Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band – No Roses (1971)

LPFrontCover1No Roses is an album by Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band. It was recorded at Sound Techniques, and Air Studios in London, in the summer of 1971. It was produced by Sandy Roberton and Ashley Hutchings (Shirley Collins’ husband at the time). It was released in October 1971 on the Pegasus label.

It is very unusual to have 27 musicians and singers on an album of traditional folk songs. It happened because people simply dropped in during recording sessions and were asked to join in. “The Murder of Maria Marten”, a lengthy song about the Red Barn Murder, is broken into segments, with parts of British folk rock alternating with more traditional parts featuring Shirley Collins’ voice and a hurdy-gurdy drone. Shirley Collins had used a similar technique on “One Night As I Lay on My Bed” on “Adieu to Old England”.

Some songs, for instance Poor Murdered Woman and Murder of Maria Marten, feature large parts of the Fairport Convention line-up of late 1969 (Liege and Lief). In fact, Fairport Convention member Ashley Hutchings appears on all, Simon Nicol and Richard Thompson on eight, and Dave Mattacks on three of the nine songs on this album.

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Claudy Banks includes a composed duo performance by Alan Cave on bassoon and British free jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill – his only performance ever in the context of British folk music. Hal-An-Tow features members of the two acclaimed folk vocal groups The Watersons (Lal and Mike Waterson) and The Young Tradition (Royston Wood). Both drummer Roger Powell and pianist Ian Whiteman previously played together in the band Mighty Baby.

The album title No Roses are the last words of the first verse of the folk song The False Bride (I went down to the forest to gather fine flowers, but the forest won’t yield me no roses.), which Shirley Collins sang on her EP Heroes in Love in 1963. (by wikipedia)

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The labels from the Mooncrest edition

Shirley Collins’ collaboration with the Albion Country Band for No Roses is considered a major event in the history of British folk and British folk-rock. For it was the first time that Collins, roundly acknowledged as one of the best British traditional folk singers, sang with electric accompaniment, and indeed one of the first times that a British traditional folk musician had “gone electric” in the wake of Dave Swarbrick joining Fairport Convention and Martin Carthy joining Steeleye Span. The album itself doesn’t sound too radical, however. At times it sounds something like Fairport Convention with Shirley Collins on lead vocals, which is unsurprising given the presence of Ashley Hutchings on all cuts but one, and Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol on most of the selections (Dave Mattacks plays drums on a few tracks for good measure). The nine songs are almost wholly traditional tunes with Collins’ arrangements, with perhaps a jauntier and folkier mood than that heard in early-’70s Fairport, though not much. It’s more impressive for Collins’ always tasteful smoky vocals than for the imagination of the material, which consolidates the sound of the more traditional wing of early-’70s British folk-rock. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Shirley Collins (vocals)
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Francis Baines (hurdy gurdy)
Dave Bland (concertin, hammer dulcimer)
Ashley Hutchings (bass)
Tim Renwick (guitar)
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Gregg Butler (brass)
Alan Cave (bassoon)
Dolly Collins (piano)
Lol Coxhill (saxophone)
Trevor Crozier (jew´s harp)
Barry Dransfield (fiddle)
Tony Hall (melodeon)
Nic Jones (vocals, fiddle)
John Kirkpatrick (accordion)
Alan Lumsden (bugle)
Dave Mattacks (drums, percussion)
Steve Migden (french horn)
Simon Nicol (guitar, bass, background vocals)
Roger Powell (drums)
Colin Ross (bagpipes)
Richard Thompson (guitar, background vocals)
Ian Whiteman (piano)
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background vocals:
Lal Waterson – Mike Waterson – Royston Wood – Maddy Prior – Barry Dransfield – Royston Wood

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Tracklist:
01. Claudy Banks (B. Copper/R. Copper) 4.37
02. The Little Gypsy Girl (Traditional) 2.16
03. Banks Of The Bann (Traditional) 3.39
04. Murder Of Maria Marten (Traditional) 7.24
05. Van Dieman’s Land (Traditional) 4.59
06. Just As The Tide Was A ‘Flowing (Traditional) 2.13
07. The White Hare (Traditional) 2.43
08. Hal-An-Tow (Traditional) 2.53
09. Poor Murdered Woman (Traditional) 4.26

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Van Der Graaf Generator – The BBC Sessions (1968 – 1971) (Almost Complete) (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgVan der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed.

The band formed at Manchester University, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969. When they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (February 1970), and after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One (December 1970), stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton, saxophonist David Jackson, and drummer Guy Evans. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971.

After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972. They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and frequently touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band finally united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since then, the band has continued as a trio of Hammill, Banton, and Evans, who record and tour regularly in between Hammill’s concurrent solo career.

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The group’s albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers (a trait they shared with King Crimson, whose guitarist Robert Fripp guested on two of their albums), and guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton’s classically influenced organ, and, until his departure, Jackson’s multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, and its members have contributed to his solo albums, he is keen to stress that the band collectively arranges all its material. Hammill’s lyrics frequently covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature.

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His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career. It has been described as “a male Nico” and would later on be cited as an influence by Goth bands in the 1980s. Though the group have generally been commercially unsuccessful outside of early 1970s Italy, they have inspired several musicians, including John Lydon and Julian Cope. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a nice bootleg with many BBC live recordings and I found this item years ago in a blog called “isle-of-noises.blogspot”.

Discover one of the finest prog-rock bands from this period feat mastermind Peter Hammill.

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Personnel:
see backcover + tracklist

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Tracklist: 

18.11.1968 (broadcast 29.12.1968; Maida Vale 4; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Ellis, Evans)
01. People You Were Going To (Hammill) 3.29
02. Afterwards (Hammill) 4.40
03. Necromancer (Hammill) 4.04
04. Octopus (Hammill) 5.45

27.01.1970 (broadcast 07.02.1970; Maida Vale 4; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Potter)
05. Darkness (Hammill/Banton/Jackson) 6.49
06. After The Flood (Hammill) 10.54
07. Refugees (Hammill) 6.20

02.08.1970 (BBC in concert; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Potter)
08. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 8.58
09. Whatever Would Robert Have Said (Hammill/Jackson) 6.55
10. Squid One – Squid Two – Octopus (Hammill) 13.35

12.10.1970 (broadcast 24.10.1970; Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave.; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
11. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 6.07

10.06.1971 (broadcast 25.06.1971 except Vision 23.07.1971; Kensington House; Alan Black Sessions; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
12. Theme One (Martin) 2.59
13. Darkness (Hammill/Banton/Jackson) 7.17
18. Man-Erg (Hammill) 11.03
19. Vision (Hammill) 3.15

23.09.1971 (broadcast 05.10.1971; Concert for BBC; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
20. Man-Erg (Hammill) 10.37
21. W (Hammill) 5.06
22. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 7.57
23. Theme One (Martin) 3.09
24. March Of The Dambusters (Hammill) 1.19

14.12.1971 (broadcast 29.12.1971; Maide Vale 4; John Peel session; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Smith)
25. An Epidemic Of Father Christmases (Smith) 5.00
26. Lemmings (Hammill) 10.51
27. Refugees (Hammill) 6.16

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Klaus Weiss Sextet – Sunbirds (1971)

FrontCover1Discovery is perhaps the single most pleasurable feature that awaits the prog enthusiast, similar perhaps to the wine lover who is in constant search for a new vintage, a fresh varietal to quench his thirst. Because of the vast array of sub genres, there is a seemingly limitless treasure trove of unknown albums that lie hidden barely beneath the sand, waiting to be unearthed. Such is the case with the multi-national Sunbirds, a gift from my pal Mellotron Storm who ignited my curiosity with his review (isn’t that the real purpose of this site?) and the find is curiously attractive, as I am currently in a heavy jazz-rock-fusion mode (happens often in winter) with arrivals of the first 4 Nucleus albums and Isotope’s Gary Boyle, all to be reviewed imminently. Just like with a sunken cache, the jewel is tarnished only by time and in fact, only glows brighter than ever before with each listen. The first comment remains concretely evident in that the early 70s were nothing more than a giant organic laboratory of experimentation with a huge arsenal of modern instruments for the time, electric piano, synths and treated electric guitars, all conspiring to alter the limits of jazz by providing a solid rock backbone.

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There is nothing more pleasing than the e-piano, the celebrated Fender Rhodes in particular and this debut has endless cascades of the glorious keyboard within its grooves, here played by Fritz Pauer . Belgian guitarist Phillip Catherine sizzles fiercely when called upon which is often and the delectable flute also has a predominant role. This is groove music par excellence, an all-instrumental blitz that powers forward with reptilian efficiency, urbane at some moments and galactically spacey at others. On “Sunshine”, Catherine palpitates brilliantly within the confines of a sweltering mass of trippy notes, while on the scintillating “Kwaeli” the flute and bass enjoy a slow dance of loving embrace, as American jazz stalwart Jimmy Woode lays down a fierce bass furrow that burrows deeply into the psyche, the guitar hovering over the entity with bold confidence, sounding like much very early Santana.

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When the e-piano enters the fray, well?.wow! You have to marvel at the deft musicianship. That perceivable Latin flavor is proven by the “Spanish Sun” track, perhaps even the highlight piece here, sounding like some soundtrack to a 70s American movie filmed in San Francisco, breezy, trippy, groovy and all the cool words used back then apply. The riffling rhythm guitar is simply superb, whilst the flute dances above the fray with manic delicacy, propelled by Klaus Weiss’ spontaneous drumming. “Blues for D.S.” just keeps glowing cheerfully, the bass and drums setting down a crawling groove on which the soloists can evoke sensational sequences of sounds that seeks out the most far-flung expanses without becoming cheesy. The rumbling organ does well in inspiring the simmering pot effect. “Sunrise” like the title suggests is vivacious, funky, playful and gently intense. The mood is super-cool and Catherine’s playing style explains why he replaced Jan Akkerman in latter day Focus, loads of “flick o the wrist” riffs abound , rekindling images of the jam tracks off Focus “3” album. The finale is called “Fire Dance” and once again, the onus is on heat and shimmer, with the axe blasting forth with relish (and mustard!) , the groove shining bright and you can imagine the smile on the musicians faces as this simmers to an end. Incredible music.

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Some may slimily claim that this is very dated and has no context by today’s standards but we are dealing with an ancient musical artifact that is essentially timeless. Hey, Miles Davis, Mozart, Bach and countless others still thrill to the gills, so why not the Sunbirds? This is a tremendous recording that has a distinctive place in the prog heritage. Thanks, John via Greg Walker (networking works!). In terms of prog academia, if you ever wanted to get into an electric piano orgy, look no further! (by tszirmay)

Listen and you´ll hear timeless music !!! This is a hyptnotic album, believe me !

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Personnel:
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Fritz Pauer (piano)
Ferdinand Povel (saxophone, flute)
Juan Romero (percussion)
Klaus Weiss (drums)
Jimmy Woode (bass)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Kwaeli (Catherine) 3.44
02. Sunrise (Pauer) 5.35
03. Spanish Sun (Povel/Pauer/Woode/Weiss/Catherine) 12.17
04. Sunshine (Pauer) 6.54
05. Sunbirds (Pauer) 9.41
06. Blues For D.S. (Woode) 8.01
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07. Dreams (Weiss/Woode/Pauer/Povel/Catherine) 9.42
07. Fire Dance (Pauer) 6.51
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Game – Long Hot Summer (1971)

FrontCover1.JPGA very interesting band from Florida …

Singers/guitarists Eddie Keating and Chuck Kirkpatrick, drummer Scott Kirkpatrick, keyboard player Les Luhring and singer/bassist George Terry had all been members of the Southern Florida based Proctor Amusement Company. The band had become quite popular throughout the region, even recording a couple of singles and an unreleased LP for the New York based Faithful Virtue label before calling it quits. While Proctor Amusement Company had come to an end, by 1969 the five were playing Southern Florida clubs as Game.

After the release of their intersting debut album “Game”, the band relocated 1970 to Southern California. Original drummer Scott Kirkpatrick dropped out before the move, replaced by Dave Robinson. Over the next two years the band recorded a considerable amount of material, but found no takers. Forced to start playing local clubs when their long time financial benefactor threatened to cut off support, Robinson and Terry called it quits, returning to Florida. Terry subsequently hit the big time as a member of Eric Clapton’s band. Enduring a series of personnel changes, the band continued to play through 1978. Chuck Kirkpatrick recorded an instantly obscure solo album for Capitol before returning to Miami where he spent some time recording and touring with Firefall, eventually starting his own business. (by badcatrecords.com).

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GAME was an evolutionary band, both in personnel and musical style. Basically, we were the marriage of the better halves of two very well-known local bands; Proctor A. C. and a group called BRIDGE. Bridge was very progressive and did alot of English and blues-based material, while PAC was very much a pop vocal group. PAC had a little more of an advantage in that we were doing a local TV show weekly and were somewhat more ‘visible’. When our drummer got drafted from PAC, we ‘stole’ the drummer from Bridge (my brother). Next was the lead singer, Eddie, and finally the keyboard player, Les Luhring. Bridge dissolved, and PAC for a time remained a pop cover band, doing alot of Association, Beach Boys, Fifth Dimension material and getting a lot of high-paying gigs because of our fashionable appearanace and classy stage show.

The turning point came one night after playing a prom. The audience of high school kids were not only ignoring us, but were drunk and throwing up all over the dance floor. In our hotel room afterwards, we vowed to get out from under the stigma of being just another local cover band and start writing and performing our own material.

We had recorded an album prior to this ‘transformation’ that was all original material, but it was somewhat ‘lightweight’ and did not impress anyone in New York where our manager tried to shop it. That was my Brian WIlson/Pet Sounds moment, where after laboring for nearly a year to producing that album, I was completely devastated by its rejection.

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We managed to pick up the pieces and start writing in another direction that would eventually lead to that first GAME album. I consider it a masterpiece in that it was entirely self-produced and recorded on only 8 tracks. My experience as an engineer helped alot. The energy and cohesiveness of the band at this period was at its peak, and our live shows became legendary.

Unfortunately, things began to change and by the time we got to “Long Hot Summer”, we were already beginning to fracture as a band. Everyone in the group decided to become a producer of his own songs, and the direction became clouded. It was still a good album, but one that was much more difficult to make for many reasons. (by bandmember Chuck Kirkpatrick)

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And here´s their second and last album … The combine power rock with laid back Westcoast music …. and they have studied “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young” very good. And “Feeling Good” sounds like an early version of the Power Pop/Rock band “Boston” !

Maybe you can composeand play such songs only, when you raised up in Florida, the sunshine state.

And everybody should know, that George Terry later joined the Eric Clapton Band ,,, and then he became a well-known session player.

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Personnel:
Eddie Keating (bass)
Chuck Kirkpatrick (guitar)
Scott Kirkpatrick (drums)
Les Luhring (keyboards)
George Terry (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. The Rock And Roll Medley 6.59
01.1. We’re On The Road This Weekend (Keating)
01.2. Rock And Roll Me Baby (Terry)
02. Man In Black (C.Kirkpatrick) 2.03
03. Sunshine 79 (S.Kirkpatrick) 4.47
04. Two Songs For The Senorita (Keating) 6.42
05. I’ll Be Back Someday (Terry) 2.50
06. Laying Back (Luhring) 3.51
07. Animal Friends (Keating) 4.11
08. Feeling Good (Luhring) 3.10
09. Changes (Terry) 3.57
10. Mountain Song (C.Kirkpatrick) 4.14

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Fire – Could You Understand Me (1973)

LPFrontCover1A real strange story:

One of the fiercest and most loud yu rock bands, Fire has sprung just here in my town, Čakovec. Yes, it was 1973., and Yugoslavia has already cracked some of its top aces such as Grupa 220, Time or Pop mašina. Band Jutro was also playing here, the band which will soon become Bijelo Dugme. However, despite all the number of decibels that were coming out from the amplifier of the band Fire, a small number of people heard them here. It certainly contributes to the fact that their lyrics were mostly in English ((as in Yugoslavia that was a rarity) and on the other hand their music was a little bit too much “underground” for people’s taste then. Of course there were bands with similar musical preferences, but they all more or less opportunistically adhere to a compromise with the record companies who wanted their piece of the pie, so they forced bands to record pure pop songs as possible hits. This is precisely the reason why serious Yugoslav rock audience those days listened mostly to B-sides of singles, because only there the band sounded exactly as they wanted to. In desire for commercial success, pop songs were recorded by Korni Grupa who were otherwise inclined jazz-rock, Bijelo Dugme (clones of Led Zeppelin), and even Time, great Yugoslavian prog rock band. However, Fire were uncompromising – they rather went into exile in Holland, where they recorded “Could you understand me”. Fire followed the tradition of power trios such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Groundhogs, Taste, Grand Funk Railroad … only they were a little fiercer sounding about like Truth and Janey few years later. Explosive fuzz, riffs, solos which growl like mad dogs, maniacal drumming – that’s how we could describe their music. Approximately that’s how at the time sounded Four Levels of Existence from Greece (which they are often compared with), Tiger B. Smith from Germany, Terje Jesper & Joachim from Denmark, and their countrymen Pop Mašina too.

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And so, since no gigs in the Netherlands, nor in Germany did not result with success, at the end of the 1976 they returned home, where they recorded the single “If You’re Alone”, which is quite a good fit in the concept of pre-recorded LP. But then strange things started happening – they entered a strange symbiosis with a band Demoni, and for some time even played entitled Demoni – Fire, but in the end that setup again was just called Demoni. The previous sound was drowned and attenuated by the new pop rock orientation which Demoni are gone, though I must say that their first album, released in 1978th is definitely worth listening to. But this story is certainly not over. Fire plays again, so I saw them this winter in a nearby club. True, Jura Havidić (guitar and vocals) is the only original member that remained, no matter – they played all the old numbers from Dutch LP with occasional rock classics. As the night progressed, more and more it seemed to me that the old man who holds the guitar is little by little becoming a long – haired young man who once again with furious sounds of his faithful guitar conflicts the world. (by Martin Okun)

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Maybe one of the best heavy fuzz albums ever from Europe. A true power trio that came from Yugoslavia but recorded their one and only album in Holland back in 1973. Lyrics in Yugoslavian and English, and so much fuzz it would be enough for ten albums. This is an extremely rare record as it was only released on the private label Killroy in Holland. “Explosive fuzz, riffs, solos which growl like mad dogs, maniacal drumming.” Enjoy! (by http://heavy70s.blogspot.com)

Recorded September 1973 at Theelen Studio, Venray Holland

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Personnel:
Miljenko Balic (bass)
Jura Havidic (guitar, vocals)
Emil Vugrinec (drums, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Could You Understand Me (Havidic) 3.36
02. Dedicated To Love (Balic/Havidic/Vugrinec/Duic) 3.04
03. Memory Of You (Duic/Havidic) 5.08
04. Jeden Divan Dan (A Wonderfull Day) (Balic/Havidic) 7.36
05. Hey You (Havidic) 6.35
06. Where Are You (Vugrinec) 3.23
07. Flames (Balic/Havidic/Vugrinec) 9.01

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Syrinx – Long Lost Relatives (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgFormed in Toronto in the late ’60s, Syrinx was John Mills-Cockell on keyboards, Doug Pringle on saxophone, and percussionist Alan Wells.

Mills-Cockell had worked with Kensington Market, recording the AARDVARK album with producer Felix Pappalardi, before moving to Vancouver to join Hydro-Electric Streetcar. He connected with percussionist Wells, and with the support of Pappalardi, they recorded the first tracks for a new album. Moving back to Toronto, the two reconnected with Pringle, who had earlier partnered with Mills-Cockell for art performances, and Syrinx was born.

Mills-Cockell formed the group with the idea of blending what he had learned in classical music with world music influences and the psychedelic pop rock that was running rampant at the time. The first Canadian groups to employ Moog synthesizers in live performances, they were playing the Toronto coffee house circuit when Bernie Finklestein, who’d just started up True North Records, caught them live and signed them to a deal in 1970.

Their self-titled debut was released that summer, running rampant with synthesized pop that blended eclectic sequencer rhythms and world beats, more often than not courtesy of conga drums. All instrumental and trippy before its time, the record featured several extended tracks, like “Appalosa-Pegasus” and “Chant For Your Dragon King,” both running over 10 minutes each, as well as the eerie “Melina’s Torch” and “Father of Light”, that made it one of the most experimental records of the ’70s anywhere.

The group toured intensively during the early ’70s, playing on bills with Miles Davis on the Bitches Brew tour, and Ravi Shankar in Montreal, and took on ambitious projects writing music for the National Ballet of Canada and the Toronto Dance Theatre. The band’s bigger than life, if not somewhat operatic approach to rock, got the attention of CTV television executives who were looking for someone to write a theme song for a new series, “Here Come The Seventies.” Syrinx was hired, and wrote “Tillicum” or the occasion.

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The exposure led to their second album, LONG LOST RELATIVES in ’71, a record that almost didn’t happen. While laying down tracks at Magic Tracks Recording Studios, an accidental fire destroyed much of the studio and all the equipment inside. Undeterred, the band carried on when fellow musicians decided to hold a benefit show for them, cramming over 2,000 people into a the St Lawrence Market hall. They rented time at Eastern Sound, Thunder Sound, and Pathe-Humphries studios to finish the album.

The record was produced by Eugene Martynec again full of forays into the pop realm, often producing opuses over eight minutes long. “Tillicum” was released as a single, and entered Canada’s RPM chart in the top 100, eventually peaking at #38. Other tracks included “December Angel,” originally conceived for Peter Randazzo’s solo dance with the Toronto Dance Theatre. That song, along with “Syren,” “Ibistix,” and “Field Hymn” made up the composition called “Stringspace.”

They got some additional exposure performing on CBC TV’s program “Music to See,” and added Malcolm Tomlinson on drums and vocals for the upcoming tour that saw them play throughout Ontario and selected dates throughout Canada, and shared the stage with the likes of Deep Purple and a roster of international acts at the Strawberry Fields pop festival.

The band quietly folded in 1973 and everyone went on to do outside projects. Tracks from both albums were given a new life in the new millennium, when club DJs began sampling them. Alan Wells passed away in 2010. (by johnmillscockell.ca)

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A masterwork which against all odds, prevails up to this day.

Against the odds of sharing their name with 2 other bands (one of them is also included here in PA), being way, way ahead of their time music wise and coming from a not exactly “Electronic nor Avant Garde/RiO” country like Canada in 1971 (Tim Hecker and Aidan Baker came much later ).

Not to make a big fuzz, but this work would have been by far, more appreciated in the more “open-minded” , Avant Garde and RiO sub-genre.

It deals a fair amount of synths and electronics, but basically, its music structure is not exactly electronic-like based or better yet, it is the perfect balance between both sub-genres (although the RiO spirit outweights the electronics.)

John Mills-Cockell who makes his synths sound like “real” strings (not joking), headmaster of this SYRINX, had an electronic project in 1968 which went by the name of “INTERSYSTEMS” , which only release appeared the same year, by the same name. So it is undisputable, that Syrinx has an “electronic” upbringing.

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But bandmate Doug Pringle’s bold, , strong yet subtle saxophone lines, makes this kind of “magic blend” happen. In short, in this, their second 1971 last release, they went for all the marbles. (of course the percussions of Malcolm Tomlinson and Alan Wells (deceased November 3, 2010), build up this alternate structure.)

Daring, original, genial, well balanced, way ahead of their times in both sub-genre’s musical composition language and absolutely unpretentious. The mark of the true geniuses

*****5 “flawless” PA stars in both sub-genres. What else can you ask for? (by admireArt)

A great highlight is “December Angel ” and this tune sounds a little bit like the titeltrack of the TV movie “Twin Peaks”.

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Personnel:
John Mills-Cockell (keyboards, synthesizer)
Douglas Pringle (saxophone, bongos, bells, guiro)
Alan Wells (congas, timpani, gong, tambourine)
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Vair Capper (orchestral percussion)
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string section:
Hohn Dembeck – Berul Sugarman – Stanley Solomon – Ronald Lurie – Sam Davis

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Tracklist:
01. Tumblers To The Vault 3.30
02. Syren 6.00
03. December Angel 9.00
04. Ibistix 8.07
05. Field Hymn (Epiloque) 2.55
06. Tillicum 1.54
07. Better Deaf And Dumb From The First 2.54
08. Aurora Spinray 3.30

All tracks written by John Mills-Cockell – Douglas Pringle – Alan Wells

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The Mahavishnu Orchestra – The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Inner Mounting Flame is the debut studio album by multinational jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra, released in August 1971 by Columbia Records. After their formation, the group performed several debut gigs before they entered the studio to record their first album featuring all original material written by guitarist John McLaughlin.

This is the album that made John McLaughlin a semi-household name, a furious, high-energy, yet rigorously conceived meeting of virtuosos that, for all intents and purposes, defined the fusion of jazz and rock a year after Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew breakthrough. It also inadvertently led to the derogatory connotation of the word fusion, for it paved the way for an army of imitators, many of whose excesses and commercial panderings devalued the entire movement. Though much was made of the influence of jazz-influenced improvisation in the Mahavishnu band, it is the rock element that predominates, stemming directly from the electronic innovations of Jimi Hendrix. The improvisations, particularly McLaughlin’s post-Hendrix machine-gun assaults on double-necked electric guitar and Jerry Goodman’s flights on electric violin, owe more to the freakouts that had been circulating in progressive rock circles than to jazz, based as they often are on ostinatos on one chord.

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These still sound genuinely thrilling today, as McLaughlin and Goodman battle Jan Hammer’s keyboards, Rick Laird’s bass, and especially Billy Cobham’s hard-charging drums, whose jazz-trained technique pushed the envelope for all rock drummers. What doesn’t date so well are the composed medium- and high-velocity unison passages that are played in such tight lockstep that they can’t breathe. There is also time out for quieter, reflective numbers that are drenched in studied spirituality (“A Lotus on Irish Streams”) or irony (“You Know You Know”); McLaughlin was to do better in that department with less-driven colleagues elsewhere in his career. Aimed with absolute precision at young rock fans, this record was wildly popular in its day, and it may have been the cause of more blown-out home amplifiers than any other record this side of Deep Purple. (by Richard S. Ginell)

What a line-up !

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Personnel:
Billy Cobham (drums, percussion)
Jerry Goodman (violin)
Jan Hammer (keyboards)
Rick Laird (bass)
John McLaughlin (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Meeting Of The Spirits 6:52
02. Dawn 5.15
03. The Noonward Race 6.29
04. A Lotus On Irish Streams 5.41
05. Vital Transformation 6.16
06. The Dance Of Maya 7.17
07. You Know You Know 5.07
08. Awakening 3.28

Music composed by John McLaughlin

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