40 years ago. A little bit more pop oriented than folk in my opinion, some tracks remind me of Neil Young, some of the Beatles' acoustic stuff.

Beautiful friendship...
Northers islands...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

back to folk...

Wow, that is one beautiful woman! ! !
I figure today it will be harder to navigate away from the page with a bit of eye candy coming up first...
It's inexplicable to me why some amazing folk albums are still unknown. This one in particular has a great pedigree, I see from brief research online that Bojoura Cleuver was a hugely popular singer in Holland back in the day-- 40 years ago that is. It's arranged and composed to a large extent by Thijs van Leer, whose solo albums are quite available. His presence explains why these songs are so much above the usual folksy material.
I really love this album and that's why I've brought it back from the brink here. Particularly impressive are the van Leer ones, The swallow and the calf which is I gather a trad. song, tells the parable of those who are fated for freedom (the swallow) and those who are fated for chains (the calf). I have to admit it's hard for me to listen without at least one tear appearing indiscretely. The "Time it goes by" reminds me a lot of Nick Drake's early stuff. Please note that Bojoura has written the lyrics for a few tracks. What a tragedy that this well-written music is so rare today, it really doesn't deserve to be, several tracks here are as good as any AM radio standards like simon and garfunkel or peter paul and mary that are so overplayed day in day out. I don't understand why people are so willing to put up with the same repertoire in their lives. So strange too to think that those who recall this album, would be by now mostly senior citizens, retirees with grey hair. The beautiful Raina (Bojoura) herself is now a lovely 63 year old grandmother, untouched I'm sure from mr botox and ms. restylane, with several beautiful grandchildren probably some with great musical talent. Time is still a great mystery in physics with physicists evenly divided between those who view it as a perceptual illusion in reality a block as in einsteinian gravitation (general relativity) (there is only one bojoura in the present past and future) and those who feel it is related to entropy and the birth of the universe and possibly involves unknown physics (further increases in her entropy will lead to dust).
Please enjoy this lost gem as much as I have and let's hope its worldline continues far into the high entropy space of states.

More info, from websites:
"Bojoura, of Bulgarian descent, was the most popular Dutch singer for a long period of time. She was born in 1947 in The Hague as Raina Cleuver van Melzen and discovered by George Kooymans (Golden Earring) in 1967. She recorded a lot of folk songs, although she also did some songs penned by Kooymans. She was frequently accompanied by the Thijs van Leer Trio (1967-1969)."

"Asked to think up the title for this new Bojoura album, I couldn't but suggest to entitle it "The Beauty of Bojoura", impressed as I am by her inward as well as her outward beauty. In addition to a talent for singing she also possesses a fine feeling for languages. This not only manifests itself in her fluency when speaking such languages as French, German, English, Bulgarian or Dutch, but also in the remarkable richness of metaphor in the lyrics she writes. This figurative language has been a great inspiration to me when setting a handful of her poems to music. On the other hand, Bo and I have equally enjoyed doing our versions of songs from the repertoire of such groups and singers as Peter, Paul & Mary, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Tim Hardin and Tom Paxton." - Thijs van Leer.

Side A
Black sheep child (Tim Hardin)
Last thing on my mind (T. Paxton)
The wizard and the girl (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Flora (Stookey - Travers - Mezzetti)
The swallow and the calf (Trad. - T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Side B
Comes a time (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Time it goes by (E. Nobel/ T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
The days of love (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver)
Wintertime love (The Doors)
Backstreet Girl (M. Jagger/ K. Richards)
Why do they go back home (T. van Leer/ B. Cleuver/ J.Akkerman)

The Swallow and the calf...

link is in progress.