Tuesday, April 28, 2009
First, the Jimi thing. Randy California may have influenced him, rather than vice versa. In _Jimi Hendrix Electric Gypsy_, we read about how a young California runaway played in a band with Hendrix for a little while. His name was Randy Wolfe. Since there were two Randy's in the band, Jimi called them Randy Texas and Randy California. The latter went on to form Spirit with Ed Cassidy. Shortly after Jimi's death, Randy C. turned solo, letting his guitar playing burn more than it had in the jazzier Spirit. His first solo album, "Kaptain Kopter and the Fabulous Twirly Birds", is as devout a testament to Hendrix's music as has ever been waxed.
Posted by . at 11:49 PM
This German hard rock machine, with British belter John Lawton, (later of Uriah Heep) gave birth to one of the best heavy rock albums of the early 70's. From the screaming vocals of "Ride In The Sky" (with its brass opening reminiscent of Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song" and an almost "thrash metal" riff) to the progressive/hard R&B of "Toxic Shadows", to the lumbering, Sabbathish doom of "Keep Goin", this album never lets up for a second. Fans of Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin must have this in their collection! Lawton is one of the best singers in hard rock, and the musicianship of the group is tremendous. Very heavy indeed for a 1970 release.
Posted by . at 10:13 AM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The latest available CD version of a title which has been repackaged and retitled several times over the last 30 years. Recorded in London in April 1967 and produced by the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky, these nine demos feature the original Soft Machine lineup of Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Mike Ratledge, and Daevid Allen. Although not intended for release, these rough but accomplished performances show the band at their most pop- and song-oriented. Not far removed from Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the jazzy chord changes, unpredictable bursts of scat singing, glib free-association lyrics, ominous buzzing organ, and Robert Wyatt's soulful rasp convey the freewheeling abandon and giddy high spirits that characterized the best early British psychedelia.
Posted by . at 3:30 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This London quartet recorded their debut album with the large label Polydor (Phillips), but for some reason the record got pulled from the stores soon after its release and is now a much sought-after collector’s item. The album had received a first Cd reissue with the German TRC, but for some reasons, the album was only lasting some 28 minutes. Released again nowadays, the full album is present as well as three bonus tracks, but I am not positive of the legitimacy of this release or its label. Nevertheless it is nice to hear Audience’s debut even if we are far from their next two albums, which are masterpieces of the British proto-prog scene. The lest we can say is that this album is a bit naďve (is that really a flaw) and lacks a bit musical direction (on the other hand, this…), but holds enough charm to allow its weaknesses go easily forgiven.
Audience developed a blues-derived proto-prog that had two main characteristics, guitarist Howard Werth’s voice (which can sound like VdGG and Gnidrolog’s voices) and Keith Gemmell’s many wind instruments. Tracks like the opening Banquet (this has the power of future records), the superb Heaven Was An Island (with its great percussive intro leading to a sizzling sax and wild lyrics), the dreamy Maiden’s Cry (plaintive yet riveting with its sax approaching VdGG’s Jackson), the solemn Leave It Unsaid and a first version of House On The Hill are all excellent tracks indicating the greatness of their future oeuvres.
Other tracks like Poet (cool flute), Waverley Stage Coach (too bluesy), River Boat Queen (weird, not unpleasant but highly surprising with its strings in the background), Harlequin (a bit of a filler), the forgettable and brassy Too Late etc. are slightly weaker
The three bonus tracks do not really hinder the album’s running (except for the closer that is really not of good recording quality - and its origin not explained), but do not add much in value either as they do not range in their better tracks. But in some ways they are related to the song Ebony Variations from their second albums by presenting an underlying jazz facet that surfaces now and again.
Yes this debut is hardly representative of Audience’s blistering and sizzling hard-bluesy prog of their future Friend’s Friend’s Friend and its better-known successor House On The Hill. But if you loved those two albums enough, this one will also please you because the nascent Audience sound is there, with their power musical powers waiting to be unleashed. Because of this album’s quick disappearance from the market, you will find many of the ideas getting a second chance (under different names mostly) over the following two albums, making this album sounds sometimes like a demo.
Posted by . at 6:21 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Two landmark albums by legendary multi-instrumentalist, producer and solo artist Al Kooper. Few american musicians have pursued a more diverse or more fascinating career than Kooper. As well as playing organ on Bob Dylan's timeless 'like a rolling stone', having formed Blood Sweat & Tears and produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kooper has issued a dozen solo albums. 'i stand alone' (his debut lp, 1968) incorporates soul and pop, jazz and classical elements, making for a seamless and enjoyable whole. As well as covers of 'hey, western union man', 'coloured rain' and 'blue moon of kentucky', Kooper excels with classy originals 'i can love a woman' and 'right now for you'. 'you never know who your friends' are (1969) ups the ante with the brassy 'magic in my socks', the swooping, soulful 'loretta (union turnpike eulogy)', the joyous pop-rock of the title track and extraordinary covers of motown tunes 'too busy thinking about my baby' and 'i don't know why i love you'. Kooper maintains a busy touring and recording schedule to this day and, as all music guide states, he "remains a formidable performing talent, and one of the most inspired and intelligent people in rock music".
Posted by . at 1:40 PM
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Abstract Truth (they shunned the prefix of "the" because they didn’t want to sound dogmatic) was the brainchild of one Kenneth Edward Henson (dubbed Ken E Henson by David Marks).
The band Abstract Truth existed only for a very short time, but it was a time of super-creativity. They exploded on to the Durban music scene early in 1969, released 2 studio albums during 1970 (as well as a compilation in the same year!) and, after numerous line-up changes, imploded in 1971.
Tracks from the lone 2 albums by short-lived fuzzy folk/jazz-tinged psych rock combo Abstract Truth -- both from 1970 and combined on a single CD! Abstract Truth managed to spin a pretty sweet and adventurous sound of trippy lyrics, peppering their base of straightforward rock underpinnings with more exotic flavors of flute and sax, hand percussion, and Eastern melodic flourishes! The tunes are a mix of freewheeling, but still catchy original tunes and adapations of established tunes.
EAC, log, cue, flac, scans 600dpi
Posted by . at 12:09 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Cuby & the Blizzards are a Dutch blues group that started in 1964. Right from the start they were a big hit in the Netherlands. This band is completely different from another Dutch band in the same time period, Peter & the Blizzards.
In 1967 they toured with Van Morrison (in lieu of his band Them), played with Eddie Boyd, scored a hit with Window of my Eyes and received an Edison award. That year, John Mayall stayed at their farm and the next year they regularly played with the 'king of British blues' Alexis Korner.
The line-up of the band changed regularly, but founders Harry Muskee (vocals) and Eelco Gelling (guitar) remained at the core of the band, despite regular unsuccessful attempts to form other bands. Herman Brood was the pianist shortly in 1967 (which kick-started his career) and again in 1976.
The spelling of the name varies, with 'Cuby' also written as 'QB' and the ampersand (&) also written as 'and' or '+' and the 'and sometimes left out. The spelling 'Cuby + Blizzards' was used on the first albums.
4 albums on 2 CDs
Posted by . at 12:16 PM
Friday, April 3, 2009
For those who love the tradional Santana and are acquainted with the deep-hearted rythm and blues of Buddy Miles this recording represents the combined talents and exhausting efforts of these two great artists into one exhilirating, energized hour of music. The quality of the recording is phenominal; an adventure worth downloading...
1 Marbles - 4:18
2 Lava - 2:13
3 Evil Ways - 6:36
4 Faith Interlude - 2:12
5 Them Changes - 5:51
6 Free Form Funkafide Filth - 24:53
Posted by . at 1:23 PM