March 31, 2020

Buenos Aires Jazz Fusion ‎– Buenos Aires Jazz Fusion Volumen 1 (1982, LP, Argentina)

A1. Telmo San - 6:42
A2. Deseos Para Jose - 4:30
A3. Tema Para Trane - 7:14
B1. Toledo - 6:41
B2. Un Hombre, Un Amanecer - 5:04
B3. Desde Muy Abato - 7:43

Néstor Astarita/ Drums
Bernardo Baraj/ Saxophone
Dino Saluzzi/ Bandoneón
Jorge "Negro" González/ Contrabass
Litto Nebbia/ Vocals, Keyboards
Norberto Machline/ Piano
Roberto Fats Fernández/ Trumpet
Rubén López Furst/ Piano
Norberto Minichillo/ Vibraphone
Rubén Rada/ Vocals, Percussion
Horacio "Chivo" Borraro/ Saxophone
Alejandro Kalinoski/ Piano
Bucky Arcella/ Bass
Pocho Porteño/ Percussion

March 27, 2020

Louis Banks' Sangam ‎– City Life (1983, LP, India)

A1 - City Life (17:48)
A2 - Rama (2:51)
B1 - Dawn (9:14)
B2 - Prayanam (7:27)
B3 - Shanti (4:17)

Louis Banks - keyboards, arranger
Rama Mani - vocals, tanpura
Braz Gonsalves - tenor/soprano saxophones
Ranjit Barot - drums, khanjira
Karl Peters - bass
Ramesh Shottam - thavil, ghatam, percussion
Rajagopalan - miridangam, ghatam

Louis Banks (real name Dambar Bahadur Budaprithi), is an Indian jazz pianist who's worked with some of the big names in the jazz/fusion scene, including John McLaughlin. In the early 80s he got together with percussionist Ramesh Shotham and a group of musicians from the Karnataka College of Percussion to form the band Sangam, with the clear goal of mixing jazz-rock fusion with the virtuosic traditional music of India. They went on tour in Europe, and ended up collaborating with Embryo, who Shotham (the composer of all of Sangam's material) would play with off and on throughout the 80s. The group apparently didn't stay together for too long, but their album, recorded in Munich and co-produced by Christian Burchard, is a great piece of classic jazz-rock/ethnic fusion that has remained surprisingly obscure, despite its notable lineage. The first side is dominated by a massive, nearly side-long track, reaching a frenzied level of intensity that will leave your head spinning. Things calm down and get a bit moodier after that, but the standard remains very high throughout. Now, the strange thing here is that there are actually two different versions of this album. The first was released on the small German label Eigelstein under the title "Jazz Yatra Sextet", followed less than a year later by the CBS version reviewed here. Having heard both of them, I can say that the track orders are completely different, as are some of the track lengths, although the recordings themselves seem mostly identical. I'm only speculating here, but I think what might have happened is that once they received a little bit of exposure in Europe and got signed to a major label, they decided to re-arrange the material a bit to better suit their liking. However, the CBS version actually seems to be the rarer of the two, oddly enough. (CdReissueWishList)

March 25, 2020

Thomas Flinter ‎– Thomas Flinter (1978, LP, Netherlands)

Side One
1. Old Man (7:42)
2. Flinter Funk (3:47)
3. Variant (8:46)
  - Part 1 (3:46)
  - Part 2 (3:18)
  - Part 3 (3:43)
Side Two
1. Brass For Farmer T (8:40)
2. Fuga (4:17)
3. Tappster (fill another ale (6:48)

Ad Maas / keyboards, percussion, recorder, vocals
Karel De Greef / guitar, percussion, recorder, vocals
Tjin Heymans / guitar, percussion, recorder, vocals
Harry Hofmans / drums, percussion, lead vocals
Maarten Holtz / bass guitar

Thomas Flinter, named after a medieval troubadour, is another fine Dutch instrumental progressive rock band. There are a couple of vocals tracks that bookend this release. The opener seems to be a slight try for a radio hit, though at over 7 minutes - complete with complex instrumental sections - seems like an odd choice. The vocalist sings in a heavily affected baritone style and it frankly sounds goofy. The final track is a traditional, heavily rearranged and features chorus vocals. Musically it reminds me of early 70's Focus, though vocally it's closer to Gentle Giant. And, after the opener, I have to say I'm surprised by how good the vocals are here. Otherwise the album is a very fine instrumental rock album similar to Lady Lake or even some Finch, especially from "Galleons of Passion". An excellent album.

Vangelis ‎– The Dragon (1978, LP, Greece)

A. The Dragon (15:00)
B1. Stuffed Aubergine (11:27)
B2. Stuffed Tomato (9:24)

Bass Guitar – Brian Odger
Drums – Mick Waller
Guitar – Anargyros Koulouris 'Arghiris'
Keyboards, Percussion – Evangelos Papathanassiou
Violin – Michel Ripoche

"The Dragon" is a composition by Vangelis recorded in 1971 and released in 1978 on an album of the same name. It is an odd piece in Vangelis catalogue. In fact - it is not even officially released - the 1978 album was a cash-in bootleg. Vangelis himself disowned it and characterized as "bad" because it was never really finished. What you can hear is a sketch. A starting point, something meant to be developed but ultimately left undone.

"The Dragon" is long and brooding stomp with some eastern stylings. It is composed in epic fantasy medieval style. It is very much like very-very drawned-out composition of Vangelis former Aphrodite's Child - just bigger, longer and more about the journey than a destination. The length of "The Dragon" is its defining feature. It goes and goes and goes. It moves forward relentlessly. This makes a lot of space for musicians to play off each other occassionally returning to a central theme before bouncong back to another soloing bout.

March 23, 2020

Юрий Морозов - Неизъяснимое [Yuri Morozov - Inexplicable] (1978, USSR)

A1 Неизъяснимое (part 1) 00:00
A2 Неизъяснимое (part 2) 03:37
A3 Неизъяснимое (part 3) 06:30
A4 Неизъяснимое (part 4) 11:53
B1 Неизъяснимое (part 5) 15:17

Yuri Vasilyevich Morozov (Russian: Юрий Морозов, March 6, 1948 -- February 24, 2006), was a Russian rock Multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and composer. He created his own style using Progressive rock, Psychedelic rock, Experimental music, Folk music, Jazz and many more.

Harry Roesli ‎– Gadis Plastik (1977, Cassette, Indonesia)