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14 Jan 2017

Kahvas Jute “Wide Open” 1971 Australia Heavy Prog Psych

Kahvas Jute “Wide Open” 1971 ultra rare  Australia Heavy Prog Psych
A progressive hard rock combo based in Sydney and active initially between 1970-74. Their album “Wide Open” is renowned for the stunning guitar playing and the strength of the songwriting. The band went on to become one of the finest acts of the era, but they never recorded again until mid 2005 when they decided to reform and try out a few new songs , much in the vein of their original album. 

Musically, the album fits somewhere between the likes of Cream and Blodwyn Pig, with nods in the direction of Led Zeppelin, the Jeff Beck Group etc. It's a very English sound, but far from being a slavish copy of the overseas role-model the album bears a uniquely Australian flavour. The tightly structured songs and the superb guitar work of Dennis Wilson and Tim Gaze combine to place the record head-high in the progressive stakes. Furthermore the whole shebang is held together by the restlessly exploratory bass style of the great Bob Daisley and the muscular, yet agile drum patterns of Dannie Davidson. 

There was no hype to the band, just an unpretentious bunch of musicians capable of producing inventive and enduring music. Not only did the band earn a reputation as one of the best live bands of the period, they also released one of the great Aussie progressive albums in Wide open. As the title suggests, Wide Open is a free-flowing, expansive blending of rock, jazz and blues, with a touch of folk thrown in for good measure, a hard-as-nails progressive blues rock extravaganza strong on rhythm and melody, and bristling with exceptional guitar interplay. 

After their demise in 1974 Wilson joined Chariot, Davidson went on to session work and Daisley moved to England and became bassist with outfits like Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow ,Gary Moore Band, Widowmaker and Ozzy Osbourne 's Blizzard Of Ozz.There is much discussion that Bob Daisley is the highest record selling Australian artist of all time...

I was there in 1970 at Festival Studios in Paternoster Row when Kahvas Jute’s seminal album Wide Open was recorded, and I was there again thirty five years later at The Basement gig where the band revisited and reworked some of the material from that first album, as well as showcasing new songs that somehow fitted seamlessly with what had gone before. At the same time, these new songs offer a logical and natural evolutionary movement into a second album, as if the intervening years were merely a glitch in the creative timestream.

Kahvas Jute came together from the remnants of Mecca (Bob Daisley and Dennis Wilson) and Tamam Shud (Tim Gaze and Dannie Davidson), and in 1970 they were the first of their kind in Australia, maybe the world. In 2005, they are possibly the last of their kind and, though a series of heavy, guitar-based rock genres has existed in the years between, I would describe Kahvas Jute as one of a kind. Though they started in 1970 with intentions of emulating the music coming out of the UK at the time – The Hendrix Experience and Cream in particular – what they ended up becoming was something as unique as, yet apart from, those major influences.

The Kahvas Jute rhythm section began its journey as Bob Daisley and Dannie Davidson in 1970, experimenting with and extrapolating on Hendrix and Cream power pop constructions. In 2005 it is Bob Daisley and Mark Marriot, invested with a whole new set of influences and experience. This rhythm section exists in a parallel engine room universe of their own making, inhabited only by themselves.

When Kahvas Jute stepped out of the Tardis in 2005 and started playing “Free” from the Wide Open album, my skin tingled. The freshness, the enthusiasm, the clarity of intention, the shear joy of executing a creative vision, poured from the Basement’s little stage. In 1970, the songs on Wide Open represented a departure for Dennis Wilson from the power pop of Mecca, apparent in songs like “Black Sally” and “Side Street Man” from Mecca’s final single.
In the years since, Dennis has performed with numerous bands of his own (Dennis Wilson Band, Deltoids, Catch 22) and other people (Le Bop, Doc Span Band, Under Rapz with Steve Gilpin) as well as writing and recording material with Chariot and Swanee, and releasing two solo albums and singles. He features on recordings by Loaded Dice, Screaming Tribesmen, Electric Pandas, Ol’ 55, Jackie Orszaczky and Olivia Newton-John. His songs have seen live performances by the likes of ex-Steely Dan members Elliot Randall and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. His music appears in the Cannes award-winning movie “Going Down,” as well as the ABC TV series “Four Corners”, and episodes of Steve Irwin’s “Crocodile Hunter” and “Croc Files”.

Tim Gaze’s adventures since 1970 are no less spectacular. He has enjoyed a long career as one of Australia’s pre-eminent and most sought after session guitar players/vocalists. His music features on the surf film soundtracks “Morning Of The Earth,” (1972), “Band on the Run” (1982), “Sultans 2 – The Power Strikes Back,” and the subsequent “Sultans” 3, 4 and 5. He has written for, recorded and performed with Miss Universe, Ross Wilson, Ross Hannaford, Ariel, Stevie Wright, Tim Gaze Band, Rose Tattoo, Skin Game, Brothers of the Bell, Big Secret, Gyan, the Peter Wells Band, a re-formed Tamam Shud, The Bushwackers, The Blues Doctors, The Hoochie Coochie Men and Jimmy Barnes.

For Bob Daisley, his song “Ascend” represented the beginning of a songwriting journey that has taken him around the world, and his songs onto the albums of artists such as the patriarch from the reality TV sitcom The Osbournes, Widowmaker, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Mother's Army, Warren DeMartini, Stream, Gary Moore, and of course his twenty first-century Australian projects, The Hoochie Coochie Men, Living Loud (not to mention guesting on kazoo and melody bass on a track on The Zarsoff Brothers 2005 album “Mixed Business”) and - full circle - the fresh-from-the-Tardis version of Kahvas Jute.

After forming in 1971, Kahvas Jute earned an immediate reputation on the live scene and issued their only album, Wide Open, in January the following year. The album remains a classic progressive rock album, exemplifying their expansive tunes and outstanding guitar work. "Free"/"Ascend" was issued as a single in July 1971. Guitarist Tim Gaze left the band and they continued as a three-piece, traveling to the U.K. in June 1971, where they made little impact and broke up. Bassist Bob Daisley played with several heavy metal bands and appeared as a session player for guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Stevie Vai. Dennis Wilson eventually revived Khavas Jute in May 1973 with drummer Dannie Davidson and bassist Scott Maxey. They supported Bo Diddley on his Australian tour in October 1973. In March 1974, Maxey was replaced by Peter Roberts, but by May, the band changed its name to Brendan Swift........

Kahvas Jute is a progressive rock milestone and a consummate example of underground psychedelic hard rock at its most inventive and powerful. As the title suggests, a free-flowing and expansive musical blending of rock, blues and jazz, and to leaven out the sound there’s a touch of acid folk thrown in for good measure. 

It’s a very English-influenced sound but far from being a slavish copy of the overseas role model, the album bears a uniquely Australia flavour. It continues to be held as one of Australia ’s prime rock collectables, with original pressings of the album selling for as much as US$600.00 on eBay in recent years.

The tightly structured songs and the superb guitar work of Dennis Wilson and Tim Gaze (Tamam Shud) combine to stamp the record as a tour de force, where style, content, technique and sonic bearing meet in perfect equilibrium.

Furthermore, the whole shebang is held together by the restlessly exploratory bass lines of the great Bob Daisley (who later went on to a stellar international career with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Uriah Heep, Chicken Shack – the list is endless!) and the muscular, yet agile drum patterns of Dannie Davidson (Tamam Shud, Band Of Light).

Is it any wonder then that all these elements add up to make Wide Open one of the most sought-after artefacts of the entire Aussie progressive rock era?

On the 17th July 2005 , Kahvas Jute, featuring new drummer Mark Marriott (an experienced session player), played a gig at famed Sydney venue The Basement which was filmed for future DVD release.

The set list that night featured six tracks from Wide Open, seven new songs, a cover of Cream’s ‘Politician’ plus an impromptu jam on the old Yardbirds number ‘The Nazz are Blue’ featuring guest vocalist Jimmy Barnes (5 of the audio tracks feature as bonus tracks on the CD reissue).

If anything, the gig showed the band to be better musicians than ever, with the added elements of experience and maturity shining through, while also managing to capture the Kahvas Jute sound to perfection.

Aztec Music’s reissue of Wide Open has been digitally remastered by Dennis Wilson. Packaged in our usual 6 panel digi-pak, with rare photos, and liner notes by Ian McFarlane.................


Dennis Wilson - Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic, Bottleneck, Wah Wah Guitars
Bob Daisley - Bass, Vocal Harmonies
Dannie Davidson - Drums (tracks 1-9)
Tim Gaze - Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Steel Guitar
Mark Marriott - Drums (tracks 10-14)

(Remastered with bonus tracks)
Track Listing:
1. Free
2. Odyssey
3. Up There
4. She’s So Hard to Shake
5. Vikings
6. Steps of Time
7. Twenty Three
8. Ascend
9. Parade of Fools

Bonus Tracks – Live at the Basement 2005
10. Politician
11. She’s So Hard To Shake
12. Ascend
13. Ascension
14. Parade Of Fools

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

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