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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Flock “The Flock” 1969 + "Dinosaur Swamps" 1970 US Jazz Rock


The Flock “The Flock” 1969 +  "Dinosaur Swamps" 1970 US Jazz Rock
The Flock “Introduction & Clown” Live, 1970 HD on google+
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ooK8KLctWiusyybz1

full two albums


The Flock was an American, Chicago-based jazz-rock band, that released two records on Columbia records in 1969 (The Flock) and 1970 (Dinosaur Swamps). The Flock did not achieve the commercial success of other Columbia jazz-rock groups of the era such as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, but were most notable for their inclusion of a prominent violin in their recordings. The violinist, Jerry Goodman, went on to become a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra and a solo artist.The members at the time of their 1969 studio recording were Fred Glickstein (guitar, lead vocals), Jerry Goodman (violin), Jerry Smith (bass), Ron Karpman (drums), Rick Canoff (saxophone), Tom (T.S. Henry) Webb (saxophone) and Frank Posa (trumpet). 

After a highly promising first album that was further “outside,” jazz/fusion-wise than either Chicago or BS&T (owing, to a great extent, to the influence of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew album, which Webb participated in, but whose performance was not recorded). The first album on Columbia was produced by John McClure with liner notes written in the audience at Whiskey A Go Go by blues legend John Mayall, on July 9, 1969. The band went back into the studio and recorded a second album entitled “Dinosaur Swamps” featuring the hit “Big Bird” The band began work on a third studio album, but Columbia Records’ Clive Davis raided The Flock, stealing Goodman for the Mahavishnu Orchestra project: apparently jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty was guitarist-bandleader Mahavishnu John McLaughlin’s first choice, but the U.S. government would not grant Ponty a work-permit visa. 

The Flock reunited briefly in 1975 for an album Inside Out, and in 2004 a CD was released of a 1973 live concert called Live in Europe, which features Michael Zydowsky on violin in place of Goodman and includes original members Fred Glickstein, Jerry Smith, and Ron Karpman. 

In late 1976, Fred Glickstein & Ron Karpman recruited bassist/cellist Thom Blecka from Chicago (formerly of T.S Henry Webb Group featuring Frank Posa) - Corky Siegel w/Sam Lay, Albert King, Joe Jammer, Johnny Ross & The Babysitters & others) and formed a power trio that chose the title of: “FLOCK 3”. The new outfit featured a handful of older, established Flock compositions, but yet emphasized new material, co-written by Glickstein & Karpman with some arrangement contributions by Blecka. The new hornless, violin-free, rock-oriented/ fusion trio `tore up` a few local gigs- opening for Cheap Trick, The Cryan’ Shames - and standing on their own, occasionally joined onstage by original Flock alumnus T. S. Henry Webb (sax/vocals) and also friends: Dennis Tiger (blues harp/vocals) & Jeff Gates (keyboards). Unfortunately, the band’s live performances were never captured on tape and any attempts at studio recording fell by the wayside due to personal issues amongst the band.[citation needed] 
The Flock had three early singles on Destination Records and one on the USA Records label, recorded in 1966 and 1967 (Jerry Goodman the violinist was not in this line-up, but he did work as a roadie with the band). These were local Chicago labels. All four singles are now available on CD. These singles were “Can’t You See”, “Are You The Kind”, “Take Me Back” and “What Would You Do If The Sun Died?” 
There is film footage of the big-band version of the Flock (the Dinosaur Swamps version of the group) playing the song “Big Bird (Fly)” at a rock festival in the Netherlands about 1970. Violinist Jerry Goodman is prominently featured in the video, but all members of the group, including the horn section are shown….~



Η ιστορία αυτού του Blast From The Past ξεκινάει το 1965 με ένα garage συγκρότημα από το Chicago, τους The Exclusives, που περιλάμβαναν τον Rick Canoff (φωνή, τενόρο σαξόφωνο) και τον Fred Glickstein (φωνή, κιθάρες), δύο μουσικούς που ήταν φίλοι από το γυμνάσιο. Όταν κάποια στιγμή οι Exclusives αποφάσισαν να αλλάξουν το όνομά τους στο πιο ενδιαφέρον The Flock, υπέγραψαν συμβόλαιο με την Destination Records και κυκλοφόρησαν σε αυτήν το 1966-67 τρία σινγκλ - “Can’t You See (That I Really Love Her)” / “Hold On To My Mind” [Destination 628], “Are You The Kind?” / “I Like You” [Destination 631] και “Take Me Back” / “Each Day Is A Lonely Night” [Destination 635] - ενώ έβγαλαν κι ένα τέταρτο στην USA Records - “What Would You Do If The Sun Died” / “Magical Wings” [USA 910]. Οι πρώτοι αυτοί Flock περιλάμβαναν ακόμη τους Jerry Smith (μπάσο), Ron Karpman (ντραμς) και Rick Mann (κιθάρα), αλλά προς το τέλος του ‘67 αποφάσισαν να προσθέσουν δύο ακόμη πνευστά, οπότε τη σύνθεση συμπλήρωσαν οι Tom Webb (τενόρο σαξόφωνο, φλάουτο, αρμόνικα, κρουστά) και Frank Posa (τρομπέτα). Σε συνέντευξή του ο Fred Glickstein έχει πει πως η δημιουργία ενός horn section μέσα στο συγκρότημα δεν έγινε ως αποτέλεσμα συνειδητής απόφασης να μεταλλάξουν το ύφος τους προσεγγίζοντας το jazz rock (που άλλωστε ακόμη δεν είχε καλά-καλά εφευρεθεί), αλλά περίπου «τυχαία». Αφού όμως το έφτιαξαν, στη συνέχεια αναπόφευκτα το έβαλαν και σε καλή χρήση.
Η κλασική σύνθεση του γκρουπ βέβαια δεν είχε ολοκληρωθεί έως τη στιγμή που ανακάλυψαν ότι ο τεχνικός για τις κιθάρες τους, ένα παληκάρι που λεγόταν Jerry Goodman, ήταν επίσης και φοβερός βιολιστής. Έχοντας κάνει αξιόλογες κλασικές σπουδές πάνω στο όργανο αφού ο μπαμπάς του φιλοδοξούσε να τον δει νέο David Oistrach, αυτός ωστόσο είχε βαρεθεί το κλασικό ρεπερτόριο και η όρεξή του τραβούσε rock, blues και jazz απογειώσεις. Μια προσθήκη μαγνήτη στο βιολί του τον μετέτρεψε λοιπόν σε Jimi Ηendrix του βιολιού και κάτι τέτοιο οι Flock θεωρούσαν ότι δεν μπορούσαν να το προσπεράσουν. Τον προσκάλεσαν λοιπόν να γίνει μέλος του γκρουπ παίζοντας βιολί και κιθάρα (αντικαθιστώντας τον Rick Mann) και φυσικά η έμπνευσή τους ήταν λαμπρή, αφού οι Flock έγιναν γνωστοί και τελικά έμειναν στην ιστορία κυρίως εξαιτίας του. (σσ. Mια ακόμη μεταβολή στη σύνθεση του γκρουπ την ίδια εποχή, το 1969 δηλαδή, ήταν η αντικατάσταση του Tom Webb από τον John Gerber - σαξόφωνο, φλάουτο, μπάντζο - για τις εμφανίσεις τους επί σκηνής με τον Webb να παραμένει μέλος του γκρουπ μόνο στο studio.)
Αυτή η κλασική σύνθεση ηχογράφησε τα δύο ιστορικά άλμπουμ των Flock στην Columbia, τα The Flock (1969) και Dinosaur Swamps (1970), τα οποία επανεκδόθηκαν μαζί ως ένα διπλό άλμπουμ στην Ευρώπη το 1972. Το πρώτο εκ των δύο είναι το αντικείμενό μας σε αυτό το BFTP, καθώς γενικά θεωρείται, καθόλου άδικα μάλιστα, ως μία από τις ηχογραφήσεις-ορόσημα του jazz rock, που αν και δεν γνώρισε εμπορική επιτυχία, από πλευράς ποιότητας συγκρίνεται με δίσκους τόσο καθοριστικούς όπως το Child is Father to the Man των Blood, Sweat & Tears. Ο John Mayall εκθείαζε το γκρουπ στα liner notes που έγραψε και υπήρχαν στο πίσω μέρος του εξωφύλλου και δεν ήταν ο μόνος που είδε σ’ αυτούς το 'next big thing’ από την Αμερική. Δυστυχώς η αισιοδοξία των μουσικοκριτικών δεν επαληθεύτηκε από τις πωλήσεις του δίσκου, αλλά αυτή είναι μια ιστορία που επαναλαμβάνεται συνεχώς στη δισκογραφία. (σσ. Μαζί με τους Flock το 1969 ξεκινούσαν την καριέρα τους και οι συντοπίτες τους Chicago Transit Authority - μετέπειτα απλώς Chicago - με το πρώτο τους άλμπουμ. Ακούγοντας τους δύο δίσκους ένας μουσικοκριτικός του '69, αν και οι Chicago δεν ήταν καθόλου αμελητέοι, θα πόνταρε φυσιολογικά πολύ περισσότερο στους Flock. Όλοι όμως γνωρίζουμε τι τελικά έγινε…)
Άσχετα όμως από την εμπορικότητα ή μη του εγχειρήματος, το The Flock είναι ένας δίσκος που είναι εγκληματικό να αγνοεί οποιοσδήποτε μουσικόφιλος που στοιχειωδώς ενδιαφέρεται για τη χρυσή εποχή του ροκ. Ψυχεδελικό κατά βάση, με μελωδίες που θυμίζουν Δυτική Ακτή, όμορφες φωνητικές αρμονίες, χίπικο στύλ τραγουδιού και μπόλικες soul και blues επιρροές, δεν μπορεί να θεωρηθεί ουσιαστικά «πειραματικό». Τα πνευστά παίζουν κατά κύριο λόγο ριφ και κύριο σόλο όργανο είναι σε όλο το δίσκο το βιολί του Goodman, o οποίος επεκτείνει τη γκάμα του οργάνου με τις τεχνικές που δοκιμάζει και που κάνει δυνατές η ενίσχυση και το wah-wah αλλά και την ανάμειξη «κλασικών», gypsy και blues στοιχείων. H tour-de-force ερμηνεία του απογειώνει το 15λεπτο νεωτεριστικό blues “Truth” που πιάνει το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της β’ πλευράς του δίσκου, αλλά κεντρίζει το ενδιαφέρον ήδη από την εισαγωγή του άλμπουμ με το “Introduction” που είναι σε μεγάλο μέρος ντουέτο για βιολί και κιθάρα και στη συνέχεια στο ρυθμικότερο “Clown”, στο οποίο κυριαρχούν τα ίδια ηχοχρώματα. Παρ’ όλη όμως την καθοριστική παρουσία του Goodman, οι υπόλοιποι Flock δεν αρκούνται σε ένα ρόλο backing band. Στα “I Am the Tall Tree”, “Tired of Waiting” και “Store Bought - Store Thought”, όπου το βιολί δεν παίζει τόσο πρωταγωνιστικό ρόλο ή και μένει εντελώς στην άκρη, αποδεικνύουν τη μεγάλη κλάση τους. 

Δυστυχώς η συνέχεια του The Flock δεν ήταν η αναμενόμενη. Μετά από ένα ακόμη άλμπουμ, το Dinosaur Swamps, βασισμένο πάνω-κάτω στην ίδια συνταγή κι ενώ το συγκρότημα ήταν στη διαδικασία ηχογράφησης ενός ακόμα δίσκου, ο Jerry Goodman στρατολογείται για τη Mahavishnu Orchestra του John McLaughlin (σσ. λέγεται ότι η πρώτη επιλογή του McLaughlin ήταν ο Jean Luc Ponty, o οποίος όμως σε εκείνη τη φάση δεν μπορούσε να πάρει βίζα και άδεια εργασίας στις ΗΠΑ) και το συγκρότημα πρακτικά διαλύεται. Οι Glickstein, Smith και Karpman πάντως επιχείρησαν να αναβιώσουν τους Flock, όταν βρήκαν έναν νέο βιολιστή, τον Michael Zydowsky και έκαναν μαζί του το 1973 μια ευρωπαϊκή περιοδεία (ηχογραφήσεις από την οποία τελικά κυκλοφόρησαν το 2004 σε ένα CD με τίτλο The Flock Live in Europe). Το 1975 οι κλασικοί Flock έκαναν μια αποτυχημένη απόπειρα επανένωσης που παρήγαγε έναν ακόμη δίσκο, το Inside Out. Τέλος το 1976 οι Glickstein και Karpman μαζί με τον μπασίστα Thom Blecka έφτιαξαν το power trio Flock 3, που όμως δεν κατάφερε να ηχογραφήσει ποτέ. Έτσι τελικά πέρασε στην ιστορία ένα συγκρότημα για το οποίο ο John Mayall είχε γράψει πριν μερικά χρόνια ότι ήταν το καλύτερο αμερικανικό σχήμα που είχε ακούσει… – Laertis….~ 




The Flock ‎ “The Flock"1969

The Flock, there was something … Right, it must have been in the 9th grade, when our music teacher - actually an older semester, but open to all kinds of contemporary music - played us something from a band called The Flock. Of course, after 40 years (uff), I can not say exactly what, because all I know is that I talked to a classmate about this music during the break, and we both came to the conclusion: in itself very good, if just this gag would not be … 
This story came to my mind once again in autumn 2017 when a double CD of The Flock with their recordings for the Columbia label was released. And since I’m meanwhile anything but averse to drinking, the double album landed with me soon. It includes their debut The Flock (1969) and the successor Dinosaur Swaps (1970), plus some studio sessions and single versions. Everything remastered in very good sound and with an extensive booklet with band history. 
The debut of the Septet from Chicago is undoubtedly one of the classics of progressive jazz rock. Clearly rooted in the blues, the bluesy basis of the music is extended again and again with excursions into edgy-rocky rock acts and of course jazz escapades, which can extend to largely free sounds. Earthy guitar, powerful brass inserts and, of course, the wild, virtuoso Gefiedel of Jerry Goodman combine into an equally robust, neat ache scrubbing mixture full of juice and power. Highlights of the album (which really only consists of highlights) are clowns and especially the long Truth , in which the band shows particularly jazzy-adventurous - of course without cutting off the bluesy roots. 
The successor Dinosaur Swamps , created in almost the same cast (one of the two saxophonists was replaced), can not quite keep up. Although cleverly introducing new musical ingredients, especially folk ( Mermaid ), even country is perfectly integrated into the sound cosmos ( Big Bird , new signing John Gerber can be heard on the banjo), whereas the blues has now largely disappeared; but on their second album, the band is not quite as adventurous, the wild freeform capades of the debut are missing here. But that does not change the fact that even Dinosaur Swamps has become a fine jazz rock album that still beats the standard brass band of the brand Blood, Sweat & Tears. 
Of the additional tracks, especially the session recordings of the second CD (Nos. 8 to 11) are interesting. These were created in late 1970 for a planned, but never finished third album, which should carry the title Flock Rock (early 90s under this title appeared a flock sampler on which these pieces were first published). These recordings jam instrumentally what The Flock liked to do at their concerts when more encores were required than material was available. However, the label was not very enthusiastic about it, and so the recordings disappeared over 20 years in the archives. Because at about the same time Jerry Goodman was hired off for the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which meant the end for The Flock. 
Interesting is among the archive footage also Lollipops and Rainbows from 1969, which shows the band of an unusual Flower Power psychedelic side. The single versions, however, are more of historical interest, they are just shortened, or, in the case of the single version of clown published only in France in 1970 , cut into two parts, which then formed the A- and B-side. After all, these versions are real rarities, since they are released here for the first time on CD. 
Thus, this anthology offers an excellent opportunity to get to know the essential work (much did not come after that) of this criminally neglected band in the best sound quality. Lovers of a progressive brass jazz rock without blues aversions should call this double CD their own…..By Jochen Rindfrey…babyblaue prog…..~

As I already said before in a Darryl Way’s Wolf review, bands who play simultaneously electric violin and electric guitar are rare; The Flock belong to this select group. As if it was not enough, a very inspiring Zappa-esque mini-brass section garnishes furthermore the melodies, often falling into a refined fusion style: because of all that, The Flock remains a very unique band, capable of being hard rock, big band, bluesy, psychedelic, fusion or even folk: that’s why we can classify them as an art rock artist, since they can borrow different musical styles. The Hendrixian & Zeppelin-esque restless running bass patterns contribute to make catchy rhythmic tracks easy to follow. There are absolutely NO keyboards involved on this record. The violinist Jerry Goodman here has a pretty similar style to Stephane Grapelli. The drums & bass free "Introduction” track is absolutely unique & progressive for 1969!…by greenback …..~

The Flock deserve more than a footnote, but not the full-fleged treatment that an entry in The Anal Annals of American Progressive Rock would surely give them. 
Similar to cross-town rival Chicago, the Flock used horns and was signed to Columbia records. But while Chicago was more of a rock group with strong jazz influences, the Flock was even more out there. 
Most of this is due to their not-so-secret weapon: violinist Jerry Goodman, who played in a downright classical style. 
The word virtuoso is not one to use lightly, but it applies to Goodman. Right out of the gate, The Flock has an enchanting classical violin/jazz guitar piece (“Introduction”) that can hardly be called rock. Goodman’s playing is very fluid, and he even pulls out a few tricks such as plucking and wah-wah (“Truth”). 
It helps that the rest of the band are no slouches either. Guitarist/vocalist Fred Glickstein usually just acts as support while Goodman does his thing, but is a decent player in the distorted electric mold (“Store Bought-Store Thought”). The rhythm section of Jerry Smith (bass) and Ron Karpman (drums) acquits itself well on the jazzy beat (like Chicago’s), while the horn section is closer to BS&T (Rick Canoff on tenor sax, Frank Posa on trumpet and Tom Webb on sax/flute/harmonica). 
Together the music is one huge melting pot, varying between rock, classical, jazz, blues, and even soul, often within the same song. For example, “Clown” starts out as a BS&T like blues number but has a fantastic dreamy middle where the horns get to play jazzy lines, or “I Am the Tall Tree” which can only be described as folky classical that again has jazzy stretches. Lyrically, The Flock has a lot of semi-dated counter-culture stuff, but it is not embarrassing or anything. 
On the other hand, the music is planned well - the rhythm section tends to keep them firmly anchored (“Store Bought-Store Thought”) no matter where they go, the vocal harmonies are well constructed, and they do synchronized note runs periodically (“Truth”). The songs are not jams, but spotlights that rotate on the members of the band. 
That they only lose their way once, in the middle of “Truth” where what starts out as a straight blues number evolves into something looser, is remarkable. They even do an excellent, soul-like rendition of “Tired of Waiting” (oddly credited to the group). But this is a downright fascinating album. You want American progressive music? Here it is. Produced by John McClure…..~
The Flock deserve more than a footnote, but not the full-fleged treatment that an entry in The Anal Annals of American Progressive Rock would surely give them. They were released by three separate albums of all of them, and with steadily decreasing results. Their first album focuses on the classical violinist. Jerry Goodman, with the counter-point done by a horn section. (This was the Chicago band, after all) and guitarist Fred Glickstein. Shifting between styles inside of songs was the key to their success, as was letting. Goodman stretch out as much as possible. The second album, Dinosaur Swamps, reigned Goodman in, hampered by itself. But both of these albums are definitely a different form of progressive rock - sort of Chicago with Seatrain’s violin. But Goodman then left for John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra and the band in 1971. It was revived by Glickstein and the rhythm section in the mid-70s without horns, but with a token violinist and a synth-loving keyboardist. The final Flock album was self-consciously “progressive” and laid down to the Styx (another Chicago band). In short, a deserved, obnoxious flop. So really their debut (The Flock) is the only Flock album you need to own or hear. The final Flock album was self-consciously “progressive” and laid down to the Styx (another Chicago band). In short, a deserved, obnoxious flop. So really their debut (The Flock) is the only Flock album you need to own or hear. The final Flock album was self-consciously “progressive” and laid down to the Styx (another Chicago band). In short, a deserved, obnoxious flop. So really their debut (The Flock) is the only Flock album you need to own or hear…..~ 
This is a classic album featuring violin master Jerry Goodman whom later joined Mahavishnu Orchestra. I also owned his solo album “Ariel” that sounded differently than The Flock. One thing that triggered me to purchased this album was the use of violin, especially in progressive rock. This album may favor those who like or can appreciate fusion music and may NOT favor those who like progressive metal or even symphonic progressive. The music of The FLOCK reminds me to bands like CHAZE, CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY (before it later became CHICAGO only) or BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS. They are not closely alike but they same to be in the same family, I think. So, if you only love Genesis like or Dream Theater like, forget about this CD - it will be a waste for you. But, if you like brass rock or fusion or bands like I mentioned above, yeah man . this one is for you! 
The album kicks off with “Introduction” (4:50) that basically introduces you to the sort of music they play - well, not really because it contains an exploration of violin solo and guitar fills in quiet passage. It flows to “Clown” (7:42) in exactly the same vein like CHAZE - the band whom all the members died tragically in a plane crash - or CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY. Oh man, this track is so powerful in compositions: solid bass lines, excellent improvisations, great solos and good melody that projects an image of classic rock tunes. The third track “I Am the Tall Tree ”(5:37) continues with a mellow style vocal and guitar / violin at opening part and it flows with some influence of blues and jazz music. It reminds me to the music of BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS. 
“Tired of Waiting” (4:35) gives an opportunity for violin to do long solo during opening part. It flows to classic rock style with great violin and guitar solo. The fifth track “Store Bought - Store Thought” (7:00) is one of my favorite as it has stunning guitar solo - relatively long - during opening part accompanied with excellent brass section and seventies singing style. 
“Truth” (15:25) concludes the album with some blues touch - nice one - that reminds us to blues-based rock bands like BLIND FAITH, CUBY + THE BLIZZARD, LIVIN’ BLUES, KEEF HARTLEY band PLUS great violin and brass section. I love the singing style as well as the combination between violin, guitar solo and brass section that make up this excellent composition. The exploration of trumpet and tenor saxophone in the middle of this track is truly excellent. 
Recommended! (for those who like Chaze, Chicago Transit Authority, BS&T and sort of jazz/blues music. For those who like only music like Dream Theater or only Genesis, forget this album!). After all ..keep on proggin’!!!!….~ 

The Flock 
*Rick Canoff - Sax 
*Fred Glickstein - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals 
*Jerry Goodman - Violin, Guitar, Vocals 
*Ron Karpman - Drums 
*Frank Posa - Trumpet 
*Jerry Smith - Bass 
*Tom Webb - Sax


Tracklist 
A1 Introduction 4:50 
A2 Clown 7:42 
A3 I Am The Tall Tree 5:37 
A4 Tired Of Waiting 4:35 
B1 Store Bought - Store Thought 7:00 
B2 Truth 15:25

















The Flock “Dinosaur Swamps” 1970 US Jazz Rock

I got this on vinyl back in the seventies. I eagerly awaited it’s release, as I already had 'The Flock’-their first release. I was listening to it on my ancient gramophone player which I just wound up for the occasion. New needle and all! My disappointment increased by the minute. I was about to give up, and violently scrape the needle through the friggin’ grooves–and then it happened… Like a voice from god, or that feeling when a strong narcotic kicks in (I only did that in hospital under strict medical supervision) The last track.. 'Uranian Sircus’ is well worth the price of admission, and more. Skip all of the other 6 tracks. What a masterpiece track 7 is. If they could have written a whole album along that theme, you would probably the best 'concept’ album this side of Uranus (pardon my expression, depending on how you pronounce it, urine or anus, it sounds bad either way-sorry). By the track names, it seems like they were trying to come up with a concept. Album starts with'Green Slice’-should have been 'Brown Slice, Anyhoo, that said, I still love the album, but I give 4.5 stars to 'Uranian Sircus’ and the remaning .5 star split up amongst the first 6 tracks. What a truly original, creative work of art that track is. By the way, If you get the compilation 'Flock Rock’-get it just for the unreleased stuff-they actually left out 'Uranian Sircus’. That would be like leaving out 'Honkey Tonk Women’ from a Rolling Stones best of. Who would do such a thing?..by ward…~


Look, it’s called “Dinosaur Swamps.” This nugget of the early '70s fused jazz with psychedelic roots rock in some brain-melting ways. Check out the flutes, fuzz and bong harmonies of “Uranian Sircus”….~

This second album sounds different than the debut album. One thing very noticeable is the use of Hammond organ! Yeah . it’s truly seventies music man. For those who like CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, CHAZE, BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS, or DIXIE DREGS or jazz fusion music may enjoy this album. The album starts off with an ambient “Green Slice” (2:03) that basically explores organ and tenor sax sounds, continued with “Big Bird” (5:50) in relatively upbeat tempo augmented with brass section work and violin; influenced by country music. The trumpet solo in alternate with violin is truly stunning. “Hornschmeyer’s Island” (7:26) continues with heavy elements of jazz especially through improvisation part in the middle of the track where violin performs its solo. Brass sections, flute and guitar accentuate the song excellently. 
It’s unusual that the band starts “Lighthouse” (5:17) with electric solo followed with full music that brings voice line enters the scene. The bass lines are very obvious coupled with brass and guitar solo in uplifting mood. I like the interlude part where all solos are performed in compact fashion combining guitar, bass and brass section. “Crabfoot” (8:14) is an upbeat brass rock outfit, augmented with excellent violin work. The guitar solo reminds me to Chicago’s Terry Kath, it’s stunning. The interlude part is energetic with inventive brass section. “Mermaid” (4:54) is a track with different textures and styles compared to other tracks. The melody and rhythm are weird, they don’t seem to fit but they produce unique sound. “Uranian Sircus” (7:09) is similar in style with previous track. I like the flute work and violin solo in this track - all performed in jazz nuance.. 
Overall, this album is less if I compare it with the band’s debut album. However, it’s a good album overall. Yours progressively…by Gatot ….~


The Flock made a rather remarkable transformation on their second album. The lineup is the same including violin impresario Jerry Goodman, but rather than the big brass and jazzy sound that dominated the first record, this one features copious amounts of multi- tracked vocals, an almost country-rock mood and violin work that sometimes borders on what can only be described as 'fiddling’. All in all I have to say I like this album very much, especially since the production quality is noticeably improved over their debut. Still, the significant shift in sound is quite surprising and must have been a bit of a shock to whatever fans they had in the early seventies. Rather than sounding like Chicago or BS&T, comparisons to the Grateful Dead are quite a bit more apropos this time around. 
The opening “Green Slice” sounds like Steve Howe setting in on a session with Jerry Garcia, while “Big Bird” retains that country-fried rock sound but adds in the discordant brass that distinguished the middle part of their first album. 

“Hornschmeyer’s Island” would qualify these guys as a progressive band even if none of their other music had. The shifting tempos and moods along with a blast of vocals followed by a series of contrasting saxophones and trumpet make for a complex and engaging song all by themselves, but the shift midway to a torrid bass rhythm and dissonant violin solo is simply too cool for 1971, and something that impresses even today. Only a real turd of a filler track would have taken away from this, and fortunately the band managed to avoid including such a track which ultimately saves the record as a whole. 

I think the oddest tune in the band’s entire discography comes next on this record, a bluesy and driving version of James Taylor’s laconic “Lighthouse” that apparently only salvages a few of the original lyrics and a heavily amped-up version of Taylor’s guitar chord progression. Otherwise this is a heavy rock number that bears almost no resemblance to the original, but does trot out the same sort of harmonized vocals their debut album features, but that sound much better this time around thanks to the improved engineering. 

“Crabfoot” is mostly an instrumental track with plenty of trumpet and saxophone (three of them if I hear correctly), a blazing number that shows the band members had managed to gel as a unit after a couple years of touring and studio work together. The scat-like vocals toward the end are unnecessary but don’t take much away from the groove. 

I’m not sure what the group was trying to accomplish with “Mermaid”, a sort of British folk- sounding minstrelly thing that I probably would have appreciated more had it come out on a Dulcimer or Incredible String Album rather than a Flock record. Still, I like the song and give the group some credit for being willing to experiment. 

Finally “Uranian Sircus” starts off sounding like something Principal Edward’s Magic Theatre would have done, but morphs into a funky and almost psych number with a hippy version of white rap and a frenetic guitar riff that is as annoying as it is intriguing. A truly weird tune that could have only been recorded in 1971 or by Ozric Tentacles, and probably nowhere in between. Very cool. 
I actually like this album better than the band’s debut, although in the end I can’t give it anymore than the three stars I gave that one simply because it is good but not outstanding. Three stars in a five star rating system is just too broad a range I guess. Anyway if you are curious at all about the band I would recommend this one first, followed by their debut record if you’re still interested. And there’s a CD reissue that combines both of them if you’re feeling frisky and want to check them both out….by ClemofNazareth ….~

Lasting only three years, Chicago’s The Flock, might have ended up as nothing more than a footnote on the creative rock scene between 1965 and 1975. But this guitar trio with a horn section was the first sighting of violinist Jerry Goodman, who’d go on to greater fame as a member of fusion super-group Mahavishnu Orchestra. Mahavishnu fans might be interested in this double-disc reissue of the group’s two albums solely on the strength of the violinist’s involvement. Goodman is, unquestionably, the group’s biggest calling card, but by no means the only one. 
Guitarist/vocalist Fred Glickstein, along with saxophonist Rick Canoff, was one of the group’s founding members. Perhaps not as immediately impressive as Terry Kath of Chicago Transit Authority (soon to be simply Chicago), who emerged around the same time, Glickstein was however, a loosely expressive singer and more versatile guitarist. 

This may explain why The Flock never achieved the commercial success of other horn-sectioned bands of the time like CTA and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The eclecticism of The Flock meant that it was hard to pin down just what it wanted to be. Between the 1969 eponymous debut and 1971 follow-up, Dinosaur Swamps, there’s a lot of territory covered, often within the confines of a single track. 

“Introduction, from The Flock, moves from a jazz-centric duet between Glickstein and Goodman, (foreshadowing the violinist’s later Mahavishnu work), to its energized gypsy-tinged finale. "Clown is a propulsive piece of funk that’s driven by the horns but dissolves into a more abstract middle section, filled with rich horns voicings supported by a repeated bass figure and gentle but persistent groove. 

"Truth, also from the first album, begins as a straightforward blues piece, with a potent a capella solo from Goodman leading into the jungle rhythms and sharp horn lines of its middle section. These might seem like odd non-sequiturs until the group brings things back to the blues again for the powerful ending to this 15-minute tour-de-force. The group also reinvents The Kinks’ "Tired of Waiting, with a virtuosic solo intro from Goodman that leads into the most straightforward pop tune on either disc. 

The Flock is ultimately more successful than Dinosaur Swamps, an recording that suffered from the "concept album bug that bit too many groups at the time—ultimately too ambitious and self-indulgent for its own good. And if The Flock was eclectic, Dinosaur Swamps was positively schizophrenic, with tinges of bluegrass/country, psychedelic musings with electronic treatments, flat-out funk, higher octane blues/rock and hints of Zappa-esque absurdity. 
However, the writing, arrangements and performances are at worst intriguingly flawed, at best viscerally punchy and while unequivocally dated, the music is fun in a guilty kind of way. Goodman may be the drawing card, but this reissue rescues from obscurity a group that may not have achieved the commercial success of its contemporaries, but over the course of two albums produced a far more diverse and interesting body of work…..by….By JOHN KELMAN ….~

The Flock has always had a different sound that should be approached with an open mind. The game is beautiful, and even if we can understand the aversion of some to singing, he is in agreement with the rest of the natural rhythmic structure of the songs. Overall, this album is not as good as the first album, but it’s a good album overall. 
The album begins with an ambient ” Green Slice “ which explores essentially the sound of the organ and tenor saxophone, continued with "Big Bird” in a relatively upbeat tempo complemented by the work of brass and violin influenced by the Country Music .The trumpet solo alternating with the violin is really impressive. 
“Hornschmeyer’s Island” continues with heavy elements of jazz in particular through a part of improvisation in the middle of the song where the violin performs his solos. Sections of brass, flute and guitar accentuates the beauty of the song. 
It is quite unusual to hear that the group begins as “Lighthouse"a solo electric followed by full orchestration, bass lines are very obviously coupled with brass and guitar solo in a mood quite exhilarating. Part interlude where all the solos are performed compactly combines guitar, bass and brass is beautifully executed. 
"Crabfoot” is a rock solid and optimistic, supplemented by the excellent work of the violin. The guitar solo reminds Terry Kath of Chicago and it is superb. The intermediate portion is energetic with a brass section inventive. The magic is evident in this song that cleverly blends the type of melody Blues “You do not love me” with the Soul “I Feel Good” by James Brown style. 
“Mermaid” is a song with textures and styles compared to other songs. The melody and rhythm are weird, they seem a little wobbly, but they produce a unique sound. It is as if a song Psychedelic meet one intelligent Chamber Ensemble, with a flamboyant falsetto and harmony. 
The last piece, “Uranian Sircus” is similar in style to the previous song. The nice job flute and solo violin made in shades of Jazz. It shows what really makes the Flock a truck driving well above most groups Prog known at the time, with a creative flair. In short, this album worth listening deeper to discover the shades and other niceties! …by Adamus67….~



Credits 
Bass – Jerry Smith (2) 
Drums – Ron Karpman 
Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – Fred Glickstein 
Producer – John McClure 
Saxophone – Rick Canoff, Tom Webb 
Trumpet – Frank Posa 
Violin, Guitar, Vocals – Jerry Goodman 
Written-By – The Flock

Tracklist 
Green Slice
Big Bird
Hornschmeyer’s Island
Lighthouse
Crabfoot
Mermaid
Uranian Sircus




Discography 

The Flock (1969) 
Dinosaur Swamps (1970) 
Inside Out (1975) 
Live in Europe (2004) 
Flock Rock - The Best Of The Flock (2008) 
2131 South Michigan Ave (2009) 

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