Saturday, December 29, 2012

Musik Szene Saar II (Germ., 1981)

Back when the growing bin blog was going strong with beautiful german and other seventies albums, one of my favourites posted was discobasso's Musik Szene Saar I album, which you can read here:
I can't believe this was already almost 2 years ago!

It was a very uneven recording, but there were some really gorgeously progressive tracks on it that really blew me away.  I didn't know there was a second one from a year later until it was featured for sale on his record store site.
For me the best tracks are from the soul-rock group Double You, which according to rateyourmusic and discogs never did a full album, and the folk quartet Ambi and Arno, same story, no record according to those sites, just the tracks on these two compilations.  If this is true and complete, it's tragic these talented groups never got to record albums.

Then there was just a shockingly RIO-esque prog number by Wolfgang Brendel with the most awesome dissonances and tritones.  This guy unfortunately doesn't appear on this second record.

Needless to say, the second edition is not as good as the first, but I had to get it out of curiosity.  It's quite possible most will not enjoy it so much, other than the true german rock music fans, of which I'm a big one.  But every once in a while a true gem appears from that period, in that country, that is completely unknown, so the search goes on.... 

The best track to me is from the hard rock band called Lancelot, their track 9, Danger in Sky, I feature here:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wake up and.... Jazzy (Macedonia or Yugo?, 198?)

For the edification of the confused, the country ascription above is due to the fact the album was recorded in Macedonia (as you can see from the back cover) by Yugoslav (specifically, Serbian) musicians.  Macedonia is a small country just north of Greece which has nothing to do with the former Yugoslavia obviously, geographically, I say this due to some confusion in the comments below created by someone who probably doesn't understand English too well.  Or if they do understand English they don't read well, or perhaps, have trouble comprehending.  Or are simply out to catch me even at the cost of making a mistake.  Something like that.  At any rate this record was posted before on the website yugojazz -- which I figured was likely because it's hard to find any yugo-related material not yet posted online.  My mistake for thinking I had found something original!

This record reminds me a bit of Kjol's stuff with its intense fusionary output from a quartet of wonderful musicians and its 'updated' eighties style of breathy jazz.  I'm surprised it's not better known considering how good the music is.  There is some experimental stuff in here too, and very little of the conventional (jazzy or bluesy standards) -- if at all.

The start of track 5 sampled below features some really oddly ahead of its time distorted vocals behind the furiously fast pianist runs.  Notice the synths behind him blowing as if in a wind chamber.

Really remarkable find, again from the growing bin record store.  I will repeat how amazing it is to see so many rare and marvellous gems in one place and at such affordable prices compared to many an online record store.

The stars are Milos Petrovic the pianist, and Rade Bulatovic the bassist.  They are rounded out by Jovan Maljokovic on tenor sax and Miroslav Karlovic on drums.

Track 5, Mondovisia from Milos Petrovic:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chettini and The Turkish Trio - "Oriental Soul" {France} [1972] turkish psychedelic folk/funk

this album was in my wishlist for a very long time, since the day, i saw it on ebay's lp listings.. since the lp released in france; even in turkey, very few aware the existence of this album. there are zillions of okay albums made in 70s' turkey, which try to benefit from country's authentic value, but musically somewhat dull. believe me this one is different. a hidden treasure for the lovers of turkish funky folky jazzy fussion of 70s.. the only information that we know about Çetin Bükey is that he played flute and clarinet at 1965's Altin Mikrofon Contest (a music contest annually held between 1965-1968 in Turkey organized by the newspaper Hürriyet) as a member of the Ferdi Özbegen Orchestra.



Friday, December 07, 2012

Mwendo Dawa ST (Swed, 1981)

After the VA record I tried looking for more from this swedish jazz band with mild fusionary tendencies.  I believe in online record stores this is referred to as fusion simply because a so-used label sells better than 'acoustic jazz' which is what this really is for the most part, with the exception of some nice synth work.  I really love the way Susanna washes her synths into the pieces in that atmospheric, cloud-like kind of way, big thick chords flowing over the surface of the beat like white reflections moving on a turmoiled ocean.   Unfortunately for me there isn't enough of this effect, only sparingly employed.

This was recorded April 20-21, 1980, in Stockholm.  The Mwendo Dawa (in Swahili: the way to a special goal) players are:
Ove Johansson - tenor sax
Susanna Lindeborg - keys
Ulf Wakenuis - guitars
Anders Jormin - bass
David Sundby - drums
Not too sure what you guys opine but I don't think I'll go out of my way to find any remaining of their records, I think I'll leave the rest for true completists in jazz only.  Is it surprising I can be turned off by 'too much jazziness?'  It shouldn't be, I love fusion for its progressive moves, but my heart is in prog.  Note that this band is still very active, one of the few from this period that continued almost verbatim through to the present era.  This particular record is OOP of course and not currently available online or on cd.

On track 5, a good ex. of Susanna's synthwork:

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Media - Realite (FRA 1980)

Highly reminiscent to me of the Phileas Fogg record I posted some time back, but with much less jazziness in it.  A few songs have a bit of reggae-tinged beat as might be expected for this time period, & quite a bit of new wave influence here, like zauberfinger.  Unfortunately the female vocalist is nowhere as beautifully endowed laryngeally as Phileas Fogg's.   For the progressive fan, be patient at the start -- you will be rewarded towards the end of side 1 moving on to side 2, with some unusual chord changes and melodies.

The band is led by Jean Launay, who plays drums, synths, and organs, and contributes vocals, and Ghislaine Clavier, responsible for the vocals.  This couple is credited with the arrangements, production, and compositions.  Album was recorded in Toulouse, March 1980.  Rounding out the band are Remy Chebr on bass, Antonio Gomez and Serge Faubert on guitars, Jean Labelle, Jean-Claude Cruciati and Patrick Double on piano (on different tracks) and synths, & Jean Ribul on trumpets.  This should be a nice break for those not so much into the fusion and jazzier stuff that I am apparently addicted to on this blog.  It's too bad our beautiful princess of prog Isabel has kept a low profile of late since she was so good at ferreting out the rockier albums for sharing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tony DuPuis - Night Visions (USA, 1985)

In the last post our Master Shige talked about when one is feeling down-- what to do?

For myself, there is no feeling like hearing the postman ringing, or coming home to see a record in my mailbox.  When this happens twice in one day, there's nothing like it.  (I hope out there others will feel inspired to feel the same, buying and ripping rare records.)  Yesterday this was exactly what I needed, with (what is a common experience) unpleasantness and bad feelings at work, followed by a record at my door.

"Welcome to a day in my life.  'Night Visions' is a concept album written as my perception of life.  We live in a fast-paced society and sometimes forget the meaning of tranquility.  The music on this album is an example of these times and how we must, through our most trying times, go on living with love for fellow man and self through tranquility and awareness."  T.D.

Very well said and something always worth remembering in this day of "social media" especially.  Taking a break from everything to think about why we are here, who we really are, or who we are to others around us, and what are we to do with the problems everywhere around small and large, is the most important duty for all of us.  Because then for my part I realize I want to be remembered as someone who made others feel better in some way, small as it may be, whoever they might be-- I say this without arrogance, meaning only that if I'm to leave this earth tomorrow at least it will be mostly positivity I will leave behind (I hope).

In this mid-80s private pressed fusion outing, Tony on piano, synths, and percussion, is accompanied by James Marshall - Trumpet, Perc; Dixon Shanks - Sax, Flutes; James Ranka - keys; Brain Robinson - Bass; Wally Parks - Vibes; Donny Todd - Trombone; and Jay Eker on Bass.  All the songs were written by Tony except the second one co-written with Ranka.  The sound is very similar to Mike Elliott's Diffusion but updated by a few years into the more smooth fusion era.  A couple of songs get pretty adventurous and progressive and you will surely notice these when you hear them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Beltane Fire "Different Breed "(1985,UK,pomp)

Beltane Fire "Different Breed "(1985,UK,pomp)

This album might cheer you up when you feel dissapointed or downer.
Excellent pomp album from UK released in 1985.
Beltane Fire released this sole album and some singles.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wiebelfetzer Live (Swiss 1971)

This album was posted long ago in poor rip and I feel it really deserves better, being an astonishing combination of fusion, modern classical, jazz, and that ethnic component typical of advanced Germanic music, a bit zeuhlish almost.  It's surprising this was made in 1971.  Like Soft Machine 3, it's a double-LP with each side featuring one track.  On the back is written the following:  "we are very happy to present to you this unique double-album based on an idea by bacillus..." It was recorded live in Zurich at Weisser Wind, which is across from the old railroad station by the large Zuhaftingsalter Timepiece...
...This reminds me of a time just after reunification in the late eighties when I was invited to the former East Germany as resident privatsdocent in biermeister wissenschafts, near the town of Neuschwanbergendorferingen which featured a similar timepiece at its old station.  I was cordially invited for a prospectus in the Schaftsingencollegeschellsteintungserstellensgymnasium, which in English, you know as a co-op.  It was curious to observe towards the twilight hour the pedestrians, often quite tipsy or even drunk on weissbier (of which the local one was notorious for its ability to remove the panties from young female students) waiting at the lights across the highway which often took some 5-6 minutes to change.  Of course, as a westerner, I would attempt a crossing as soon as I saw there were no cars coming.  Immediately some Bürgermeister would wag his long finger at me and comment, "ach no! it is not permitted to cross on das roten licht…! "
To which I would reply, "pardon me sir, there is no car coming, as you may easily observe, not even a lada, and it is a wonderful warm night... it is better to cross than to remain here waiting. Please, good night Herr B... Guten nacht."
Immediately with his cane across my nipples he would stop me, "no sir! where are you from? one does not cross here upon the red.  This is VERBOTEN! "

I laughed gently, "sir, this is the night of quiet and we have had a bit too much perhaps to drink.. I shall proceed on my way with your kind forbearance upon the wings of my Erdinger ..."
Then, a local politician well-known in these parts for his war service in the underground naked-molerat burrows who had been listening quietly decided to speak up.
"Sir!!  Herr K.!! you are not from here, are you!! perhaps you laugh at us simple townsfolk. Yes, we are unsophisticated, not like you. We stand at the red lights and do not cross.  Even, some among us are mentally retarded [here he pointed out a teen chomping on a knackwurst who evidently had Down's Syndrome] -- even some of us are mental defectives [here he pointed towards an empty spot-- which occasioned my surprise, to which he replied immediately with] Ach! again I see Hans, the village idiot, is on stress leave!"
"stress leave?"
"yes!  in Germany, these village idiots are now unionized-- they are permitted 452 days of sick leave per year!"  whereupon I remarked in utmost perplexity:
"452 days--?"
"Sir!! you forget: they are a union of idiots!! -- as I was saying, in our town, we have multiple mental defectives, prone to long incurable stays in mental asylums of which there are more than four hundred in the area.  But listen here!"  and his face was contorted with rage, almost a centimeter away from me, so close one of his head lice made the long desperate plunge onto my neatly-combed hair and my alcohol-dulled reflexes were too slow to trap it in my teeth:
"But--- We are in Germany here!  Wir sind in Deutschland!  We DO NOT CROSS!!! NEIN!!!!"
Suddenly the others who by now numbered in the dozens (as the light still had not changed) would crowd me, in a riot of angry faces as if in a painting by H. Bosch with twisted expressions of murderous rapture, telling me to stop and forbear.  At that time almost the entire town including the wet-nurses with their milk-laden breasts were standing there. I would then observe a grandmother in a wig and hair-net, an angry red-haired lady with a large potbelly and bunions of equal size exclaim:
"sir ! you have no children, ja ? "
"pardon me, madam, no I am not yet blessed with these beasts at this time " I dutifully replied.
She would then continue,
"You must not cross! for you are a poor example to the children of our town !  See here!! " At which she would point out the long-haired puppet called der Struwwelpeter in the nearby toy store for want of a better example (who to this day still gives me feverish nightmares).  Suddenly, a drunken 10-year-old did in fact appear and shook his head at me, sadly, for attempting to cross, before proceeding into a large mountain in pursuit of a pied flautist.
By now angry, I yelled, "A pox upon you townsfolk!!!" -- and,  "I shall be too old for children by the time this light changes!!!"
"You shall not cross this light!"  the townspeople yelled in unison, all of them there, as if in a general assembly, some in their nightshirts, night-hats, and night-skiboots.
"I shall indeed!" I answered, badly needing to deprive my kidneys of their precious yellow nectar. But still they all blocked me in an impasse of contorted and stuporous bodies... and then, the witch screamed out,

Today, of course, I still stand at that red light, waiting for it to change… still waiting…
and I and frau K. do have children or kinder as we ironically call them in our language (which wild animals, I am loathe to admit, have indeed cursed our lives as the witch foretold)  -- and how I wish that light would change!!!
ach--deutsche burokratie!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mount Everest, Mwendo Dawa, Opposite Corner, Soffgruppen - Det Nyjazzte Från Göteborg (1977, Sverige)

Not the most beautiful album cover artwork this time.

I'm back from a nice relaxing holiday with empty pockets and this one fusion outing from VA in the city of Goteborg, Sweden-- note the presence of huge jazz artists Mount Everest (featured on this website before) and Soffgruppen, one of the greatest fusion bands out of all Scandinavia (in my opinion).   Disappointingly the last track, by this last mentioned, is a free jazz improv and is quite meandering, never really building to the climax one is getting excited for...

Now I have to get back to work to pay for our crazy spending (not entirely my wife's fault this time) as well as the next holiday and bunch of records. Oh boy, looks like the kids won't be getting much for christmas.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Michal Urbaniak "Daybreak" (1981,Poland,Fusion,Jazz Rock)

Michal Urbaniak "Daybreak" (1981,Poland,Fusion,Jazz Rock)

Among his albums,"Fusion Ⅲ"(1975) may be the best album for prog fans,but this "Daybreak" will be also liked by prog fans .



Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Interweave 1986

When I saw the fantastic new website dedicated to rare dutch material from the golden age of progressive rock:
I was reminded of this great record of acoustic guitar mixed with choral (as in the classical form of music) with the gorgeous medieval cover.  I was surprised to see on rateyourmusic they had made a second album called Expedition so immediately I tried to track it down--  thus, here I present to you the two records from Interweave...
Unfortunately the Expedition as you will see is simply jazz piano with bass, drums backing, from a trio that hails from New York.   I see it was on faraone's wishlist but I trust it no longer will be soon.  Please contact me if anyone still does want it.  Their record was recorded in Onoeonta NY with Frank Giasullo as the composer and pianist, in style he reminds me a lot of 70s Keith Jarrett in his gospel moods though without the fiercely incontrollable imaginativeness.  It's the other ST Interweave from Holland that is the masterpiece as you will soon see.  It was recorded in 1985 but put out in 1986, and the american album was recorded in early 1986, so really they're both from the same year but different continents.  This post is dedicated to DPP.

Here's my favourite track from American Interweave, "A Good Question"

And one from netherlandish Interweave:


Monday, November 05, 2012

John Macey – More Notes For Your Money (1987,USA,Guitar fusion)

John Macey – More Notes For Your Money (1987,USA,Guitar fusion)

This is John Macey's second release (.4 tracks single).

This rip is the same as here .
Thanks to the original uploader ,we can enjoy his other masterpiece work.
After listening to it many times,I hoped to remaster the file .
The file remastered here is ..... some pops and crackles were removed and easier to listen to.(Track 4 's noises could not be removed a lot unfortunately ....)
I appreciate the original uploader for real, and do hope John Macey in Heaven will be satisfied with my remastering and this USA's talented but unknown guitarist's name will be known to all over the world.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mr. Euphoria (USA, 1983)

Continuing on with American guitar-prog rarities in honour of the upcoming election in the United States, for which I strongly encourage all registered voters and registered nonvoters to go out and vote as soon as possible in yet another useless exercise of wasted time and unnecessary energy so the haughty political oligarchy or rather plutocratic ruling class can feel justified to do whatever it wishes with no regard whatsoever for human beings or their environment (and to think they used to laugh at communist countries for their useless preordained elections--  now you get two identical parties to choose from instead of just one-- woo-hoo!)--  here's the album that to me seemed like a progressive masterpiece utterly lost to time and even to prog fans.  [Footnote: What we need is a real "truth party" that could state the obvious: this is all a vacuous diversion so power can remain with the top point one percenters and the corporations they are eternally married to 'till death do us part'.]

Very simply, this sounds like the tightest, hardest, no-fat version of mid-seventies king crimson you could imagine, as if the great Fripp was totally focussed on song-writing and brutally keen on cutting out all filler, chamber pretensions, and excess frippery. Track 3 (1 Day 1 Month 1 Year) even features some of that trademark staccato Fripp guitar style. 

All songs are instrumentals powered forward by fully-automatic electric guitar chainsaw action.  Occasionally there is a touch of synthesizer (also played by the formidable guitarist, whose name is Richard Rhodes.  His backing band consists of Gordon Rhodes on drums (sib?), Tim Sanz on bass, guest Eric Petersen on synths for track 5.  Tracks 2, 5, 7 are compositions by Sanz and the rest is credited to R. Rhodes.) The energy and tritones never really let up until the fierce ending in which you feel like you scraped your face and right temple on the pavement in extreme music-listening sports.  Guaranteed the ceaseless tritoning and riffs played as thirds (just like Fripp) will drive your wife (and kids, if you're unlucky enough to have those) out of the room, and if they are unable to so leave, they will be begging you for mercy (or at least throwing plates at your head).

When you listen to the rip notice too that the record is mint, the sound couldn't be any cleaner-- oh the joy of listening to that fresh vinyl (from almost 30 years ago) rotate..... and thanks to the mighty osurec for teaching me about this unknown band.  As always I am following in his giant footsteps.

As sample I uploaded the intro, with its awesome hard diminished chord riff, crank it up as loud as you can when you listen, it's awe-inspiring in the manner of the (ancient) seven wonders of the world. Note how the crazy reverbed-out lead guitar plays such interesting harmonies on top of the driving riff.

And the third track "1 Day 1 Month 1 Year" with its "frippertronics:"

Once again I repeat it, how is it possible for music this excellent to be so lost so completely?

Monday, October 29, 2012

John Macey "Eclipse" (USA,guitar fusion ,1981)

John Macey "Eclipse" (USA,guitar fusion ,1981)

One day,I found this album here and have loved it and ,at last,purchased the vinyl.
It is near-MINT lucky !!!
I am very happy to enjoy this passionate prog guitar fusion album with all of you.
John in Heaven will be happy to know his surpurb album is spreading all over the world......

I offer WAVE file only because you can get the mp3 from the link above.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Mike Elliott - Diffusion (USA, 1983)

The copyright on this record is for 1983, in reality, it was recorded between May 1980 and Feb. 1981, as you can tell actually.  All compositions are by Elliott except the first song, co-written with Ricky Peterson, and The Air (last song) which is taken from Bach.

This is a radical departure from the earlier "City Traffic" -- on this record Elliott does american style fusion along the lines of the Shadowfax - Watercourse Way album.  Notice for ex. on the second song, the song for Janny, those stunning flying-carpet moog passages by Peterson.

A kind of folky vibe appears with the open string strumming on the next piece, Saguaro Bend (in Arizona?).  Then a more groovy laid-back fusionary outpouring in Lothlorien with some really tasty chord changes that just spice the smoothness so perfectly, like a jalapeno chocolate truffle.

Altogether, so well-produced, enjoyable, and extremely well-written, I find it distinctly sad that with this the 'Natural Life' discography, which we covered for almost a decade, comes to an end.  Of course today, Mike Elliott still performs the guitar, that I don't doubt, his talent is immense.  But what does he now think of his past work, lost to time?

(Note that the album I have features a red cover, not the typical black of the above photo, which was the original pressing from Celebration.  Mike says this about the cover: "The batik featured on the cover was given to me several years ago by a student, and was done by a friend of his.  Time has dulled my memory, and I can no longer remember the names of the student or the artist, to that unknown artist my apologies, and thanks..." )  [Wouldn't that be great if the student-artist announced themselves in a comment below?]

I'll include as sample the majestic moogs travelling the intergalactic space between our right and left ears on "For Janny":

Notice the really gorgeous delicate-mystery atmosphere these musicans build up with the E minor intro.  Here, the F sharp (a 9 for E minor) is being used tritonally on the C major chord that starts the song which is technically what provides the mysterious mood.  Very soon, Peterson's moog starts to assert itself playing string-section-like backing notes before the guitar re-takes command.  Pay attention to the end of the song where we get that 'flying - moog' effect that always makes me think of a spaceship in deep space.

The big highlight of the record is the extended synths-guitar suite on side 2 called appropriately enough, "An Eclectic Suite", with titles of The Float, The Fat, The Snake, The Wave, any fusion-fan will absolutely salivate like a pavlov dog (to use Mick Jagger's wonderful proverbial phrase)  over this grinding machine of electric jazz-rock factory-line luxury riffs... disappointingly though it ends in a fade-out, a bit of a cop-out I would say for such a technically proficient and inventive composition.

Coming soon btw is another big american lost progressive masterpiece ( this time not fusion for a change )  that I can't wait to feature, after which I will be on holidays for quite some time, so hopefully, the others will fill in to keep us all occupied through the cold fall...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

VA - Folk and Rock (Germ., 78)

A beautiful VA album of folk rock from Germany, featuring well-known bands Aquarell, Hartleed, Lilienthal, and the awesome Emma Myldenberger, with each band playing 2-3 songs.  Fans of folk will surely be thrilled with this entry.  I was particularly impressed with the Emma songs (except the last one, which made me want to vomit) of course, we all know and love this group -- all reading this should (by now) be familiar with this band, and if not, I recommend you definitely dig into their discography.

Btw, several of these songs are interpretations of traditional folk songs. You will see on the scanned (lol!) insert which songs are written by the band and which are trad.

Thanks again to Sebastian and the growing bin records website for bringing this to our attention!
As samples, first the bizarrely-titled track from Hartleed:
Wok op fro + Schottentanz

And then, the Emma M. entry called Colchiques:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Esa Helasvuo - Think-Tank-Funk (Finland, 1973)

I will continue with the Natural Life discography in a moment, note that Mike Elliott went on to do two more solo records, City Traffic (similar to Atrio, mostly jazz standards solo or with rhythm section), and the much more fusion-oriented and interesting Diffusion in the early eighties.  As well Robert Rockwell III (don't forget that number!) did a solo record with the band called Androids, much more in the funk direction.  This was just before the Natural Life records came out I believe.
Now I will take this opportunity to introduce you to a contributor by the name of Morgan, a multilinguist irish-finnish lad who has shared quite a number of rarities for us in the recent past.  He let me know about this record which really stunned me silent, due to its combination of classical compositional skills with the beautiful electric fusion sound of the seventies we know and love so deeply.  Originally he had it on vinyl but recently it was reissued in a small number of copies in Finland on CD.  All the usual comments I've made about european fusion apply: the skills of composition (not surprising from the country of Sibelius), the variety of tones and emotions, the enormous technical proficiency, add to this the uniquely finnish (or is it scandinavian?) tendency towards very progressive jazz sounds.


Artist: Esa Helasvuo
Album: Think-Tank-Funk
Release: 1973 / 2011
Genre: jazz

“Hardly the funky set you might guess from the title, but a really compelling set of Finnish jazz from the early 70s – one that’s got a contemplative sense of sound, right up there with some of the best ECM material from the time! The project is led by pianist Esa Helasvuo, who also seems to play electric as well as acoustic – stretching out over slow-building lines from a group that includes Hasse Walli on guitar, Teppo Hauta-aho on bass, and Edward Vesala on drums – plus some extra-cool added violin and viola, which make these sharp edges that underscore things very well. Titles include “Song For A Tube”, “Lily Flower”, “Mixed Fruit Flavoured Chorus”, “Think Tank Funk”, and “Dialogue (parts 1 & 2)”.”

A Personal Note From Mr. Morgan:

KIITOS Rocket-Records uudelleen julkaisusta ja mikäli jaossa oleva äänite on vastoin sääntöjänne, poistamme linkin välittömästi!

Oh yes, and what about that title?  have you ever heard anything more politically ridiculous as an album title, the think-tank funk?  how about we send this album to one of those so-called 'right-wing think tanks' for entertainment... 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Natural Life - All Music (USA, 1976)

We'll continue on with their discography with this record in which Bill Berg is no longer credited to percussion but is still doing the covers and artwork, which in this case are just stunning, with the mauve watercolours on the back particularly beautiful. The music is the same chamber-fusion with a light touch of flutes, soprano saxes for colour, etc. Let me introduce this with some fine a-propos words from our very own apps:

" Very melodic US jazz/fusion with some smooth sax work,delicate electric piano and ethereal bass lines not unlike the softer side of RETURN TO FOREVER."

Well said. Again, it boggles the mind that these records are so rare, not a cd reissue in sight, when the quality both of composition and of musicianship, are so utterly top-notch. And that, of course, is why I indulge in this bizarre and time-consuming hobby, it's a kind of community service to rip these old records for posterity, in the hopes posterity will respect the astounding work that went into them and give them a higher spot in the musical-quality scale of things than oh I don't know, the latest Britney Spears cd, perhaps. And for those like me who do believe we are heading towards a post-industrial world of blackouts and brownouts, it is quite imaginable that the manually-cranked record player may yet make a comeback, a hundred years from now, when electricity is sporadic, and people want to listen to this virtuosity from the past -- on the other hand, we are more likely to see manually-operated computers and cd players anyways if that comes to pass, so forget that fantasy.

I particularly love the last track, Elysian Fields, in which the musicians really pour their hearts out in their improvisations, with a gorgeous evocation of the paradisaical title. Why is music so tightly connected with emotions? As I said, it's the pre-eminent mystery of arts, because of the highly abstract nature of music. Is it a byproduct of the construction of the human mind? A byproduct of the necessity of creativity for intelligence? (Intelligence is half creativity, since solving new problems with old tools mandates that ability we describe as such.) Is it purely a social construct to foster strong groups in a shared enterprise? Is it possible to understand purely mathematically, in the terms I used earlier, for ex. as a simplicity of processing power in the auditory computing areas releasing a pleasurable sensation? Is it as some psychologists have discussed, a kind of pleasure-technology along the lines of a cheesecake, which doesn't exist in nature, has no greater purpose but is created solely for taste pleasures?  Let's first understand the delineation of the problem: The amount of time and energy some devote to music (such as [cough] some of us bloggers)  is such that it cries out for explanation in terms of how it must have enhanced the survival prospects for proto-humans. For sure music, as well as menopause, menstruation (both of which do not exist in almost all other animals with a couple of exceptions), homosexuality (which does exist in other animals), and the female orgasm, are the pre-eminent mysteries of human evolutionary theory. I will not mention the beautification of females as opposed to males (the reverse of what is seen in almost all other animals) since this is relatively well understood both in terms of the fact men must be choosy when they are so invested in their families and children (vs. other species in which the men donate their sperm and then abandon ship forever), and also of course the cultural effects of living for the most part in patriarchal society where powerful men are highly sought after as household heads. In this regard it's interesting to reflect on the fact that biologically in humans, both men are women are equally drab or equally beautiful (say, to a discerning chimpanzee it's hard to say who is more attractive), however, there is huge cultural pressure on females to improve their colours and looks. (Just think: why were women not born with bright red lips, not needing a lipstick industry?) Thus, the idea is that patriarchal society has not been around long enough to enhance the actual physical beauty of women. (And of course, I promise in a future post I will delve much deeper into these female evolutionary mysteries including the large mammary glands, female attractiveness, and female orgasm, probably much deeper than really necessary.)

Elysian Fields:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Natural Life - Unnamed Land (USA, 1977)

On this record, which I think is quite superior to the previously posted ST, the basic quintet (recall this comprises Mike on guitar, Robert Rockwell III on saxes, Bill Berg on drums (and cover art), Bobby Peterson on piano, and W. Peterson Jr. on bass) is augmented by a half dozen more musicians playing vibes, flutes, congas, clarinet, and Rick Peterson on synths (on the last track).  Each song is composed by a different musician pretty much.  For me the standout is the collaborative track "Trio" which is arranged by Elliott, but composed by the two Peterson  gentlemen.   This record has a kind of smooth overall softness in composition and arrangement that to me is so attractive and typical of the late seventies style that, as I mentioned, is utterly concerned with crafting beautiful music with no cynicism, irony, technical artifice, or impediments.

Both "Unnamed Land" and the next, "All Music" are really masterpieces in this genre of american chamber fusion, like the famous Coalition Mindsweepers from osurec.  Btw I'm confused about the placement of the ST Natural Life, although the date on the sleeve is 1977, it seems originally it was the first record to appear, since it predates Mike Elliott's Atrio from 1974 and seems to be a little rougher than these next 2 records.  Presumably it was private pressed first, then rereleased on ASI?

I want to draw your attention to the track Trio, in the middle part of which there is an absolutely stunning vibes-flute interaction, this part is called "Migration" and is credited to bassist Will Peterson.  I don't know how you can more perfectly 'describe' acoustically this image of birds in a wetland, taking flight, dipping, soaring, splashing, in a soft and beautiful landscape.  And it leads so wonderfully into the springtime with the soprano sax from Robert Rockwell.  (As I said before, the soprano sax and the clarinet are classic instruments for these seasons.)  Pay attention as you get suddenly an ascending riff (on the sax) exactly like a bird flying away towards the end.  Just stunning.

And what about the cover drawing from Berg? Well, seems to be a group of native americans or perhaps africans in shallow waters at a beach with the vision of ancestors in the sky-- esthetically great, but the concept?  And the faces in the sky--  yikes!
Here's the track I mentioned, Trio:


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mike Elliott - Atrio 1974

This is the guitarist-leader of Natural Life accompanied by the rhythm section of the band, that is, bassist Willard Peterson Jr. and drummer Bill Berg.  Without the keyboardist I think the fusion was left aside and what we get here is some softer electric guitar standards and compositions.  Reprised or rather forshadowed (since this album came before the ST Natural Life posted yesterday) is the beautiful ballad Theme for Carla.  Incidentally the dummer, Bill Berg, is the highly talented artist responsible for the cover drawings of all these records (you'll see that they all are from the same guy).

One thing I used to love about jazz back when I was an all-out fan was the musicians' dedication to sheer and unalloyed beauty, along with an inclination towards virtuoso perfection.  These are really old-school values which rock exploded in its insistence on honesty thereby sacrificing technique.  But when Elliott plays each note of the melody so clearly with gorgeous backing chords in "Theme for Carla" you almost get that sense the beauty is so intense it's like looking at a beautiful landscape say Waimea Canyon on Kauai (in Hawai'i) in the brightest daylight without sunglasses, or perhaps, it's as if you were having a date with the stunning Dayana Mendoza and she's laughing at your every word.  But then the record skips and you think:  "damn you, tristan!?!"

The record closes out with a couple of solo guitar tracks. Again, the mastery of chords on "you don't know what love is"  is simply astounding, along with the delicacy of touch I would have been thrilled with this back when I was a jazz fan.  But after discovering progressive rock there was to be no going back for me.

(Theme for Carla)

You Don't Know:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Natural Life - ST (USA, 1977)

Again thanks to the mighty osurec for introducing me to this band that to me is reminiscent of the Muffins in their more approachable, less grumpy moments.  It's headed by Mike Elliott who was quite prolific in the seventies, most of the composition is credited to him.  Read the notes on the back for info on the music.  There will be more to come, promise, or rather, threaten?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Princess Flower & The Moon Rays - "Dreaming The Magic Of Your Maya" 2LP (1968/1970) (kindly submitted by polvere di farfalla)

"Dreaming the Magic of Your Maya was recorded in room number 22, at the Hotel Stella in Paris, over a three-month period in 1967. This was where Ziska and Loren were living at the time. It was a garret room on the top floor of the famous/infamous left bank hotel and room 22 was the best room in the place, overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg, on Rue Monseieur-le-Prince. It was small, you couldn't fit more than fifteen people in it

The hotel was full of musicians and poets and performes and artists and various colorful people moving up and down in the bohemian world. Friends would drop by room 22 often and engage in spontaneous music making. Loren kept a Sony reel to reel at the ready and recorded all these sessions. Sometimes, when more people showed up than could fit in the room, they would break into groups and to to play music in the park. It was a time of intense experimentation and freedom, of pushing the boundaries. Meanwhile the student revolution of 1968 was fomenting. It was an exciting time to be in Paris.
..." from artwork

- Fej Mornin - guitar
- Raja Samyana - percussion, drums, dumbek, chant
- Loren Standlee - vocals, flute, harp, alto flute, mouth harp, chant
- Daevid Allen - guitar
- Ziska Baum - chant
- Patrick Firpo - guitar
- Loren Lawner - violin

LP1 - Paris, 1968
I Lovin Spaceship
II Women of Moon
III Vanishing Rama
IV Guharam Rock
I Between Spirits
II Ancient Faces

LP2 - NYC, 1970
I Rainbow Forest
II Titicaca
I Voyage to Nebadon
II Ananda

Thanks to polvere di farfalla for the rip (flac format + artwork)! :o)

Rainbow Forest...

link in comments...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Arturo Meza con Gente de Mexico (Mexico,1985) ....prog folk

Arturo Meza con Gente de Mexico (Mexico,1985) ....prog folk

What's your ultimate favorite 10 prog albums ?

In my case,
The following 10 albums are listed at once.. (no order)

1. Eduard Artemiev "Warmth of Earth" (Russia)
2. Mike Oldfield "Incantations" (UK)
3. Tribute "New Views " (Sweden)
4. Genesis "Foxtrot" (UK)
5. Genesis "Selling England by the Pound" (UK)
6. Maria Burmaka  "N 9"(Ukraine,)
7. YES "Close to the Edge" (UK)
8. Steve Hackett " Voyage of the Acolyte" (UK)
9 .Ashra Temple "New Age of Earth" (Germany)

And the last one is ....

This album by Arturo Meza.

In fact,he recorded  almost thr same tracks twice.
And released  twice. (maybe both in 1985)
The other one (as his 1st solo album) was also released as CD before.RYM
But" this "one has never been released as  CD. RYM
And I believe that "this" only vinyl version is much better than his 1st solo album.

I got this vinyl in 1985,and continue listening until today,, and it alway gives me  a lot of joy and discovery .
Happy to enjoy this Masterpiece with all of you.

List up  your "ultimate 10 favorite prog albums" here  if you can ,please .!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lenny Mac Dowell - Airplay (1980, Germany)

Lenny, real name Friedemann M. Leinert is a brilliant flautist from Germany. Starting with Flute Power he made some beautiful jazz-rock albums in this period, of note for me is the masterpiece about politics and the environment called "Balance of Power, " which was in fact released to CD and is available for purchase.   He went on to produce more ambient or new agey stuff later in the 80s, similar to Chris Hinze.  As far as I know this nice light-fusion record from the later fusion era has never been re-released.  All the titles are composed by Lenny except where indicated on tracks.  His backing band includes the following musicians: Mike Herting, keys, Peter Oehler, guitars, Horst Stachelhaus, bass, Manfred von Bohr, drums.  Recorded by Carlos Albrecht August 1980.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Other Music - Prime Numbers (USA, 1980)

This album is more acoustic and indonesian-gamelan-influenced than the previous post of "Incidents Out Of Context" (which featured both synths and elec. guitar)  but the unusual tunings from self-made instruments come out a bit clearer in this earlier work.  The group, although still founded by Dale Soules, Rosenthal, and David Doty, is much bigger as you can see from the back image with the addition of a slew of musicans who jumped ship after this first release-- I don't think I could really blame them when you consider how utterly uncommercial their output was.
Now I'll transcribe some of the liner notes included inside this record for your edification as they really illuminate  the oddness of this music.

"  The Tuning:
Other Music's tuning system, affectionately known as OMJ 14 is a form of just intonation with 14 unequal intervals per octave. Designed in May 1977 by David Doty and Dale Soules, OMJ14 is derived primarily from the ancient greek modes recorded by the 2nd century Greek theorist Ptolemy in his Harmonics. Just tuning systems are characterized by the fact that all their intervals can be represented by ratios of whole numbers. For this reason just systems possess superior consonance when compared to the equally tempered intonation now in general use.
The Instruments:
As in indonesian gamelans, the foundation of OM's ensemble consists of metallophones. These instruments, comprised of aluminum bars suspended over individual tuneable resonators, span a total of 5 octaves divided among 4 voices, bass, tenor, alto, and soprano. The alto register is enriched by the tones of a 2 octave marimba with keys of cocabola, a S American rosewood. Additional coloration is provided by a set of tubular brass chimes, originally part of a pipe organ, retuned to OM's system.  A variety of drums are heard on this record,"
incl. both balinese and western instruments. The flute on "Gending" is made of a 3/4 inch acrylic tubing, it's a notch flute and plays a scale of 7 tones. The singer on the track "Blue" (which I've sampled below for interest) is the composer, Dale Soules.  He is reciting a poem which is about being a social animal, in a very odd and tuneless way that somehow reminds me of Viola Crayola's song "What is the meaning of love" or a Hatfield and the North flattened by antipsychotic drugs perhaps (and I mean that hundred percent in a complimentary way).
I don't have the time to completely transcribe the liner notes so hopefully anyone interested can glean some more info from the scan I attached.  There follows a discussion of the musicians, their trainings, and detailed descriptions (highly interesting) of their compositions.

Now for those who don't know the idea behind just tuning, I will briefly go over the basics, simply, the reason an octave or fourth or fifth is consonant or sounds good to our ears is because the frequencies are whole number ratios, e.g. an octave above is twice the frequency or half the length of string required, similarly for the other accepted basic tones.  When you try to create more than 5 notes with this system unfortunately it breaks down and  you lose the whole number ratios, as well, you can't really modulate to another key even as simply as going from C to G since then you have to use slightly different tunings for the other intervals-- get it?  For this purpose the europeans invented their well-tempered system of 12 tones, which to me works perfectly well, but from time to time people have rebelled against it.  Why these whole number ratios sound agreeable to our ears must be because the energy used in the brain in processing the simple overtones and frequencies makes it easier for neuronal transmissions, and this simplicity of interpretation is perceived as positive somehow.  I don't think there could be any other explanation for why this is so though it has never been proven true.  For those of us who love prog as I've said before, on the contrary it's the addition of dissonances and unusual sounds that is pleasing, and that has to do with our tendency to be bored quickly with the usual sounds and to require some kind of extra mental stimulation in our art.  Note that as open-minded as I am, I still detest the 12-tone atonality of Arnold Schoenberg because there is no diatonic or harmonic basis against which it is building dissonances in opposition.

So there you have it, more mathematically correct pop tunes with long memories...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Other Music - Incidents Out of Context (USA, 1983)

The blurb on the back cover says:  "It's not easy being a composer of music so novel, so offbeat that it has no name.  Folks at cocktail parties inevitably ask, Just what sort of music does your group play, anyways?  and there you are.  No quick answer.  One tends to try and explain the 8-year history of Other Music, and / or  the 8000 year history of world music.  One becomes entangled describing arcane tuning systems, instrument-building techniques, and intricate electronic circuitry.  Perhaps it would be best and wisest simply to say that we write polyrhythmic pop tunes with a long memory.  we have fun with them and hope you will too."  - Other Music

It's unusual for american composers to use 'world music' or at least it was, in those days, compared to the europeans who embraced the style and added it frequently to the progressive mix (cf. the recent Pan-Ra posting).  These guys hail from California and did another record in 1980 called Prime Numbers.  I think their originality, although it reminds us a lot of the 'minimal synth' stuff coming out of Germany, deserves to make their product better known, and to me, it is definitely utterly unique and enjoyable.  I also love the humour (or humor) that they inject into the mix.  On the front the band is feasting on some electronic components, on the back, chopsticks are holding an old circuit component.  I think they could be best described for the prog fan as an american version of A la ping pong with some Third Ear Band-like medieval folk elements thrown in.
Musicians are:  Andrew Fischer - hammered dulcimer, dumbec, english horn, metallophones, synths.
David Doty - cello, marimba, metallophones, synth.
Dale S. Soules - french horn, trombone.
Carola B. Anderson - drums, marimba, metallophones, sax, synth.
Henry S. Rosenthal - chimes, drums, elec. guitar, metallophones, synth.
All the selections are in just intonation -- I will explain in the next post what this is, for those who don't know.  I will also explain therein what their "metallophone" is, as well as launch into a long and boring disquisition about the mathematics of music and its connexion to neurobiology which no one will read fully, a subject that endlessly fascinates me to the same extreme degree it bores my wife to tears.  The "just intonation" is what gives the music the ethereal-ethnic sound that is not familiar to us (in the west that is) ever since the days of the well-tempered klavier.  The cover and the photography are by the percussionist, Carola B. Anderson.

Incidentally I knew nothing at all about this group until osurec introduced me to them more than a year ago, thanks again to his knowledge and expertise in unearthing these lost treasures for us all.  Why do I always feel like I playing catch-up to these master collectors?

So here we go, 'polyrhythmic pop tunes with a long memory' ...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

VA - Unknown Titles.... Known Titles {Germany} (1981)

Again credit to discobasso for his growingbinrecords store for the discovery of this VA album from Germany with utterly unknown artists, save the 'other' Alcatraz (not the famous vampire state bldg group), who did a record called "Music Made by Hands". When you listen to this record, ignore the first 2 reggae throwaway tracks, unless for some utterly unfathomable reason you have an excuse for liking reggae (here we can expect a comment below along the lines of, "hey! watch it! I like reggae!"), focus on track 3, a fusion band along the lines of germans psi, lindwurm, zebulon, etc., called "Cheapness Forever" which performs a beautiful grandiose instrumental starting with some wonderful dissonances on the horns and petering out to a very attractive e minor ending. Some popish and folkish numbers ensue, then after the pedestrian rock band "Railroad Track" punishes you at the start of side b, you will be shocked into quiescence by the band Melange and their Trettioariga-Kriget-like progressive hard rock. As I've said before, it's hard to do prog on a heavy metal basis, but these guys perform magnificently. Both tracks are superb compositions in the genre and it's utterly a tragedy this group did not make an album. Or did they? A quick search I did, complicated by the commonness of the band name, was fruitless, but I know there are folks out there who know far more than me about the subject (e.g. Sebastian probably).

Included as samples, the aforementioned Track 3, and the hard rock titles on side b.

Cheapness Forever - Eintopf

Melange - A kin to rock

Melange - Brontosaurus [sadly, there is no such dinosaur anymore, it was renamed --Editor.]

Oh yes, & please take a good admiring look at that cover art-- I just love it to death, a big reason I bought this record from the great discobasso at

Check it out!! An incredibly well-thought-out selection of rare and well-priced vinyls!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chris Hinze - Parcival Live 1976

As I was making my way through the Chris Hinze discography for attempted completion (for which success is slated circa October 2079), I noticed this item and thought, please tell me it's not related to the Wagnerian opera with its embarassing fantasies (I here tactfully avoid use of the freudian word 'auto-erotic' often used in conjunction with this phrase and subject) of teutonic supremacy for which reason, along with the loathsome tautologies and indescribable boringness of his music, I now am utterly averse to this composer... but no, it's not related in any way to Parsifal the opera -- in fact it's one of those apollo moon landing attempts at combining jazz and classical with composed and improvised elements to craft a jazz-opera in double-LP format, back when the future was so beautifully bright for intelligent and adventurous and masterfully composed music--! and bell-bottoms, polyester suits, moon rocks, and Bill Crosby's Kool-aid (without the postmodern mass-death-irony of Jonestown's spiking) ruled the day... oh happy times....

How could this formidable accomplishment (in an operatic box no less, not foldout sleeve) be so forgotten, abandoned by the wayside like the detritus of a fast food picnic, even in the realms of jazz? Possibly because it's terrible and deserves to be forgotten? Not likely if it includes such luminaries as Jiggs Whigham, Gerry Brown on drums, Charlie Mariano on saxes, Michael Becker, and the whole apparatus composed and arranged entirely by Chris!

But you can judge for yourself if this is alike to the aforementioned hamburger wrapper or instead Hinze's magnum opus lost to history... I have recorded it for your enjoyment and in the end, you decide... is this cd-worthy or delete-bin-worthy? My own opinion is obvious, I spent several hours in an attempt at properly cutting the chapters into tracks that could be more easily enjoyed... but we need a master shige or should I say, remaster shige, to properly do justice to this work. One thing that I would mention is I would have wished that it had been recorded in a studio, no matter how professionally the sound is recorded live, it's always lacking something in clarity, although I understand others feel the opposite, that the live nature of it enhances enjoyment in some subtle way.

Now for those who are impatient I would ask you to proceed on to the music, I want to do this work a bit of justice by discussing the story behind it and Chris Hinze's original conception which was indeed to attempt to emulate Wagner by resuscitating the old forged (it is of course not an original element of goth mythology like siegfried) story of Parcival or Persifal, however you wish to spell the name. It's a beautiful story though and it's unfortunate it was essentially co-opted by Wagner, in the same way that, in modern times, the search for the holy grail from the crusade days cannot be told without reference to Monty Python's treatment of the subject, at least for those who are older than about 35 (40?) I would think. For I experimented at work and asked all those in the sub-35 set about the holy grail and the looks of befuddled puzzlement were totally at odds with the twinkling in the eyes of all those over 40, who immediately set into talking about the knights who say ni, etc. Anyways the story is about how the hero both must prove himself to King Arthur and the other knights of the round table (oh no not them again...) and also attempt to find the holy grail and the sacred spear to be brought back 'home' again to England. He must both prove himself a valiant knight and show himself to be pure (good luck on that one).

Biographically, Chris Hinze studied first at the royal conservatory in The Hague, then moved on as so many brilliant composers did to the Berklee School in Boston. For the 1972 Holland Festival he was commissioned to compose "Live Music Now" a suite for orchestra which won him the Beethoven prize in Bonn in 1974. The present work was also a commissioned piece for the Holland Festival, of 1976. What glorious times those must have been in the musical world...

I mentioned some of the luminaries on this recording, the orchestra is conducted by Dolf v.d. Linden, the actual CH combination includes James Batton on keyboards and voices (he's phenomenal), Doug Hammond on drums, John Turner on bass, Stephan Diez on guitar (who went on to do a fantastic fusion album called Mirrors), Mariano on saxes... Others are Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, John Lee on bass, Cheryl Alexander on lead vocals-- Hey wait a minute do we need this many bassists and drummers?

As you listen bear in mind that Chris is responsible for all the composition and arrangements, from which you can see his talent is immense. This is so much more than just a straightforward jazz concept album, there is an incredible variety to the music, especially notice the Ravel-like impressionist pieces at the start of the second side, evoking mystic travels, butterflies, various animals, and the dinosaurus (?!? what the--?), my favourite part of the piece for its compositional complexity and interest.

I will do scans later (there is a booklet inside, and the record cover has a hilarious walkman ad with hinze promotion) and attach as its own package. Note that the uploads are failing again most of the time due to large file sizes, please be patient for the post, it's as slow as the snail mail these days.

Big apology for the scratchiness of side c, hopefully you can get past it to hear the theme from parcival again, by the fourth side you get pretty sick of hearing that same melody -- shades of Wagner I guess. I would love it if folks could come back and comment on their opinion of this work later after listening... good or bad, of course.
And please check Chris' website to see what he's up to today-- living in Ibiza, playing the flute, and meditating apparently-- that's the way to live your life... There he lives and works in a quiet and secluded spot up in the mountains with a beautiful view over the Mediterranean Sea.

Here is the aforementioned walkman ad with chris' blessing and two naked german girls--- oops I meant, dutch girls (I don't dare look closely enough to be able to tell)