I have always been a fan of KRAAN and this live album captures most of the true reason why I have such a fondness for them. In true progressive rock style, KRAAN play a magical high energy set with many original songs being extended and expanded on live (Berlin - 1974). KRAAN is a primarily-instrumental band that blend elements of fusion, funk, space and progressive. A very hard band to peg and categorize to be honest and a band whose music never sits still. Led by the awesome bass skills of Hellmut Hattler, KRAAN blend keys, sax, guitar and drums into a highly unique and refined style of their own... a very fun album... funky prog rock with a really spacey feel........by loserboy ..............
Sometimes, when you have enough of all the prog clichés and the omnipresent, pretentious sound orotundity it is time for a break, it is definitely time for KRAAN!
In my opinion very underrated, this german Krautrock/Fusion band shows a very different approach to progressive music than many other bands. Not abovementioned clichés take center stage but easiness and pure joy. On that account their music sometimes sounds like one endless jamsession transferring the fun to the listener in best time. I guess that's why they sold out about 300 shows in only 2 years.
Their 1975 released first live album shows imposingly how pure music sounds like. Partly Krautrock, very Psychedelic and partly Fusion, Funk and Progressive influenced the very jazzy music diffuses an unconstrained, quite relaxed feeling. Recorded 1974 in Berlin (a stronghold for Kraan) the album features expended and very extended versions of previous studio albums, mainly taken from the antecessor "Andy Nogger". The terrific percussion and bass work creates a perfect base for the melody and solo performances of the guitar and the saxophone. Johannes Pappert's saxophone sounds like a violin, or a synthesizer but actually never like a saxophone. Helmut Hatter's bassplaying can be described as the engine of their music, the driving force while guitar and saxophone contribute the soloing part. Brimming with highlights there seems to be no song to emphasize. Maybe "Holiday am Marterhorn including Gipfelsturm" (The Marterhorn is one of the highest montains of the alps) where Peter Wolbrandt outreaches himself on the guitar, a magnificent piece of, party improvised, music.
This live record is one of the best live recordings I know, actually exemplary. Pure listening pleasure and a lot of fun carried forward by this powerful and vivid performance. I think some neoprog band with their flamboyant keyboard bombast should take a leaf out of this book...
This is definitely an excellent addition to any prog music collection, highly recommended!........by diddy ...................
Wow. There's few live albums, much less DOUBLE live albums, I'd consider to be a band's finest hour, but this is one such album where I'd make an exception. Kraan's milieu really is the concert hall, not the recording studio. Never before was there a band that truly REQUIRED a double live album to effectively capture all the facets of their distinct personality.
Some may consider moments, such as the extended "Nam Nam", a tad excessive, but it's all part of the wacky world that is Kraan. They just get into a "thing" and run with it! And the songs unique to this disc are what make it totally special. "Jerk of Life" is rousing fun, and a great way to open a concert (it's since gone on to open many a Kraan show). "Lonesome Liftboy" is a great example of Kraan in a more somber, reflective mood, the sort of thing we'd hear more of on ensuing albums. And "Hallo Ja Ja I don't know" is...well, I don't quite know how to describe WHAT exactly it is, but whatever it is it's marvellous!
And I finally got my extended, feature-length "Andy Nogger". I knew it was not too much to ask!.......... by Progbear ...............
Probably their best album and certainly the one showing their talents best, this double vinyl really gives the best possible selection of tracks from their first three albums plus three new tracks as well as an improvisation on another track. What might be revealing about this album is the absence of tracks from the Wintrupp album (which I thought was rather patchy), and the concentration on the debut and third albums. Again placated with disputable artwork, this comics cover is at least funny>
Of course as you might have guessed there are some lengths on such an album (but this was so typical of that era's recordings), most notably on lenghty soloing and indulgent duos even if showing that these guys probably knew their crafts so well that they slept with their instruments. This is so evident with bassist Hottler's Rickenbacker bass (check out the lenghty version of Nam Nam, which is much livelier than its studio version). Matterhorn is also double its original length, but so much less indulgent showing us the songwriting difference between the previous album's first and second vinyl side. The first disc ends with a superb rendition of the opening track of the Kraan recording career.
The second disc (the Cd reissue is a single CD so this would be track 5 ;-) is the title track of their last studio album at the time and is followed by an improvisation on its theme afterwards. A lenghty new track (well actually more of a jam) ends the third side on a rather subdued manner. It should be noted that all three "new tracks" presented here are not of incredible calibre, but stay on-par with the average. The double album closes on a version of the superb Kraan Arabia, standout from the debut album.
The musical position of Kraan in Germany was quite unique, with its almost Krautrock sound (ala Amon Duul II), but a clear jazz-rock influence, but not quite like other German bands such as Thristy Moon, Passport or Release Music Orchestra which were much more classic fusion, but this actually adds to their interest. They will go on for many years, but future albums will be increasingly average and more common (what I really mean is less-inspired, but I am not willing to admit it ;-), but this album is really worth it, but I would not suggest it as an introduction for the group........ by Sean Trane .........
This is an excellent example of the live performances I could see in the 70s.
Their style - a unique mix of Jazz Rock, Fusion, Funk and Ethno - is pushed by a groovy bass played by Helmut Hattler, sometimes used as a solo instrument. Also great guitar work always changing between rhythm and solo. The alto-sax serves oriental patches. You have to ignore the vocals but that's no problem because the music is dominated by instrumental parts.
The long tracks 'Nam Nam', 'Holiday am Marterhorn', 'Hallo Ja Ja' and 'Kraan Arabia' have jam character and demonstrate how great the guys are working together.
Better than every studio output ....by Rivertree ........
This is a double live album that blends different styles to great effect.This record is full of energy and the musicians are nothing short of incredible.The bass playing especially stands out clearly and at times leading the way. The drummer and percussionist may be the star of the show with his amazing style and playing. The lead guitarist can play with the best of them and the sax player adds a jazz feel to this performance at times, and creates different tones with his instrument that adds a unique flavour.
"Jerk Of Life" is the perfect choice to lead things off. An uptempo tune driven by the percussion.This song is so fun it's hard not to move to the beat. Sax is great as well and the guitar tries to keep up (or so it seems) with the beat. "Nam Nam" is an instrumental.The bass really stands out in this one. It starts slow but becomes a fast paced song with great guitar and sax melodies. "Holiday Am Marterhorn Including Gipfelsturm" sounds like a song where someone is adding ingredients one by one as they prepare a meal. Bass to open followed by drums, then guitar and finally sax, and our feast is ready to be enjoyed. The sax is very warm sonding and the whole sound is beautiful. Some good guitar solos later.
"Sarah's Ritt Durch Den Schwarzwald" takes a couple of minutes to get going but when it does it sounds great ! Man these guys can play ! "Andy Nogger" reminds me of the DIXIE DREGS and the next song is a continuation of it called "Andy Nogger-Gutter King" where the bass playing is quite prominant. "Hallo Ja Ja, I Don't Know" is kind of funky with a sax melody that comes and goes that is so catchy. Good contrast of styles in this song. Cool vocal melody later as well. "Lonesome Liftboy" is slower paced with the drumming standing out more. The intro of "Kraan Arabia" reminds me of the start of "Sympathy For The Devil". Great percussion and Arabian sounding sax. Some amazing guitar later.
This is one of the better live albums I have heard, with excellent compositions that are so well played.These guys have a sense of humour too as is witnessed by the cover art that was drawn by the lead guitarist. It was a picture of three girls who were in the front row of this live event in Munich, Germany. The record label really didn't want this picture on the cover but finally relented.....
by Mellotron Storm ............
Kraan is the funky jazz-rock/Krautrock band from Germany with a Dutch name. This is their first live album and possibly one of their best releases; I've only heard this and the studio follow up where they add a keyboardist to the line-up. This sounds great for a live album, being engineered by legend Conny Plank, but there could be overdubs. I never heard the studio originals yet, but I can tell there is quite a bit of jamming and improv going on in some of the songs here.
"Hallo Ja Ja, I Don't Know" and "Lonesome Liftboy" seem to be exclusive to this set, not appearing on studio albums. The later has gorgeous melodies. Such a beautiful piece of music, I just love this song. If you hear this song and think it sucks you were literally born with no soul. Love the sound of the snare drum here. Great sax/guitar unison playing as bassist Helmut Hattler does his thing underneath them. I love his tone and playing style, one of Germany's best bassists.
The other songs are from the first and third Kraan albums; nothing from the second. "Jerk Of Life" is nice melodic funky jazz-rock. Vocals in this song. In a perfect world this song would have been a hit. "Nam Nam" is long and I'm assuming contains a lot of improv. Great drumming in the middle. Steady handclaps from the audience at one point. "Holiday am Matterhorn" is another extended piece with lots of jamming and improv. Great melodies in this track. "Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald" is some aggressive funky fusion.
"Andy Nogger" is divided in two, the second part subtitled "gutter king." A melody on sax from the studio original was sampled by French electronic duo Justice but not credited. Oddly enough, on the same album they sample (and credit) RPI band Goblin. This is a great song with vocals. Great chord changes during the sung parts. Love the sax/guitar unison playing during "gutter king," which is the longer of the two parts. "Hallo Ja Ja..." is a very funky track. Contains vocals while the sax is modified to sound like a keyboard.
After 1 1/2 minutes is some really great melodies. These melodies get repeated later on. As with other parts of the album, I like the unison guitar/sax work here. The music stops over halfway with the audience and a stage announcement being given a phasing effect. Those melodies come back again but are now played in a much faster and rocking manner. Near the end you hear harmony vocals which sound like a cross between Magma's vocalists and Hatfield & The North's Northettes. Love the bluesy ending.
"Kraan Arabia" has some Middle Eastern style melodies. Another long track which I assume includes a fair amount of improv. Some good guitar playing in this song. Sax solos for awhile. Drumming gets interesting near the end. This is one of the better live albums from the 1970s that I have heard. The music is raw and funky, yet melodic and jazzy. You can shake your booty to the music and hum the melodies later. Love the modified sax which sometimes sounds like a synth or organ; some of the best melodies here are done on sax. Kraan started out more Krautrock sounding but after this album will get more funky and commercial sounding. Great live album. 4 stars.......by zravkapt ............
Kraan is a German rock, krautrock and jazz-rock influenced group. I have never listened to other records of the band, but I was excited to listen to the band for the first time. On Kraan Live we find a brilliant group of tight-playing live musicians with immense rhythmical talent. The album has little song-writing and perhaps the melodic side isn't too strong on most tracks, but it's simply great to hear a band plays so tight and the recording sound is among the best I ever heard. The band has a 'light' sound with the a subtle bass (with some melodic parts), the best of drums, great funky rhythmical guitar and some electronic sounding wind-section.
Kraan plays both long tracks with plenty space of improvisation and some shorter tracks. Overall the atmospheres are quite happy with at times an almost Canterbury-feel crazy happiness. Some parts of the live set are really exciting (mainly on side one, two and four) and some tracks are a bit too neutral in atmosphere for my taste. Mainly both Andy Nogger parts and Lonesome Liftboy suffer from this aspect. On side two Holiday am Matterhorn and Sarahs Ritt durch den Schwarzwald are both brilliant tracks and the excitement and rhythmcial development, solo's and tight playing are a real winner. Kraan Arabia is also a strong track on side four with some interesting sections and eastern influences.
As mentioned before, the production of this live album is perfect. I would not have mind mixing the loose live recordings into one fluent live mix.
Conclusion. Great, mainly instrumental rock live-album with jazz-rock influences that is very attractive for people who are musicians themselves and fans of the band. Somehow I just admire how professional this album sounds. Not per se an excellent addition to a prog-rock collection, but worthwhile for every-one who wants to hear some great musicians delivering the goods. Three and a halve stars. I decided to lift the record to four stars because of the replay it has had. It also works very well when I have company........ by friso ............
The fact that Kraan could record a double-album out of one concert date and have it all sound this good is as much of an explanation as any of the popularity of this band as a live act. Pieces from their first three albums are not merely presented, but embellished and expanded into new works entirely. Pappert's sax is used naturally rather than electronically embellished, giving some pieces a more urgent tone, and Fride's complex drumming has never sounded better. Engineer Conny Planck's did a great job of capturing a great show. Live is a must-have album for any fan of Kraan, a document of a night when a talented group was at their very best.........by Richard Foss..................
Bass, Vocals – Hellmut Hattler
Drums, Percussion – Jan Fride*
Guitar, Vocals – Peter Wolbrandt
Producer – Kraan
Recorded By – Conny Plank
Saxophone [Alto] – Johannes Pappert
A1 Jerk Of Life 4:57
A2 Nam Nam 15:10
B1 Holiday Am Marterhorn Including Gipfelsturm 13:00
B2 Sarah's Ritt Durch Den Schwarzwald 6:00
C1 Andy Nogger 3:45
C2 Andy Nogger - Gutter King 6:44
C3 Hallo Ja Ja, I Don't Know 10:20
D1 Lonesome Liftboy 5:15
D2 Kraan Arabia 12:30