Formed in Santa Monica as The Young Swingers, bassist Alan Brackett, singer/guitarist Jim Cherniss, drummer Spencer Dryden, singer/guitarist John Merrill and singer Barbara Robinson began playing local clubs and released two, now obscure, singles in 1965. By 1966 the band had opted on a name change to the Ashes, along with a change in personnel – original bassist Cherniss dropping out, while drummer Dryden quit in order to join The Jefferson Airplane. The band continued on, signing a contract with Vault Records that saw them release two unsuccessful 45s and within a couple of months Brackett and Merrill had abandoned the project, instead forming The Peanut Butter Conspiracy…
Ache - De Homine Urbano (1970). Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a newly re-mastered edition of the classic debut album by Danish Progressive Rock group Ache. Formed in 1968, with a line-up of Torsten Olafsson (bass, vocals), Finn Olafsson (guitar, vocals), Peter Mellin (organ, piano) and Glenn Fischer (drums and percussion), Ache first came to attention in Denmark with their work De Homine Urbano ("About Urban Man”) which was the first ever Rock ballet, performed by the Royal Danish Ballet Company in Copenhagen in 1969. Influenced by groups such as The Nice, Iron Butterfly and more, Ache’s music was a powerful Psychedelic Progressive Rock driven by Peter Mellin’s powerful Hammond Organ and the fluid guitar playing of Finn Olafsson…
A great album recorded in 1963 for Atlantic – one of our favorite ever! Jack Wilson's one of our favorite piano players, and we rave about him all the time on these pages – and one of the reasons why we love him so much is that he was often accompanied by Roy Ayers, who started out his career playing vibes in his group! The pair together are a dream, and this album is arguably their best effort – filled with moody modal cuts, and lots of lyrical interplay that hits these beautiful high points, then dives into pits of darkness. Titles include "Harbor Freeway", "De Critifeux", "Corcovado", "Jackleg", and "Nirvana & Dana".
If you're looking for a recording of Locatelli's complete Opus 8 Violin Sonatas, look no further. These 1994 recordings by the aptly named Locatelli Trio are not only superbly played and beautifully recorded, they have the singular virtue of being the only available recordings of the works. That's alright: with violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch at the helm, they are uniformly first-rate performances. Wallfisch is herself a superior period instrument player who balances the virtuoso demands of the music with its undeniable melodic charm and harmonic invention, and she leads cellist Richard Tunnicliffe and harpsichordist Paul Nicholson in performances that amaze as well as delight the listener. Furthermore, when the trio becomes a quartet with the addition of violinist Rachel Isserlis for the final four sonatas for two violins and continuo, the best gets even better through the brilliant interplay of two skilled soloists. For lovers of virtuoso violin music of the Italian High Baroque, this is as good as it gets. Hyperion's sound is crisp but warm, detailed but deep.
Some of the finer CTI recordings of the late '70s were those led by flugelhornist Art Farmer. Although the emphasis was generally on obscure material (in this case Farmer plays one original, two songs by Dave Grusin and one piece by pianist Fritz Pauer) and often featured musicians who did not normally play together, the results were generally quite rewarding. For this CTI LP (long out-of-print), the focus is almost entirely on Farmer who is joined by keyboardist Grusin, guitarist Eric Gale, flutist Jeremy Steig, either Will Lee or George Mraz on bass and drummer Steve Gadd. The moody music holds one's interest throughout.
Jacques Rivest was best known as Pollen's vocalist and multi-instrumentalist prior to the release of his first, self-titled solo album in 1979. The LP features Pollen band mates Claude Lemay (keyboards) and Richard Lemoyne (guitar), joined by Daniel Mathieu (bass) and Serge Courchesne (drums/horns). Some of the material is more mainstream, but the acoustic instrumentation lends itself to a folk vibe, and there are some truly progressive moments, as on the Eastern-looking "Voyage au Tibet", as well as the double-keyboard lines and singing, reminiscent of Pollen, found on other tracks. 2006 saw the re-release of Rivest's first solo album, this time on CD, by ProgQuebec. The album is now augmented by a bonus track, taken from a single released about the same time as the original album release.
Featuring Craig Anders (guitar, vocals), Mark Anders (bass, vocals), Peter Filleul (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Pix (lead vocals) and Jerry Robins (drums), The Parlour band was a melodic Progressive outfit who excelled vocally and toured extensively as support act to bands such as Caravan and Khan, but failed to make a commercial impression, despite the excellence of their work, leaving behind their sole album for Deram as their recorded legacy.
Fronted by keyboard maestro Michael Tschudin (previously leader of Boston psych faves The Listening), this short-lived quintet played progressive rock with a jazzy, percussive edge. Their sole album was originally released in August 1970, and boasts impressive interplay throughout, with superb musicianship including a guest appearance from Elvin Jones on drums.