Vega were one of several Andalusian and Spanish bands who flourished in the mid- to late seventies by making music that blended flamenco, folk and jazz at times with English progressive tendencies, often resulting in a colorful and rich fusion sound. Acts like Triana, Cai, Mezquita and Azahar would establish themselves as the preeminent players on these scenes, along with the more contemporary counterparts like Los Canarios and Alameda. In this vein Vega combined Andalusian instrumentation (and sometimes traditional arrangements) with a less well-defined progressive bent, emphasizing instead a heavy flamenco influence and the showcased guitar work of band leader Tómas Vega. The group released three albums in three years, each accompanied by one single. The first two are heavily imbued with flamenco-driven fusion compositions.
A very obscure and difficult to locate album produced in Germany in the early-70's. This is a dreamy progressive folk album that appears to be a duo augmented by sessions musicians (in the manner of Witthuser + Westrupp but with vocals sung in English). The album does venture out into a tougher rock sound at times while at others it will float on a bed of mellotron sound which hazily recalls the sound of early King Crimson or The Moody Blues. A very interesting and rare album which is well worth a listen.
Unhalfbricking is the third album by British folk rock band Fairport Convention, released in 1969. It is seen as a transitional album in their history and marked a further musical move away from American influences towards more traditional English folk songs that had begun on their previous album, What We Did On Our Holidays and arguably reached its peak on the follow-up, Liege & Lief, released later the same year. In 2004 Q magazine placed Unhalfbricking at number 41 in its list of the 50 Greatest British Albums Ever, and in the same year The Observer, describing it as "a thoroughly English masterpiece", listed it at number 27 in its Top 100 British Albums. The following year, 2005, it was included in Robert Dimery's "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".
Pentwater is an interesting Chicago combo whose high-decibel rock effectively utilizes contemporary classical elements. They have found a sound that is extremely complex with layer upon layer of instrumentation supported by a lyrical violin and a bewitching flute and characterised by an abuse on polyphonic vocals and counterpoints. All the members are excellent musicians, which is important as the tunes are often intricate. Combining heavy helpings of Yes, Gentle Giant, Genesis and ELP with some of the weirdness of Frank Zappa. One of America's finest progressive bands and recommended highly.
Originally recorded in 1973, Green Desert did not see the light of day until it was remixed and released as part of the In the Beginning box set in 1986, then as its own album later the same year. It is difficult to ascertain how radical this release is from the original recording, but as it stands, it is a logical step between the rawer-produced Atem to the ambient/sequencer-driven style of Phaedra. A key element of this is attributable to Edgar Froese's guitar playing on the title track, an unhurried solo that lasts only about five minutes in the nearly 20-minute piece, yet is easily the most memorable part of the entire song. None of the three shorter songs are as dynamic as the first, each containing a keyboard melody played over synthesized noises and the rhythms of drums, sequencers, or a series of chords.
GDigitally remastered and expanded edition of this legendary 1967 collaboration from Rock 'N' Roll and R&B pioneer Larry Williams and Johnny Guitar Watson, who took his R&B roots into pimp-friendly Funk in the '70s. The album is a Northern Soul classic with three bonafide stompers in the title track, the legendary 'Too Late' and 'A Quitter Never Wins'. Also features the even rarer 45 'Nobody', which the duo recorded with US Psychedelic outfit Kaleidoscope. The package is expanded even more with six tracks from Watson's OKeh album the Fantastic Piano And Guitar of Johnny Watson - BAD! And two tracks from the OKeh album in a Fats Bag - the Johnny Guitar Watson Trio Plays Fats Waller.
A band with a revolving cast fronted by Iraklis Triantafyllidis between 1972 and 1995, Iraklis played a blend of traditional Greek folk with psychedelic rock and classical aspects. They released 3 albums from 1976-1984, the most acclaimed being "Se Allous Kosmous", a double LP at the time, marked by ambitious blending of seemingly disparate styles and instruments that somehow works.
Metropolitan Suite is a wonderful work from synthesist Larry Fast, who uses his keyboards to create two sets of musical vistas - one that calls, simply, musical abstractions; the other is the title composition, a piece that gives musical sketches of New York at different periods in its history. Fast has a cinematic flair that results in some extremely dramatic writing - music for the cinema of the mind.
Larry Fast's Synergy was an extremely inventive and innovative electronic music project of the '70's. Larry Fast is known for his synthesizer contributions to a lot of bands in the '70's and '80's including Peter Gabriel and Yes. While Synergy's second album, "Sequencer", isn't quite as startling as their debut, it remains an intriguing, unpredictable collection of electronic instrumentals. Again, the sounds and technology occasionally sound a little dated, but the ideas remain fresh.