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 :)