:::Jazz Europe Express – U.K.:::

Posted: Friday, 12 November 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,

If the first NH took a long time to materialize, their second album certainly didn't make itself long to appear, as it came out the same year as the debut. It is also a fairly different beast than its predecessor, even if only the departed brilliant Neil Murray is now replaced with ex-Henry Cow bassist John Greaves. Although it might appear a minor line-up change, it also opens the studio gates to a bunch of other ex-Cows to participate to the album's sessions. And this is where the difference appears: Phil Minton, Georgie Born, Keith Thompson and Peter Blegvad all join mainstay guest Brother Jimmy Hastings. A very pleasant line-up news for this proghead is the departure of Parsons and her irritating vocals.
Musically the album is less jazz-rock and more pure prog, as if Steward's omelette days were indeed not fully digested. Yes, you can hear some Egg/ELP-like prog opening with a wandering bass line and birdsongs, the album on the book-ending Bryden 2-Step is soon a wild jazz-rock, much reminiscent of their first album, but an added slightly symphonic touch. The closing section of this track is the same riff repeated tiredlessly until interrupted its slow death. Collapso is a play on word (calypso) due to the steel drums, but rest assured that outside these drums, you won't find any tacky Caribbean music on this track. It is hard to call this track jazz-rock either, especially midway through, when the group members are giving it their all. Greaves' bass opens the lengthy Squarer For Maud, probably the most Cow-esque NH track, with Born's cello in the background with Hastings' clarinets and Blegvad's short spoken vocals, but the second part returns to a Caravan-type bossa improv, before going in an insane stop & go section to end it. Great stuff. Just as demented is Miller's Dreams Wide Awake, where Stewart's organ goes completely mad in the first part, then in a much quieter Caravan-styled second part, followed by Miller's usual once-per-album wild solo. Binoculars is the only sung song (by John Greaves), features another of Miller"s sizzling solo. 
This last NH album (besides the Gowan tribute) is another one of these links between the RIO circle and the Canterbury family, but sadly seems to indicate that Canterbury is reaching its end as RIO is only really getting under way. A marginally better album than their debut, it is mostly the disappearance of Parsons" vocals in the NH soundscape that makes the difference for this proghead. Essential and the last masterpiece of Canterbury music.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

National Health - Of Queues And Cures (1978)

1. The Bryden 2-step (for amphibians)Part 1 (8:52)
2. The collapso (6:16)
3. Squarer for Maud (11:30)
4. Dreams wide awake (8:48)
5. Binoculars (11:43)
6. Phlâkatön (0:08)
7. The Bryden 2-step (for amphibians) Part 2 (5:31)

- John Greaves / bass, piano innards (3), crooning (5)
- Phil Miller / guitar
- Pip Pyle / drums, percussion / hand claps (3)
- Dave Stewart / acoustic & electric pianos, organ, Mini-Moog (3-4)

- Selwyn Baptiste / steel drums (2)
- Rick Biddulph / bass on organ solo (4)
- Peter Blegvad / voice (3)
- Georgie Born / cellos (1-3-7)
- Jimmy Hastings / clarinets (3-5), flute (5)
- Phil Minton / trumpets (1-5-7)
- Paul Nieman / trombones (1-5-7)
- Keith Thompson / oboe (3-5)

3 komentarze:

  1. upkerry14 says:

    Very nice blog. Any chance of a direct DL? Usenet is.... well, not for me. thanks,b