Dear Prof. Leary is not only a super-rare and highly touted collectors item but also one of the earliest and strangest examples of the upcoming Jazz/Rock Fusion recordings that would soon transform the Jazz world. Originally released in 1968 on MPS, Barney Wilen And His Amazing Free Rock Band s Dear Prof. Leary l.p. was a sextet of two trios, one playing the more Rock style and the other in the Jazz idiom, complete with two drummers, producing what can only be described as psychedelic Free-Jazz. Highlights include covers of The Beatles The Fool On The Hill , Ornette Coleman s Lonely Woman and Bobbie Gentry s Ode To Billie Joe , scattered amongst the originals……..
End of June 1968. From Paris to Prague, the youth shook Europe but the breath fell. Barney Wilen, born in 1937, is looking for himself. He has already exhausted the charms of Hard Bop and Free Jazz. During the events, he met his Muse, Caroline of Bendern. He starts listening to the Beat Music and, like Miles Davis, hangs on Jimi Hendrix. He then created a Free Rock Band with pure jazzmen (Joachim Kühn and Aldo Romano) and musicians from pop and rock (Mimi Lorenzini was then the guitarist of Claude François whom Barney had known at the beginning as drummer ). He created this mix a year before Miles Davis, his former leader (in 1957, Barney accompanied Miles on stage and for the music of the film “Lift for the Scaffold” by Louis Malle). So what do they play in this German studio? Classics of the time: superb covers of The Beatles’ “The Fool on the Hill” and two Soul Music standards “Why do you keep me hanging on?” And “Respect” by Otis Redding. There is also an astonishing version of a modern Jazz standard “Lonely woman” by Ornette Coleman. As fashion is psychedelia, Joachim Kühn drops the moorings in his tribute to “Dear Prof Leary” apostle of non-violence and the consumption of illegal and deadly substances. Barney Wilen and Mimi Lorenzini, in real French, they play “Dur Dur Dur”, well-known composition as the saxophone and the guitar bite you. In short, from Free Jazz, to Soul Music, through Pop and psychedelia, Barney Wilen seeks in several directions without knowing which one to choose. He will find his way in leaving Europe to the old parapets for Africa, motherland of the Blues, his real music. With “Moshi”, Barney Wilen, a White, will create Great Black Music, as converse, Herbie Hancock, a Black, began his career at 11 years playing Mozart on stage with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. “Sometimes I want to live in a thousand years, when all these stories of races, whites, blacks will no longer make sense” (Stan Getz)……………
Personnel: Barney Wilen - soprano and tenor saxophone Mimi Lorenzini - guitar Joachim Kühn - piano, organ Günter Lenz - bass, electric bass Aldo Romano - drums Wolfgang Paap - drums
01. The Fool On The Hill (4:19) 02. Dear Prof. Leary (4:55) 03. Ode To Billie Joe (7:58) 04. Dur Dur Dur (3:36) 05. Why Do You Keep Me Hanging On (4:54) 06. Loneley Woman (3:47) 07. Respect (5:46)