:::The Hapless Child:::

Posted: Wednesday, 5 May 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , ,

A surprising step after his earlier work with the Jazz Composer's Orchestra and their juxtaposition of avant-garde soloists in a modern orchestral context, Mantler created a virtual prog rock album, setting Edward Gorey's Freudian/gothic texts to music that owes far more to Henry Cow than Cecil Taylor. Enlisting ex-Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt on vocals and Jan Garbarek alumnus Terje Rypdal for some soaring guitar work, he managed to create a very convincing, enjoyably literary recording with potentially large appeal. The song structures are fairly consistent and the melodies often catchy, alternating from somber dirges (quite appropriate to the text) to up-tempo rockers. Much of the success accrues to Wyatt, whose reedy, intelligent voice gives exactly the right ironic inflection to Gorey's eerie tales. When in the title track he lightly sings the opening line, "There was once a little girl named..." then drops into a minor mode for, "Charlotte Sophia," you know things don't bode well for the song's heroine. Indeed, all of the lyrics are compelling little stories and it's to Mantler's credit that his compositions couch and project them instead of competing for attention. The Hapless Child has assumed a bit of cult classic status as a one-off prog rock project and it largely deserves the rep, holding up reasonably well over time.
:::Review by Brian Olewnick:::

Michael Mantler - The Hapless Child (1976)

1. The Sinking Spell 5:10
2.The Object-Lesson 5:00
3. The Insect God 4:58
4. The Doubtful Guest 4:47
5. The Remembered Visit 6:27
6. The Hapless Child 7:02

Bass Guitar - Steve Swallow
Drums, Percussion - Jack DeJohnette
Guitar - Terje Rypdal
Lyrics By [Words] - Edward Gorey
Mixed By - Nick Mason (tracks: 1 to 5)
Music By, Engineer - Michael Mantler
Narrator - Alfreda Benge
Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer [String], Producer - Carla Bley
Vocals - Robert Wyatt

Recorded July 1975 through January 1976 at Grog Kill Studio in Willow, NY, with the Manor Mobile at Robert Wyatt's house and Delfina's farm in England, and at Britannia Row in London. Mixed January 1976 at Britannia Row / "The Hapless Child" mixed November 1975 at Scorpio Sound.
Originally released 1976.
Title on front and back cover: The Hapless Child and other inscrutable stories

6 komentarze:

  1. Anonymous says:

    thanks - steve.

  1. Godot51 says:

    I have this on a vinyl rip. Is this from a CD? I was unaware that it had been rereleased.

  1. jazzlover says:

    I believe it is the vinyl rip. It has not been released on CD yet, to the best to my knowledge.
    Regards and thanks for visiting.

  1. Anonymous says:

    many thanks - have long been a collector of Gorey's books but have never come across this before.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ola !
    Obrigado pelos outros post, mas este não está "on line".
    Se puder " make the re-post" .
    DZ - Brasil