:::Vibraphon #2:::

Posted: Thursday, 30 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,
4

Perhaps the single album that best sums up Bobby Hutcherson's early musical personality, Components is appropriately split into two very distinct halves. The first features four Hutcherson originals in a melodic but still advanced hard bop style, while the latter half has four free-leaning avant-garde pieces by drummer Joe Chambers. Hutcherson allots himself more solo space than on Dialogue, but that's no knock on the excellent supporting cast, which includes Herbie Hancock on piano, James Spaulding on alto sax and flute, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Ron Carter on bass. It's just more Hutcherson's date, and he helps unite the disparate halves with a cool-toned control that's apparent regardless of whether the material is way outside or more conventionally swinging. In the latter case, Hutcherson's originals are fairly diverse, encompassing rhythmically complex hard bop (the title track), pensive balladry ("Tranquillity," which features a lovely solo by Hancock), down-and-dirty swing ("West 22nd Street Theme"), and the gaily innocent "Little B's Poem," which went on to become one of Hutcherson's signature tunes and contains some lyrical flute work from Spaulding. The Chambers pieces tend to be deliberate explorations that emphasize texture and group interaction in the manner of Dialogue, except that there's even more freedom in terms of both structure and tonal center. (The exception is the brief but beautiful closing number, "Pastoral," an accurate title if ever there was one.) Components illustrated that Hutcherson was not only the most adventurous vibes player on the scene, but that he was also capable of playing more straightforward music with intelligence and feeling.
:::Review by Steve Huey:::

Bobby Hutcherson - Components (1965)

1. Components 6:23
2. Tranquillity 5:01
3. Little B's Poem 5:08
4. West 22nd Street Theme 4:42
5. Movement 7:29
6. Juba Dance 5:21
7. Air 4:45
8. Pastoral 2:02

Credits
Bass - Ron Carter
Composed By - Bobby Hutcherson (tracks: 1 to 4) , Joe Chambers (tracks: 5 to 8)
Drums - Joe Chambers
Piano - Herbie Hancock
Saxophone [Alto], Flute - James Spaulding
Trumpet - Freddie Hubbard
Vibraphone [Vibes], Marimba - Bobby Hutcherson

:::Clarinet #2:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
3

This is the most pleasant musical surprise of the season. I received a promising CD (beautiful, interesting cover) from Israel (bad news if klezmer but not Moshe Berlin). I'm not sure what this is, but it isn't klezmer. It is the most delightful soup of avant garde jazz I've heard since, oh, the last time I saw Dutch percussionist Han Bennink.
Like Bennink's Trio Clusone, this is a trio, and the music is experimental, exciting, interesting, incredibly well-played and diverse. Unlike Bennink's band, there are occasional passages derived from klezmer. The band's publicist describes the mix as "combining styles as different as klezmer, Rock-In-Opposition, Downtown Music, Jewish Alternative Movement, garage rock, etc." This is far more cheerful music than one expects from the Tel Aviv alternative scene. Given that the band is only about a year old, formed by Russian emigrants to Israel, and still hasn't performed live a lot, I am even more pleasantly surprised.
The band is very tight, from the incredibly near-perfect rhythm section, to even the tight comic klezmer-inspired (but not remotely klezmer in effect) vocal harmonies on "Dancing." The album opens with a short, plaintive train whistle. It is the last moment of familiar sounds until the deceptively simple bass line that opens the aptly named "Danglers Song," a lovely piece quickly interrupted by a scramble of choking voice and other instruments. All the while, the drums and bass keep an interesting beat while the clarinet plays tunefully, gracefully. Except when it bends, or the voices return. The rhythm section is perfect. This is music that articulates the "oy" of Jewish music with humor. It fits in not only with the work of Tzadik's Anthony Coleman, but with the experimental early work of Israel's Shlomo Gronich (the black album, or the trio, "No Names"). Then it stops and the music moves on, into a "Semitic Tango" which is no more (and no less) tango than the klezmer pieces are klezmer. You can hear the tango rhythm, but that isn't the tune in the foreground.
Differently, "Dancing" contains klezmer riffs, but is not klezmer. Well, at times it could be a sort of punk klezmer, but the drumming is too tight, the bass too tight, the clarinet to lyrical. As might be expected, the "March" isn't a march - but sometimes it is something very close. And the voices, the voices on "March" comprise some of the best, passionate gibberish, recorded in a long time. On "Sippurim," we return to the voices, but now hear both davenning as well as klezmer, and then the album ends in triumphant, joyous, pounding chaos.
This is simply a delightful experimental jazz album. It is the sort of album one would expect to hear on Tzadik, but, like the work of, say, Klezmer en Buenos Aires, one doesn't. It is fresh, innovative, interesting music. This is music that makes you smile when you aren't awestruck at how good the band is.
It is, in short, my kind of music, and no more easy to pigeonhole or to describe than that. Hell, even the cover and inside notes are impossible to pigeonhole, but splendidly excellent. If your ears hunger for something new, something new that is worth hearing; something new that will change the way you hear a bit, then this is the album for you, too.
:::Review by backata:::

Kruzenshtern & Parohod - The Craft of Primitive Klezmer (2003)


01. Mishegene Parovoz
02. Focus Pocus
03. Dangelers Song
04. Semitic Tango
05. Dancing
06. Match
07. Cul-De-Suc
08. Vontzn In The Box
09. Sippurim
10. Tort

Credits
Igor Krutogolov: bass, vocals, percussion, toys
Russel Gross: clarinet, toys, percussion (voice on "Dancing")
Yog Schechter: drums, toys, percussion (voice on "Dancing")

:::Flute #4:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

James once again made an acurate description of the music and maybe the difference in rating might be due to the french singing on this album. Actually quite different than other Quebecois band but just as incisive in contents ( lyrics ) , here the singing is of crystal- clear French without the typically local accent and it is refreshing, but it does take some mastering of the languages to fully grasp how good this album is . Those texts on top of it are politically engaged , mind-challenging , thought-provoking , environementally-conscious and socially oriented . The music is accompanying such superb vocals and texts is in the same vein : Food for thoughts. Just like your cereal breakfast (and just as indispensible as that first meal ) it just crackles , snaps and rocks (it does not pop ) and will nourish your body and feed your brains so well that even your asshole boss cannot screw-up your day. If I must point out to other band , I would say fellow Quebecois Maneige with vocals , and sometimes G Giant and also Canterbury.
In short , this is another real gem from that part of the world , up there with Harmonium , Et Cetera , Sloche and Maneige. Mosts of the numbers present long instrumental passages only slightly interrupted by very on-the-dot lyrics ( Les Saigneurs instead of Seigneurs). The title says it all Contre Courant - against the flow (mainstream).
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Opus-5 - Contre Courant (1974)


1. Le temps des Pissenlits (9:09)
2. Il etait Magicien (11:44)
3. Les Saigneurs (9:22)
4. Le Bal (5:41)
5. Contre Courant (3:54)

Credits
- Olivier Duplessis / keyboards, vocals
- Luc Gauthier / guitar, vocals
- Serge Nolet / flute, vocals
- Christian Leon Racine / bass, vocals
- Jean-Pierre Racicot / vocals, percussion

:::Organ-Keys #4:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

A bit like Osibisa and Assagai, the band is an aggregate of African black players forming in London's Swinging Sixties an amalgam of musicians that could play under three names: Skatallites (thus exploiting the Jamaican group), The Interstate Road Show or Sarah Gordon's House Of Bondage (for the seedier clubs of London) before getting signed by manager Barry Murray and landing on Dawn label, along with Comus and Mungo Jerry, both under Murray's protection. Blessed with a very strange mask artwork, DF's sole album at least had an excellent name, although borrowed from jazz circles.
Right form the first notes of the opening lengthy instrumental Past Present And Future, you just know you're on different trip than usual, with the huge bass and guitar duo scaling up and down the drama Spanish with Flamenco/Corrida chords, before taking off in an unexpected brass rock joyful explosion, lasting the next 8 minutes (out of almost 10). Very different in the following Disillusioned that has a much more BS&T flavour without having its heavy cheesiness or one of Chicago's many good moments on the first three albums. During a lengthy harmonica solo, the group seems caught in a vinyl skip (as if the needle was stuck), the group seems stuck in a repetitive 7/4 time sigs that haunts you for minutes after its gone. Another lengthy track takes another brass rock road, not far from What If would be doing, but suddenly the mood shifts to an Arabian seedy night club with the sax leading the way, slowly developing its Coltranian wings (not visible/audible at first). The flipside (let me dream I have the 33RPM) starts on the flute, bass and organ gliding thru space, before chants and other disrupts them and start in the plaintive Hymn To Mother Earth proper. The track soon develops one of the most haunting organ sustain line around, while the tension keeps climbing Awesome.
The album closer, the almost 10-mins Mercy(variation N°1) starts with an almost African voodoo beat and soon again haunts the corner of your mind especially when the brass section solo simultaneously going in different directions and the percussions and drums drive you mentally insane into following their wild rhythms over a wild sax. What a frigging exit to this album.
Stuck on as bonus tracks are the just as-rare maxi-single (this furiously recalls Comus and its "album and maxi-single" thing, and guess what??? The bonus maxi-single tracks bring as much added value to the original album as it did with Comus. Starting up is yet another great cover of SJ Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You (I don't think I've ever heard a cover of this track I didn't love), which was at the base of a payola scandal. The Message To Mankind return to a If or BS&T style of brass-rock, a fine tune, but seemingly a tad hastened midway through (uncaught glitch or normal twist?? >> go figure, it seems repeated later). The flipside of the maxi-single holds the lengthy Fuzz Oriental Blues, which a great instrumental wher the Hammond lays king for eternity!!!
Apparently the group also embarked a UK tour called The Penny Concerts with Comus, Titus Groan and Heron (es-ISB) >> How I wished I'd seen that!! In either case, Demon Fuzz's sole album is probably of on the label Dawn best artistic success (with the undisputable Comus topping that list) and the Cd reissue with its bonus tracks should absolutely discovered by all progheads.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka! (1970)

Side A
Past Present And Future (9:50)
Disillusioned Man (4:58)
Another Country (8:28)

Side B
Hymn To Mother Earth (8:10)
Mercy (Variation No. 1) (9:20)

CD Reissued

Past, Present And Future
Disillusioned
Another Country
Hymn To Mother Earth
Mercy (Variation No. 1)

with Bonus Tracks
I Put A Spell On You
Message To Mankind
Fuzz Oriental Blues

Credits
Sleepy Jack Joseph / Bass
Ayinde Folarin / Congas
Paddy Corea / Congas, Flute, Saxophone
Steven John / Drums
W. Raphael Joseph / Guitar
Ray Rhoden / Organ, Piano
Clarance Brooms Crosdale/ Trombone
Smokey Adams / Vocals

:::Sax #4:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,
4

Following the symphonic explorations of 1972's Skies of America, Ornette Coleman became fascinated with the music of Morocco. Dancing in Your Head is the chaotic result of that experimental period with the formation of Prime Time. "Theme From a Symphony" (Variation One and Two) is a 27-minute dervish whirlwind mixed with funk. This was the first opportunity listeners had to hear the two-guitar assault of Charles Ellerbee and Bern Nix. With its infectious danceable melody, Coleman fused these musics together in a unique unpredictable way that had not previously been attempted. "Midnight Sunrise" is a field recording with Ornette playing in Morocco alongside the Master Musicians of Jajouka during a religious ceremony. Music critic Robert Palmer, the first to expose Ornette to the music and culture of Morocco, plays clarinet. Unfortunately this fascinating piece clocks in at only 4:36, with an alternative take not on the original album, at 3:50 featuring Coleman and Palmer playing in an absolute frenzy. Dancing In Your Head sustained Ornette Coleman's role of controversial innovator.
:::Review by Al Campbell:::

Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head (1977)

1. Theme From A Symphony (Variation One) 15:37
2. Theme From A Symphony (Variation Two) 11:06
3. Midnight Sunrise 4:36
Clarinet - Robert Palmer

Credits
Bass - Rudy MacDaniel
Drums - Shannon Jackson
Guitar - Bern Nix , Charlie Ellerbee
Saxophone - Ornette Coleman

:::Trumpet #4:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , ,
2

Also released by the Freedom label, this was trumpeter Charles Tolliver's full-length album as a leader. One of the top brassmen to emerge during the era (although he never quite lived up to his potential), Tolliver had the fat tone of a Freddie Hubbard, the adventurous spirit of Woody Shaw and a somewhat original conception of his own that bridged the gap between hard bop and the avant-garde. He performs six of his originals with pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Joe Chambers and (on three of the selections) altoist Gary Bartz. This explorative and stirring music is well worth investigating.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Charles Tolliver - Paper Man (1968)

A1. Earl's World 4:23
A2. Peace With Myself 9:37
A3. Right Now 5:47
B1. Household Of Saud 6:06
B2. Lil's Paradise 7:05
B3. Paper Man 6:11

Credits
Bass - Ron Carter
Composed By, Trumpet, Producer - Charles Tolliver
Drums - Joe Chambers
Piano - Herbie Hancock
Saxophone [Alto] - Gary Bartz (tracks: B1 to B3)

:::Taxidermia Wednesday C5:::

Posted: Wednesday, 29 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , ,
5

The first time progheads (and the rock world in general heard) the name of Keith Tippett and his unique piano was on the KING CRIMSON single of Cat Food in very early 1970, and it created a shock. Obviously most observers could see that the then-unknown (to most anyway) Keith Tippett was obviously an excellent pianist, but his style left many astounded, but also turning away many. But those intrigued enough, probably sought who this weird guy was. A Bristol-born cornet and pianist, who met in 67 in the BS Music School, Elton Dean, Nick Evans and Mark Charig, forming the Keith Tippett Sextet, that played to some success in London's 100 Jazz Club. . Keith Tippett would also be signalled that year on BLOSSOM TOES' two albums as well as being determinant in the SOFT MACHINE's change of musical direction towards jazz-rock, since the group became a septet, using three of Tippett's collaborators.
Indeed, the names of Mark Charig, Lyn Dobson, Harry Miller, Roy Babbington, Elton Dean and Nick Evans should be familiar to many progheads, yet most of them had their "rock world" start with Keith Tippett and his first group. When his first solo album came out, "You Are here... I Am There" on the Phillips label, it was yet another shock as their awesome jazz-rock was at least on par with MILES DAVIS, HERBIE HANCOCK or IAN CARR's NUCLEUS, and further ahead than was Soft Machine. Funnily enough the KTG inversed their Phillips trajectory to Gracious and XXXX by having their second album on the legendary Vertigo Swirl label, while the debut was on the generic label. Titled "Dedicated To You, But You Were Not Listening" (a Soft Machine tribute), the album was certainly not easier on the ears either.
A good part of Keith Tippett's group would find themselves playing the horns on Crimson's Lizard and even on Islands, despite the presence of Mel Collins, who was alone during the tours to fill the horn dept. This wouldn't be the only collab between Fripp and Tippett as the former also produced the only album of the latter's huge group concept of CENTIPEDE. "Septober Energy" is probably one of the most controversial albums ever, with the group consisting of up to 50 musicians including all of Blossom toes, part of Soft Machine and many jazz-rockers present on the British Isles, even including the amazing JULIE DRISCOLL, whom he would soon marry and her taking the name of her husband, but adding an "s": she'd become known as Julie Tippetts since.
The Keith Tippett Group ceased activity in 71 and Keith's musical endeavours became even more adventurous, as he recorded some really challenging music, with Blue Print (produced by Fripp) and then found OVARY LODGE, a group that recorded two albums, the first again produced by Fripp. The music hesitates between a precursory RIO and written free jazz with improvs and contains again the usual suspects, the second album having wife Julie contributing. Keith would also help her with Julie's superb "Sunset Glow" in 74, recorded again with the usual gang, and somewhat similar and continuous of her "1969" album, still released under her Driscoll name. Since 76 (and still today), apart from appearing on Dean, Charig and other solo albums, Keith has mostly worked on his ARK or on his even more obscure MUJICIAN (sometimes with and sometimes without wife Julie), both of which projects are well into atonal and dissonant free-jazz and well out of focus of this site.
:::Review by Hugues Chantraine:::

Keith Tippett - You Are Here... I Am There (1970)

1 This Evening Was Like Last Year (9:10)
2 I Wish There Was a Nowhere (14:12)
3 Thank You for the Smile (For Wendy & Roger) (2:02 )
4 Three Minutes From an Afternoon in July (To Nick) (4:13)
5 View From Battery Point (To John and Pete) (2:00)
6 Violence (4:00 )
7 Stately Dance for Miss Primm (6:51)

bonus track
8 This Evening Was Like Last Year [Short Version] (4:07)

Credits
- Keith Tippet / Piano, keyboards
- Nick Evans / trombone
- Mark Charig / Cornet
- Elton Dean / sax
- Jeff Clyne / bass
- Alan Jackson / drums

:::Piano #4:::

Posted: Tuesday, 28 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,
2

This encounter between Chick Corea (sticking to acoustic piano), tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Steve Gadd lives up to expectations. The original program featured three lengthy "Quartet" pieces including sections dedicated to Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. The CD reissue adds four briefer pieces that were previously unissued, including an unaccompanied Brecker workout on "Confirmation" that would be perfect for "blindfold" tests. This blowing date is highly recommended for all true jazz fans.
:::Review by Scott Yanow:::

Chick Corea - Three Quartets (1981)

1. Quartet No. 1 10:09
2. Quartet No. 3 9:36
3. Quartet No. 2 Part 1 (Dedicated To Duke Ellington) 7:05
4. Quartet No. 2 Part 2 (Dedicated To John Coltrane) 11:48

Credits
Bass - Eddie Gomez
Drums - Steve Gadd
Piano - Chick Corea
Saxophone - Michael Brecker

:::Jazz Movie #3:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
5

 

1. Sonny Sharrock - Who does she hope to be?...4:42

2. LastExit Sonny Sharrock,Bochum 1988...10:19

3. Last Exit - Destination-Out (1986)...9:57

4. Linda Sharrock - SOLITUDE...4:41

5. Sonny Sharrock 1988 Knitting Factory...10:00

6. LITTLE ROCK @ ASK THE AGES SONNY SHARROCK...6:39

7. Thurston Moore -Tribute to Sonny Sharrock.mp4...7:27

8. Sonny Sharrock: Greatest. Guitar. Solo. Ever....2:54

9. SONNY SHARROCK QUARTET 1...1:05

10. Sonny Sharrock "Once Upon A Time" 1991...6:31

11. Oasis Chris Sharrock doing Keith Moon...1:02

12. Sonny Sharrock = unknown date , place or musicians...7:36

13. Sonny Sharrock Many Mansions...9:32

14. Sonny Sharrock "Soon" 1970...7:59

15. LINDA SHARROCK Dearly Beloved...3:39
 
Enjoy!

:::Jazz Movie #2:::

Posted: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , , , ,
10

:::Ebba Jahn - Rising Tones Cross (1985):::
Time: 112 mins
DVD label: FilmPals DVD 01 and the film's,
www.EbbaJahn.com 
through which the DVD can be purchased or the film rented for screenings.

Eye of Sound: It may sound difficult to believe it, but most of the artists listed above were once striving for recognition in the jazz scene and fighting for sheer survival. Ebba Jahn's Rising Tone Cross captures a moment when these artists were just starting to create a "scene", when their sparkling creativity was not yet comforted by certainty and success. More interestingly, perhaps, the film deals with issues of class and race and with the differences between the social contexts of improvised music in Europe and America, challenging many assumptions about musicianship, career building, and the possibilities for an artistic livelihood. What really distinguishes this from other "jazz films", however, is the visual and narrative focus on New York as the metaphorical force behind the musician's creative burst, portraying it as a dirty, poor, rough and lively city not yet tamed by shinny images of  success and bourgeois comfort.
  
This film is a documentary composition of new jazz, New York as the city that generates it, and the musicians playing it. The thoughts of the saxophonist Charles Gayle, the bass player William Parker, and Peter Kowald from Germany accompany the film. Shot on 16 mm in the mid 80s this film remains one of a kind until today.
:::PRODUCTION NOTE:::
"Rising Tones Cross is a nostalgia piece for some, a valuable historical document for others...Many of the musicians are still active players, and unsurprisingly the film captures many who have departed firmly in their element: Charles Tyler, Don Cherry, Frank Wright, Denis Charles, Jeanne Lee, Wilber Morris, Peter Kowald...
The film is romantic. There is a certain appeal and charm to images of a dirtier and grittier New York...and the music is wonderful, compelling stuff even for people jaded about improvised music. Rising Tones Cross provides some continuity, showing how jazz survived..." Andrey Henkin
:::ALL ABOUT JAZZ - NY:::
 
BOY! ARE WE HAPPY TO SEE THE RELEASE OF THIS FIRST ITEM IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Ebba Jahn's documentary of the 1984 was shot partly at the New York Vision Jazz Festival curated by William Parker and Peter Kowald. Groups and musicians on film include Don Cherry & The Sound Unity Festival Orchestra; Jemeel Moondoc Sextet; Peter Brotzmann Ensemble; Peter Kowald Quartet; Billy Bang's Forbidden Planet; Charles Tyler Quintet; Peter Kowald Trio; William Parker & Patricia Nicholson Dance; Burton; Roy Campbell Jr.; Ruediger Carl; Daniel Carter; Dennis Charles; Ellen Christi; Curtis Clark; Marilyn Crispell; Charles Gayle; Wayne Horvitz; Masahiko Kono; Jeanne Lee; Wilber Morris; Bobby Previte; Irene Schweizer; David S. Ware; Frank Wright; John ZornThe early 1980s were a period of transition for the avant-garde fringe in New York. The loft scene -the days in which Ornette Coleman's home on Prince Street and Sam River's Studio Rivbea provided workshops for experimenters to develop their art - was drawing to a close, and the arrival of the Knitting Factory and its explosive impact on the Downtown scene was still a few years away. It fell to the artists themselves to create new opportunities.
As chronicled in Ebba Jahn's 1984 documentary, Rising Tones Cross, two such motivated visionaries were bassist William Parker and dancer Patricia Nicholson. The film centers around the Sound Unity Festival, a precursor to the couples' current Lower East Side bash, the Vision Festival.
It was the German bassist Peter Kowald, on an extended sojourn in New York that included a hefty formative role in Sound Unity, who convinced Jahn to make a film about the upstart festival. "It was clear to me that I wanted to have a German protagonist and an American protagonist," Jahn says. Her friend Kowald was the German choice, naturally, but America's representative had yet to be confirmed. "Originally, I had thought of Ornette Coleman. But on the day I arrived, first thing in the morning I met Charles Gayle, the most un-famous saxophonist at that time in New York City." That meeting, combined with a chance encounter with a cameraman who was working on Shirley Clarke's Coleman documentary, Made in America, led Jahn to shift her focus "from the most famous avant-garde saxophonist to the most un-famous."
"Instead of simply a compilation of festival footage - though performances by musicians like Jemeel Moondoc, Don Cherry, and Peter Broetzmann abound in the film - Rising Tones Cross was intended to be a "tool for music education. "For many people who saw the film in Germany, it was the first time they ever heard this type of music," she says. To help facilitate this reaction, Jahn put the most difficult music at the end of the film, easing the audience into it gradually. She also included a number of scenes intended to dispel common myths about free jazz. For example when Broetzmann's strapping 11-piece ensemble - boasting a tenor phalanx comprised of the leader, Gayle, David S. Ware, and Frank Wright - seems to be blowing chaotically onstage, Jahn's camera pans across Broetzmann's diagrammatic score to reveal an extraordinary amount of careful detail, planning, and scripting - the architecture girding the maelstrom. And having overcome an initial distrust and some reluctance to take part in the film, the enigmatic Gayle is revealed to be affable, erudite, and quite well-versed in jazz-history, a far cry from his dark public persona and stage presence. "He was perceived as a philosopher in Germany," says Jahn.
" In 1984, before Tonic or CB's Lounge or even the Knitting Factory and Rudy Giuliani, New York City was a rough-and-tumble place filled with a wonderful array of musicians in a state of hyper-creativity. Some of them had come out of the loft scene of the '70s or even earlier and were reconciling all the shades of the avant garde while others were creating entirely new vocabularies still being solidified today.
German filmmaker Ebba Jahn made 'A Jazz Film' that year with interviews, musical performances and fascinating visuals of the city before it became sterilized. For the film's 20th anniversary last year, Jahn put the film onto DVD format, a nostalgia piece for some, a valuable historical document for others. Many of the musicians featured are still active players: Charles Gayle, William Parker, John Zorn, Jemeel Moondoc, Irene Schweizer, Peter Brotzmann.
And unsurprisingly, the film captures many who have departed firmly in their element: Charles Tyler, Don Cherry, Denis Charles, Peter Kowald.
The two main voices of the film are Gayle and Kowald, an American and a German playing improvised music in basements and lofts and in the Sound Unity Festival, the precursor to today's Vision Festival. The film is romantic. There is a certain appeal and charm to the images of a dirtier, grittier New York.
The scene, always the scene, seemed to be more vibrant and the musicians less weighed down. And the music is wonderful, compelling stuff even for people jaded about improvised music. Rising Tones Cross provides some continuity, showing how jazz survived when pop and rap and heavy metal began to fully take over the public consciousness." (Steve Smith, Andrey Henkin, DMG)
:::REVIEW - DOWNTOW MUSIC GALLERY NYC:::

Credits

PETER KOWALD QUINTET
Melting - Lines - Cycle

Charles Gayle
Peter Kowald
Marilyn Crispell
Rashied Ali

PETER KOWALD TRIO
Harvest Green

Charles Gayle
Peter Kowald
John Betsch

JOHN ZORN DUO
Sunday Afternoon at Life Café

John Zorn
Wayne Horvitz

BILLY BANG`S FORBIDDEN PLANET
Music For The Love Of It

Wayne Horvitz
Billy Bang
Oscar Sanders
Kim Clarke
Bobby Previte

WILLIAM PARKER & PATRICIA NICHOLSON ENSEMBLE
A Thousand Cranes Opera

Wayne Horvitz
Ricardo Strobert
Masahiko Kono
William Parker
Denis Charles
Lisa Sokolov
Jeanne Lee
Ellen Christi
Patricia Nicholson-Parker
Maria Mitchell
Carol Penn Muhammed
Frank Boyer
Keith Dames
A.R. Penck piano

CHARLES TYLER QUINTET
Life Can Be Whatsoever

Curtis Clark
Charles Tyler
Roy Campbell jr.
Wilber Morris
John Betsch


DON CHERRY & THE SOUND UNITY FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Kangaroo Hoopie

Don Cherry
Peter Brötzmann
Rüdiger Carl
Daniel Carter
Ellen Christi
Felice Rosser
Peter Kowald
Wilber Morris
Denis Charles
Maria Mitchell

JEMEEL MOONDOC SEXTET
In Walked Monk

Jemeel Moondoc
Roy Campbell jr.
Rahn Burton
Ellen Christi
William Parker
Rashied Ali

IRENE SCHWEIZER DUO
For Julian Beck

Irene Schweizer
Rüdiger Carl

PETER BRÖTZMANN ENSEMBLE
Alarm

Peter Brötzmann
David S. Ware
Frank Wright
Charles Gayle
Jemeel Moondoc
Roy Campbell jr.
Masahiko Kono
Irene Schweizer
Peter Kowald
William Parker
Rashied Ali

:::Jazz Movie #1:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , ,
5

After almost decade of John Zorn's free-jazz and klezmer musical exploration in a form of Masada band, this great musician decided to try mixing lyrical qualities of the Masada songbook with raw power of Naked City and the improvisational madness of Cobra. A true downtown supergroup, this is Zorn at his very best. The group includes , beside Zorn himself, Baron from original Masada line up (on drums), Ribot and Wollesen from Bar Kokhba, Cyro Baptista from Bar Kokhba Sextet, and few regular Zorn?s collaborators: Trevor Dunn (bass), Jamie Saft (keyb.) and Ikue Mori (laptop/electronics).
Drawing on Zorn's wide ranging stylistic influences, the band takes the Masada songbook into a whole new direction, reminiscent of jazz fusion and noise rock. Zorn uses hand signals to conduct the band, allowing for him to make up different arrangements on the spot. During Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration at Tonic in September 2003, Electric Masada was recorded live. Released in May 2004, 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4 became the group's first official recording. This was followed by At the Mountains of Madness recorded in 2004 in Moscow and Ljubljana.

Here's a video capture for French Jazz & Classical television channel Mezzo of Electric Masada at Nancy Jazz Pulsation in 2003... Make sure not to miss this excellent concert!
:::Review by Slava (Snobb):::

John Zorn’s Electric Masada In Nancy Jazz Pulsation (October, 14 2003)
TV Broadcast

1. Intro
2. Hath-Arob
3. Karaim
4. Idalah-Abal
5. Kochot
6. Yatzar
7. Tekufah

Credits
John Zorn (alto sax)
Marc Ribot (electric guitar)
Jamie Saft (keyboards)
Trevor Dunn (electric bass)
Kenny Wollesen (drums)
Cyro Baptista (percussion)

:::Jazz Europe Express – Poland:::

Posted: Friday, 17 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
6

We have reached the end of our Jazz Europe Express tour eventually. I hope you have enjoyed the journey. The very last stop is in Poland, from where I would like to present my last discovery.
Peace.

 
Yazzbot Mazut is a Poznań-based band, which debuted as a quintet in 2008 with a warmly received concept album W pustyni i w puszczy. As musicians, they started from punk, hardcore, reggae and electronics, but it is the original rhythmic improvisation they have developed together for years that has become their main tool of communication and exploration. The core of the group consists of the guitarist Andrzej Szawara, bassist Szczepan Kopyt and drummer Piotr Kowalski. In autumn 2009, the clarinetist and keyboardist left the band and were replaced by a young saxophonist Lena Romul. In several months, new material was created. The album Mazut Mazut (May 2010), recorded during a two-day session in the Dragon club in Poznań, is a convincing and electrifying blend of styles, and at the same time the band's own and unique diction, through free jazz, free funk, recognizable echoes of the M-base, world music, neosoul, off-jazz and nu jazz, trip-hop and electro, jungle and dub, latino and afrobeat.
Yazzbot Mazut are worthy successors to the Polish avant-garde jazz "yass" scene.

[...] The debut album of Yazzbot Mazut quintet from Poznan was published a year ago as a natural consequence of a tiring formula of the Prototype group, to which belonged Yazzbut's guitarist Andrzej Szawara, bass-player Szczepan Kopyt and drummer Piotr Kowalski. The clarinet player Piotr Mełech and the keyboard player Darek Dobroszczyk are new to this formation.
Reference to classical fusion music and some trans motives make one feel enraptured by their overwhelming expression. The group has ambitions to fill the emptiness after natural death of avant yass scene. The original vision of their music seems to be predisposed to do that. [...]
:::Review by Tomasz Handzlik, The daily Gazeta Wyborcza:::

[...] I had been waiting for some months for a Polish electro jazz album, that would knock me out and put me in a blissful mood. I was already close to losing my hope, when...
'W Pustyni i w puszczy' (In Desert and Wilderness) balances delightfully between fusion, jazz-rock and free experiments. There is some touch of early Miles Davis in it, some psychedelic jazz-rock, sometimes our associations take us to disheveled Chick Corea.
'Mao Tse-Tse' or 'Grube Ścieżki' can be prescribed as antidotes for depression. [...]
:::Review by Piotr Iwicki, Co Jest Grane - the Friday supplement to the daily Gazeta Wyborcza:::

Yazzbot Mazut - W pustyni i w puszczy (2008)

1. Mao Tse-Tse
2. Golem Bambucha
3. Coki
4. Dźdźownica, łuk, maczuga
5. Beast of Kommodo
6. Chinina dla Nel
7. Grube ścieżki

Credits
Andrzej Szawara - guitar, effects
Piotr Mełech - clarinet, bass clarinet
Piotr Kowalski - drums, percussion
Szczepan Kopyt - electric bass, flute
Dariusz Dobroszczyk - electric piano, sythesizer

:::Jazz Europe Express – Germany:::

Posted: Thursday, 16 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
3

In their sophomore release, the Exmagma guys tend to slow down their penchant for fiery experimental jazz-rock as exposed on their debut album and move to a somewhat different strategy focused on varying demonstrations of energy ? this is "Goldball" in a nutshell. All in all, the creativity and dynamics remain unchanged, since Exmagma remains a solid ensemble where each piece of sound finds its proper place in an overall scheme. Sometimes I find myself regretting that the musical ideas don't get enough room for wider expansion, especially when enjoying the power delivered on tracks 2 and 3: I find myself wishing that the promising climaxes would eventually lead to frantic explosions of sound a- la Dzyan or Agitation Free... but well, what you hear is what you get and Exmagma is a band that on should not have anything to complain about. Additionally, band members have said in interviews that they were not too keen on showing off too much, so I guess that the time constrictions posed on this album's repertoire make sense. So, now let's take a look to the repertoire itself.
The half-funky jam that makes up the basis for 'Marilyn F. Kennedy' starts the album on a joyful mood before the progressive element gets augmented by the controlled mood shifts and polyrhythms delivered on the next two tracks, 'Da Da' and 'Adventures with Long S. Tea 25 Two Seconds Before Sunrise', in this way exploring the band's ability to provide density and sonic defiance. If the opener showed the band leaning toward the Canterbury factor, the other two numbers state a closeness to the avant- garde jazz ventures of Weather Report and Return to Forever, naturally ornamented with free-form sounds that were not rare in the overall krautrock scene. Oh, by the way, Long S. Tea 25 was a nickname for good old LSD. 'Groove', while bearing a simpler framework, continues to retain the dense climate of the previous track, this time on a semi-slow soul tempo. 'Tango Wolperaiso' is a curious piece: all three musicians alternate their inputs through any turns, gradually making them fuller, in a sequence wrapped up by a funny chorale. 'Jam Factory (For People Insane)' returns to the complexity of tracks 2-3, only this time with a heavy emphasis on the psychedelic tradition (somewhere between early PF and early Gong), in this way becoming genuinely intense despite its not too frantic pace ? anyway, the percussive input is amazing. 'Habits' rounds like a mixture of "Yeti"/ "Tanz der Lemminge"-era Amon Düül II and Agitation Free, while 'Dance of the Crabs' brings a brief exercise on exciting jazz-rock. 'Greetings to the Maroccan Farmers' picks up the pieces of pure krautrock that 'Habits' had left scattered on the floor, glues them back in a clever utilization of improvised chaos, which clearly states a reference to the wildest side of experimental prog: Balluff's finesse on piano is outstanding, and so is Braceful's endeavor of tribal and cosmic cadences on his drum kit and other percussive resources. 'Last but One Train to Amsterdam' is another little jazzy piece that closes down the album on a Canterbury-friendly note: it wouldn't have felt out of place in a Hatfield or Caravan album, but in this case, it is an entertaining closure for yet another great Exmagma album. So, here we have "Goldball", a lovely example of the best legacy of jazz-oriented krautrock from the 70s.
:::Review by Cesar Inca:::

Exmagma - Goldball (1974)

1. Marilyn F. Kennedy (2:30)
2. Dada (3:36)
3. Adventures With Long S.tea (2:53)
4. 25 Two Seconds Before Sunrise (4:53)
5. Groove Tango Wolperaiso (2:35)
6. Jam Factory For People Insane (4:04)
7. Habits (5:57)
8. Dance Of The Crabs (0:53)
9. Greetings To The Maroccan Farmers (6:36)
10. Last But One Train To Amsterdam (0:56)

Credits
- Thomas Balluff / organ, electric piano, clavinett-c effects
- Fred Braceful / sonor drums, percussion extraordinaire
- Andy Goldner / fretless electric bass, electric guitar, alto sax, tape recorder

:::Jazz Europe Express – Austria:::

Posted: Wednesday, 15 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

It took EELA CRAIG five years between full blown LPs. They did release a single in 1974 ("Stories"/"Cheese") that totally turned away from the bluesy/jazzy psych and prog of their debut, and was to define their symphonic prog sound of the late '70s (specifically "Hats of Glass" as both were re-recorded for that album). By 1976, they were finally recording for Vertigo Records in Germany, giving them exposure outside of Austria. The band now started going hog-wild on all sorts of equipment. The original LP shows the band members with all their gear on the back cover (an analog keyboard lover's dream come true). There's vocalist/keyboardist Hubert Bognermayr (hard to miss him since he was partially bald, although he was always like that, and he was still in his 20s when "One Niter" came out) with a Hammond organ, two VCS-3 synthesizers, a Wurlitzer electric piano, and a couple keyboards I can't recognize (looks like I see an RMI electric piano, but can't be sure). Bassist Gerhard Englisch is standing next to an amplifier, and two bass guitars are standing by it (including a Rickenbacker). Frank Hueber is seen playing his drum set. Vocalist and guitarist Fritz Riedelberger is seen holding a Gibson "The Les Paul", keyboardist/flautist Hubert Schnauer is seen standing next to a vibraphone, and a custom made Mellotron 400 courtesy of EMI, with a black top, and Harald Zuschrader is seen playing his Mini Moog, and although hard to see, I think it's a Hohner D-6 clavinet (as plent is used throughout the album). This photo is taken in some place in the countryside (I wouldn't mind living), with some overgrown vegetation, and some small valley down below. Love the picture of giant sculpture of a telephone, makes me wonder where that is, and if it's still there? Well, not only was the band going hog-wild on their equipment, it also shows they now had three guys handling keyboard duty as well as the usual other prog rock gear. They were going for a more funky-brand of prog rock, often dominated by the clavinet. "Circles" is a four movement suite that starts off with some really loud and startling Mellotron brass, before things quiet down with some synthesizer and very pleasant flute. Then they go in to a killer jam dominated by clavinet and Moog. Then they go in to a gentle ballad. This is where the vocals first appear, courtesy of guitarist Fritz Riedelberger. Then they go back to the Mellotron and pick up speed. "Loner's Rhyme" is the track Hubert Bognermayer handles the vocal duties. The band goes in to an extended solo, including some great Moog solos and funky clavinet, as well as Hammond organ. "One Niter Medley" is a five movement suite, starts off with synthesizer and Mellotron, before you hear a short song from Bach with an experiment in phasing. After that the band goes in to funky jam, before mellowing out with string synths. "Venezuela" is a nice acoustic song with Fritz Riedelberger handling vocals. "Way Down" starts off with some really nice flute and some droning keyboard in the background. Once again they go in to a funky jam before mellowing out and the vocals kick in.
You need to get the original LP or the CD reissue from Si-Wan in Korea, because the Symphonic Rock CD is missing "Venezuela" (because they also crammed "Hats of Glass" on that disc, with that album's "Caught on the Air" ommited as well, due to lack of space). A totally wonderful album to have in your collection.
:::Review by Proghead:::

Eela Craig - One Niter (1976)

1. Circles: (13:59)
a) The mighty (5:41)
b) The nude (2:00)
c) The curse (5:05)
d) The blessed (1:13)
2. Loner's rhyme (9:23)
3. One niter medley: (11:03)
a) Benedictus (1:54)
b) Fuge (0:47)
c) U.A.T (3:17)
d) Morning (1:47)
e) One Niter (3:18)
4. Venezuela (3:30)
5. Way Down (7:16)

Credits
- Hubert Bognermayr / keyboards, vocals
- Raoul Burnet / congas (2-4)
- Gerhard Englisch / bass, percussion
- Frank Hueber / drums, percussion
- Alois Janetschko / live mixing
- Fritz Riedelberger / guitars, piano, vocals
- Hubert Schnauer / keyboards, flute
- Harald Zuschrader / keyboards, flute, guitar

:::Jazz Europe Express – Switzerland:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

One of the best things to come out of Switzerland (musically speaking , no offence to Chocolates and Cheeses ), along with the fantastic CIRCUS to which it shares a few points : they both are Alemanic , have no electric guitar , winds instruments play a vital role and they recorded around 76/77 .
I was intrigued by some reviews , not only on this site but also Guts Of Darkness site , which were quite ditjyrambic about the music on this sole album.
From reading them again , before writing this review after four weeks of spinning in my deck , I can tell you that most of the review are fairly acurate (the ratings , however , are ...... over-rated) but there is one very obvious influence that has not been mentionned before . Before mentionning the group , I would like to say that there are much ZHEUL leanings on this record. Zheul , you said? You mean MAGMA ? Well certainly as far as the bass is concerned , but the overall style of the music on this album , this all yells out Zheul.
I found the singing perfectible , the KB a tad too Emersonic , but the VDGG and GG influences just fine and nothing too hard to comprehend and like (although I now appreciate these last two bands , it took me more than fifteen years to get to enjoy and understand their oeuvre) and this is not-overly complex music.
Their original album was interesting enough but am I glad that they added that bonus of unknown origin and of "non-studio quality " (nothing shameful , if they had not said it in the liner notes , I probably would have not noticed it) as this is the appex of this CD . Twenty-six minutes of sheer insane zheul , impeccably played shows the best side of this group. I would have thought a shame if it never got released , as this is easily the best thing on the album.
Definitely worth your time and money , but there are more important stuff to discover from that mountainous country , I name the fairly similar but much more original CIRCUS.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Island - Pictures (1977)

1. Introduction (1:28)
2. Zero (6:13)
3. Pictures (16:51)
4. Herold And King / Dloreh (12:13)
5. Here And Now (12:15)
Bonus track on cd release:
6. Empty Bottles (23:35)

Credits
- Benjamin Jäger / lead vocals, percussion
- Güge Jürg Meier / drums, gongs, percussion
- Peter Scherer / keyboards, pedal-bass, voices crotales
- René Fisch / sax, flute, clarinet, triangle, voices

:::Jazz Europe Express – Czech Republic:::

Posted: Monday, 13 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
4

So, around 40 minutes of not so well known band from Czech Republic, which surprisingly possess few quite fine musicians (I want to mention especially Jiří Jelínek, from here overlooked (so far) band ETC). In spite of having touch by funk, maybe even little bit of soul (after all, their main influence should be "Blood Sweat & Tears", which is unknown to me, but could be in similar style, jazz-funk fusion) with much more prog feeling than first album. After all, I know what this reminds me. A lot. Another Czech band from this era, Progres 2 and their album "Dialog s vesmírem", which was released two years later. Maybe this even influenced it. And also reminds of Hungarian band Solaris, with combination of flute and synths, so their "Marsbely" album. But this record can bring more. The reason why i want to give five stars, even star on verge of 4-5 is that it's probably the finest thing that was produced here. Yes, there were other jazz bands, but Mahagon went on another way, doing things differently. Yes, there are first 13 minutes, which are just above average, but rating this with 4 would be unfair. There are so many ideas and. For example, in work of Fermáta, even I like them, sounds sometimes quite the same. Like they're keeping themselves on beaten path. Ironically, this album is more adventurous and exploring, than Fermáta's concept album about adventurers.
5(-), worse rating is because of funk elements. Really very interesting album.
:::Review by Marty McFly:::

Mahagon - Mahagon (1977)

A1. Dny, Měsíce A Roky 3:10
Soloist, Saxophone [Soprano] - Jiří Niederle
Soloist, Violin [Electric] - Jan Hrubý
A2. Moře Klidu 5:15
Soloist, Electric Piano [Fender] - Michael Kocáb
Soloist, Flute - Jaroslav Šolc
A3. Člověk Kybernet 4:30
Soloist, Electric Guitar - Jiří Jelínek
Soloist, Saxophone - Jiří Niederle
A4. Sen O Zemi 1:45
Soloist, Piano - Michael Kocáb
Soloist, Vocals - Zdena Adamová
A5. Oči Nevidomých Zrcadel 4:10
Soloist, Guitar - Jiří Jelínek
Soloist, Violin [Electric] - Jan Hrubý
B1. Písečné Přesypy 3:35
Soloist, Bass Guitar - Petr Klapka
Soloist, Saxophone [Soprano] - Jiří Niederle
Soloist, Trumpet [Electric] - Jindřich Parma
B2. Půlnoční 6:30
Soloist, Electric Guitar - Jiří Jelínek
Soloist, Electric Piano [Fender], Clavinet - Michael Kocáb
B3. Dívka S Jablky 3:10
Soloist, Electric Guitar - Jiří Jelínek
Soloist, Vocals - Zdena Adamová
B4   Obrazárna 6:40

Credits
Acoustic Guitar - Jiří Jelínek (2) (tracks: A5)
Arranged By, Music By, Leader - Petr Klapka
Bass Clarinet - Štěpán Koutník (tracks: A2)
Bass Guitar - Petr Klapka (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4)
Clavinet - Michael Kocáb (tracks: A3, B2 to B4)
Conductor [Strings] - Jan Hrábek (tracks: A3, A4, B4)
Drums - Ladislav Malina (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B4)
Electric Guitar - Jiří Jelínek (2) (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4)
Electric Piano [Fender] - Michael Kocáb (tracks: A2, A5 to B4)
Flute - Jaroslav Šolc (tracks: A2, B2)
Piano - Michael Kocáb (tracks: A1, A4)
Saxophone [Soprano] - Jiří Niederle (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B4)
Saxophone [Tenor] - Jiří Niederle (tracks: A3, B4)
Strings - Smyčcový Orchestr Jan Hrábek (tracks: A3, A4, B4)
Trombone - Bohuslav Volf (tracks: A3, B1, B4)
Trumpet - Jindřich Parma (tracks: A3, B4) , Zdeněk Šedivý (tracks: A3, B1, B4)
Trumpet [Electric] - Jindřich Parma (tracks: B1, B4)
Violin [Electric] - Jan Hrubý (tracks: A1, A5, B4)
Vocals - Zdena Adamová (tracks: A2, A4, B2 to B4)

:::Jazz Europe Express – Slovakia:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
2

Fermáta's debut album is certainly a masterpiece in its own rights, but for Griglak, this was not a first oeuvre as he had passed through Brastislava's Collegium Musicum and before that Prudy. The group is definitely the vehicle for the two frontmen, Griglak and keyboardist Tomas Berka, but by all means the rhythm section is never far behind as both bassist Anton Jaro and Peter Szapu are both excellent as well. A cool abstract music-related artwork graces the sleeve of this eponymous album.
Indeed this quartet plays a spotless jazz-rock that can be likened to Mahavishnu Orchestra, and when getting more symphonic (usually via Berka's synths) they can sound like Finch or Iceberg. The opening Romanian Rhapsody is a typical Fermáta track, that can round-up most of the group's characteristics, but then again, almost the same can be said of every track on this album. In this first album, it is difficult to tell which leader writes which track, as the writing is consistent and very even. While not exactly groundbreaking, it is a pleasant surprise to find such excellent progressive music not only existed (that was to be expected) on the other side of the iron curtain during the cold war, but that it was fairly well produced and recorded.
Although the 2-album-on-1 Cd doesn't hold the fifth track (Perpetuum III) of their debut album, you can safely jump on that release as this first album is at least as good as their sophomore effort, this particular release even getting an extra half star, making it 5 in all.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Fermáta - Fermáta (1975)

1. Rumunská rapsódia (5:52)
2. Perpetuum II (10:27)
3. Postavím si vodu na čaj (4:20)
4. Valčík pre krstnú mamu (7:03)
5. Perpetuum III (11:47)

Credits
- Tomás Berka / keyboards
- Frantisek Griglák / guitar
- Anton Jaro / bass, percussion
- Peter Szapu / drums, percussion

:::Jazz Europe Express – Hungary:::

Posted: Sunday, 12 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

And their best so far... Not strictly fusion in the full sense. I do believe mostly of the album is indeed very well structured, but IMHO there are plenty of inprov and experimentation. Quite refreshing really! I personally after going 1 full spin, I am not tired and want more.
Bass line is a la Wetton/Levin, they do have a strong drum and sax players and for most of the longest tracks, is like combining some Zappa and Soft machine, jamming together. They however, have also a touch of Crimsonian personality (Mid-period?...) Not a rip off band by any extends of the imagination!!
So, maybe a combination of Fusion/RIO approach. There are solos for everybody, but not over killed, plenty of horn and sax and some of the best passages are driven by guitar (sometimes ala Fripp..). Released in 1999, but if somebody had asked me without knowing, I would have put them in the mid-late 70's, very impressive!! Specially considering where ther are originally from!
One of the best discoveries for me during this past year! This goes to show you, that no matter how much up to date in Progressive music you are, still there are gems to be revealed. Now, for new fans. this is aquired taste, so will need several spins to sink inn...; for progheads and alike, give KADA a try! You will not get disappoint.
:::Review by Prognut:::

Kada - Kada (1999)

1. Chinvat I (0:22)
2. Chinvat II (7:03)
3. Gates (10:25)
4. Skin and mud (13:04)
5. Kada (11:34)
6. Seeker (10:15)

Credits

- Gergely Ballay / drums
- Attila Boros / bass
- Gergely Katona / trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone
- Gabor Kollmann / saxophone
- Gyozo Mogyoro / percussion
- Lazlo Valik / guitars

:::Jazz Europe Express – Slovenia:::

Posted: Thursday, 9 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

After ground-breaking debut album "Pljuni istini u oci", BULDOZER had to cope with not so friendly cultural establishment, which was outraged by their acts and thus prohibited further printing of that album. During 1976 the band played on stage extensively in order to keep their fan base interested. Ironically, Marko Brecelj even won a prize called "Seven Secretaries of SKOJ" (SKOJ- Communist Youth Alliance of Yugoslavia during World War II) for his solo album "Cocktail" that typically used to be awarded to prominent socialist youth activists in the field of art and culture! In October 1976 "Zabranjeno plakatirati" (Eng. "Posting Forbidden") was recorded in Novi Sad, again under the auspices of the notorious PGP RTB label. For this occasion the band saw a change of rhythm section; Vili Bertok was new bassist while Tone Dimnik joined on drums. Then, a painful negotiations with PGP authorities continued - BULDOZER were required to change their alleged "pornographic" and "drug-inducing" lyrics (in one song they had to replace the word "nirvana" with "kafana" (meaning: "a coffee bar"), but to no avail. After waiting the whole year, they finally signed to more liberal label Helidon and the album appeared in late 1977.
In spite of very short duration of about 30 minutes, "Zabranjeno plakatirati" was another excellent album by BULDOZER. It continues in the vein similar to its predecessor, only this time psychedelic textures are more present. This is especially evident in "Ne brini, mama" ("Don't Worry Mama"), "Djevojcice" ("Girls") and "Dobro jutro, madamme Jovanovic" ("Good Morning Madam Jovanovic"), which are full of black humour and sarcasm. Musicianship is excellent and they delved more into psychedelic experimentation with heavy use of distorted organ and synth with firm guitar solos and riffs, while Brecelj offers his perhaps the best vocal performances for BULDOZER. A novelty of this album is presence of two shorter and rock-oriented tracks, presumably written as potential hits, and indeed they both were extremely popular during their hilarious live shows. "Helga" is satirical use of the socialist myth of the local Yugoslavian macho males offering sex services to German female tourists at Dalmatian coast. This song would appear in four different "versions" on their ultimate live experience "Ako ste slobodni veceras" few years later (Frank Zappa did similar thing to song "Black Page" on "Live in New York"). "Doktore pomozite" ("Help Me, Doctor") is another trademark BULDOZER song, with timeless lyrics ("Help me doctor/I am dying/My son is a discophile/He's got that LP record/Which corrupts our children").
This album is another remarkable achievement of BULDOZER and acts as fine example of Central-Eastern European avant/prog. Due to its shortage and sometimes less than perfect production, 4,5 stars would be more objective. But anyway, this is a great album and is absolutely recommended for purchase.
:::Review by Seyo:::

Buldozer - Zabranjeno plakatirati (1977)


1. Ne brini, mama (6:50)
2. Dobro jutro, madam Jovanovic (9:13)
3. Helga (3:41)
4. Jeste li vidjeli djevojcice (6:41)
5. Doktore pomozite (3:46)

Credits
- Bele Boris / guitar, vocal
- Marko Brecelj / lead vocal
- Borut Činč / keyboards
- Tone Dimnik / drums
- Uros Lovsin / lead guitar
- Vili Bertok / bass

:::Jazz Europe Express – Serbia:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
3

VASIL HADZIMANOV BAND is a collective formed in 1997 in Belgrade, Serbia. The mastermind behind it is Vasil Hadzimanov - a Berclee scholar and a piano & keyboard player who fuses various aspects of Balkan folk music(s) and jazz fusion, with heavy emphasis on percussion and keyboard tapestries.
The band's permanent line-up is comprised of variety of renowned Serbian musicans of younger generation: Vlada Samardzić on electric bass, Srđan Johnny' Dunkić on drums, Bojan Ivković on various percussions as well as vocals and scat.
Aside from a quartet core of the collective, there's a number of guest musicans with whom VASIL HADZIMANOV BAND is collaborating frequently, such are Brankica Vasić, Teodosii Spasov, Antonio Kitanovski and Orhan Maslo.
Often cited as a Balkan-focused variant of Zawinul's music - such a tag is not untrue, but it's doing injustice the band's variety of styles and it's unique chemistry, which is developing it's own identification on the world's jazz fusion map: beside already mentioned Balkan music varieties and jazz fusion, the band is dabbing with electronics, swing, experimental musical forms, funk, soul, African music, rock, folk, country and improvisational & free jazz.
Their music is highly recommended, especially their live performances.
:::Review by Moris Mateljan:::

Vasil Hadzimanov Band – 3 (2007)

1. Sega Mu E Majkata 4:03
2. Cheick 6:49
3. Do Mooga 6:14
4. Veider's Report 4:26
5. Senija 7:03
6. Vrstan Bubnar 6:25
7. Virus 6:05
8. Zurkata 5:16
9. Ohrid Intro 2:57
10. Ohrid (Za Danijela) 4:42
11. Speak (& Destroy) 5:49
12. Briga O Zivotu (Za Svetomira) 8:36

Credits
Drums - Srdan Dunkić Johnny
Electric Bass - Vlada Samardzić
Electric Guitar [Guest] - Svebor Sakić
Percussion, Vocals - Bojan Ivković
Piano, Keyboards, Vocals - Vasil Hadzimanov
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Rosen Zahariev Roko

:::Jazz Europe Express – Greece:::

Posted: Wednesday, 8 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

Few music and musicians from Greece have propulsated progressive rock greatly and with resonance, not to mention originally (and none so extensively). Along with the monumental APHRODITE'S CHILD (with whose conceptual merge they're actually far from identifying) and with AXIS or SOCRATES (with whom they match better), AKRITAS is strongly recommended for its lasting vintage sound up to an exciting mix of impressions. Definitely hidden from the amateur eye (also, given the music, against it) and exceptionally regarded, although exactly inside the level and the story of Greek passionate prog, the band made a tasteful effort.
AKRITAS formed in the late moments of 1972, being made of vocalist, guitarist and bassist Stavros Logaridis, former member of POLL, drummer Giorgos Tsoupakis and keyboardist Aris Tasoulis, former member of BOURBOULIA. Their praised effort came later in 1973, crediting a collaboration with guitarist Dimos Papachristou, and also benefiting of greek magic lyrics from Kostas Ferris. After that, the magic vanished.
The impressions that do exist, regarding influences and prog touches, can be mixed, going still on a refined blend of swirling progressive, psychedelic (or psycho-space), symphonic rock archetipes (with sufficient melodic moments, of a mediterranean breeze), Canterbury, jazz-rock improvisations and several other intimately approached nuances - to which we can still add the traditional and the conceptual opening towards, simply put, riveting rock. Except the already mentioned relations with the greek prog minds of the period, the influences also stretch towards ELP (the rhythms are said to meet the expectations of none other than Carl PALMER), AMON DUUL II, light OSSANA, SPRING, ARCADIUM, or, more peculiarly, GENTLE GIANT, FRANK ZAPPA, DR. Z, GRACIOUS. There's an incomparable Italian symph fluency to be considered, more closely in the lines of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO.
Akritas is not only a full portrait of the band's passion, creativity and standards, but also gains itself the price of admission towards a sort of prog rock killer mood (with demanding bits, here and there). Drawn as a concept of particular obscurity and experimentality, judging the multi-instrumental complexity, it saves some space though for the vocal originality and emotiveness. Mixing the sound of psych-(s)paced guitar play, baroque organs, pianistic tunes, driving drumming, art vocalizing and sound high effect, the material can be an incomparable stigma or a curiously scaled revelation. A varied project, therefore, with entairtaing parts for the deep listening soul and with the tricks that make it entirely artistic, perhaps only missing the classic recognition. The organ and keyboard work is especially appreciable for its special technique of Mellotron and Moog, while the guitar holds the traditional sonority.
There is one note about another album having been made by the band, in an uncertain year, still the source is singular and the 1973 album's relevance remains highest.
AKRITAS, with a more or less epocal recording, tell the story of traditional music, ambitious playing, rock-filling versatileness and lyrism, having the mix of at least three prog movements and pleasing with a connectivity that goes from the simplest (music play) to the most ambitious patterns. A bit of a one-off success, that laments the short living of the group.
:::Review by Ricochet (Victor "Philip" Părău):::

Akritas - Akritas (1973)

01. Εισβολεις [Invader]    + Γεννηση [Genesis] - 2:00
02. Τα Παιδια [The Family] - 2:16
03. Μνημη [Memory] - 3:24
04. Επιστροφη [Return] - 1:44
05. Αγαπη [Love] - 2:49
06. Ego [Ego] - 4:25
07. Τραγουδι [Song] - 0:58
08. Το Πανηγυρι [The Festival] - 3:50
09. Το Ονειρο [The Miracle] - 2:34
10. Το Θαυμα [The Dream] - 4:56
11. Και Ιδου Ιππος Χλωρος [Look Both Horse and Green] -    1:00
12. Κατακτηση & Ζετα Ζωρζετα [Conquest & Z Force] - 3:03

Credits
- Aris Tasoulis / keyboard
- Stavros Logaridis / bass, vocal, acoustic guitar
- Giorgos Tsoupakis / drums

Guest
- Dimos Papachristou / electric guitar

:::Jazz Europe Express – Turkey:::

Posted: Tuesday, 7 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
3

This is a prolific album, rich of variety, worked out by a band named FENOMEN - completely new to me. They are from Istanbul and every member is wellknown right there when it comes to the Turkish jazz music scene. Thus variety also means that some die-hard prog purists may put a veto here and there - for me though it doesn't matter a bit. All ten songs, which were selected for their debut, are clocking between five and seven minutes, have much to offer. Pleasant to listen - you bet! I'm quite sure Ismail Soyberk - constantly juggling between fretless and regular bass - keeps things in hand in some way here. If needed he cares for the funky drive together with Bülent Ay, whose drum work is worth listening too.
As for the interplay they are acting like a longtime collective. Vocals are rarely placed - so much the more they make use of diverse wind instruments generously. So when trying to underscore some quintessential examples, probably Forever should be mentioned - a composition blending fine jazz pop, in the vein of Incognito maybe, as well as jazz rock which meets prog standards. What strikes is Levent Altindag's flute ... and Mert Topel adds a lively synth solo in between when the whole bands enters into a funky passage.
Now the tricky fusion track Indigo is my album highlight, simply fantastic! Reminding me of the early Return To Forever in some way, dynamic and groovy provided with several twists and turns. Irresistible - guitarist Baris Bölükbasi acts on the same level with the likes of Allan Holdsworth or John McLaughlin. And the melancholic A Sea View From Datça has a lot to offer - acoustic guitar with Mahavishnu Orchestra reminiscences, interesting vocals and string ensemble additions plus native impressions coming from Turkish drums and duduk.
Finally just let me say that FENOMENS's debut is a really entertaining piece of work, provided with a surprising bandwith and nice melodies, technically flawless on top of it. Well, with that said, I come to a rare conclusion: ideally suited to bring jazz/funk/soul fans closer to progressive jazz rock/fusion.
Should be part of a prog fan's well sorted music collection. This CD entered my player most of all during the last weeks ... deep respect!
:::Review by Rivertree:::


Phenomen - Phenomen (2006)

1. Keske / I Wish (5:35)
2. Mart / March (6:21)
3. Hep / Forever (7:57)
4. Indigo (5:46)
5. Yalniz Ada / Lonely Island (5:52)
6. Yol / The Road (6:39)
7. Meltem / Breeze (6:03)
8. Datça'dan Bir Deniz Manzarasi / A Sea View From Datça (4:59)
9. Bebek / Baby (5:55)
10. Yeni / The New One (5:56)

Credits
- Ismail Soyberk / bass, vocals (2,8)
- Bülent Ay / drums, percussion
- Baris Bölükbasi / electric & acoustic guitar, guitar synth, vocals (2,8)
- Mert Topel / keyboards

guest musicians
- Ümit Onartan / tenor saxophone (1), bass saxophone (5), soprano saxophone (9)
- Levent Altindag / flute (3), tenor saxophone (6), alto saxophone (10)
- Banu Akin / vocals (2,8,3)
- Ertan Tekin / duduk (8)
- Ferruh Yarkin / Turkish drum (8)
- Erkan Ogur / classical guitar (7)
- Ergun Cakarlar / oboe (8)
- Aycan Teztel / trombone (5)
- Imer Demirer / trumpet (5)
- Senova Ülker / trumpet (5,6,10)
- Secdil Ozturk / viola (8)
- Suna Yüksel / cello (8)
- Nilgün Yüksel / violin (8)
- Ayda Tunçboyaciyan / violin (8)

:::Jazz Europe Express – Bulgaria:::

Posted: Monday, 6 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: ,
5

This one's one of my all time favourites from the entire MPS catalogue. Progressive, pathfinding, still very catchy modern jazz - not quite in avantgarde - like but something of their own. For the owners of this album I'd like to recommend their two albums on Bulgarian Balkanton label. Maybe even more harder to find but worth it. They contain earlier versions of songs featured on this German LP and much more. Confusing enough they both have almost the same cover and the same title "Quartet Jazz Focus 65" with only the LP numbers different BTA 1006 and BTA 1098. From 1967 and 1968 respectively.
The pianist Milcho Levyev from the quartet soon defected from Bulgaria to USA to join the forces of the Don Ellis Big Band and probably gave a lot of original ideas for this original band with such gems as Bulgarian Bulge.
Not to be missed!
:::Review by mellow:::

Bulgarian Jazz Quartet - Jazz Focus '65 – (1968)

01 - Blues In 10 (Milcho Leviev)
02 - Monday Morning (Milcho Leviev)
03 - Yesterday (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
04 - Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)
05 - Autumn Sun (Milcho Leviev)
06 - Blues In 12 (Milcho Leviev)
07 - Badinerie Aus Der H-Moll-Suite (Joh. Seb. Bach/arr.: Milcho Leviev)

Credits
Milcho Leviev - piano & leader
Simeon Shterev - flute
Lyubomir Mitrov - bass
Peter Slavov – drums

Notes
Recorded June 9th, 1968 at Tonstudio Walldorf/Frankfurt

:::Jazz Europe Express – Romania:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
4

"Dissipatin'" is Iordache's second album as a leader. A saxophonist an composer from Romania, Iordache goes for an all-out approach as a soloist, sometimes echoing Archie Shepp or Pharoah Sanders. His tunes range from jazz funk to ambient to free to (almost) straight jazz, with large amounts of distorted guitar and keyboards to subvert all this.
The opening track "Dissipatin" is based on a swinging groove. This is soon upset by a Thurston Moore-ish guitar solo by guitarist Nutescu, then comes a passion-filled excursion from Iordache and a more subdued conclusion by fellow sax man Cristian Soleanu.
"Tu n'as rien vu a Schaerbeck" is one of the two titles not composed by Iordache. It kicks off with more heavy distortion then dissolves into a drum-machine supported drum'n'bass groove with hysterical alto by Iordache and ethereal vocals by singer Marta Hristea on top.
"Fig Tree" is the kind of haunting ballad Sun Ra might have liked, with no solos per se, just a lot of slide guitar and evocative baritone statements. The lyrics sung by Marta Hristea's wonderful contralto also sound like the Ra, with profound statements about infinity and such deep stuff. 70's style synthesizers at the end finish this piece on an anguished note.
"Recycle" is built around a simple drum loop and a childlike ditty. More overdriven guitar, free saxophone and a nice dialogue between Hammond and guitar at the end.
"Time of Our Lives" is a lush ballad which features solos by Iordache and Soleanu and a nice arrangement. The waves plus seagulls sounds at the end bring to mind some similar experiments that Yusef Lateef made in the 70's.
"Gloomy Sunday" is treated with the suicidal desperation it deserves, both by tenor sax and guitar. The theme isn't stated at the end as expected, the tune ends suddenly with guitar noise.
"Up" is short, happy and is a continuous conversation between Iordache and Soleanu on something resembling  Coltrane-type changes which highlights their widely diverging styles: Iordache's alto is loud and goofy, Soleanu's tenor is a lot straighter but gives in at the end with some "out" phrases that could have been his partner's.
"You Know It's True" is groovy jazz funk, with a Scofield-like solo by guitarist Sorin Romanescu, Iordache's take-no-prisoners baritone and  sizzling keyboard (Moog?) work by Raul Kusak.
The whole album is quite eclectic and not saxophone-oriented at all. Although a imaginative soloist with a personal sound, Iordache tends to leave a lot of space to his bandmates. I personally would have enjoyed some more of himself. Still, I heartily recommend it.
:::Review by nomorefriday:::

Iordache - Dissipatin' (2005)

1. Dissipatin' (feat. Vlaicu Golcea) 9:29
2. Tu n'as rien vu a schaerbeck (feat. Vlaicu Golcea, Sorin Romanescu and Marta Hristea) 9:10
3. Fig Tree (feat. Vlaicu Golcea, Sorin Romanescu and Marta Hristea) 8:27
4. Recycle (feat. Vlaicu Golcea) 8:22
5. Time of Our Lives 4:55
6. Gloomy Sunday (feat. Vlaicu Golcea) 4:22
7. Up (feat. Vlaicu Golcea) 2:38
8. You Know It's True (feat. Vlaicu Golcea and Sorin Romanescu) 8:12

Credits
Mihai Iordache - sax
Sorin Romanescu - guitar
Eugen Nutescu - guitar
Cristian Soleanu - sax
Raul Kusak - keyboards
Vlaicu Golcea bass, programming
Marta Hristea - voice
Vadim Tichisan - drums

:::Jazz Europe Express – Russia:::

Posted: Thursday, 2 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
4

First of all, do never listen to this album if you care for your mental state. I’m serious now. It can cause some major disorder within your head; it can turn you into some kind of trance-possessed freak; it may blow your mind easier than any other thing which lasts lesser than 45 minutes. I won’t dare to call this music because I’ve used to call music some other sounds not these ones! I won’t dare to treat these tracks as “songs”, because they’re not! It feels like all album was improvised, but it’s played so tightly despite some loose places (including long pauses within tracks with amplifier noises) that I won’t believe it’s improvised. Or maybe then IAMABOVEONTHELEFT is a some kind of octopus-like monster, playing two guitars and rhythm-section at once. You need examples? I doubt we have them, sir. Okay, let’s say MESHUGGAH plays CRIMSON’s “The Great Deceiver” boxset. No, wait, NIRVANA jams over early Stravinsky’s stuff. Ermm…maybe, it is THE MARS VOLTA has ridden of Cedric and their sax player and plays instrumental avant-death-metal?
Now check those videos on YouTube. Then rush on RAIG web-site and purchase your copy of IAMABOVEONTHELEFT (there are few dozens left as long as I know). The band is on a hiatus – mainly due to lack of attention – so it’s in your hands if they will go on. Make the future!!!
:::Review by Prog-jester:::

I Am Above On The Left - An A-Bomb To Wake Up (2006)

1. The elephants will never come back (5:54)
2. To swallow a wasp (3:09)
3. The korova milk bar (vomitorium) (2:45)
4. Mr. Father (6:08)
5. Ptichee moloko versus virus (4:05)
6. Z N E D O (6.2.5.5) (5:34)
7. My kidney is in bloom (5:48)
8. Deaf in the morning (6:52)
9. Lucifer's hammer (how many distortions sleep within an a-bomb ?) (4:06

Credits
- Alexei Taroutz / guitar
- Sergei Ledovski / drums
- Artem Galkin / guitar
- Pavel Eremeev / bass

:::Jazz Europe Express – Ukraine:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

Quite stunning debut from this project led by Ukraine musician Antony Kalugin. I heard he is behind several other similar one man works, but this is my first contact with his music and I´m quite impressed. Sansui9090 sent me a message saying I would love this album and he is right. Usually I don´t like those solo stuff: most likely than not they are just excuses for long self indulgent ego trips. Sunchild is one exception. Although Kalugin is obviously in charge here, writing, arranging, playing all the keyboards and even singing, he is also surrounded by several terrific musicians and vocalists that give the record a broad, collective feel, that works very well for the music.
Kalugin proves that his is, above all, a very good songwriter. The Gnomon is a double CD offering that shows his talents in writing great tunes with fine melodies and strong hooks. His musical influences are many: symphonic rock (Pink Floyd and early Genesis are the most obvious ones), classical music, neo prog, psychodelic/space rock, Canterbury sounds and even some local folk among others can be found on this very eclectic work. And, incredibly. it all sounds very coherent and strongly united in the middle of this variety of styles. A truly remarkable feat considering that Sunchild is basicly a solo work. But as I said before, there is no ego trip, everything here is for the music: every note, every instrument comes in and out at the right moment and there is absolutely no fat to be found, even if 4 out of the 9 songs clock over the 9 minute mark and that two are over 20 minutes long.
Production is quite good enhancing the exquisitely craft arrangements and fine playing. His voice may not be the strongest around but he has a nice tone and sings with true emotion. The additional female singers are also a plus. There are no fillers to be found and although some tracks are obviously better than others, they are all very good. Absolute highlight for me is the 26+ minute Sleepwalker. A great epic that won me over from the very first time I heard it, it has everything one migh t wnated from such massive prog opus: shifting moods, several tempo changes, great melody lines, fantastic guitar solos, orchestral keys, even a beautiful trumpet solo! This is truly one of those rare track-worth-the-price-of-the-CD examples.
Conclusion: a very nice surprise from the Ukraine! Very eclectic and yet very unified work that is a joy to hear over and over again. And with each time you´ll find another subtle, but very efficient, layer of sounds in this very well done work of art. I could talk for hours about The Gnomon. But you should just get it and judge for yourself. For me is one of the best records I found this year.
Rating: between 4,5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended!
:::Review by Tarcisio Moura:::

Sunchild - The Gnomon (2008)

CD 1
1. The Gnomon (2:05)
2. Astoria (9:59)
3. Sleepwalker (26:59)
4. The Prayer of the Broken Heart (6:14)
5. Adrift (2:51)

CD 2
6. Love Will Shine Like Gold (5:27)
7. Sunchild (16:06)
8. Midnight Train (5:39)
9. Wonderworld (20:46)

Credits
Antony Kalugin - all keys & programming, lead & background vocals, acoustic guitar (track 8)
Viktoria Osmachko - vocals (track 3, 7, 8, 9)
Timophey Sobolev - vocals (track 4, 9)
Sergey Balalaev - drums (track 2 - 9)
Kostya Ionenko - bass (track 2 - 9)
Vlad Annenkov - electric guitars (track 2 - 7, 9)
Alexey Khorolskiy - electric guitars (track 2 - 5, 9)
Roman Goloborda - electric guitars ( track 1 - 4, 7)
Sergey Kovalev - bayan (track 2, 3, 9), vocals (track 3, 8) , harmonica (track 8)
Helen Bour - oboe (track 3, 7 - 9)
Roman Vinskovskiy - sax (track 2, 3, 7)
Dmitry Bondarev - trumpet (track 2 - 4, 7)
Timophey Brahin - trombone (track 2 - 4, 7)
Oksana Podmarova - cello (track 2, 3, 6 - 9)
Lesya Kofanova - flute (track 1 - 3, 6)
Roman Gorelov - acoustic (track 2, 3, 8, 9), electric guitars (track 8)
Roman Philonenko - acoustic guitars (track 3, 4, 9)
Yuri Nemirovsky - Clarinet (track 5)

:::Jazz Europe Express – Belarus:::

Posted: by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

This eponymous album id Rational Diet's third since the start of the millennium, and their expanded line-up (now a sextet) play a seldom-developed Zeuhlian-laced RIO (along with a few guest musicians) that comes between Univers Zero and Art Zoyd and can be easily fitted in the chamber rock mould. This album is a compilation of their previous two releases.
In no small part, their RIO-sound is very much due to Appow's bassoon (mixed unusually loud), but Putschina's cello is also very present (perfectly complementary of Christya's violin), their music is entirely acoustic and apart from three centre tracks, mainly instrumental, the vocals including some "texts by the Russian Avant-garde poets Daniil Charms and Alexei Kruchemykh", but those vocals are sufficiently weird to give an original slant to their music. Particularly impressive in the second half of Order From Horses, where the group pulls quite a tight performance, grooving insanely to an indecently complex rhythm pattern. The two-part From The Grey Notebook, book-ending the album, is another biggie, especially in its closing section, as those weird vocals give the listener the envy to replay the album. While I have difficulty finding all of the influences they boldly state (see the opening page on this site), I can definitely hear Shostakovich, Ives, Univers Zero, Present, Debile Menthol and the unmentioned early-Art Zoyd.
While I wouldn't call Rational Diet a vulgar clone band (like all too often the case in other areas of prog rock), it is clear that they wear their influences a bit to openly to be truly taken at face value. But RD does manage to bring their own sensibilities to their brand of RIO, so they might just be considered as still quite creative while having a retro-sound, a bit like Anglagard in Symphonic prog and Volaré in Canterbury prog in the 90's. In spite of those all-too-obvious influences, RD's third albums is much worth a listen, partly due to its quaint Russians-sung vocals, bringing in a special flavour that allows it to stand on its own.
:::Review by Sean Trane:::

Rational Diet - Rational Diet (2007)

1. From The Grey Notebook - Intro (0:23)
2. From The Grey Notebook - Part 1 (5:05)
3. Stop Kolpakoff! (9:57)
4. I Refrained From Closing My Ears (12:15)
5. An Order For Horses (8:52)
6. Don't Swing The Wheel (10:37)
7. From The Grey Notebook - Part 2 (13:48)

Credits
- Vitaly Appow / bassoon, tenor sax, accordeon
- Maxim Velvetov / guitars
- Cyrill Christya / violin
- Dmitry Maslovsky / bass
- Eugeny Alexeyev / keyboards
- Nikolay Gumberg / drums

Guest musicians
- Alta Pustchina / cello
- Cyrill Yelshow / vocals (7)
- Maria Lagodich / vocals (5, 6)
- Andrew Bodanow / voice (3, 4, 6)
- Oleg Gorbatiuk / voice (4)

:::Jazz Europe Express – Lithuania:::

Posted: Wednesday, 1 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:
1

Giedrius Kuprevicius, composer and Argo's founder, played carillon in his hometown of Kaunas from he was 13.Later graduated by Music Academy he became renowned composer and author of first Lithuanian rock-opera (1975). In late 70-s he became attracted with electronic music and founded Argo as "electronic music group".
"Sviesa" ("The Light") is band's second album. Even if title "electronic music band" is placed even on LP's cover, electronic sound is only part of common album's music. Such accent on "electronic" was understandable more as fashion of time.
In fact, Argo was quite classic band with guitar/bass/drums plus two synth/keys on board. Main attraction (for the time) was first domestic electronic organ "Vilnius-5" ( by the way produced on secret Soviet military electronics factory as "side-product"). Giedrius classic musical education is obvious in music - even if he combines it with strong jazzy influences. All the music is light, sunny ( in Northern Europe sunny summer's manner) melodic instrumental compositions (with some boy's chorus vocals in places). Plenty of electric organ/synth light spacey effects are more accessories, filling the space. Besides of keyboards, guitar/bass/drums trio plays relaxed, a bit dreamy progressive jazzy prog rock you can often find in Western European albums from early 70-s.
I think big advance of album's music is that electronic keyboards sound never overload true music of classic jazz-rock section. As a result listener hear rare balance between early progressive jazz-rock and electric organ/synth sound. Whenever all music is very melodic, easy accessible, all the album is pleasant , but never cheese.
Never re-released on CD, this album stays a collectors rarity for fans of early Eastern European prog.
:::Review by snobb:::

Argo - Sviesa (1981)

A1 The World Inside Me Is Awake 8:04
A2 Playing With The Sun 3:30
A3 The Day Is So Bright 7:38
B1 Awaking Of Our Senses 7:41
B2 The Ray's Tender Touch 9:32
B3 On Seeing The Light Of Life 2:08

Credits
Bass Guitar - Arturas Kuznecovas
Drums - Arunas Mikuckis
Guitar - Linas Peciura
Synthesizer - Giedrius Kuprevicius , Julius Vilnonis
Vocals - Boys' Chorus "Oakling" (tracks: A1, B3) , Gintaras Kizevicius (tracks: A2, A3, B2)