Friday, May 31, 2013

No Nett - ...Und Köln Pennt ? (GERM, 1981)

For those not familiar, this is another one of those late german fusion bands with highly progressive elements.  Their two LPs are quite easily available already, but their EP is less well known.  Of course as is so often the case in these matters it turns out this is their masterpiece, which is why I wanted to share it with all here.  The first track is a little weaker, but the second and third are beyond magnificent.  "Once I had a Dream [... it was a nightmare]" sounds like one of the best compositions by Michael Mantler, full of angular melodies and gory dissonances but it just works perfectly.  Abruptly, half-way through, the song transforms into a march as if by Kurt Weill with background screaming!  Unbelievable compositional skills here. 

Then, the last opus (from country to city and back), which is by guitarist Raimond Kroboth, is particularly stunning, recalling Pekka Pohjola with his head full of modern classical Bartok-like sounds.  The first two compositions are by sax player Norbert Stein, well-known in german jazz.  Mr. Kroboth had another record out under band name Heinz called Der Spion which is well worth hearing as well.
No Nett:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leriche - Simard - Beaudet - Leger : Danses (CAN 1979)

Claude Simard was the bassist in famed Canadian progressive/chamber jazz outfit Nebu which I hope everyone knows and loves.  This outing from 1980 is more in the free jazz / improvised or atonal direction or rather complete lack of direction.  Leriche is the sax player, Beaudet is pianist and of course Leger is on drums.  For fans of Simard (like me), note that he is co-composer on the two tracks from side B.  (Considering it all sounds extemporaneous the assignment of composers seems odd to say the least.)

Let's recap a little today.  I've been a contributor on this blog for roughly three years plus one or two months.  I think we can agree that in that time period we've heard a huge amount of great progressive music, and it always shocks me to learn there is more to be discovered in this rough time period of mid-sixties to mid-eighties, of course, since we are gathering our rosebuds as we may from all over the world, it makes sense there would be so much to explore.  Nonetheless it's quite surprising how much was put out in the progressive rock / fusion area.  And it goes without saying that for each album posted here there were dozens which were not worth posting due to mediocrity-- although I've always found that albums I hate (usually the simple ones) it seems a lot of other people seem to love.  What about the notorious 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' syndrome, are we there yet, close to a terminal diagnosis?  I don't think so, I've heard some albums so magnificent recently, such as for example the Gold and Mr. Euphoria I put up, that I don't think we're quite there yet.  I will try to bring up a few other such masterpieces in the next little while for some summer cheer, including more that were discovered long ago by the mighty osurec.  How I miss getting those stunning unknown tastes from the master!  There are certainly a lot of German records from this period that few know about that are worth for all to hear, and I hope I'll have time to post a few of those discoveries, including some highly advanced fusion, and king crimson-inspired instrumental work.  Many of these originated from discobasso's prodigious record-hunting skills and I really can't take credit for those.  At this late point, it seems mostly the Americans and Germans are still battling it out for progressive domination.  And think of all the contributors who have fallen by the wayside in those three years!  Eventually I will too-- but it might be some time still I can hang on.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gold - No Class What So Ever (USA 1980)

A chromatic downgoing arpeggiated riff tears the still air into shreds on "Light Speed" leading into the stellar clusters of the "milkyway" on the second track of side a ... absolutely a one-two punch worth the price of admission to this incredible ultra-unknown secret and long-lost set of music from Miami, Fla.

There are considerable similarities to the "Mr. Euphoria" record I posted some time ago, and if you follow this blog you'll recall Isabelbc posted their first record here ("Night Ride") about a year ago.  So I'll dedicate this newly-ripped version of the second record to Isabel, wherever she may be.  Oddly enough the guys reverted to an all-instrumental album here but they brought all the power in the book to play here.  On the back, the following note:  "This album was a first take live recording with no over-dubbing."  Pretty cool!

The album was written by the lead guitarist whose name is Bob Wamnes  ("the Wam" as he is called on the back cover) perfect in his mustachio and tuxedo.  His band is rounded out with Ed Mallett on drums and wind chimes, Tom McCance on bass and Jeff Powers on lead guitar as well.  I'm guessing these guys were high school pals who started a band, I wonder where they are now?  I sure would love to hear from the brilliant Bob Wamnes, truly a lost artistic genius in the US prog sphere as I think Tom would agree.  Just listen again to those big fat huge guitar chords on Light Speed and the way drummer Ed machetes his way through the jungle of power cables to the end to clear the way for the next track.

Truly a lost treasure of the late American guitar-based progressive style.  That late, great, style.

As samples I will post the aforementioned starter track:

And the classic jazzy guitar sound of "New York New York" which really should have been a radio hit but I'm pretty sure wasn't.  What I find fascinating in this track is that Bob Wamnes keeps changing it up instead of a long solo or ad hoc gratuitous middle portion, we get passage after passage of well-crafted music with odd chord changes and melodies and ideas.  Truly this one track is a mine of musical ideas, always changing and creative, until that beautiful f major/f minor riff closes out the song again.  Genius!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Frederic Rabold Crew + Jazz Inspiration Orchestra - Kinetic Noise (GER 1975)

Here as requested:  despite the title of the record this is definitely straightforward modal jazz by Fred and the jazz inspiration orchestra.  Good record, you will notice it starts with the track "Berlin" which also started off the previous, eponymous album-- perhaps that one piece warranted a whole album named after it.  His style on the flugelhorn as usual is really warm and gorgeous and highly enjoyable.  The last track on the first side-- Kinetic Noise-- really shows off his supernal abilities.  Incidentally, this is much better than the average Fred Rabold album.

Note that the song called "Waltz for Christin" is not a typo perhaps deserving a 'sic' after that name as spelled-- perhaps if I was in a more bitter mood.  But since it's a gorgeous song, and the arrival hereabouts of a warm spring has provided a timely boost to my spirits and libido, I will pass it by with a smile on my face and lap.  And who wouldn't have a spring in their step and neighbourhood?

Sample track the wonderfully dissonant Child Song, B2, unfortunately all too short (like my 2 smiles):