Friday, February 10, 2012

Toto Blanke - Somewhere in Time 1981

Does this artist need an introduction?

When my wife saw it in the mail she actually said, "Is that another Toto Blanke?"
Alas-- when I looked at her, the grin on her face made it clear: a name she had heard me say many times before, had become a very dry kind of joke...

In 1969 legendary belgian percussionist and jazz bandleader Pierre Courbois founded the first European 'Rock-Jazz' group, Association P.C.. This famous ensemble, winner of the Down Beat Poll, existed until 1975 with Toto Blanke, Sigi Busch, different key-boarders, including Jasper van 't Hof, Joachim Kühn and Sigi Kessler.

Thereafter Toto Blanke left to create his own jazz-rock ensemble, Electric Circus, which produced the following albums: ST, Live, Friends, Family, Belladonna. These have all been featured before with the exception of the last one, which will follow soon. To me these albums constitute a textbook on how to create progressive jazz-rock, along with his other masterpieces, Spider's Dance, and Tales of Tomorrow. What a glorious period he had in the seventies!! Thereafter in 1981 Toto Blanke returned to his roots as it were, or mellowed out with age perhaps, with more acoustic guitar material, starting with the featured album, Somewhere in Time.

There are (to me) two throwaways, Ellington's tired old standard Sophisticated Lady (although it's played really exquisitely), and Hermeto Pascoal's Ne um Talvez (famous thanks to Miles Davis' cover). The rest is duet acoustic guitars battling out some incredibly ingenious compositions from Toto, sometimes descending into the abominable jazz 'circle of fifths' chord changes...

The highlight is a song dedicated to the pianist Stu Goldberg (although a more appropriate ded. would be to Ralph Towner), with chords and melodies so complex I have trouble following even a few notes without the utmost concentration...

This song goes to the heart of what progressive means to me. Starting with a harmonics-played Cm9, some very angular chromatic riffs descend into all kinds of unusual and complicated chords. Not only the notes but how he plays the guitar is remarkable and special, as I said before reminiscent of genius ecm guy Ralph Towner's style of strumming in an oceanic, wavey way.

And with the album Belladonna, that's it, an amazing decade of incredible progressive European music comes to an end ... How to explain this efflorescence of brilliance?

In these few years from 1970 to 1981, the world witnessed the height and utmost perfection of what human musical ability can achieve: combining the old European stream of learned classical music and hundreds of years of sonic experimentation with musical instruments, with the robust and improvisational jazz tradition, along with the powerful backbone brought by rock and electric instruments, artists crafted extreme excellence that for all time will be the greatest music any human being can ever hope to hear...

Something you Said:


all links will be up shortly

14 comments:

Tristan Stefan said...

toto blanke somewhere in time mp3
http://flameupload.com/files/9J6GX2J6/tbsitmp3.rar
electric circus belladonna (thx to osurec)
http://flameupload.com/files/1U1PJBRV/tbecbd.rar

flacs up tomorrow stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Another Toto Blanke? Hot damn!

Thanks, Tristan. Much appreciated.

Chicopee

Tristan Stefan said...

yes! another toto blanke lossless flac for you...
http://www.mediafire.com/?564sh3loo5mm6vy
http://www.mediafire.com/?p5258a7gvtt4w9h

Mr. Morgan said...

1983 - Bella Donna in mp3
tagged, tracked, split, polished and pictured.
http://www.mediafire.com/?09t3tohr4ytcik7

Voila!!!!

Mr. Morgan said...

Forgot; GREAT POST, APPRECIATION!

salsadetomate said...

i eat music and this is delicious oñomomomom

Anonymous said...

Hot damn! Finally picked up the flac of "Somewhere in Time." Thanks, my friend.

Chicopee

Michael said...

Thank you very much !

V ! (Oozlum) said...

This is so good! Thank you for taking my breath away, Toto.

Tristan Stefan said...

good job on belladonna man

Anonymous said...

THIS IS GREAT !!! THANK U VERY MUCH....

propylaen2001 said...

Any chance to re-upload the FLACs please?

Bert Dobben said...

I just purchased two Electric circus albums. By the way: Pierre Courbois is Dutch, not Belgian.

zuiop said...

Can someone please re-up Bella Donna mp3?

Post a Comment