Sunday, 13 May 2018

Zoldar & Clark (Jasper Wrath-second album) “Zoldar & Clark” 1977 US Prog Rock


Zoldar & Clark  (Jasper Wrath-second album) “Zoldar & Clark”  1977  US ultra rare Prog Rock
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Official reissue of late 70s progressive rock record which is actually the 2nd album from Jasper Wrath. It’s heavily influenced by British prog like Yes and Gentle Giant and features mellotrons, synths, flute and some lethal lead guitar. This was originally released on a tax scam label in 1977 …~

Until 1977, fans of American music “for the smart” did not know any kind of Zoldar and Clark. Absolutely obscure team came up with a strong release on the label Dellwood Records and just as rapidly escaped home. Meanwhile, the record left a trace in the hearts of music lovers, and later was reckoned by experts to a cohort of pearls progressives of the second half of the seventies. And only an observant rock fan, reviewing the names of the participants on the envelope, could figure out that these guys did not come down “from the tree” yesterday. Jeff Cannata (drums, winds, guitar, vocals), Robert Giannotti (guitar, flute, vocals), Michael Zoldan (piano, synthesizers, mellotron, vocal) and other good people, since 1969, have made history in the ranks of psychedelic- Project Jasper Wrath. In memory of that time there was only one album (1971) and a collection of archival things. By the middle of the decade the composition began to fever. While some have skied skiing in the direction of “easy money”, others puffed up to show off creativity in different from the previous scale. With the efforts of the iron producer Christopher Hawke (ex-member Jasper Wrath), confusion and vacillation were suppressed. It was required: a) an infusion of “fresh blood” in the person of four musicians from the side; b) a year of hard work on the texture; c) revision of style guidelines; d) change of a signboard. The result of creative vigils was a longplay, which is not a shame to re-release in the new millennium for the joy of hunting up to “delicious” descendants.
In terms of integrity, “The Ghost of Way” is imperfect. Here, of course, we need to blame the fighters from the company Oxford Circus. They made the release of the material on CD in 2008, changing the original structure (the vinyl version contained not 11 but 7 tracks, two of which were not included on the CD). However, the final product is still good. And deserves the most careful attention.
Introductory instrumental “Lunar Progressions” pushes forehead elegiac guitar-flute melisms with a vortical Giant-prog of the prizhazovannogo sense. And the lines of the unforgettable Alexander Sergeevich flash out in my memory: “I became an artisan: the fingers / I gave obedient, dry fluency / And fidelity to the ear.” Sounds I killed, / I broke the music like a corpse, I believed / Algebra harmony … “The tendentious stratification of the logarithms? Or justified ideological constructivism? God knows. Purely externally - effectively. And what is inside is not very clear. In the "borderline” line of tracks fit and titular synthetic cross between mellotron-rock and commercial pomp-substrate, and the theatrical number “Roland of Montevere”. “Touch the Sky” looks like Michurin’s experience of transplanting Yes tubers into a major state soil; not bad, and yet doubtful. But then everything is very, very attractive: the symphonic ballad “Father” in soulful gothic tones, the colorful art voyage “Now is the Time”, light fusion “The City”, the magic folk pastoral “You”, an epic progressive kaleidoscope “Somewhere Beyond the Sun ”, lyrical AOR-rhapsody" To Be Alive “+ orchestral pop-rock” The Dream “in the best overseas traditions.
I summarize: in places an uneven, and, nevertheless, quite curious collection of performances. I recommend admirers of unofficial art acts, drawn from the dimensionless retro pantry….by….sagael ….~

The CD on Oxford Circus (the only legitimate one and titled "The Ghost of Way” on the CD itself) contains some different material than what’s on the original Dellwood LP. Unfortunately there’s no liner notes to explain why that is the case. As well, from all the online info I can gather, there isn’t a definitive guide as to what is what here. Cannata himself is behind the reissue, and it appears that in his mind, the Zoldar & Clark brand name is geared towards the band’s more progressive mindset, whereas Jasper Wrath and Arden House represent other aspects of their overall sound. Some of these song titles I don’t recognize from anywhere - while others were originally on albums from JW and AH.

All of this is perhaps for the better, as this CD is the Progressive Rock Extract, and is pretty solid all the way through. Yes plays a strong role in the influence of this young band.
In any case, this CD is not a reissue of the original LP. I’m rating it separately (and it scores a half point higher than the LP for me)….by….ashratom ….~

This fantastic album is really a bunch of surprises! The origins of the recording and the people involved are quite mysterious and apparently it was recorded by a group called Jasper Wrath, which included (among others) the keyboardist Jeff Cannata, who is responsible for this reissue on his Oxford Circus label. Apparently the group recorded enough material for two albums, which were released separately, one under the Zoldar And Clark moniker and the other as Arden House. This new edition brings all the material recorded originally for the first time and it is an amazing collection of Prog at its best – richly melodic, complex and witty, almost too good to be true and certainly not sounding as made in the US, as the sound and musical approach are deeply rooted in the classic UK Prog tradition, almost Canterbury. Great keyboards and mellotron, quirky guitars and unusual time signatures, all the ingredient for great Prog music are here for all of us to savor finally. This is as good as Prog gets and this new edition is surely the reissue of 2008, bringing to life some of the best memories of the glorious past. Essential!….by…Jazzis …~
This is a very rare 1977 progressive rock release. A friend of mine dug out his very old record collection, ripped this, and sent me a copy. I’ve found some very limited information on the band via Google. I’ve only seen one copy of the record for sale in the past, for $300. There MAY be a CD copy, but I can’t find any evidence of a re-release aside from a Japanese version (but I do not know if the Japanese version is the original LP or a CD re-release). “Zoldar & Clark” 1977 (Dellwood 56013) I’m not a fanatical progressive collector so it’s kind of a surprise that this rather obscure album has managed to worm its way into my heart. Propelled by a sea of synthesizers, musically the set’s firmly entrenched in the progressive camp (check out the extended instrumental “Luner Progressions”), though tracks such as “Touch the Sky” and “The Ghost of Way” are surprisingly accessible. The group certainly had a knack for crafting catchy hooks and whoever handled the lead vocals had a nice and quite commercial voice. In fact with a little bit of editing, several songs would have given bands like Ambrosia, Kansas, Styx and even Yes a run for their FM radio play. Sure, it wasn’t the year’s most commercial offering, but give me these guys over Starcastle any day! Man, side two of this album seems to go by in a flash. [SB] ~~~ The second of the two Jasper Wrath albums secretly released by Guinness/Dellwood is the better and more experimental of the two. It has a similar prog/AOR sound with a very obvious Yes influence (including a few blatant thefts). It has more synth, more mellotron, and more special effects than the Arden House album, and unlike Arden House, all seven songs here sound like they were recorded in the same sessions. The album may appeal to fans of the Jasper Wrath album, or to psych fans, but as 70s US progressive rock goes, this is one of the best albums out there. Highlights include the truly awesome Ghost of Way , an epic with killer mellotron and an amazing host of instruments and structural surprises. It s the kind of creative experimentation that I think of when I call music progressive in a positive way. Elsewhere are unusual uses of time signatures, terrific guitar playing and complex ideas done so smoothly as to sound simple. This is a really great record. As with the Arden House album, the songs are arranged haphazardly, with side one 21 minutes and side two 12 minutes. Jasper Wrath released a non-LP single, You/General Gunther, in 1976 and it has the same production sound as these albums. Seeing as these albums were released without Jasper Wrath s knowledge (and the fake names assured that Jasper Wrath wouldn t have an easy time discovering them), it s interesting to speculate why they had 80 minutes (including both albums and the single) of professionally produced material just sitting around gathering dust. Did they plan two albums? A double LP? [AM] ~~~ –Dream Weaver UK …..~

The Zoldar & Clark album (released in 1977) was one of two sets of tracks recorded by the group Jasper Wrath (the other credited to Arden House) and released without the band s knowledge or consent by the tax-scam label Dellwood. The style is symphonic progressive rock, heavily influenced by Yes. Some of the Zoldar & Clark tracks turned up on Jasper Wrath s 1996 double CD anthology, but the album has never been reissued in its entirety (at least not legally, a Japanese pirate CD does exist, though). ZOLDAR & CLARK: Zoldar & Clark - US (Dellwood DLD 56013) 1977 Stereo – original US pressing of good keyboard mellotron prog rock album; with Christopher Hawk (Hawke) = JASPER WRATH under different name; cover in Shrink Wrap; Dellwood was subsidiary of Guinness; original US white label pressing EX/M- LP $578 Jasper Wrath is another underrated and overlooked band from the 70’s.They released a double CD compilation 10 years ago.They started psychy and heavy prog with crunchy guitars and Hammond and then evelved towards a more refined and pompous symphonic style by the end of the 70’s. Some of their music has been bootlegged and released under the Zoldar and Clark band name. ZOLDAR & CLARK / Same (USA/1977:SELF) 1 –Dream Weaver ………….UK …..~

During the early seventies there was a bootleg of some of Jeff Cannata’s original 4 trk.demos as well as masters, that would later become the Jasper Wrath and Cannata records as well as the Anthology 2 CD set, with James Christian (House of Lords) on some of the lead vocals. Several of the tracks , to date , never on CD or LP. Jeff Cannata have decided to re-issue that material. It is a limited release,digi-pak The original LP has been seen on the internet for $578. His record label Oxford Circus Music releases limited edition bootleg version of early seventies art-rock prog band Zoldar and Clark, musicians on this album are Jeff Cannata - drums/vocals, Jeff Batter - piano/synths, Michael Soldan - keyboards/mellotron/vocals, James Christian - vocals, Phil Stone - Bass, Scott Zito - guitars and Robert Giannotti - flute/guitar. In Jeff’s own words : “Zoldar and Clark leans somewhat more heavily on the early art / rock prog , as it was written and recorded before Melodic Rock was even a term. Some of the songs were done on a 4 trk recorder over 30 yrs ago, with one of the first mellotrons in the States.” I must say that Zoldar and Clark sound very good to be a 4 track recording but expect nothing less than the analog sound of the early 70’s and it’s a thrill to hear a young James Christian singing on a few songs. My favorites are the Gentle Giant-like “Lunar progressions” (also featured on the Jasper Wrath album), “The ghost of a way” which could’ve been featured on a 70’s Jethro Tull record and “Touch the sky” that can be described as Yes meeting early Styx. “Now is the time” is another interesting song that might not be a personal fave but I like the sound of this song because if Angel would’ve recorded an album back in 1969, this song would be on that record. It’s also cool to hear the original version of “Somewhere beyond the sun” that later was re-recorded in a new version on Cannata’s 2006 album “Mysterium magnum”, I really like the idea of re-releasing this obscure album because it’s actually quite good - –Melodic . net….~
“It seems there’s an interesting story behind Zoldar & Clark: a dodgo tax-scam label, Dellwood, released two albums recorded by New England proggers Jasper Wrath as Arden House and Z & C, quite certainly ensuring that no-one involved made a wooden nickel from them. As a result, what I originally described as ‘their lone album’ is actually nothing of the sort, as Jasper Wrath also released one of the first American prog albums in 1970. Anyway, Zoldar & Clark crept out in 1977, at a time when lesser outfits were still being signed, playing in a similar, though inferior style. I suppose the best way to describe this stuff is pomp, that peculiarly American cross between prog and radio-friendly rock (as popularised by Styx, Angel, or most of all, Yes-lite crew Starcastle), that never really travelled very well, although they definitely veered towards the more progressive end of the style. Maybe that was their downfall.Although a couple of tracks head a little too near 'very mainstream’ territory (To Be Alive is a particular offender), most of Zoldar & Clark is very good indeed and deserves better than the considerable obscurity in which it finds itself. I was originally under the impression that Joe Cannata played the Mellotron, but it seeems more likely that it was actually Michael Soldan. Whatever, his 'Tron work is excellent, with strings, brass and choir all over the place and some nifty pitchbend parts cropping up here and there. To say you’re not going to find this album easily is probably a bit of an understatement, but should you happen to come across a copy for less than top dollar, it’s probably worth the investment.” …~

From 1976 to 1978, many albums were released on what is known as “tax scam” record labels, which were sometimes subsidiaries of larger record labels. These albums were printed in very small quantities, but the label would claim that thousands were printed and didn’t sell so they could claim them as a major tax deduction. The scam supposedly ended when the tax loophole that allowed it was closed. Most of these albums were from unreleased tapes that these record companies owned or purchased or took, some of which were demos or unfinished albums, and very often the bands themselves didn’t even know of their existence as band and song names were changed.
Zoldar & Clark is actually Jasper Wrath in disguise. They recorded two albums after Jasper Wrath that were both released as tax scam albums under the names Arden House and Zoldar & Clark. I’ve yet to track down Arden House’s album Coming Home to listen to that one, but reviews seem to state that it’s the weakest of the three. The original album release of Zoldar & Clark contained only 7 tracks, and all songs are excellent, extremely accessible progressive rock with crystal clear lyrics and production like Jasper Wrath. Standouts are the very trippy instrumental “Lunar Progressions,” and the 6 and a half minute “The Ghost of Way,” which is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, full of incredible singing, multiple time changes, tremendous musical diversity and even the occasional mellotron thrown in for good measure.
To add to the confusion, not only has Zoldar & Clark been released on CD in its original 7-track format, but it also exists as an 11-track CD called The Ghost of Way, which contains only 5 of the 7 original tracks, 1 track from the Jasper Wrath album, 1 track from the Arden House album, and 4 tracks unique to that collection, and again, every song is more of the brilliant, accessible progressive rock that would appeal even to people who aren’t usual fans of the genre. It’s worth getting both versions to have all the tracks as this is essential stuff that would appeal to a very wide audience.by Gary Bearman …~

Unfortunately, good luck finding out anything about this outfit. Scouring the web I found a pair of reviews, but they’re both in Japanese and using the online translation capabilities renders the results into mush. I can’t even tell you who Zoldar and Clark were …
So what can I tell you? Well the album was released by the New York-based Dellwood label (which was apparently a subsidiary of the tax loss Guinness Records label). The set was produced by Christopher Hawk. Propelled by a sea of synthesizers, musically the set’s firmly entrenched in the progressive camp (check out the extended instrumental 'Luner Progressions’), though tracks such as 'Touch the Sky’ and 'The Ghost of Way’ are surprisingly accessible. The group certainly had a knack for crafting catchy hooks and whoever handled the lead vocals had a nice and quite commercial voice. In fact with a little bit of editing, songs such as the pretty ballad 'Now Is the Time’, 'Time To Be Alive’ and 'Day After Day’ would have given bands like Ambrosia, Kansas, Styx and even Yes a run for their FM radio play. Sure, it isn’t the year’s most original offering, but give me these guys over Starcastle any day !!! Man, side two of this album seems to go by in a flash …Bad Cat…..~ 
  Zoldar & Clark? The worldwide network is quite unified that such a band has never existed as such and the material of the CD featured here has been taken up by the or one of the last incarnations of Jasper Wrath. This is also supported by the fact that on the only CD release by Jasper Wrath - which incidentally bears the title “Anthology 1969-1976” and seems to have been out of print for a long time - all numbers of “The Ghost Of Way” can be found (some additional even in live versions). The only album released during the band’s lifetime (see “Jasper Wrath”) is still waiting for a legal CD reissue.

It seems that the pieces, which probably belonged to the concert repertoire of the band, were recorded sometime in the middle of the seventies, probably not with the intention of releasing them in this form as an album. After Jasper Wrath disbanded in 1976, the label Dellwood came to the material (one of the notorious US tax-scam labels, which deliberately went bankrupt and had most of their production stamped as unsold), and “published "as” The Ghost Of Way “by Zoldar & Clark, probably without the knowledge of the participating musicians, or at least without the knowledge of all participating musicians. Incidentally, other Jasper Wrath material appeared on Dellwood under the pseudonym "Arden House”.

To the music! Classic prog is usually offered here, quite well made in addition, very colorful, varied and in amazingly good sound quality (this is basically here to demo recordings). There is also a hint of jazz and a good portion of seventies US pop rock, sometimes with West Coastal impact. Sometimes the offerings are a bit reminiscent of Gentle Giant, King Crimson, ELP, Jethro Tull and Yes, but always retain their very own character due in part to very American, often polyphonic singing. Mellotron and Moog are just as abundant in use as diverse brass and acoustic and electrically amplified guitars.

The vocal sections usually sound as if Crosby, Stills & Nash, together with the Iceland cast of King Crimson, would recite slightly pop-heavy prog ballads. Other hints at the typical AOR vocals of the late 70s and early 80s, even reminiscent of Queen. When not sung, the six musicians and guests perform quite complex and classically progressive, often with a pronounced jazz rock sound.

“The Ghost Of Way” is an amazingly round thing, a refreshing disc from the Prog’s wedding, which would have the potential to become a small US prog classic if it was earlier, under the band name Jasper Wrath and would have been published by a proper label. Personally, the very American vocal performances do not say so terribly, but the band cleverly combines this rather poppy element with classic prog sounds. Therefore: Who appreciates classical prog US-American coinage, should strike here!…by…Achim Breiling…baby blaue Prog…..~

You have to say that it’s hard to rhyme with the story of Zoldar & Clark. That’s why I contacted Jeff Cannata (ex-Jasper Wrath). The result of my own research combined with the statements of Cannata looks like this:
Jasper Wrath existed as a band from 1969-1976. There was an LP release in 1970 titled Jasper Wrath, which is still available today as re-release at usual prices. On the LP is probably the year 1971. The material that can be heard on Zoldar & Clark, was sometime in the first half of the 70s already recorded by Jasper Wrath as a demo of very good quality. Cannata is no longer in a position to provide more precise time information. These demos can be heard along with some previous and unpublished recordings on the album “Anthology 1969-1976”. For the planned Zoldar & Clark album, the material was re - recorded by Jasper Wrath, as can be heard on this CD, but was not released until 2008.
According to Jeff Cannata, the name Zoldar & Clark is a pseudonym used by keyboard player Michael Soldan and himself. Nevertheless, Jasper Wrath can be heard on the Zoldar & Clark CD. In fact, Zoldar & Clark never existed as a band. The studio demos were then, according to Cannata in the hands of an underground record company from New York, which she has released without permission. Because of the cult factor of the album Cannata was then finally asked to officially re-release the album. The newly released Zoldar & Clark album also features a few songs that were previously unreleased. You also landed a small hit from 1970 on the compilation. So, I hope, I got it on the line …
Musically it is in my view a nice mix of Yes, Jethro Tull, Kansas, CSN & Y and American Psychedelic. This is really fun and a bit more proggiger than the old Jasper Wrath stuff, which nevertheless can not be classified as Melodic Rock, but in the tradition of American Prog and American Psychedelic stand.
Zoldar & Clark may not be a milestone for the American Prog, but it certainly deserves a re-release…..by….Christian Rode …baby blaue.Prog….~ 
Cannata Biography..
From his days with Jasper Wrath, Arc Angel, and a brilliant solo career, Jeff Cannata has been at the forefront of the progressive rock movement and the latest recording technologies. Cannata is the DIY indie artists of the highest magnitude - writing, recording, playing, and producing his own music at the Oxford Circus Studios in Connecticut. Besides developing and recording his own projects, the multi-talented artist engineers and produces many other emerging talents.
With the recent release of ARC ANGEL 2 “ Harlequins of Light ”, Cannata reasserts his position as one of the premier recording artists today.

It has been several years since the celebrated Mysterium Magnum came out and this time Jeff decided to take a different road and search his soul for the songs that inspired him to choose a life in music. Although it was difficult to choose the tracks for the recording, he left the door open to the possibility of releasing another volume in the future. There are 14 tracks on My Back Pages Volume 1 and everyone is a masterpiece given new life and meaning by Cannata. Music fans will instantly recognize and relate to fantastic covers of tracks like Eight Miles High and Turn Turn Turn, while progressive rock enthusiast will delight in the Cannata translations of the Jethro Tull classics Mother Goose and My Sunday Feeling then find great satisfaction with the incredible renditions of King Crimsons In The Court of the Crimson King and the Pink Floyd track On The Turning Away.

My Back Pages Volume 1 is certain to be hailed as a classic rendering of great rock songs and many people that have not discovered Jeff Cannatas art will, and realize the validity and importance of his work both past and present. My Back Pages Volume 1 is available through all major online outlets and iTunes. Visit the Cannata website for more information and media downloads.

A new re-issue limited edition of the rare classic……….Arc Angel, is scheduled for a January 2012 release, include with a bonus track recording of the 9 minute, In The Court of The Crimson King……~ 
Dellwood is yet another of the infamous “tax dodge” / “tax scam” labels of the late 70s. A convenient loophole in the tax code that let unsavory businessmen write off unlimited losses against profits to save from paying Uncle Sam more than was truly owed (the IRS closed this loophole pretty quickly). All of these so-called music labels were setup to create a loss on the general ledger. Of course, all of these labels should have taken more losses, as they pretty much stole the music given them (via bogus advertisements in music papers stating they were legitimate enterprises). Almost all bands who unwittingly participated in this scam had no inkling their material was released until many years later.

So it’s with this background that the CD on Oxford Circus (the only legitimate reissue and titled The Ghost of Way on the CD itself) contains many different tracks from the original Dellwood LP. Unfortunately there’s no liner notes to explain why that is the case. As well, from all the online info I can gather, there isn’t a definitive guide as to what is what here. Cannata himself is behind the reissue, and it appears that in his mind, the Zoldar & Clark brand name is geared towards the band’s more progressive mindset, whereas Jasper Wrath and Arden House represent other aspects of their overall sound. Some of these song titles I don’t recognize from anywhere - while others were originally on albums from Jasper Wrath and Arden House.

In any case, this CD is not a reissue of the original LP. But well worth owning in its own right! ….~


Musicians: 
Jeff Batter - piano, synths, vocals 
Jeff Cannata - drums, guitar, woodwind, lead vocals 
James Christian - lead vocals, guitar 
Robert Giannotti - flute, guitar, lead vocals 
Michael Soldan - Mellotron, synths, lead vocals 
Phil Stone - bass, flute, vocals 
Scott Zito - lead guitar, vocals

Tracklist 
A1 Touch The Sky 5:15 
A2 Now Is The Time 4:52 
A3 To Be Alive 3:51 
A4 The Ghost Of Way 6:32 
B1 Lunar Progressions (Instrumental) 4:57 
B2 In Time
B3 Day After Day 




watch
Arden House (Jeff Cannata -Jasper Wrath)  "Coming Back" 1977 US rare Private Psych Prog 
http://johnkatsmc5.blogspot.com/2018/07/arden-house-jeff-cannata-jasper-wrath.html

watch…

Cannata (Jasper Wrath) “My Back Pages Volume 1” 2009 US Prog Rock,Neo Prog,Crossover Prog 
https://johnkatsmc5.blogspot.gr/2017/09/cannata-jasper-wrath-my-back-pages.html



watch
Jasper Wrath “Jasper Wrath “ 1971 US Prog Psych 
https://johnkatsmc5.blogspot.gr/2016/06/jasper-wrath-jasper-wrath-1971-us-prog.html

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