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14 Nov 2016

Burnin Red Ivanhoe “ M 144" 1969 double LP Danish Prog Psych Rock











Burnin Red Ivanhoe “ M 144"  1969 double LP Danish Prog Psych Rock
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M144 is the debut album from experimental Danish Jazz/ rock act Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. Heavily rooted in the Danish jazz scene in the sixties Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe began to incorporate more rock influences into their music and soon had a good following in their native Denmark. M144 was released in 1969 and was one of the few Danish rock albums from that time with an international sound. The band enjoyed quite a success internationally especially in the UK where the album actually charted as one of the first foreign albums ever. Germany and the rest of Scandinavia were also markets for Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. 
M144 is a double album which was also something that was very unusual for Danish artists in 1969. The first LP has Danish sung lyrics while the second has English sung lyrics. About half of the songs are instrumental though. The lyrics are generally pretty fragmented and weird. I´m not sure but Ridder Rød ( Red Knight) does sound like there are some socialist thoughts put into it ( which was a very common thing in Danish lyrics from this time). Kaj is a pretty hilarious song about the lonely guy named Kaj who is only interested in girls on pictures. He lives with his aunt who is very interested in him ( censorship bip bip). 

The album is full of great bluesy jazz/ rock tunes, very much in the vein of bands like Colosseum and Audience. Lots of brass and catchy hooks. Songs like Antique Peppermint, Medardus ( with vocals that remind me of Magma) and Saxophonepiece 1 and 2 are all excellent mostly instrumental jazz/ rock songs. Songs like Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne, Ridder Rød, Marsfesten, Kaj and Purple Hearts also showcase Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe´s high level of compositional and technical skill. Ksilioy ends the album and I must admit that it´s a bit too much for me with the repetitive midsection even though the musicianship is outstanding in this song. 

The CD version is a double CD with six added extra songs where Why Don’t You Trust is the most exciting one. Kaj is there again in a version recorded in 1997. 

The musicianship is excellent and all involved are higly skilled musicians. Especially the brass playing is of an extremely high standard. 

The production is excellent. Great organic mix. 

What I enjoy so much about the album is that it never gets too jazzy. It´s always more rock music than jazz ditto and that´s how I like it. M144 is without a doubt one of the most groundbreaking releases in Danish music history and it´s a great progressive rock album as well. It´s close to being a masterpiece but not quite and 4 stars is well deserved. It´s a highly recommendable bluesy Jazz/ rock album. Maybe one of the best out there. ….. by UMUR ….. 
One of the earliest (if not the earliest) progressive rock album of Scandinavia and certainly of Denmark (along with Culpepper’s Orchard), BRI’s debut album is also notable for being a double one (fighting with Norway’s Junipher Greene for that title) and is filled with very diverse influences. Resolutely rock in spirit, the album oscillates between the blues, soul, jazz (or more likely jazz-rock) and many more folkloric styles, without actually being folky. 

Armed with their double-wind section attack (the group is actually an septet - two different bassist used - if I judge by the album credits), the group’s evident forays would of course head towards jazz, and therefore jazz-rock, but a strange mix of Chicago Transit Authority and Colosseum. To say that such an obscure rtecord received the best of production in lonely Copenhagen would be the over-statement of the year, but the album has not really azged badly either. 

One of the strange things about this album is that although there are some twenty tracks, none of them obviously jump out as highlights (well maybe - just maybe - Purple Heart and its follow-up Larsens), and likewise none are weaker than just average. But it does appear that the second disc is slightly better than the first, but I am not sure where which stops and which starts for I review the CD version.. 

Just barely noticeable is Claesson’s violin in Kaj, Menzer’s flute in the following Tingel- tangelmanten (whatever.;-), but we do notice the mouth harp (over-mixed) in Laeg Dig. The blues are an indispensable part of their repertoire and therefore maybe creating a slight sense of disinterest for part of the album, but be careful not paying attention; you could be missing out something the second you start drifting. And you might just bne missiong the impressive Killjoy finale. 

Karsten Vogel (a jazz scene hanger-on since 61) would then go on as the leader of Secret Oyster, which is aptly, named since this group still remains one of the best-kept secrets of Denmark, and safely tucked away in an oyster. Back to this debut album, although hardly essential, if you are into Colosseum, this (BRI’s early albums) could be a must for you. Having borrowed it for the last month from a friend for reviewing purposes, I still contemplate whether acquiring it or not. And believe me, this is tough choice for there are superb moments in it, especially given its age and its background…..by Sean Trane….. 

Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe was formed back in 1967, and that makes them one of the first scandinavian prog bands. Their style was quite original from the start, blending jazz-rock with R&B, blues, psychedelia etc.. their debut from 1969 (double album) “M 144” sounds somewhat like THE WHO with jazz influences. Most of Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe’s albums have that certain scandinavian touch to it, similar to early 70’s prog groups such as WIGWAM, CULPEPER’S ORCHARD and TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI. In 1971, the band released the album “WWW”, which is probably a good place to start (for proggers), as it contains some of their most progressive and interesting work. The self-titled album they released in 1970 (another gem!), also contains the track “Secret Oyster Service”, and quite soon after that, a new, even more jazz-orientated group was formed, called SECRET OYSTER. Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe was disbanded in 1972 (although they released one more album in 1974), and as a result, most members moved over to SECRET OYSTER. Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe is recommended for fans of early scandinavian prog rock. 

M144 is the debut album from experimental Danish Jazz/ rock act Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. Heavily rooted in the Danish jazz scene in the sixties Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe began to incorporate more rock influences into their music and soon had a good following in their native Denmark. M144 was released in 1969 and was one of the few Danish rock albums from that time with an international sound. The band enjoyed quite a success internationally especially in the UK where the album actually charted as one of the first foreign albums ever. Germany and the rest of Scandinavia were also markets for Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. 
M144 is a double album which was also something that was very unusual for Danish artists in 1969. The first LP has Danish sung lyrics while the second has English sung lyrics. About half of the songs are instrumental though. The lyrics are generally pretty fragmented and weird. I´m not sure but Ridder Rød ( Red Knight) does sound like there are some socialist thoughts put into it ( which was a very common thing in Danish lyrics from this time). Kaj is a pretty hilarious song about the lonely guy named Kaj who is only interested in girls on pictures. He lives with his aunt who is very interested in him ( censorship bip bip). 

The album is full of great bluesy jazz/ rock tunes, very much in the vein of bands like Colosseum and Audience. Lots of brass and catchy hooks. Songs like Antique Peppermint, Medardus ( with vocals that remind me of Magma) and Saxophonepiece 1 and 2 are all excellent mostly instrumental jazz/ rock songs. Songs like Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne, Ridder Rød, Marsfesten, Kaj and Purple Hearts also showcase Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe´s high level of compositional and technical skill. Ksilioy ends the album and I must admit that it´s a bit too much for me with the repetitive midsection even though the musicianship is outstanding in this song…… 

Burnin Red Ivanhoe is a Danish progressive rock band which was formed by Karsten Vogel in 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark. After a couple of years touring, the band were signed by the Sonet label in 1969 and released their debut album M144. In the UK, the group’s record distribution was done by Dandelion Records after Peel heard their debut album. They also received some positive write-ups in the Melody Maker. After several albums, the group split in 1974 with Karsten Vogel forming Secret Oyster. One of the earliest (if not the earliest) progressive rock album of Scandinavia and certainly of Denmark (along with Culpepper’s Orchard), BRI’s debut album is also notable for being a double one (fighting with Norway’s Junipher Greene for that title) and is filled with very diverse influences. Resolutely rock in spirit, the album oscillates between the blues, soul, jazz (or more likely jazz-rock) and many more folkloric styles, without actually being folky. When BRI released their debut in 1969 the band existed already for two years. Thus it’s not surprising that they’ve gathered already enough material to fill a double album. Originally their music was rooted in blues-rock with a strong psyche folk influence as demonstrated in most of the shorter tracks. Perhaps one of the most important album from Denmark and for the first time reissued with the original POP-UP sleeve, which was quiet a nightmare to produce. Burnin Red Ivanhoe is still playing live and when you are lucky you can see a concert in Denmark…….. 

But how did the Danish free jazzers – of which there were many – respond to this new onslaught of the experimental rock lifestyle? Rising out of the Copenhagen free jazz community in May 1967, Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe was born of the desires of sax player Karsten Vogel and his poet friend Erik Wille to create a concoction of ‘avant garde jazz, beat music, The Who and Albert Ayler’. After many early personnel changes, the be-Afro’d Vogel inveigled the services of longhair drummer Bo Thrige Anderson, Skaggerak little-person and wind player Kim Menzer, archetypal bass quiet man Jess Stæhr, and the blond hippy Viking Ole Fick as lead singer and guitarist. Although their first record was a relatively slow train coming, in February 1969, Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe’s debut immediately made its mark by being the first ever double-LP on the Danish scene. 
Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe M-144 
Housed in a bright orange gatefold sleeve with loud artless U.S. Army ‘M.A.S.H.’ style lettering, M144 was as vivid a statement as any in the late 1960s, and contained a kind of inspired underground music that would have been at home on the German scene. Dominated by Karsten Vogel’s declamatory David Jackson-styled alto saxophone and guitarist Ole Fick’s changeling vocals (one moment cooing and kittenish/the next moment strident and belligerent) Peter Hamillish vocals, the Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe sound set them right alongside early Can, Fugs, The Velvet Underground and Zappa’s early Mothers of Invention. Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe lacked any archetypal lead guitarist, Ole Fick’s style being a cyclical mix of Michael Karoli and Sterling Morrison, whilst their occasional utilisation of trombone, flute and two saxes implied the presence of a far larger ensemble, specifically calling to mind the sounds made by the early ‘Brown Shoes Don’t make It’-period Mothers or the MONSTER MOVIE-period Can. Indeed, the record contains several Krautrock burn ups, especially the 10-minutes of ‘Ksiloy’. Moreover, Karsten Vogel’s use of Vox Continental organ and the Wille lyric method of continuously straddling both English and Danish languages creates a delightfully alienating vibe, hinting at slightly later Eastern European bands such as MCH and The Plastic People of the Universe. The whole Ivanhoe trip was very self-referential in a typically jazz way and seems to have been aiming to reinforce whatever was going on in the idealistic Danish scene of the time. ‘Ivanhoe in the Woods’ is a massive sax-driven instrumental take on ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, whilst the opening track of M144, which I’ve included on this DANSKROCKSAMPLER, is called ‘Ivanhoe I Brondyerne’ after a suburb of Copenhagen. As well as this aforementioned song, I’ve also included the extraordinarily beautiful and creepy song ‘Marsfesten’, whose Julie Cruise-singing-‘In Heaven Everything Is Fine’ atmosphere is truly Martian. John Peel took up the Ivanhoe cause with the far jazzier self-titled second LP, which he released on his own Dandelion label in July 1970. Unfortunately, I have not heard that LP since the early ‘70s and even then only listened as a Dandelion Records fan. However, the following summer came their great collaboration with Povl Dissing on the album SEKS ELEFANTSKOVCIKADEVISER, which yielded the fabulous version of ‘Tingel Tangelmadsen’ which is included within the cyber-grooves of this DANSKROCKSAMPLER. ….by Julian Cope…… 

One of the earliest (if not the earliest) progressive rock album of Scandinavia and certainly of Denmark (along with Culpepper’s Orchard), BRI’s debut album is also notable for being a double one (fighting with Norway’s Junipher Greene for that title) and is filled with very diverse influences. Resolutely rock in spirit, the album oscillates between the blues, soul, jazz (or more likely jazz-rock) and many more folkloric styles, without actually being folky. 
Armed with their double-wind section attack (the group is actually an septet – two different bassist used - if I judge by the album credits), the group’s evident forays would of course head towards jazz, and therefore jazz-rock, but a strange mix of Chicago Transit Authority and Colosseum. To say that such an obscure rtecord received the best of production in lonely Copenhagen would be the over-statement of the year, but the album has not really azged badly either. 
One of the strange things about this album is that although there are some twenty tracks, none of them obviously jump out as highlights (well maybe - just maybe - Purple Heart and its follow-up Larsens), and likewise none are weaker than just average. But it does appear that the second disc is slightly better than the first, but I am not sure where which stops and which starts for I review the CD version.. 
Just barely noticeable is Claesson’s violin in Kaj, Menzer’s flute in the following Tingel- tangelmanten (whatever…;-), but we do notice the mouth harp (over-mixed) in Laeg Dig. The blues are an indispensable part of their repertoire and therefore maybe creating a slight sense of disinterest for part of the album, but be careful not paying attention; you could be missing out something the second you start drifting. And you might just bne missiong the impressive Killjoy finale. 
Karsten Vogel (a jazz scene hanger-on since 61) would then go on as the leader of Secret Oyster, which is aptly, named since this group still remains one of the best-kept secrets of Denmark, and safely tucked away in an oyster. Back to this debut album, although hardly essential, if you are into Colosseum, this (BRI’s early albums) could be a must for you. Having borrowed it for the last month from a friend for reviewing purposes, I still contemplate whether acquiring it or not. And believe me, this is tough choice for there are superb moments in it, especially given its age and its background. Written by Sean Trane. 
~ by Lisa Sinder. 


Line-up / Musicians 
- Kim Menzer / Mouthharp, trombone, saxophone, flute, piano, vocals 
- Karsten Vogel / saxophone, organ, vibraphone 
- Ole Fick / guitars, vocals 
- Steen Claesson / guitar, vocals, violin, bass 
- Bo Thrige Andersen / drums 
- Steffen Andersen / bass 
- Arne Würgler / bass 
- Mads Vinding / bass 

Guest musicians: 
- Hugh Steinmetz / trumpet 
- John Tchicai / saxophone 
- Niels Harrit / saxophone 
Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne (3:50) 
2. Ridder Rød (3:48) 
3. Saxophonepiece 1 (2:14) 
4. Marsfesten (5:30) 
5. Antique Peppermint (4:05) 
6. Indre Landskab (2:57) 
7. Jiizlou (2:38) 
8. Kaj (2:41) 
9. Tingel-tangelmanden (5:27) 
10. Læg dig kun ned (3:33) 
11. Saxophonepiece 2 (1:50) 
12. Medardus (6:34) 
13. Purple Hearts (5:40) 
14. Larsens (3:32) 
15. Oyizl (8:32) 
16. Ivanhoe in the Woods (5:12) 
17. Ida Verlaine (4:15) 
18. Sensitive Plant (3:18) 
19. Inside (2:45) 
20. Ksilioy (10:35) 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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