Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Panama Red "Limited" (Germany,1981,Kraut)

Panama Red "Limited" (Germany,1981,Kraut)

When  we listen to  70s-80s German albums,if we are not sure  it is HR?,PROG?BLUES?,AVAN?,FUSION?,JAZZ?,POP?EXPERIMENTAL?ELECTRONICS?.....Such a case,we usually call them "KRAUT".
KRAUT is a very useful word for us,prog lovers.
I know little about Panama Red. (1000 limited private press.).

But whenever listening to this KRAUT album,I can be  very impressed with it all the time.( NO tracks to throw away in this album!!!)
Especially,I am in love with musicians to play COOL rhythms  (the bass player and the drummer).
I hope you will enjoy this German KRAUT GEM a lot.


A1. Mr.Madman
A2. Elmeloh City
A3. Spanier
A4. Tomorrow is Another Day
B1. Suicide
B2. Jetzt Langt's
B3. Just Stay (Wait a Minute)
B4. November

Klaus Altstetter  ....guitar, vocal (on November)
Dieter Zimmermann .....bass,backing vocal,per,
Buddy Brudzinski .....guitar
Peter Falch ....  drums.per
Joschi Janosch  ....vo


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sango - Song For/About My Friends (Germany, April 1982)

Exploring more in the private-pressed german files we have here an interesting singer-songwriter-like album with a lady who sounds eerily like Joni Mitchell, Susanne Vogt. That is, Joni in her late seventies era of course along the lines of the Don Juan album. The beautiful Vogt (check out the back photo) is also credited with composition on a few songs and plays acoustic guitar on tracks 1 and 7. Cover and back are very charming drawings credited to Albert. (?)
Titles are arranged by Sango, lyrics by Wolfgang Natus except track 2 by Riemann and 9, lyrics by Wehnhardt and Vogt. Album produced by Rolf Dressler.

Other credits:
Rainer Worm - bass, vocals
Harald Wehnhardt - guitars
Rolf Dressler - piano
Werner Fromm - percussion
Werner Loose - rec. engineer

They produced another very hard to find record brilliantly called '2' in 1983 which is reputed to be more interesting and progressive (despite an oddly low review on rym).

I couldn't resist posting the record label too:

Here's the first track for a taste of Joni's songs-- oops I mean Vogt's singing:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Changes - Home Again (Germany, 1979)

A very similar sound to the Riot album I featured here a while back (Beckerhoff is in both bands), with the same laid-back ecm-like sound recalling Manfred Schoof in the late seventies phase-- boy do I love this german jazz, I don't think I could ever get enough of it. All my previous remarks apply here concerning what I think is the superiority of european jazz to the original american style, particularly in the field of jazz-rock, where compositions tend to be stronger and more varied. And as I said, I grew up with American jazz, in a former life I played jazz piano. I know these are fightin' words, I guess I should qualify by saying I prefer the european style.

They did another album the next year with the same line-up, presumably along the same lines...
Hope you enjoy this Mr Morgan.

A closer look at the beautiful cover painting shows a leaf turning brown with screws bleeding drops-- very interesting death of nature allusion?

A1 Home Again 7:04
A2 Trees 5:48
A3 Little Waltz 7:56
B1 Samba Du Commerce 5:59
B2 Some Days Of My Life 7:45
B3 Blues For Ed 6:58

Bass– Peter Bockius
Drums– Peter Weiss (4)
Piano– Ed Kröger
Saxophone– Wolfgang Engstfeld
Trumpet, Flugelhorn– Uli Beckerhoff

Home Again

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phileas Fogg - Coma Depasse 1986

Some more French material to complement pollux's posts before we move back to Germany. This lost record recalls Babel-era Cos (esp. the 5th track) with the crystal-clear female singing on top of some really tasty jazz licks with progressive touches. Isabelle Sobkowiak is the singer and she really goes all-out on the out-belted third track demonstrating some ground-fracking high notes in the first part. In the second part of the same song we get those sustained minor chord guitar arpeggios that are so proggy, cf. edition speciale, mahavishnu orchestra, whereupon the keyboardist gets a chance to shine (Jollivet).

The guitarist, Christian Berger, is the other real standout in his gorgeous playing. Phenomenal solos abound. I include the last instr. composition below to get a feel of the jazz vs. rock vs. progressive dosages that go into this potion.

I know some will think it's simple pop, some will think it's too jazzy, but someone out there (based on past comments) might well think it's their favourite record in the world. For me, it sure is beautiful music to my ears, and I will play it numerous times. And at least my wife will like it too! (Although this means I have to leave the headphones off, and listen to her talk about her day at work for a long long time.) I particularly love this singer's voice, she's got diamonds that glitter to make you blind in her vocal cords.

Bass– Pierre Janin
Congas– Lazreg Saidi
Drums, Percussion– François Longuemare
Guitar– Christian Berger
Keyboards– Lionel Jollivet
Vocals– Isabelle Sobkowiak

Paroles - P. Roudergue
Composee et arrangee - Phileas Fogg

Last track:

Chemin Blanc - Chemin Blanc {France}[1977, Hexagone]

Artist: Chemin Blanc
Album: Chemin Blanc
Year: 1977
Label: Hexagone
Style: Folk/Prog
Format: 320 mp3 + 3% Recovery
Size: 90.9MB
Lineage: VINYL Rip 16bit 44.1khz

Source: Album Collection

Studio Album Released in 1977

Track Listing

A1 Intermédiaires 3:24
A2 J'ai Perdu La Mémoire 3:45
A3 Matin D'automne 2:25
A4 Tant Qu'il Nous Reste Le Temps 4:00
A5 Les Champs De Béton 2:47
B1 Des Paroles En L'air 3:45
B2 Au Fond Des Mers 5:55
B3 Homme Du XXe Siècle 5:35
B4 Tzi Tzi Ka 1:20
B5 Nous Aurons Franchi La Barrière 3:40

Line Up/Musicians

Baritone Saxophone – Jacques Gouadin (tracks: B2) Electric Guitar – Michel Dedieu (tracks: B2, B3)
Electric Piano, Piano [Acoustic], Percussion – Didier Blanc
Percussion, Xylophone, Drums – Xavier Jouvelet
Synthesizer – Jean-Paul Dedieu (tracks: B2, B3)
Voice, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Mixed By – Gérard Hello
Voice, Percussion – Marie Hello

Chemin Blanc - Chemin Blanc {France}[1976, RCA]

Artist: Chemin Blanc
Album: Chemin Blanc
Year: 1976
Label: RCA
Style: Folk/Prog
Format: 320 mp3 + 3% Recovery
Size: 97.8MB
Lineage: VINYL Rip 16bit 44.1khz

Source: Album Collection

Gentle yet complex and intricately played acid folk. This is a true gem of a record, with male and female vocals. Also featured...electro-acoustic guitar playing and other instrumental delights

Track Listing

A1 Ecoute Moi 3:15
A2 Wendy 3:29
A3 Comptine 0:32
A4 Regarde 4:32
A5 Alleuze 4:30
A6 Chemin Blanc 3:58
B1 J'ai Feuillete Ma Jeunesse 4:03
B2 Sabadena 5:40
B3 Ballade Pour Un Chat 4:25
B4 Chanson Pour La Vague 4:37
B5 Ecoute-Moi (Instrumental) 2:10

Musicians/Line Up

Bass Guitar – Serge Massy
Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Guitar – Gérard Hello
Congas, Drums, Electric Piano, Organ, Vocals – Didier Blanc
Guitar – Yves Rakotomalala
Guitar, Dulcimer, Vocals – Eric Le Collin
Percussion, Xylophone, Glockenspiel – Xavier Jouvelet
Piano, Organ – Marc Jaurequiberry
Vocals – Marie Hello

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Humus - Whispering Galleries 1999

What an incredible find we have here! First I would thank gnosismen Dave and Tom (yes, he from the sister blog cdrwl and under the radar cds) for alerting me to this unbelievably brilliant band, that has been performing now for some twenty + years, down to the present day!
Next, amazingly, master musician Jorge Beltran himself from the band has given his approval to post it for us to enjoy, thanks to undertheradar cds for the connection. I am glad to be able to share this with you with his seal of approval, because I haven't stopped listening to it for days on end now. Also, please check the posts on utr cds regarding the history of humus and their work.

This record was created as a limited edition on vinyl of 300 copies, unfortunately never released to CD. It is indeed rare to get a hold of and it will be a treasured possession for me-- for many reasons.

Let's start with the stunning foldout cover which without doubt is as beautiful as the masterpiece cover art paintings from the past. How rare it is to see so much work applied to a painting which in this case channels perhaps the great british painter Francis Bacon or american Philip Guston, with a De Chirico feel to it.

Consider just the second track, Suctoria. We start with some gorgeous hard guitars playing a doomy deep blues riff in G, as if Kim Thayil had decided to do progressive music after an intensive Berklee compositional education. Suddenly at the end of the phrase the guitar bends upwards to play F sharp, instead of the expected 7th note of F-- brilliant! The record is full of musical surprises like this. Then one minute in, very abruptly the tempo switches to some wild chromatic figures, then switches out again to deep stairs-like patterns in I think E. It's a bit reminiscent of how Alcatraz created hard guitar prog, but definitely uniquely in a different league. Slowly the guitars attempt to climb their way out of this dungeon of bizarre chromatic notes to get back to the blues in G, like sysyphos, they seem to keep falling back down to the deep E note. Finally a lead guitar makes his way back to a solo as if singing his gorgeous way to freedom in sounds that are almost atonal they are so far away from the usual ledzep-rulebook of blues solo. Or what if indeed Arnie Shoenberg had taken up a dodecaphonal guitar concerto? Then listen to the power chord ending-- a majestic E flat (no 3) an A minor with F, then the G finale-- wow! It's tempting to think no ending like it has ever been heard before in rock history.

I love how they're referencing grungy alternative, especially in the third track with its Hole-like Seattle or insecticide singing. The record is full of surprises along these lines, it's like a dissertation in how to do progressive, with its tempo changes & complex compositions. The long track on side 2, called Whispering Galleries, is a magnificent novella of darkness and light, traveling through worlds of hardship and difficulty, heartbreak and trials, as if the transcription in our tympanic membranes of an imaginary Jorge Luis Borges story that we are seeing for real in our ears, discussing the depths of time and space and the extent of eternity with the stylus of a meandering amplified guitar and perfect rhythm section.

From Mr. Jorge Beltran:

"We still have original CD's of our first three albums... [that are easily available for purchase]
...and also we have a new album on itunes, amazon, is called HAPPY DAYS AHEAD...please grab your copy (but do not rip one that yet, please!)
(by the way, you can get a physical copy from amazon)

If you need more info, please check out:

From wikipedia:
"Early history
Humus was founded in 1987 by Jorge Beltran as a one man band, where he played all instruments in home recordings made through the ping pong recording technique. He chose the name "Humus" based on the earthy, humus-like sound caused by sound degradation caused by the reduction mixing. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Beltran released five cassettes, causing interest in the underground quarters of Mexico City, where there had been a long history of progressive rock that managed to exist despite all the adversity a Latin American country faces in terms of making independent music business.

Jose Luis Garnica, a long time friend of Jorge's and a rock connoisseur, was very much impressed by the quality of sound of these recordings, but mostly by Beltran's musicianship, so he became producer of Humus's first LP, Tus Oidos mienten in June 1992. The album finally gave recording status to Humus, and soon international reviews from the U.S., Germany, France, and in particular from Italy began to emerge, praising the new band from Mexico.

Second Album and Lineup Change

From the second album, called simply Humus (released Dec. 1994), the one man band concept changed to a live performing band, which included old time school friend and bass player Victor Basurto, with whom he had formed their first band, Stomago Sagrado in the late 1970s. Victor had designed the cover for Tus Oidos Mienten, and has been in charge for the art of all recordings both musicians have been involved with ever since.

Several local tours took place, and the drum stool was occupied by no less than 8 drummers during the 1990s and well nigh into the 21st century.

Third and Fourth Albums and Side Project

A third album, Malleus Crease was released in 1995. This album, along with brother Project Frolic Froth's album Ouroboros were also released in Italy by the D-dabliu label in LP format. Humus 4 degrees, released in 1997, is the band's only album to exist only in CD format, all others were both CD and LP productions. This album was released through Smogless Records and newly formed Nuggetphase productions, and from there all albums produced by either of the bands leadered by Jorge and Victor have been released in the Nuggetphase label.

Also in 1997 Humus found themselves in an international tour of England and Italy . In Exeter They recorded an album with American Dave Tor who became singer for the only vocal album ever made by either Jorge or Victor, and for this project a new name was devised: Euphoric Darkness, since it detached completely from the instrumental approach always favoured by Humus. The resulting album was named Colours You Can Hear and only 100 hundred copies were made.

Fifth Album - Present Day

In Pesaro they recorded Humus's fifth album, Whispering Galleries, under the production of Italy's doom metal legend Paul Chain, who also contributed to the album. Three hundred numbered copies were made.

Since 1998 Humus has recorded no less than five albums, though none has been released yet.[clarification needed] The band continues to be active, though members live in different continents: Jorge Beltran lives in Mexico and Victor Basurto lives in The Netherlands. The manage to continue playing together through the use of the new communication technologies. Because of their limited press runs, Humus albums have been rare, and some of them reach up to US$250 in international distributor listings. However, late in 2006 Smogless Records put out new CD editions of the first three Humus albums, Tus Oidos Mienten, Humus and Malleus Crease. A totally new album called Happy Days Ahead was independently released on July 23, 2011, the first one in digital format only, available through some of the main digital stores.

Please make note of the comment, Victor is in charge of all cover art, because all their covers are quite masterfully done.

The band uploaded the second song on youtube which you can sample here:

Please note that I have reuploaded many of the mp3s that were cut off by filejumbo service unavailable. Let me know if there are any I missed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

proteus "infinite change" (1980,USA,prog fusion)

proteus "infinite change" (1980,USA,prog fusion)

Excellent prog fusion band based inChicago,USA.
You can read the bio of the band written by the drummer here.



Friday, May 18, 2012

Petr Novák "Kráska a zvíře"(Czech,1975,male singer's prog))

Czech's rock scene in 1975)

Frankly, if you haven't lived behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s, I can hardly blame you.
Keep the following in mind when you judge this LP for being or not being a "masterpiece": in 1975, each Czechoslovak record company has released only a *handful* (literally!) of more or less straight rock albums for the domestic market, because in 1975 rock was politically an absolute no-no! In other words: playing rock music was de facto considered a crime! (Ask the Plastic People Of The Universe for a 1st-hand experience with communist jailhouses…)

1975 rock releases on Supraphon:
• Modrý efekt & Radim Hladík (aka Benefit of R.H. for the export market)
• Neckář & Bacily "Tomu, kdo nás má rád"
• Schelinger & Čech "Báječní muži" (although there's a bunch of really silly bubblegum tracks as well)
As well as a couple of "crossover" jazzrock albums like Energit, or Václav Týfa's and Josef Vobruba's "Konstelace".

1975 rock releases on Panton:
• Petr Novák "Kráska a zvíře"
• Schelinger & Čech "Nemám hlas jako zvon" (but see above)
• Synkopy 61 "Formule 1" (a 10" mini album)
• Junior "Hledání radosti" (rather pop than rock)

1975 rock releases on Opus:
• Hammel & Prúdy "Hráč" (rather pop than rock)
• Collegium Musicum "Marián Varga & Collegium Musicum"
• Fermáta "Fermáta" (already more into jazz fusion than rock)

And that was about it for rock LPs in 1975 Czechoslovakia! (As far as I'm aware of; please correct me if I've missed any.)

In this context, already the sole act of having *released* a rock album at all can be called a "masterpiece". In 1975, this album was simply among the best domestic rock albums *available*.

As far as Petr Novák goes: formerly of George & Beatovens - one of the most popular and best selling 60s beat groups - he was probably the first true "rock star" in 1960s Czechoslovakia. Kráska a zvíře was simply an effort to trasfer his talent into the dark and ugly "socialistic reality" of the 1970s. And the guys have made the best of the unique chance which they had back then.

(this album's total concept)
The whole LP is a concept album This is a rock opera inspired by fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. The story of opera takes place in the 70 years of the 20th century, the Beast is a young man disfigured after a car accident, beauty is a woman with child and debts, left by her husband. They meet each other in the library and follow a complicated and painful relationship.

1. Tvář // The Face (2:42)
2. Jen v pohádkách I // Only in fairy tales I (3:16)
3. Knihovna // Library (3:27)
4. Kdybych uměl... // If I could... (2:15)
5. Jen v pohádkách II // Only in fairy tales II (0:39)
6. Východ z nouze // Way out of emergency (4:04)
7. Věř mi krásko // Believe me my beauty (3:07)
8. Knížky // Books (1:57)
9. Proč nejdeš ven // Why do not you go out (3:23)
10. Prstýnek // The Ring (1:03)
11. Týden dlouhý // Week long (2:33)
12. Snadné je zapomínat / Telegram // Easy to forget / Telegram (1:34)
13. Proč // Why? (3:19)
14. Kráska se vrací / Jen v pohádkách III // Beauty goes back / Only in fairy tales III (5:36)

Petr Novak "Kraska a zvire"
Label : Panton
Year: 1975

(Line Up:)

-Petr Novak: Lead vocal
-Vera Mazankova: Lead vocal, backing vocals
-Jiri Cerha and Ladislav Kantor (C & K Vocal): Backing vocals
-Bohuslav Janda: Electric and acoustic guitar
-Petr Formanek: Organ, electric piano, clavinet
-Oldrich Wajsar: Bass
-Jiri Slucka: Drums
-Jiri Tomex: congas
-Jan Neckar: Moog Synthesizer
-Hanna Frankova: Church organ

(private commentary )
I knew about this album by chance when looking at RYM these days.
Three  reviewers rated high scores ,so I was much interested in this album.

And at last ,I got the vinyl.

Looking at the vinyl,
Surprisingly,no grooves on both sides of the record.....Yes,one track only at each side......yes,this album is what we all want..... GREAT PROG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very happy that we can share the joy that this real miraculous album gives us.

Strana 1....19:26

Strana 2....19:30

track1 (extract)


This post was made up with the great help of Antony,Pavel and MC.
I appreciate a lot to the three prog mates.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Canzoniere del Lazio - Morra 1978 (Italia)

Little by little we've tried to complete the discography of this outstanding band. They belong to that genre of ethnic-progressive-folk I mentioned in connection with Orexis that sadly has disappeared. Our good friend Tom from cdrwl mentioned this album from 1978 as the most fusiony of their output, and ever since he drew our attention to this factor, I've searched high and low for this rarity. I'm sure I'm not the only one to be pleased with its appearance here at last. And Tom was right-- this is their best album.

Notice first up the cover, which is printed with the lyrics at the bottom and the year on top, curiously. In Fellini realismo style, we see an old man washing his face at his table with a cat at the bottom. On the back, the same cat is jumping up to drink from his bowl of soup when he has left. (Morra is an old game btw, for those wondering about the title.) It constitutes the second song on the 1st side. The masterpiece is the long side 2, which I split from its prelude because I love it so much.

First up let's hear what ashram templar Tom had to say:"Update 12/9/2010: I pretty much presumed "Miradas" was Canzoniere Del Lazio's contribution to progressive rock, and was under the impression all of their other albums were pure Italian folk. But that wasn't correct at all (their early albums are indeed just Italian folk), and "Morra 1978" is a very fine fusion effort, taking the reins of "Miradas" and running it into another dimension. Violin and saxophone are the main solo instruments, with percussion and female vocals continuing to play a large role in their sound. Well worth pursuing, and would like to see this one come out on a label like BTF. I also have been told that "Spirito Bono" is worth seeking out as well. (2/15/11 note: And yes indeed, it is. A bit more experimental folk, but a very interesting listen)"

For me the complexity of composition on this effort is what makes the record amazing. There is less droney folk of that 'I'm stoned and I'm strumming the same chords over and over' variety, with the usual commune chanting or hippie-screaming, though the first song is a good sample of that type of folk, and more of the high-energy fusion that brings so much clarity (like a strong cup of espresso) to one's thinking, and more of the really angular, composed, stravinskyesque style. As a complete record, holding the sleeve and as I said before, gazing lovingly at the artwork front and back, it's truly a work of art. I'm reminded of that old animated movie called "The man who planted trees" for those familiar with it, the story of an old man who spends years of his life planting trees one at a time where there is nothing. Many years later the hero-narrator returns to find a large forest there. As an epitaph to the man, he says (paraphrasing of course) "When I think of all he accomplished, it fills me with wonder at what a man can do." And I definitely think the same when I listen to parts of this album.

First part of long side B:

Sevda Live on Swedish Television 1972 (clip only)
collectors edition:

thanks to Ergin to let us know about this set!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ricotti & Albuquerque - First Wind 1971

From the back liner notes I will quote verbatim:
When a new band appears on the scene, the same old question always arises.
Are they really new?
Do they have a new sound?
For once the answer is a definite YES
The line-up is as follows.
Frank Ricotti, whose style and musical ability voted him the No 1 vibes player in Britain, doubles occasionally on alto and percussion.
Michael Albuquerque, who wrote most of the material for this album uses his distinctive voice and relaxed country-style guitar to give this band a fantastic edge.
John Taylor who was responsible for a lot of the very good arrangements performs on electric piano with a high degree of subtlety and skill.
Chris Lawrence plays bass just like it ought to be, both electric and acoustic string.
Trevor Thomkins' flawless drumming holds together an awful lot of very good sounds.
Sounds you ought to hear.
Special thanks to Michael Keen and Henry Lowther for solos on Go out and get it and Give a damn.
Pegasus Records, London W.1

Additional credits:
Producer Stuart Taylor
Arrangement: Frank Ricotti, John Taylor, Robin Sylvester
Sleeve Design: Jane de Albuquerque

This album is always hugely in demand, an incomplete copy has been annoyingly circulating for quite some time, so here is the complete album. With regards to the missing songs, I would note that the best songs were left out of the inc version, esp. new york windy day and the last track, how to give a damn. So this is a nice surprise, since oftentimes the worst songs will have been left out. Of course, I am sure others will disagree, hate the pieces I mentioned, and wildly love other songs, such is musical taste. Note that M de Albuquerque made a fantastic solo album in 1973 called We may be cattle, etc. which is well worth seeking out.

Musically, I'd say this is all over the map, with some soul songs, a cover or 2(from J. Sebastian and James Taylor, of all people), some more progressive jazzy passages (the first track in particular), and some really nice tunes all with a strong soul-blues feel. Note that the songs tend to run into each other, but I chopped them up. In typical early seventies british style there is studio talking and noise between many of the tracks. For sure M. de A. is the strongest songwriter here, with the last 2 tracks on side a for me the standouts. Please enjoy this gem which really should be rereleased to cd-- I hope our friends agree.
Priority: 3.14...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John Natchez "Listen" (USA,1977,Jazz rock?RIO ?)

John Natchez "Listen" (USA,1977,jazz rock ?RIO?,)

I'm not sure that it is what kind of prog.
But I'm sure that it has a quite distinct quality.......

Highly recommended !!!

 Further information  here



Monday, May 07, 2012

Dog Watch "Penfriend" (1979,UK,Genesis-style)

Dog Watch "Penfriend" (1979,UK,Genesis-style)

As you know,
there are a lot of bands that have Genesis-style  all over the world.
Dog Watch is one of them.
One of the regular members plays violin and trumpet and it makes this band much interesting and distinct performance from the other Genesis clones.
Almost tracks are also attractive and fantastic !!!!!
Moreover,it is one of the best obscure prog LIVE albums.
We can get excited with the audience in this album.

They released this sole live album as a private press.

 Highly recommended.


side one
1. Discopath ....5:22
2. Man In A Cage .....4:27
3. Captain ....9:06
4. Doughnut On The Pier ....3:41

side two
1. Queen Of The Nile .....5:49
2. Ice Cream Man ....4:55
3. Moments .....5:28
4. Oh Joanna ....6:00

Roy Weard ...vo
Roger Clynn ...g
Nick Sack ...ds
Tony Morley ...b & vo
Linda Kelsey ...key
John Trelawney ...violin,trumpet,vo,flugelhorn,guphonium


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Das Pferd - Kisses 1988

Now for the second outing from this crazy equine fusion outfit from Germany. They are the brainchild of Wolfgang Schmidtke (saxes and keys) and Jan Kazda (bass and keys) who co-composed all the tracks. On this record, we have phenomenal fiddler Billy Bang (remember him?) guesting as well as Randy Becker on trumpets and flugelhorns. A certain Markus Wienstroer is on guitar. Singer is Rosay Wortham (great voice).

Here we have an interesting case, not uncommon, in which the band is being pulled in two different directions. We have the logical extension of the ST's instrumental prog jazz with angular dissonances and tritones, alternating track by track with more commercial sung jazz songs, belted out in that typical loud shouting late-80s jazz style (think Diane Schuur for ex.) which to me are throwaway though I know others will vehemently disagree and find them to be standouts. As before, the musicianship and solos are just shockingly excellent. All of these guys are true 100% professionals.

Das Pferd went on to make some more albums, including a live in 1989, "Blue turns to grey" in 1991, and lastly "The world of das pferd." Would it be a pretty good bet that the commercial songs won out over the progressive instrumentals?

As sample, the most progressive track, note the great tritone opener and gorgeous bass line, and the electric violinwork of Billy recalling Michel Ripoche.

Porta da Barra, track 9

Das Schwere Los, track 6

Finally I really have to mention the coverart... It clearly seems to imply the threatening situation of a stranger in a trenchcoat abducting a little girl. I doubt such a taboo cover would be tolerated today, even in metal music. Remember, this was the eighties, long before the zero tolerance for child abuse became commonplace in western society. In this regard I want to mention a formidably interesting book by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker called "Better angels of our nature" in which he talks about the very slow evolution of our society towards less and less violence, based on less social tolerance for all forms of aggression, whether school bullying, anti-gay, animal cruelty, even children's cartoons, all things that were not given a second thought as recently as 30 years ago. He points out that the decline in violence in our world has been ongoing since long before history and is evidenced in all kinds of ways today, esp. notable is the shocking drop in crime that sociologists and criminologists find so perplexing in all western societies since the sixties. Correctly, he provides the statistics that make clear this trend started long before the sixties thus, the mystery of dropping violent crime is really a progression of our society that is ongoing and not at all inexplicable-- if viewed within the deepest historical context. What occurred was a reversal in the previous trend, when the drug use and anti-social tendencies of the sixties became fashionable.

So looking at this cover today, we get a completely different visceral reaction from what was intended, 34 years ago when the record was released. For those in N America, who can forget the hysteria of the 'satanic ritual child abuse' cases (remember Geraldo's obsessive anatomizing of it on his show?) and multiple personality disorder obsession of the eighties, leading to the daycare sex abuse convictions of so many innocent people? Some of whom-- believe it or not, are still in jail in the US today.

On a personal note, let me point out how for all my life I thought it would be ok to spank my kids if they misbehaved. Then, when I became a father, I realized I could never really do it-- hit my child. Why? Dr Pinker articulates perfectly (and carries through to the society-wide scale) my personal reasons: It is not effective; there are better punishments; the actual lesson being taught is the power of anger to make one lose control and regret one's actions; another lesson is the strong can hurt the weak with impunity, purely by virtue of being stronger; but most importantly why not strive for a world in which violence or aggression is minimized in every interaction, isn't that a good lesson to teach children too?
For me, it seems obvious now that to a child, the lesson from corporal punishment is a lesson in anger management, it's very easy-- every day-- to lose control and start screaming at them. Far better is it to teach the child that anger control is always better than losing one's temper. And one thing I really didn't understand before is that one can be strict without resorting to violence, it's a classic knee-jerk behaviour. This is the big lesson society learned too, the multiplicity of rules and laws in our world are far more effective than any kind of cruel punishment as was commonplace in medieval times.