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13 Mar 2017

Mogul Thrash "Mogul Thrash" 1971 UK Prog Jazz Rock








Mogul Thrash  "Mogul Thrash" 1971 UK Prog Jazz Rock
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British jazz-rock band Mogul Thrash evolved from James Litherland’s Brotherhood, which in addition to guitarist Litherland (an alumnus of Colosseum who formed the group in 1969) also featured guitarist/reedist Michael Rosen (previously of Eclection), drummer Bill Harrison and the so-called “Dundee Horns” - saxophonists Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan. With the addition of ex-Splinter (a short-lived London-based band which must not be confused with vocal duo group from South Shields) singer/bassist John Wetton, the group rechristened itself Mogul Thrash, debuting in 1970 with the single “Sleeping in the Kitchen”; their self-titled RCA album appeared the following year, going largely unnoticed at home but finding favor throughout much of Europe.

However, faced with legal problems with their management, Mogul Thrash was forced to disband shortly after the record’s release; while Wetton went on to join Family and later King Crimson, Duncan and Ball soon reunited in Average White Band. Mogul Thrash released just one album, the eponymous Mogul Thrash (1971). It was produced by Brian Auger, who also played piano on one of the tracks. ...........

 COLOSSEUM fans beware , this is for you!!! After Litherland came out of that band , clearly he had not enough of that style of music as this album is quite similar to the first two album , rather a bit more hard-rocking , also a bit brassier but with no keyboards bar Brian Auger's contribution on one track on top of his production work - aside of the sound engineer being Eddy Offord (of Yes fame).
From the first notes of Something Sad (leading to superb bass works from Wetton) to the end of What's this I hear , we deal with a speeded-up Colosseum jazz-rock with loads of energy. The 12 min Going North track is the center piece of the album with searing guitar leads divinely underlined by brass lines, over a superb bass hook. The St-Peter track is somewhat sticking out of the rest of the album, but it was also the B-side of the Sleeping In The Kitchen single that is the featured bonus track on the Blueprint cd version that was released in 1999.

On the down-side if things , however superb (and greatly expanded) the Colosseum track Elegy might be (a good sign that his leaving that band was probably not on a friendly basis), I just wish , he would have written yet another track instead of giving us already heard material. Please note that the horn section of Ball and Duncan will be the foundation of Scotland's Average White Band.

As for Dick's surprising low rated review , his excellent remarks about the future of Litherland points to a wasted talent. The Disconforme re-issue of the album appears not to be of more interest than this version since the bonus tracks are all alternate version/takes.....by Sean Trane ........

I bought myself a Disconforme Records re-release of this album, as I had heard a sample of this album when I was searching stuff of John Wetton, and the song's excerpt sounded quite good. I wasn't disappointed, as the record was very good in my opinion. This music resembles Blood, Sweat & Tears and Finnish Tasavallan Presidentti, being fast, energetic and soulful jazz rock. There are some very tasteful saxophones here, especially the solo in "Dreams of Glass and Sand" is wonderful, where the sax blows very long and calm notes over the powerfully pulsing band. My album version opens with a single cut "Sleeping in the Kitchen", which brings a very cool and groovy start for this uplifting record. "Going North, Going West" is a longer jam number, reaching nearly twelve minutes, and it's one of my top favorites here. "St. Peter" has peculiar jazzy rhythms, and Wetton does the singing here. I'm not sure if all of the bonus tracks are very essential, but the CD was quite cheap so I didn't have to pay much extra for them. This is a worthy album to check out, if you like the bands I mentioned in the beginning of this review, or you are interested of John's earlier work. ....by Eetu Pellonpaa ....

'Mogul Thrash' - another album I originally purchased as a vinyl sometime in the 1970's. Can't remember where I heard from it first or who suggested it to me. The line-up is a who is who of the prog and rock scene basically and only regarding Michael Rosen and drummer Bill Harrison there's nothing to find about a life after MOGUL THRASH. There we have James Litherland who started with Colosseum, John Wetton - at the very start here, evolving to a prolific (prog) rock musician later - I never heard him playing the bass that virtuoso! Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan changed to the Average White Band in the aftermath - a scottish soul funk band which I also like ... at least when it comes to their early phase.
Now when listening to this album after such a long time (the original version) I at least can recollect that I found the trippy sci-fi cover art somewhat fascinating, six cool musicians in front of clouds, nowadays this can't move me anymore though. The music so much the more. Elegy starts as a typical jamming instrumental jazz rock track with a line-up reduced on bass, drums and guitar (Litherland on top) . After some time though the track turns into another direction including vocals and brass contributions which remind me of Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Keyboards are missing, okay except when Brian Auger's piano once appears on the short St. Peter - and finally What's This I Hear comes truely shimmering, a challenging composition. Their self-named debut is a very good jazz rock effort, with John Wetton in a genial mood, produced by Brian Auger, James Litherland is quite dominant. So besides the aforementioned bands this is also reminiscent to Colosseum, Chicago, IF a bit. Vocals and musicianship are excellent. The digital re-issue comes with several alternative songs versions, this might be an additional argument to check this album out.....by Rivertree ..........

For years I wanted to listen to this album. Well, I did it yesterday. MOGUL TRASH was a short-lived band created by ex-Colosseum`s guitarist James Litherland with John Wetton and other very good musicians, and they played together for about eighteen months between late 1969 and early 1971. In an interview done some years ago with Wetton, he said that in this band there was a bit of conflict about the musical direction of the band, with him being more in favour for the Progressive Rock elements in the music and with Litherland more interested in playing Jazz and Rock arrangements, but the horn players were more interested in the Funk elements of the music. This things, along with very important problems with the manager, led to the split of the band. The horn players later joined the AVERAGE WHITE BAND while Wetton joined FAMILY for two albums. It seems that Wetton was somewhat impatient to be the front man and lead singer in a band, so he also didn`t last for a very long time with FAMILY and he became in 1972 the lead singer and bassist with KING CRIMSON, on which band he also became one of the main composers, a thing that he also wanted to do a lot. But in MOGUL TRASH he was mostly a backing singer and a very good and heavy bassist. In fact, in this album the lead singer and main composer was Litherland, but as a whole this band sounded very well, in my opinion, with some very heavy arrangements and playing, sounding like the album was really recorded "live in the studio" (with a few notable guitar overdubs), with a lot of freedom but fortunately no mistakes can be listened in the final product. Even if this happened, Litherland in another interview said that recording engineer Eddie Offord edited the tracks and that the band liked the results very well. It is similar in some ways to Colosseum in musical style, something that is very obvious due to Litherland`s presence. But I think that a line-up like this (a guitar-bass-drums trio plus a horn section but no keyboards) was a bit unusual combination of sounds. Producer Brian Auger played a bit of piano on one track and Litherland said in that interview that Auger gave to them a lot of freedom to record in this album. Well. The album as a whole sounds a bit dated, but it is very good anyway.Maybe there are some influences from bands like BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS and CHICAGO, but the music is heavier and more "raw", in my opinion. Litherland is a very good guitarist and lead singer.......by Guillermo ............

Mogul Trash I suppose were one of the early "Supergroups" of the 70's who recorded this one and only fantastic album. Featuring the alumni talents of John Wetton on bass (King Crimson, Roxy Music), James Litherland Guitars (Colosseum), Roger Ball (Sax) & Malcolm Duncan - Sax (Average White Band), Michael Rosen- Trumpet (Eclection), Bill Harrison - Drums and the magician Mr. Brian Auger. Musically these guys were a pure mix of Jazz, fusion and Canterbury Progressive rock having written some pretty cool tunes here. Hard to exactly compare their sound but I would suggest a mix of "Colosseum" with "King Crimson" might be an attempt. Included on this album is a great 10 min version of Colosseum's hit "Elegy" which will blow your lips off. I love their mix of sax'es, trumpet with the wild guitar and bass interplay that accompanies this. I was lucky enough to have snagged Disconforme's CD re-mastered release which includes a couple extra bonus numbers which are very complimentary to this album........... by loserboy........... 

British jazz-rock super-group Mogul Thrash evolved from James Litherland's Brotherhood, which in addition to guitarist Litherland (an alumnus of Colosseum who formed the group in 1969) also featured guitarist/reedist Michael Rosen, drummer Bill Harrison and the so-called "Dundee Horns" -- saxophonists Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan.

With the addition of ex-Splinter singer/bassist John Wetton, the group rechristened itself Mogul Thrash, debuting in 1970 with the single "Sleeping in the Kitchen"; their self-titled RCA album appeared the following year, going largely unnoticed at home but finding favor throughout much of Europe.

However, faced with legal problems with their management, Mogul Thrash was forced to disband shortly after the record's release; while Wetton went on to join Family and later King Crimson, Duncan and Ball soon reunited in Average White Band.
by Jason Ankeny.................

This progressive jazz-rock combo's lone release is largely of interest to John Wetton and Asia fans, as evidenced by mentions of it on various web pages throughout the net. However, it is worth noting that this group may also be of tremendous interest to all British rock, blues and jazz enthusiasts, as it sported a blinding pedigree of musical luminaries of its era. Firstly, jazz keyboardist extraordinaire, Brian Auger, produced and guest-starred on the album; he played piano on "St. Peter". Secondly, saxophonist Roger Ball, later a mainstay in the Average White Band is a well-recognised name on the British session scene, for he has contributed to the recording of albums by such prominent artists as Kiki Dee, Dana Gillespie, Bryan Ferry, Gordon Giltrap, Vinegar Joe and more. John Wetton, of course, went on to find fame and glory with such noteworthy rock acts as Roxy Music, Family, Uriah Heep, Asia, King Crimson, Wishbone Ash, and so forth. Guitarist James Litherland's name instantly brings to mind 70s jazz-rock giant Colosseum, although he's also recorded with Long John Baldry, Bandit, Alexis Korner and Leo Sayer.

The band's sound was primarily brass-driven and very jazzy, akin to the likes of Colosseum, Keef Hartley Band, If and others in the same vein; it was also greatly reliant on guitar and saxophone jamming, which has been, in turn, responsible for many a goosebump tingling down the spine of any serious prog-jazz nut worth his salt (including yours truly), over the years... Not to be missed!

Alex Gitlin.................


Line-up / Musicians
- James Litherland / guitars and vocals
- John Wetton / bass and vocals
- Bill Harrisson / drums
- Malcolm Duncan / Tenor saxophone
- Michael Rosen / trumpet, Mellophone and guitar
- Roger Ball / Alto, Baritone and soprano saxes

With:
- Brian Auger / piano (5)

Tracklist
Something Sad
Elegy
Dreams Of Glass And Sand
Going North, Going West
St. Peter
What's This I Hear

Discography

Album:

Mogul Thrash (RCA SF 8156) 1971

45:

Sleeping In The Kitchen/St. Peter (RCA RCA 2030) 1970 

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