Sunday, September 29, 2013

Best US Rock Record: Fair, Yates, and Betschart - Spirits (USA, 1979)

This is without doubt one of the best all-round rock records I've heard in the last year, in particular, the two last songs I've played literally hundreds of times, over and over again sometimes, they are just so perfectly beautiful in their own style of progressive, intricate, harmonious vocals with that great rock basis.  Why, as I've said so many times before, was this album not on that Rolling Stones top 1000 list, soon to be 100,000 best albums list, when it's so damned good?  Why did those last two songs, Monica, and Turn to Gray, not go to the top of the charts way back in the late seventies??  Why did I have to wait 24 years to hear this great record???

Monica, about a free spirit with 'long brown hair' - one of those 'standard' subjects for rock songs ever since Ruby Tuesday:
"Your new dreams are worth a try,
but the ones you left behind don't die, they're mine"

And my favourite song, Turn to Gray:

Enjoy it!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rarest German Symphonic Masterpiece PART ONE: Lacrima (GERM, 1981)

What a cover drawing!  On the left a clown is about to hang himself, on the right a huge ?chrysalis is hanging from the bare tree, but why are the two line-figures running towards it?  Others might see something else here, I would love to hear some interpretations.  I've said it before, the covers are always worth seeing on these old records, these artists cared so much about their presentation package, not just the music.

In style this is 'typical' German symphonic prog with some acoustic bases, I think everyone know what this means, I'm not going to insult you with examples or explanations.  And note there is a part 2 coming for those who love this style!  I made a mistake yesterday in calling it 'seventies symphonic' of course this is from the early eighties, though the style is definitely the seventies style I think you'll agree.

Of course this is from the Berlin stash or perhaps I should call it, my BC -- Berlin Connection -- in a nod to the cdrwl-- which you may have noticed is also updating at a frantic pace.  So the fall will prove a bonanza for the rare prog rock fan.

I've spent many hours listening to trash to try to bring you the best of what I've heard.  The next 2 albums will be stuff I've resurrected from Tom's cdrwl which I felt he unfairly maligned in his posts from last year, you can be the judges and juries for these (as well as the executioners for Tom).  They at first were hard to like but over the course of the year I found I listened to them more and more and enjoyed them more and more, this is why I will present them to you.  That kind of album: initially perhaps disappointing, but give it time, they turn out to be full of interesting intricacies.  So without a doubt I call them personal "priority 2's"!

With regards to reup requests, please make requests at the latest or second latest post since I don't read the old posts or comments at all.  (Comment moderation as explained a few times before is done by the blog owner, or by isabelbc when she was here, not by me, I'm not responsible for not publishing offensive insulting comments, although I agree they should probably be left off so as not to encourage misbehaviour or fighting.)

Sample track, A2 Regen:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Return to Planet Prog...

You will all recognize the title as the famous sci-fi novel by Arthur C. Heinlein in which a moon-sized ion-drive spacecraft filled with 5-year-old kids with IQs over 40,000 points each and mentally retarded computers return to their home planet, Equis, which has been devastated by nuclear war only to decide an intergalactic war might be the best way to 'cleanse the biosphere' of the remnant colonies of de-evolved humans, who now are slaves to advanced worms twenty feet long (advanced in the sense they can now do Euclidean geometry, but not non-Euclidean or Lobachevskian), whereupon the mind of god interferes with itself to decide entropy itself shall be reversed, leading to the collapse of the whole universe into a new rebirth on a hospital bed where Louis Gossett Junior arises as an infant reborn into the space and time of the seventies, the golden age of course of Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island...  But wait-- in the epilogue, it is revealed that the entire preceding 8000-page trilogy of novels was merely the memory of an aging computer about to be dismantled for spare parts in the fabled junkyards of Traxa the iron planet-- was it just a fantasy or truly a memory?  bang bang, the computer breaks, we never know, we really don't care, we're just tired from reading such a long book, now we need to eat some chips

What I'm going to do (along with those pesky re-ups) in the next few weeks is feature some of the best progressive music I've heard in the last year that I've kept behind, from all over the world.  Almost every day, just like over at Tom's cd reissue wishlist, I will bring out some hidden treasures that will rival your old masterpieces in quality, those albums that everyone considers masterpieces such as classic Genesis or classic PFM.  At least in my opinion they rival our old standards-- please keep this proviso in mind, since musical taste is so individual many will disagree.  The one thing you can't disagree with me about is the sheer progressiveness of the records I'll be featuring, and I'll make a point of  stating the case.  All of which will build up to the climactic announcement around mid-October of an album so good it really should be on those stupid Rolling Stones top ten albums of all times lists, or rather nowadays top thousand albums of all time (amplifying the number to placate those self-obsessed baby boomers, which adds an order of magnitude each decade that passes, predictably, so that by 2040 it will be top million albums of all time).  And in the process I will tell you a story about a hidden trove of progressive gems found in the Kunstlerhaus of Berlin, Germany, that country I so love to make fun of, those people I so love to satirize (I 'm half German on my mother's side which is from where this tendency derives).  When I found out this art museum had a repository (similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault  in Spitzbergen, Norway containing seeds of every kind of plant on earth) of progressive albums, one copy each of every one ever made, I literally fainted and had to be woken up with smelling salts held by a little waif from an opera libretto.  Now, I said, now I understand what it means to be the man who had everything....  cf.:
Quickly, I took copies of every album I had not yet seen and ran back to my taxi, Snowden-style, to take it all back home and slowly and gradually I worked my way through this treasure trove to assess what is good and what is forgettable…

I will repeat in the process the mission statement of the blog which is to popularize this most incredibly unknown and maligned style of music that I believe is one of the great apogees of human creativity.  I will talk again about how brilliant minds operating from the young and exuberant rock arena of the sixties decided to broaden their horizons by incorporating into popular music and rock the ideas of classical and modern European music and jazz to craft an amalgam more beautiful than any before, more durable, shiny and shimmering than any music or even artform created heretofore, because of its intellectual appeal and emotional approachability and range... We will hear my favourite styles of course of fusion and RIO, the kind that combined the best of modern European music with rock (think ELP's borrowing of Bartok, or Art Zoyd), but also singer-songwriter styles, and the classic prog of Genesis as before said.  Then in a few weeks I will show you an utterly unknown record even among the progressive collectors that can rival anything on that aforementioned idiotic Rolling Stones best albums of all time list or anything on any prog fan's top ten list.  All this will end, as everything must eventually (including this blog and my life and the whole universe as a result of accelerating expansion), around 6 weeks from now when I have to go on holidays again-- too bad... Ready for it?

Tomorrow to kick things off I will be presenting to you one of the rarest and most sought-after German symphonic rock albums from the seventies, you will not be disappointed, although, it's so rare it might be you've never heard of it.  And so to quote now JFK when he stood upon the Berlin Wall long ago as sharpshooting GIs aimed their military assault rifles at the East German guards killing several hundreds that day to protect their president and Marilyn Monroe stood below holding the jelly donuts (stuffed with her vaginal secretions) up for him to eat for a taste of victory:  "Ich bin ein Berliner"!!  and by this he declared war upon all commies in Hollywood as well as all cubans and cubists and anti-mafia activists, as F-15s strafed the East Berlin streets with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] ... get ready cowboys, 'cuz it's gonna be one helluva ride...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Natdamperen 1,2,3 (1975, 1976, 1979) [REUPS]

I figured I would put all 3 albums in one post. Here is where the first 2 records were posted:
I guess I was wrong in thinking the last album had been posted by isabelbc.  The first 2 I bought ripped and sold long ago, always of course selling them at a loss, so I could buy more... The cover of Boogieman is just so wonderfully freakish, isn't it? One of the best drawn covers I've ever seen. The style is free-form jazzy meandering with swirling hammonds and electric guitar doodling, a bit too improvised for my taste esp. in the second double-LP.  In the last album they caved in to the profound influence of fuzak the smooth and easy-styled fusion that was prevalent everywhere in the world at the time but not completely: there is definitely still some of the old German From-styled psych craziness, so it's my favourite of the 3.
Now tomorrow as you will see from the title of the next post, we will be saying goodbye to this past fortnight of fusion.  I can't wait, stay tuned for that.  And no, it's not that I'm getting married, unfortunately I'm already in that state.

Holde Free - Malaga Suite (GER, 1974) [by request, REUP]

Great cover, right?  Gotta love that German sense of humour.
It's latin-styled fusion, with some progressive moves here and there, by request reupped.  Not exactly the best exemplar of the style in my opinion.  A 'priority none' certainly.
Note that Cry Freedom was also put up, you can see it at the Teo Macero Betrayal post.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pit Budde - Der Puma zieht nach Norden (GERM, 1983) [and Scope II]

This man with the odd name was a guitarist for the German band Cochise, which made many albums of mediocre ethnic-folky music that were very difficult (for me) to wade through.  These passed with hardly a notice or song snippet worth remembering.   Therefore it was a huge shock when this album turned out to be exceptionally beautiful folk, one of the most perfectly crafted chamber-folk albums I've heard in the last year along with the Larynx I put up some time back.  Credit again to Sebastian at the growing bin for 'discovering' this album, or at least for me noticing it in that venue.  He did another album before this.  It sounds very similar to Emma Myldenberger or the astonishing chamber-folk outfit Radio Noisz Ensemble, known to all those who love prog, which was the same band essentially.

A masterpiece of perfectly and gorgeously played acoustic guitar, all instrumental -- playing at the highest level of accomplishment, mastery, and beauty, with additional colour provided by oboes, flutes, etc.  Use of the oboe in particular always imparts a plaintive sound to everything around.  One of the best in the style of as shige calls it 'healing guitar' music...

As bonus I have a wonderful re-rip of the Scope II album requested at the Scope I post last week, all credit to the magnificent multi-linguist Mr. Morgan for this.  Don't forget to thank him for the efforts of purchasing the record and ripping it for us all. 

[This album, being one of the best acoustic guitar albums I've heard in the last year, will serve as a great introduction to the announcement I will make soon.  The one that, you know, is supposed to be really shocking.  Except it won't be, because I built it up way too much.]

Monday, September 23, 2013

Teo Macero - Betrayal OST (USA, 1977) + REUP REQUESTS

First of all before we get to this record I have a couple of things to mention.  Tomorrow or perhaps the next day I'm going to make a big announcement that will knock you off your chairs.  Guaranteed.  And if it doesn't please try a less stable chair to sit on.  Like one of those with one leg people use to milk cows.  So stay tuned for that one. 

Secondly I have a bunch of requests from people for albums whose links have died that appeared on this site in the past.  I'm begging anyone who might have the album already on their computers to use netkups or sendspace and upload it from their copies here below, I will wait a couple of days, then upload whatever is left to do.  This is because it doesn't make sense to have more than one link available at a time, if that happens, the links will end much sooner than otherwise, with fewer downloads each time.  Here are the requests so far:

Difference -- REUP DONE BELOW [A very controversial album to say the least, please don't read the comments that followed]
Bowl -- I don't even know what this is!!
Moonlight Edge  REUP DONE BELOW
Natdamperen -- ST REUPPED BELOW, Boogieman now DONE BELOW
HOLDE FEE Malaga -- Posted here:
New Music in Quarter-Tones -- REUPPED BELOW

Now on to the music.  When I was scrounging around online making sure Teo's discography had achieved completion I saw this item that wasn't listed (so far as I could tell) in my usual databases of discogs and rym.  What would it be-- a major find, a hidden treasure, or one of those albums: 'there's a reason it's rare and unknown?' 
Well of course you guys will be the judge, but in my opinion we are leaning towards the latter assessment.  This is not like the 'Virus' OST at all, and it almost seems as though Teo was doing throwaway work here-- which is odd because he must have been at the height of his powers in the mid-seventies.  Even the pop songs by Janis Ian and Judy Roberts have a bit of a throwaway feel to them.  And especially annoying are the 'filler' tracks that just really detract from the whole, you'll understand what I mean when you hear them.  (E.g. "Party party let's have a party" -- I mean, the title just makes you cringe before you even hear one note! and just to torture you guys, I left in the scratch that causes the song to repeat!! lol)   Otherwise, there's some good modern music composition by Teo, including some atonal pieces, but this is not at all like even the Faces OST he did in the sixties.

I'm surprised I've never heard of the movie too because as I've mentioned here and there in the past I'm a huge fan of seventies and sixties cinema, I've said before that to me this period was the apogee of moviemaking as well, whether in the US, in Europe, etc.  Maybe someone who has seen the movie can discuss it below.

So stay tuned as I said I will make a big announcement later this week...
And please help me with those requests!!  It's a lot of work!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blossom Dearie - Chez Wahlberg (US, 1985)

It's just a quiet Sunday afternoon and after that last Blossom post I was surprised to find the album I mentioned earlier still on my computer so hastily I packaged it and uploaded it for the few souls who might be curious enough to listen to it.  At last check there were some 90 people who had chosen to download the last album, rightly or wrongly, and to those brave people I dedicate this second offering.

As I said before to me this is a masterpiece of jazz and one of my favourite albums ever.  This is because of the wide range of human relationships she covers in these songs, not just ordinary love songs, but all kinds of eventualities that have happened to us all.  I'll give you an idea by describing some of the songs:

"Are You Still in Love with Emily"
Anyone who has been in a couple of relationships will understand the idea, humorously covered by Elaine in Seinfeld with regards to the guy who got misty-eyed whenever Desperado played on the radio, of looking at your partner and wondering if they are still in love with their ex and thinking of him or her.  The last line just kills me: "I wish Emily would let you go..."

"Good Morning Darling what's your name"
Self-explanatory I guess.

"A Small Love Song"
Another huge lifelong favourite, this is a childhood romance, he was 7 and I was 8, among apple trees and daisy chains in the "summer that will never come again..." Again, something everyone can empathize with.

"A Friend Like You"
The dreaded friend zone?

"Only Yesterday"
Falling in love means suddenly songs and everything are more beautiful than ever before, the whole world is more beautiful: "I can't remember the last time I thought about a tree... will you phone today? will you come and see me?"

"The One who loves the most"
The one who loves the most will walk away, while the one who loves the least will stay.
Who hasn't been through such an experience in life, and understands what she is saying?

So you can see the whole range of feelings the album covers, and I don't think I've ever even heard a single album discuss so many different relationship emotions in one package.
Features the famed Mark Murphy in two love song duets.

A shout out to Jaye Maynard for her reference to Blossom:
You're right, she was a musician's musician, like S. Sondheim.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Listen, featuring Mel Martin - ST (US 77) and Growing (US 78)

From the cd reissue wishlist: 
I'm going to open up the floor now to my friend and contributor, mystery man x from the land of z and beyond, who I'll simply refer to henceforth as xz.   Back when I was collecting different nicknames for contributors like Midwest Insurance Salesman, Toledo Joe, Shakespeare the amateur, Swami the Reincarnated Dinosaur, and "neanderthal man" (who I subsequently fossilized for the University of Oklahoma along with his encyclopaedic knowledge of German library music), I also indulged in extensive progressive music listening from my two homes, four executive positions, and six trophy wives while running a mail-order catalogue, sorry catalog, of vinyls for sale and naked Russian brides, one type of product on each facing page.  (So if you had strabismus or a squint you could only order one type of product not the other.)  To make it more interesting I would add some stereo equipment sales in there too, except you couldn't listen to music on it.  At that time xz mentioned to me this amazing masterpiece of fusion that I just had to hear, while reiterating his constant complaint of appearing in too many polynomial equations.  Of course I can't actually share the music since xz = e power y (sorry I couldn't resist, man).  So I'll turn it over to him now, "swirling mellotrons and rapid-fire hard guitarwork punctuate the equilibrium brought on by steady synths and some furious finger-plucking lyre work from St. Augustine, then the minimoog comes crashing through with its devastating rocket-propelled act of god as if god himself was piloting a bomb-laden drone over enemy territory... Towards the end the crescendo and tempo build to such a rapid voluminous pace I was left sweating, breathless, salivating, and in dire need of a blow job.  A masterpiece of progressive music, "Gandalf meets Sir Lancelot in the King of the Rings' Arthur's Court" is also criminally rare, having been pressed in a limited edition of 0.5 copies (only one side was done before the band ran out of money) but it's absolutely criminal not to have appeared yet on CD so yeah go ahead, arrest me, big boy, arrest me!  For owning half an album!!!!   "
Oops looks like he reviewed the wrong record there for me.  Damn that guy!

Priority: x

Luckily I can count on Tom as a friend so I know he won't mind a little humour at his expense-- entirely at his expense of course, not mine ;-)

In style this is very similar to the Natural Life and Mike Elliot LPs I posted not so long ago with the minor difference of a bit less fusion, a bit more latin.  (And if there's one thing I can't stand it's that flamenco chord progression of tonic - minor second - minor third (e.g. E-F-G) -- I just hate it to death.)  Oddly enough there's quite a bit of Caribbean steel drum in there too.

Sample tracks, the beautiful Jesse's Theme from the first record:

And the S.E.'s  Dream from the second:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blossom Dearie - Simply Volume VI (USA, 1983)

Yes I know, the name of the artist is ridiculous.... but listen to the music before passing judgement.

Long long ago when I was a university student listening to American jazz and fusion I found this as a cassette in a nearby record store downtown a few minutes' walk from the apartment I shared with my brother.  Over the next few years I listened to it over and over again and learned to play most of the songs on the piano.  On a holiday to New York City some years later that I planned around a performance of Blossom either at the Village Vanguard or the Blue Note, I don't remember which, I ran up to her after the set and told her how much I loved this record and the ones before and after...  her only comment?  "then maybe buy some more of these CDs and cassettes here" to which I answered, "but I have them all already," whereupon she turned her back on me without another word.
How could I have foreseen that the person who sang like an angel on my favourite jazz records of my teen years turned out to be a mercenary only interested in making me buy a few dumb cassettes for a few dollars?  I was crushed, and probably had one too many 'singapore slings' that night at the jazz club.   Of course considering the stature of the musicians she worked with in her life (her earlier life that is, by the time I saw her she must have been about 60), the idolatry of a univ. student a third her age would have seemed bizarre I guess especially since my pens-in-shirt-pocket geekiness and accompanying girlfriend would have made me a most undesirable and inappropriate boytoy.

I was reminded of her when listening to Radka Toneff,  because she did a version, on Fairytales, of one of Blossom's best compositions: Long Daddy Green (about the American dollar, of course).  The other fantastically beautiful record she did, similar to Fairytales in sparseness, is "Chez Wahlberg" -- just a masterpiece of delicate emotions and poetry, covering almost a full range in human relationships and social interactions in one record, like a Russian novel.  To me this impossible to find record was her best album, and no one knows it-- how typical.

Listening to this again today I find the soft breeziness and sentimental loveliness, the heavenly, spacey Rhodes so typical of those beautiful happy and innocent days of the seventies and early eighties.  Of course it's all about nostalgia of childhood, those younger than me will feel the same way about eighties music, or nineties music.  Still, I would argue that objectively, there is something almost supernaturally beautiful about the music of the seventies (and to some extent sixties).

The best track by far is a duet she did with Bobby Dorough (remember him from Children of all Ages?) called "Bring all your love along" which I 've sung in courting many a female in my life.  (Thank god I'm past all that now.  Although my wife daily tells me the opposite, why is there no more courting anymore?  I love Woody Allen's answer to that: "because it's exhausting!")  I wonder why the amazing pop song "Answering Machine" never got off the ground as a radio hit.  As a sample I'll also include the astonishingly intricate composition, "I told you so," with its gorgeous Fender Rhodes.  Skip over track B4, a cover version of Billy Joel's atrocious medieval torture instrument, "Just the way you are," I could never figure out what bizarre lapse led to its being included on this record.

B2 "I Told You So" (Words and Music by Duncan Lamont)

A5 "Answering Machine" (Words and Music by Rupert Holmes)

Bob Dorough - Guest Performance A5 and B5
Edward Remusat - Recording Engineer
Mike Renzi - Mentor and Additional Keys
Grady Tate - Drums
Jay Berliner - Guitar
Jay Leonhard - Bass
(Blossom plays most of the keyboards otherwise.)

Her huge discography:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scope I (Dutch Band, Made in Germany, Rights registered in Holland, 1974)

Absolutely a masterpiece of fusion-- it just don't get more masterly than this.  A poor mono rip has been circulating for some time that really didn't do it justice, so I had to purchase the record; please upgrade your copies to this new one.  They of course did another album called Scope II but it wasn't quite as good as this powerhouse.  I hope everyone reading knows this band already.  Briefly what we have here is the best ideas from seminal fusionauts Mahavishnu and Soft Machine in a very listenable but inventive and interesting package without silly frills like overlong solos, like the Heavy Joker with Max Leth jun I posted a long time ago but much better.  Of particular interest is the gorgeous Fender Rhodes, minimoog, and organ playing of Rik Elings, who composed most of the music.  However the guitarist, Rens Nieuwland, is not exactly a shabby player in this outfit-- not at all!

For those who haven't heard this yet, hang on to the handrails, because this is some of the most furious fusion those 'tired old Europeans' (to use Dick Cheney's phrase) have ever produced.  (Now the joke's on Dick of course since he can no longer travel to Europe for fear of being arrested for war crimes and put on trial at the Hague, but he can at least listen to this masterpiece from the privacy of his lead-lined basement bunker 50 feet he remembers 'Yesternight's Dream:' [track A4] the New American Empire, now a matter made merely of memory alone...)

Yes, I know, more US-bashing.  But bear in mind I've also indulged in Euro-bashing:
and singled out the obsessive-compulsive Germans for particular satire often enough...

Bass, Grand Piano, PercussionErik Raayman
Drums, PercussionHenk Zomer       
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Organ [Hammond], Grand Piano, Flute, Synthesizer [Minimoog]Rik Elings
EngineerVolker Heintzen
GuitarRens Nieuwland
ProducerJochen Petersen, Scope (15)

And to think this record is almost 40 years old now!

Yesternight's Dream:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Radka Toneff (Norway, 1977-1982)

Straightaway I'm going to mention this is not a download post, because these records are easily available now as CD copies, or even as cheap LPs.

A friend recently introduced me to the music of this amazing Norwegian singer, whose style might be described as a mid-seventies jazzy singer-songwriter (think Joni Mitchell during the "Blue" period or Roberta Flack in the early seventies).  I have never heard such a beautiful and emotional triplet of albums since I and so many others 'rediscovered' Nick Drake way back in the 80s-90s, and Nina Simone before him.  Although his style was folk, and hers singer-songwriter, they are very similar emotionally and not surprisingly both committed suicide.

Back when I was in high school I fell in love with an American poet called Sylvia Plath, who I still adore.  How, at that time, could I possibly have known that in Norway a brilliant musician called Radka Toneff had set her poem "The Lorelei" based on a Germanic myth, to the most amazing progressive melodies?  This is one reason I thank god for the internet, without which me hearing Norwegian albums would have been impossible.  But I know that if I had heard her version of this as a kid I would have been blown away even back then not just by the musical compositional brilliance, but by the way she has put the whole soul of the poem to music with the strings, the piano, the harmony vocals at the end: "Stone, stone, ferry me down there."

"Words don't come easy to me, my feelings show in my face,  but when I sing to you, I sing to you, and no one else, no one else."
Every song is personalized in the most emotionally devastating way.  Her rendition of the old Jimmy Webb "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (he stole the title from a sci-fi novel by Heinlein but turned it into a gorgeous lost-love song) is also out of this world.  How many times have I said the same, this is the only taste of what heaven is like on this world that I will ever experience.

Like Nick Drake the last album is stripped down and austere featuring only singing and amazing acoustic piano, almost a suicide note in fact, as the last song testifies:  "I read my sentence" (a poem this time by another favourite, Emily Dickinson.)

For more biographical infos check out wiki as usual:

(Listen to the song and read the poem, since her English at times is difficult to understand.  I'm pretty sure this poem is about the urge to kill oneself, symbolized by the siren-like Lorelei which calls sailors to their death on the rocks below her, which Sylvia Plath also succumbed to in the end.)

It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,

The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,

The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness. Yet these shapes float

Up toward me, troubling the face
Of quiet. From the nadir
They rise, their limbs ponderous

With richness, hair heavier
Than sculptured marble. They sing
Of a world more full and clear

Than can be. Sisters, your song
Bears a burden too weighty
For the whorled ear's listening

Here, in a well-steered country,
Under a balanced ruler.
Deranging by harmony

Beyond the mundane order,
Your voices lay siege. You lodge
On the pitched reefs of nightmare,

Promising sure harborage;
By day, descant from borders
Of hebetude, from the ledge

Also of high windows. Worse
Even than your maddening
Song, your silence. At the source

Of your ice-hearted calling --
Drunkenness of the great depths.
O river, I see drifting

Deep in your flux of silver
Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.

Radka Toneff committed suicide on October 21, 1982 at the age of 30.
I hope the beauty of this amazing artist remains a part of our culture for ever!

"Shy like a child, she is... her glance, her story that never was told...
Say something nice to her, don't turn your back on her..."

Now I'll open the floor up to requests, if anyone wants some reups from the recent past-- that is, the last 2-3 years since I've been here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walkie-Talkies - Surveillance (UK, 1980) [REUP]

I know this was requested a few times, so I'll repost it here and in the original from Feb. 2012.
I gotta say I really loved this record, done in that smooth british pop-prog style only they could do, there is enough progressiveness here to make me happy, enough approachability to make it listenable in decent company.  There is involvement from some famous Canterbury players as I mentioned particularly the awesome signer Amanda Parsons (who I could fall in love with for her voice alone).

"Rob Spensley, a rock solid bassist, and Dave Fuller, an acoustic guitarist who succeeds in sounding power-assisted, gather around them a number of distinguished hired hands to produce music that touches several bases. Along the way you get high-flyin' harmonies, spacey synth sounds, healthy dollops of jazz and even a smattering of Police style reggae, performed to a high standard. Even so it's unlikely to get within sniffing distance of the charts. Are all the groups from Guernsey as confusing as this ?"
One last comment, I'll sometimes post wav files as in this case, please use any free program such as xrecode or cdex if you want to convert back into mp3, for ex. those who use mostly ipods to listen to music like myself really can't for practical reasons listen to lossless files, only mp3s.  On the other hand it's of course better to store the lossless somewhere so you don't have to listen to any inferior quality musical rip job.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ricotti Albuquerque - First Wind (UK 1971) [REUPLOAD!!]
I sold the record so I figured I might as well rerip it and reupload it.
Note that Frank Ricotti made one interesting library album called "Vibes" that features at least a couple of progressive tracks, though the remainder is ordinary library in my opinion, while de Albuquerque made two classic pop-prog albums in the 70s, Stalking the Sleeper and We may be cattle, etc., both of which I really love, featuring that typical british beatlesian smooth produced arrangement with unusual melodies, etc.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sorry (FRA, 1978)
Another Massiera project, though I'm confused why his records are so sought after, other than the Working Progress one posted earlier this year, I find his output very very uneven.  In this outing from 1978 Ives and Ruiz the two composers create mostly hard rock with a tiny bit of progressive.  I'm not sure why it's in so many collectors' collections.  Ratings as you'd expect are all over the place.  And the cover?  ouch

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Orchester Roland Schneider / Günter Lenz - Sound Motion (Germany, 197?, Library)

This will appeal to the library collectors out there.  Basically, it's half a good album, and I think everyone reading this will know right away which side is the recommended side.  I don't know much about the Orch. R. Schneider, which plays a typical easy listening styled library 'elevator music' on side one, the throwaway (perhaps the encylopedic discobasso, from whose store I bought this, could illuminate us further on the subject).   (Btw, the old 'muzak' that was the bane of shoppers everywhere, has now been replaced by the golden oldie hits of the beatles, the rolling stones, etc., and I hope I'm not the only one who absolutely detests this overuse of classic rock.)   In progressive circles we know Gunter Lenz (though we may not think we do) thanks to his many contributions to German progressive jazz, for ex., in Albert Mangelsdorff's Quintet, Dauner's Et Cetera, the Manfred Schoof Quintet, and the amazing post-Dzyan trio of Giger-Lenz-Marron whose first album long ago was posted here ("Beyond").  (The second one, "where the hammer hangs", was mostly free jazz with percussion, which is where Giger put his energy into afterwards.)

The music of Lenz on this record is quite progressive jazz and highly enjoyable.

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