Colosseum – Daughter Of Time (1971)

FrontCover1.Daughter of Time is the fourth album by Colosseum, released in 1970. The album remained for five weeks in the UK Albums Chart peaking number 23. Recorded in the midst of an upheaval in the band’s lineup, only one of its eight tracks, “Three Score and Ten, Amen”, features all six of the official band members. (by wikipedia)

A concept album loosely based on man’s fascination and allure for war throughout the ages, Daughter of Time contains all the elements required to create a pure progressive rock album. Joining David Greenslade and Chris Farlowe is Louis Cennamo from Renaissance, who plucks away at the bass guitar with a heavy hand. A multitude of instruments combine to create a brilliant melange of music on every one of the eight songs. Vibrant spurts of trombone, trumpet, and flute are driven to the height of each song, which gives way to some implements of jazz fusion. Rich organ and vibraphone can be heard in behind “Three Score and Ten Amen” and “Take Me Back to Doomsday” adding to the melancholy theme.

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Colossum (with Dave Clempson + Tony Reeves)

Countering this are beautiful string arrangements made up of violin, viola, and cello used effectively to conjure up mood, and doing an excellent job. Even a flügelhorn is blared from time to time on top of the accentuated drums. A spoken word passage from Dick Heckstall-Smith creates an eerie aura, as his voice echoes on about the coming of the apocalypse. Colosseum’s music works extremely well in that it builds suspense and reels the listener into the songs. As far as the lyrics go, they’re stark and foreboding and have a mediaeval taste to them, coinciding with the music perfectly. Each song, all around six minutes in length, should have been longer to let the instruments play out with their illustriousness. Except for the fact that it is a short album, Daughter of Time is a sturdy example of progressive rock. (by Mike DeGagne)

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In other words: this is a classic and timeless album, a must for every serious record collection …

Listen to the great cover version of Jack Bruce´s “Theme For An Imaginary Western” … totally different from the version of Mountain … but what a version … hear Chris Farlowe, hear the drums of Jon Hiseman … and listen to the lyrics of Pete Brown:

When the wagons leave the city
For the forest, and further on
Painted wagons of the morning
Dusty roads where they have gone
Sometimes traveling through the darkness
Met the summer coming home
Fallen faces by the wayside
Looked as if they might have known
Oh the sun was in their eyes
And the desert that dries
In the country towns
Where the laughter sounds

Oh the dancing and the singing
Oh the music when they played
Oh the fires that they started
Oh the girls with no regret
Sometimes they found it
Sometimes they kept it
Often lost it on the way
Fought each other to possess it
Sometimes died in sight of day

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And I got tears in my eyes, when I´m listing to he titel track of this album:

And I saw the…

Daughter to time through the lens of a dream
Reflecting the world as it seems to have been

Riding the night with a net full of stars
Her spirit is truth and her truth is ours

An unbelievable album … a monster album … each track is a classic … including the great drum solo on “The Time Machine”.

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Personnel:
Mark Clarke (bass guitar)
Dave “Clem” Clempson (guitar, vocal on 03.)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibes, background vocals)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone, spoken word on 01.)
Jon Hiseman (drums, percussion)
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Louis Cennamo (bass on 02.,03., 04. + 06.)
Tony Reeves (bass on 08.)
Barbara Thompson (flute. saxophone; background vocals on 01. – 04.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Three Score And Ten, Amen (Clempson/Greenslade/Hiseman) 5:38
02. Time Lament (Greenslade) 6:13
03. Take Me Back To Doomsday (Clempson/Greenslade/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith 4:25
04. The Daughter Of Time (Dennen/Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith) 3:33
05. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 4:07
06. Bring Out Your Dead (Clempson/Greenslade) 4:20
07. Downhill And Shadows (Clempson/Hiseman/Reeves) 6:13
08. The Time Machine (live) (Hiseman) 8.11

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Colosseum – Valentyne Suite (1969)

frontcover1Valentyne Suite was the second album released by the band Colosseum. It was Vertigo Records’ first album release, and reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart in 1969.[1]
Though the song “The Kettle” is officially listed as having been written by Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, a credit which is confirmed by Hiseman’s liner notes for the album, bassist and producer Tony Reeves later claimed that it was written by guitarist and vocalist James Litherland. (by Wikipedia)
One of England’s prime jazz-rock — or, more accurately, rock-jazz — outfits, most of the members of Colossuem had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both “The Kettle” and “Butty’s Blues” are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well in a grander context; in the latter case much grander, as a brass ensemble enters for the last part, drowning out everything but the guitar, an indication that this recording is in dire need of remastering. “Elegy” is a fast-paced, minor-key blues that stretches guitarist James Litherland’s vocal abilities. Things do get far more interesting with “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice,” which offers solo opportunities to organist Dave Greenslade and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith before re-emerging in what can only be called a proto-industrial style, all heavily treated clattering percussion.
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The album’s real joy comes with “The Valentyne Suite,” which takes the band out of their bluesy comfort zone into something closer to prog rock. Bandleader Jon Hiseman is a stalwart throughout, his busy drumming and fills owing far more to jazz than the studied backbeat of rock. Greenslade proves to be a largely unsung hero, his only real solo in the suite something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing. As to criticism, bassist Tony Reeves has very little flow to his playing, which severely hampers a rhythm section that needs to be loose-limbed, and Litherland’s guitar playing is formulaic, which can be fine for rock, but once outside the most straightforward parameters, he seems lost. In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable, and for much of the time, extremely enjoyable. (by Chris Nickson )
Without any doubts: This is one of the finest jazz-rock albums ever recorded and this is one of my most favourite Albums.
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Live at the Bath Festival, June 28th, 1969
Personnel:
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibraphone, background vocal on 03.)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophones, flute)
Jon Hiseman (drums, percussion)
James Litherland (guitar, vocals)
Tony Reeves (bass)

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Neil Ardley (conductor)
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Tracklist:
01. The Kettle (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 6.46
02. Elegy (Litherland) 3.14
03. Butty’s Blues (Litherland) 3.28
04. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Litherland, Heckstall-Smith/Brown, Hiseman) 3:55
05. Valentyne Suite Theme One: January’s Search (Greenslade) 6.20
06. Valentyne Suite Theme Two: February’s Valentyne (Greenslade) 6.57
07. Valentyne Suite Theme Three: The Grass is Always Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 3.37
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Colosseum – Those Who Are About To Die (1969)

FrontCover1Those Who Are About to Die Salute You – Morituri Te Salutant is the debut album by Colosseum, released in 1969 by Fontana. It is one of the pioneering albums of jazz fusion. The title is a translation of the Latin phrase morituri te salutant that according to popular belief (but not academic agreement), gladiators addressed to the emperor before the beginning of a gladiatorial match.

The album reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart.

“Debut” is the very first song Colosseum ever played as a group. Tony Reeves later recalled that “[“Debut”] was actually a phrase that I remembered Mick Taylor playing with John Mayall, and I changed it a bit into a bass line.  And then the band all joined in – this is what happens during rehearsals – so technically you should have everybody’s name in the writing credit, including, I guess, Mick Taylor’s!”

“Mandarin” started from a series of sketches by Dave Greenslade based on a Japanese soft scale. Tony Reeves compiled the sketches into the main theme and arranged the song.

“Beware the Ides of March” borrows a theme of the fugue of “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach (Bach BWV 565). (by wikipedia)

Colosseum’s debut album is a powerful one, unleashing each member’s instrumental prowess at one point while consolidating each talent to form an explosive outpouring of progressive jazz/rock the next. Those Who Are About to Die Salute You is coated with the volatile saxophone playing of Dick Heckstall-Smith, the thunderous keyboard assault of Dave Greenslade, and the bewildering guitar craft of James Litherland. Together,

Tony Reeves

Tony Reeves

Colosseum skitters and glides through brisk musical spectrums of freestyle ]jazz and British blues, sometimes held tightly in place by Greenslade’s Hammond organ, while other times let loose by the brilliancy of the horn and string interplay. Each song sparks its own personality and its very own energy level, giving the band instant notoriety upon the album’s release in 1969. Not only did Colosseum sound different from other jazz fusion bands of the era, but they could easily take the unconventional elements of their style and churn them into palatable and highly significant musical thoroughfares. Some of the more compelling tracks include “Walking in the Park,” led by its powerful trumpet segments, and “Pretty Hard Luck,” which embarks on a stylish blues excursion with colorful keyboard sections on the periphery. “Beware the Ides of March” borrows a page out of J.S. Bach’s notebook and turns his classical poignancy inside out, while “Mandarin” and “Backwater Blues” are created with the perfect jazz and blues friendship in mind, representing Colosseum’s fused sound spotlessly. Best of all, the album never strays from its intensity or its creativity, the very foundation that the band is built on. Their next album, Valentyne Suite, mirrors the same instrumental congruity as Those Who Are About to Die, and is equally entertaining. (by Mike DeGagne)

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Personnel:
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibraphone, piano, background vocals on 06.)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Jon Hiseman (drums)
James Litherland (guitar, vocals)
Tony Reeves (bass)
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Henry Lowther (trumpet on 01.)
Jim Roche (guitar on 07.)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Walking In The Park (Bond) 3.51
02. Plenty Hard Luck (Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Litherland/Reeves) 4.23
03. Mandarin (Reeves/Greenslade) 4.27
04. Debut (Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Reeves) 6.20
05. Beware The Ides Of March (Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Reeves) 5.34
06. The Road She Walked Before (Heckstall-Smith) 2.39
07. Backwater Blues (Leadbelly) 7.35
08. Those About To Die (Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Reeves) 4.49

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