1 Oct 2016
Larry Willis "Inner Crisis" 1972 Groove US Funk Jazz
Once identified with on-the-edge free music, keyboardist Larry Willis had a profitable flirtation with fusion in the '70s, then moved to hard bop in the '80s and '90s. Willis' playing has been frenetic, ambitious, and interesting, but during his jazz-rock and fusion days it was funky but greatly restrained and simplistic. A devotee of Herbie Hancock, Willis has found a good balance, with expertly constructed modal solos and also lyrical, relaxed statements. Willis graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in the early '60s, then played with Jackie McLean and Hugh Masekela. He recorded with Lee Morgan and McLean in the mid-'60s, and worked with Kai Winding and Stan Getz, as well as recording with Robin Kenyatta in 1969. Willis turned to synthesizer and electric piano in the '70s, doing sessions with Cannonball Adderley, Earl May, Joe Henderson, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and Masekela again. He joined Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1972, recorded with Alphonse Mouzon in both 1972 and 1973, and did dates as a leader and freelance session musician. Willis also recorded with Ryo Kawasaki and Sonny Fortune in the late '70s, and with David "Fathead" Newman and Carla Bley in the '80s. Willis toured and recorded with Nat Adderley in the '80s and joined Woody Shaw's quintet in 1986. He's done sessions as a leader for Groove Merchant, Steeplechase, Audioquest, Brunswick, and Mapleshade, among others, including Blue Fable and Offering on Highnote in 2007 and 2008, respectively. ~ Ron Wynn and Michael G. Nastos
Katy Feeney “Sing My Soul” 1984 US Gospel,CelticFolk Private xian female psych,hippie folk
full in sound cloud
Amber “Pearls Of Amber “ 1971 UK Psych Prog Folk
Remastered from the original mastertapes! Comes with a 12-page booklet incl. new linernotes and previous unreleased photos of the band! “Pearls of Amber” is a piece of Gentle Psychedelic Folk and Songwriter music from the early 70’s. Adorned by ornamental sitar sounds, tabla and a guitar-playing that inspired Donovan, these recordings remained in the vaults for quite a while. Now they got restored and receive their deserved re-release on Merlins Nose Records to delight your flowered mind! ……
Man, my eyes are burning from the pungent smoke emanating from this album even thirty-eight years after it was recorded. If you’re into heavy psyched-up sitar, grooving tabla, and vocals mildly reminiscent of Donovan (or maybe a coherent version of Spring’s Pat Moran), then this one is for you. Keith MacLeod, the original “Hurdy-Gurdy Man”, lays down some thick and herbal philosophy that recalls the finest days of post-Beatles George Harrison (from whom he borrowed the sitar played on this record), as well as faint resemblances to friends Donovan and the late Keith Relf (the Yardbirds). This stuff could have easily been worked into the riverboat scenes in Apocalypse Now.
Normally I don’t get into repetitive chanting of “red, blue, green and yellow” to the fingering thud of tabla and scorched-throat warbling; but this one has a certain charm to it. Possibly that’s because this is one of those recordings that sat in a vault somewhere for thirty years or so before Shagrat Records discovered it and released it on virgin vinyl. Gotta’ love that kind of respect for the classic age of psych music.
Not much to say about individual songs though, since they all sound about the same and all are prototypical Eastern-influenced psych of the highest order (pun intended). I will say it’s a bit disappointing the record only lasts about twenty-four minutes, but apparently that’s all MacLeod and bandmate Julian McAllister recorded back then. No outtakes, early recordings or anything like that; the boys simply borrowed Harrison’s sitar and jammed for a while, then walked away to other ventures. MacLeod ended up being a carpenter, and if I’m not mistaken McAllister did some regional gigs but never really hit big.
These are all short tunes, acoustic, and fairly simple and repetitive. The point seemed to be more about grooving the Eastern vibes than really making any kind of musical statement. On that point they succeeded. “Sing on the Sunlight” is the more interesting of the tracks here simply due to the crisp production quality and clarity of tempo. There are two versions of “Sea Shell Rock Me”, both quite trippy and not all that different from each other really. The closing “Earlie in the Morning” has a weirdly Appalachian feel to it, and pretty fair harmonized vocals. But that’s about it; like I said, nothing special but a decent representation of the times.
Two and a half stars really, rounded up to three only because of the late vinyl issue and tasteful artwork. Mildly recommended, but more for psych fans than folk ones.
Only one review before mine but it seems to say already everything. I was given this CD yesterday without knowing anything about AMBER in advance. “Originally recorded in 1971 but not officially released until 2000”, says the album info. Funnily, as there are no running times but a “Discography” naming two titles with three tracks in both (dating 1971 and 1970, as a matter of fact), one could expect to hear an extended disc featuring two albums with long songs. Alas, only about 24 minutes of music here! But what can be done if this short-lived group didn’t record more. A pity really, because the music is pleasing to a folk-rock listener.
Donovan is mentioned as a comparison. Why not. But happily these songs are not in the same irritating hippie-yippie Sunshine Superman mould as some of Donovan’s best known songs. Also I like these vocals much more. As the songs are rather calm and hazy, Nick Drake came to my mind too for the atmosphere. Of course this stuff is more psychedelic but remains quite safely in the acoustically oriented folk troubadour music. The AMBER sound is distinctive because of the continuous use of sitar and tabla. Yet pure Raga-Rock this is not: Eastern influences are kept otherwise quite minimal.
So you really don’t have to love either Raga-Rock or Psychedelia to enjoy this, if vintage folk is your thing. Sadly there’s only five various songs of regular length (‘Sea Shell Rock Me’ has two versions), perhaps none strikingly jumping off as very surprising, but three solid stars feels like the right rating from me too. It makes me wonder why this music had to wait so long before release. I guess it’s a lost little gem of Psych-Folk…. progarchives……
The duo appeared often on the St.Albans jam sessions at the Cock where Mick Softly, Maddy Prior and Donovan were playing. Mac McLeod was very active in that period, and had toured with John Renbourne. In 1965 he had accompanied Donovan in a NME winning concert. But instead of heading further on tour with Donovan, he travelled to Scandinavia, while Julian travelled and stayed in Morocco and Turkey and areas in between, while discovering the Turkish saz and other stringed instruments. Mac McLeod made a popular single in Sweden which resulted in a TV show appearance. Shortly after that he joined a Danish duo called the B.B.Brothers, which led to the formation of a trio called Hurdy Gurdy, influenced by Cream and early Hendrix. In that time he asked Donovan if he could pen them a song, which became 'The Hurdy Gurdy Man’ (George Harrison, Donovan said, wrote an extra verse for the song). Donovan didn’t like much the heavy version by the band and made his own version, based very much upon the Hurdy Gurdy one, which became a huge hit. Work permits were very difficult matters in Danmark, so it took until 1971 and a few side-projects before Hurdy Gurdy recorded their own album in 1971. This album was a combination of very heavy bluespsychrock and sitar driven tracks. They recently found 3 extra tracks on the master, and found now an official reissue by the Danish psych label Karma Records which list the album as “the oldest blues-rock-cult band in Denmark”. Before that was all possible Mac met Julian again, who had returned from his travels. Donovan was still interested in this duo to have them as a backing band for the US tour, with drummer Candy Carr, and they rehearsed one summer together, but again, in a hippie hearted freedom dream catcher fashion, they ended up in touring solo a while under the name of Amber, sometimes in an almost busker-like fashion. Only a few of the studio effort sessions survived. The liner notes say that in the second session, produced by ex-Yardbird Keith Relf, he almost joined the band.
First track, “Sea Shell Rock Me” (accompanied by sitar, tabla, guitar, bass), a track which has another version from the second session, is a song that reminds me very much of Wizz Jones when he was accompanied by John Renbourne on “Right Now”, for the guitar playing, the sitar as well as for the voice. I also wonder reading all the history how much a song and approach like this was an influence in the existing scene or was just very much part of what brooded in the area. The second track is a bit bluesier, in a hippie fashion, with acoustic guitars and tabla, bells. In this track I can sense Donovan’s interest here, and with all the right feelings there I still think it is a shame how such a duo wasn’t given the chance for a proper recording, and that that it had to wait until just now for the surviving tapes to appear. Most songs have rather hippie sunshine loving lyrics, and of course it must have been the circumstances partly lived by or made by the duo with fluent making free directions, which are also logical, that a discovery or chance didn’t materialize. A nice album, limited to 300 10" copies. …….
Review from Geocities: Amber were MacLeod and Julian McAllister, both friends and contemporaries of Donovan on the early 60s St. Albans folk scene. This CD collects the only extant studio tapes of the band, recorded in the early 70s during a period that saw the band playing regularly around London. The strapline on the sleeve reads 'acoustic music that derives from folk and blues with a touch of psychedelia’ which is true as far as it goes but gives too much significance to the blues, not enough to the occasional immensity of McAllister’s vocal and none at all to the importance of the sitar in the mix. The lilting glory of 'Sea Shell Rock Me’ (appearing in two versions) is the highlight. The song is basically a folk love song which coils in around itself in time to a beautiful winding sitar line and reminds of all the possibilities music seemed to offer 30 years ago. ….
Line-up / Musicians
- Keith “Mac” MacLeod / lead guitar, tabla, sitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Julian McAllister / guitar, lead vocals
- Ray Cooper / tabla
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Sea Shell Rock Me (4:12)
2. White Angel (4:44)
3. Swan in the Evening (4:35)
4. Sing on the Sunlight (4:11)
5. Sea Shell Rock Me (alt. version) (3:11)
6. Earlie in the Morning (3:02)
Dandelion “Dandelion”1979 French Underground Private Psych Folk Rock
This late ‘70s album has a great style fundament with some 60s garage and acid folky influences, a great melancholic mix which I have not heard with many groups, except for a few exceptional 60s tracks from here and there. Something likewise was started by Green On Red in the early ‘80s (with some of the same elements, but in a later style) : a psychedelic organ making almost psychedelic the melancholic sadness in the songs. Dandelion plays garage-like drums, slow psych electric guitar, both played rather primitively and inspired from the beauty of the songs. The guitars (pedal-electric and acoustic) are mixed a bit amateur-like, a bit too much to the fore ; all in all this creates a very charming effect, while the vocals are mixed more to the background, confirming in this mix very well the beautiful sadness of the songs. Just one, more acoustic track is sung, in Spanish, by a female vocalist. Despite aspects that could put the album down bu certain listeners, still a recommended album.
The album was pressed originally as a 300 edition, on a small label called Le Kiosque D'Orphée, and is worth much now. The group did a limited second album in pop wave style in 1981 and quit as a band in 1983. Over the next ten years Jean Christophe Graf continued to work and make demos under the bands name. …..
Guerssen Records reissues this mega-rarity from the ‘70s folk-psych French underground scene for the very first time. Featured on Hans Pokora’s book with a four star rating, Dandelion’s first album was first released in 1979 as a tiny private pressing of only 300 copies. It has a charming, amateurish/homemade vibe with some outstanding tracks like “Winter Tale” (featuring sound effects, reverberating guitars and lost vocals which bring to mind other lost bands like Tony, Caro & John or Agincourt), the acoustic “La Farfalla,” with its nice femme vocals, and the atmospheric, organ-dominated “Sometimes,” which opens the album in an impressive way. This reissue, done with help from guitarist/composer Jean Christophe Graf, features an insert with liner notes and rare pictures. Vinyl includes original picture sleeve design; CD with slimcase outer-carton cover. Remastered..... ...sound. …….
A2 Two Faced Girl
A3 La Farfalla
A4 Something Odd
A5 Winter Tale
B1 I Wanna See You
B2 Let It Know
B3 Sweet Ole Dynamite
Beautiful Losers “Nobody Knows the Heaven"1974 France Private Psych Folk
It’s 1974 in Paris. Two young guys in their bed-sit (one of whom is French music maven/famous producer Jay Alanski) are dreaming counter-cultural dreams, spinning their own eternal versions of California and New York. The result of those imaginings is this album, a child begotten of Baudelaire, Lautréamont—and Marc Bolan. It’s a fascinating record, engaging as it is scarce (as in impossible to find): a look into a parallel pop universe. Somehow, the duo got their record released on Monde Melody’s one-off "Silk” imprint. And what twisted songs (in English) they managed to squeeze into a fifty-minute slab of vinyl! The music drips with deep nostalgia for the decadent “beautiful people” who lived and breathed and then found a home in the songs of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, pervaded throughout with a kind of psychedelic sadness. All of this is expressed by means of long jagged acid guitar runs (or in acoustic strums) supported by Moroccan percussion (bongos?) and heavy bass lines from Christophe J. If the LP had been released in 1971, everyone would point to T-Rex as an influence, and call it “glam folk”; fast forward to today and it’s hard not to think “loner,” and draw comparisons with the music of Devendra Banhart or others who have followed his lead into the consciousness of the greater music loving public.
“We’re now decades further on in the world’s slow self-destruction, but this sole recording by the Beautiful Losers has lost nothing of its freshness and superb arrogance. Blessed be the listener who is going to discover such a hidden treasure!” —Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe ….
Enjoyably bizarre Parisian mystic folk recordings from 1974, sounding like a missing link between Marc Bolan and the earlier works of Devendra Banhart. To set the scene: it’s 1974, it’s Paris, two young guys in their bed-sit (one of whom is French music maven/famous producer Jay Alanski) are dreaming of counter-culture, and their internal versions of California and New York. The result is this album, a child begotten of Marc Bolan, Baudelaire, and Lautréamont; a fascinating record, subtle and engaging as it is scarce; the re-creation of a parallel pop universe which one Michael Moorcock wouldn’t have renounced. Somehow, the duo get their record out into the world on Monde Melody’s one-off “Silk” imprint (a tribute to Marc Bolan). And what twisted songs (in English) they managed to squeeze into a fifty-minute slab of vinyl. The music drips with deep nostalgia for the decadent “beautiful people” who lived and breathed and then found a home in the songs of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, pervaded throughout with a kind of psychedelic sadness. All of this is expressed by means of long jagged acid guitar runs (or in acoustic strums) supported by Moroccan percussion (bongos?) and heavy bass lines from Christophe J. A post-quaalude album, as band leader Jay Alanski has said. If the LP had been released in 1971, everyone would point to T-Rex as an influence, and call it “glam folk”; fast forward to today and it’s hard not to think “loner,” and draw comparisons with the music of Devendra Banhart, albeit recorded 35 years ago! We’re now several decades further on in the world’s slow self-destruction, but this sole recording by the Beautiful Losers has lost nothing of its freshness and superb arrogance. Blessed be the listener who is going to discover such a hidden treasure!“ ….
2 Oxford 1825
3 Spanish Woman
4 You Are Free
5 Nobody Knows The Heaven
7 I Wonder Why You Cry Today
8 All Is Gone
9 Like An Old General
10 African Queen
11 Something To Do
12 The Shining Car
13 Suicide/inside Out
14 All Is Going So Slow
15 Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
16 There Is A Blow
17 Nobody Knows The Heaven
Odyssey “Setting Forth” 1969 US ultra rare Private Heavy Psych only 100 copies pressed original
watch review from psychedelic baby
Once upon a time, when the music business was more music than business (but only just), there was a lean, mean, and super tight band who created a quintessential dose of New York sixties psychedelia: one perfect album, loaded with heavy swirling organ, ferocious fuzz guitar, and powerhouse vocals.
That band was Odyssey. Their album, Setting Forth, did not take them from support slots in their native Long Island to the major label heights of other local bands like Vanilla Fudge. But it is that same Odyssey Setting Forth album that is one of the greatest guitar-heavy psych records in the world, and as a result one of the most sought after (and expensive) psychedelic rarities ever pressed on wax.
Now it has been painstakingly remastered, repackaged for this 2xCD deluxe edition, ready for true psych fans to devour.
This is truly one of the pinnacles of underground psychedelic music, recorded in 1969, originally released in an edition of fewer than 100 copies, and impossible to find as it only came in a plain white cardboard sleeve; an incredible, musically accomplished, hard rocking album of originals that jumps right out of the speakers and grabs you, from its opening In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-esque riffs right to the grooving end.
The 24-page booklet that accompanies this two-disc set has the complete band history by Odyssey leader Vinny Kusy, as well as rare photos from his own archive. Bonus tracks on disc one are three “basement recordings” from the Setting Forth era.
The second disc contains Odyssey Live at Levittown Memorial Auditorium: 1974, a live recording that was never really meant to be, recorded by Odyssey’s sound engineer on a portable cassette recorder. It is the only document of Odyssey in their progressive rock phase, just before sometime Odyssey keyboardist Tom Doncourt and band-member Fred Callan recorded their legendary, Cathedral Stained Glass Stories album. The original Live at Levittownrecording has been remastered by Tom Doncourt of Cathedral……
Originally “released” in a plain white cardboard jacket, came one of less than 100 copies of a quintessential dose of New York psychedelia loaded with heavy, swirling organ, ferocious fuzzed out guitar, and powerhouse vocals.
The band was Odyssey, and their album, “Setting Forth”, did not take them from support slots in their native Long Island to the major label heights of other locals like Vanilla Fudge. It is, however, one of the rarest and most sought after U.S. psychedelic albums, and therefor commands an impressive price to those lucky enough to actually find one for sale.
It has, however, been remastered and repackaged on L.P. and CD.
Recorded in 1969, I found it to be universally considered one of the cornerstones of underground psychedelic music. (a description that I alone can’t simply reserve for one band in itself) It is, without a doubt, fairly wicked, garage driven, hard rock with loads of wah and organ psych and prog moves which are well balanced. The weakest track being the 2nd track, “Sally” which isn’t all that bad, but most all of the material is strong as hell and makes it easy to recommend it to every fan of hard psych out there.
In my research, which led me to a large number of reviews that seemed to all agree on the merit of the guitar and organs performance, I also found most of the complaints focused on the vocals, and the singer’s ability overall.
And since I’m a workin’ man, I’ll opt for the re-issue. …..
Line-up/Musicians Louis Yovino (vocals)
Dennis Pennaga (guitar)
Ray Lesch (bass)
John Willems (percussion)
Vincent E. Kusy (keyboards)
04-You’re Not There
05-Got To Feel It
06-Tied By A Rope
1969 - private pressing(US)
1990 - Trip T(Canada) LP: alternate cover
1995 - Timothy Brain(US) CD
2005 - Lion(US) CD: alternate cover, remastered
2007 - Lion(US) LP: alternate cover, gatefold, 180 gram, limited edition
johnkatsmc5, welcome music..