Unzip pass: tdats
Welcome to the second heavy brassrock special! Shown by the narrow date bracket of these tracks (1969-1973) this was a phenomenon of the late 60's/early 70's. This style of rock with a horn section originated in the US after bands like Chicago Transit Authority and Blood Sweat & Tears found success with the formula. It blends rock with elements of soul, Latin, jazz and funk and the wind/brass sections that come with them. Some elements of hard and progressive rock occasionally crept in too; check out the brilliant track from Puzzle which is an unashamed, multi-instrumental prog freak-out. The majority of the bands appearing here played in the up-beat, easily accessible way of Chicago and BS&T, and the vocalists tend to be of the big band-leading crooner type. SOD, Melting Pot and The Gasoline Band are rooted in funk & soul, which have of course always been heavily reliant on brass sections. In true TDATS tradition, these picks are the hardest-rocking examples of their respective styles that I could find...
One thing I like about listening to this music is how it conjures images of old crime movies, perfect for a Dirty Harry or Steve Mcqueen chase scene. And a warning, be prepared to read some very long detailed band line-ups! Along with the usual rock instrumentation you'll see mentioned the likes of Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Flugelhorn, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Harp, Congas and Bongos. By the nature of this music and the range of musical skills it requires, there's no room for amateurs here, so those of you preferring tight arrangements are going to dig this. There's some equally great guitar skills on here too, take a listen to Aura, The Gasoline Band, SOD and Jug Session.
I must say thanks to Youtube contact Rocky B for inspiring this comp. I was pretty much done after the first brassrock TDATS (Vol60) until a few knowledgeable comments from Rocky, the self-styled 'King of Hornrock', appeared on my channel. I grilled him for a list and the result is the inclusions (that make up about half of this volume) from 4th Cekcion, SOD, Melting Pot, Loadstone, Puzzle, Gasoline Band and Aura - all super-obscure acts that I may not have come across without his tips. Good man!
01. Swallow - Something Started Happening (1972)
from album 'out of the nest'
02. 4th Cekcion - I Don't Have To Hide My Face Anymore (1970)
from album '4th cekcion'
03. SOD - Things I Wanna Say (1971)
from album 'sod'
04. Melting Pot - As I Lay Dying (1971)
from album 'fire burn, cauldron bubble'
05. Trifle - New Religion (1971)
from album 'first meeting'
06. Loadstone - Keep on Burning (1969)
from album 'loadstone'
07. Puzzle - The Grosso (1973)
from album 'puzzle'
08. Jug Session - Easy Here (1970)
09. The Gasoline Band - Ein Grosses (1972)
from album 'the gasoline band'
10. Silk - Not A Whole Lot I Can Do (1969)
from album 'smooth as raw silk'
11. Aura - Truckin' (1971)
from album 'aura'
12. Warehouse - Na-na-na song (1972)
from album 'powerhouse'
13. Swegas - Child of Light (1971)
from album 'child of light'
skydog's elesium | allmusic.com | badcat records | cherry red records
giant city music | the original gasoline band | swegas.com | wfmu radio
DJ Matthew Africa
giant city music | the original gasoline band | swegas.com | wfmu radio
DJ Matthew Africa
|Swallow LP front|
"The first album from Swallow was produced by Jean Paul Salvatori, who put together the excellent Bootleg Him! double LP of Alexis Korner material this same year, 1972. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Ultimate Spinach, later with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, appears on "Come Home Woman," an original from bassist Vernon Miller Jr., who was part of the band who opened for the Beatles in 1966, the legendary Barry & the Remains. Miller's presence adds collectability to this debut. "Come Home Woman" would have been perfect for Alexis Korner, come to think of it, a bluesy lament which begins with Baxter's wonderful guitar work and picks up steam, letting George Leh open up and battle the horns -- the voice and instruments stir things up so fine. "Aches and Pains" is one of the four Vern Miller Jr./George Leh co-writes, and it is gospel-tinged blues which spills over onto "Common Man." There's real personality here, music perhaps a little too earthy for the Blood, Sweat & Tears crowd, but authentic to the max. Recorded and mixed where Aerosmith cut "Dream On" and where Jonathan Edwards of Orphan tracked "Sunshine," "Out of the Nest" is post-Bosstown serious singing and playing.
|Swallow - band image (2nd LP inside)|
Other players not mentioned above were Phil Green (gtr), Kerry Blount (Sax), Gordon Kennedy (trombone), Andy Harp & Jay DeWald on trumpets and Parker Wheeler (harp).
-----------------------------Badcatrecord's review: "A couple of the members remained active in the Texas music scene, reappearing in 5 Easy Pieces (Louie Broussard) and The Funk Factory (Greg Isaacs, Richard Cantu, Stewart Rojo and Gary Weldon)"
The album is a nice find, featuring a fair number of hard tracks with psychedelic overtones that steer it away from the commercial sheen of Chicago and BS&T etc, which is why I used them previously on Vol66.
|SOD debut LP (1971)|
This Los Angeles band share a member with another band that I chose for this volume; drummer Larry Devers who was previously in Loadstone (track 7): "I formed the band [SOD] in Las Vegas, Nevada in the late 1960s. We cut two albums of which I have zero copies. Before SOD I had a group called Loadstone that cut one album on Barnaby. I don't have a copy of that one either." SOD's second album 'Face The Music' (1972) was produced by David Axelrod, a new name to me that seems to warrant further investigation as he had an extensive solo career and is regarded as an originator in the fusion of Jazz/R&B with rock and psych.
Saxophonist Rick Kellis: "..went on to become an in-demand sessions player, supporting virtually everyone imaginable. He's also recorded some jazz-oriented solo material..". Finally, Bassist Cal Arnold: "I was the bass player in SOD on Decca Records - Robert 'California' Arnold...I have also recorded with Clydie King 'Brown Sugar' - RCA/Chelsea 1973; Edgar Winter's White Trash 'Recycled' CBS/Blue Sky 1977; Billy Branch 'The Blues Keep Following Me Around' - Verve Gitanes 1985."
|Both SOD LP covers|
|Melting Pot LP -|
'Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble'
|Melting Pot label|
This is what Allmusic.com says about the band's founder, George Bean: "George Bean was one of the relatively uncommon folk-or-folk/rock artists of mid-'60s England who actually got to record for a major label. He first signed to English Decca in 1963 and released four singles through them over the next two years, of which the most notable was his superb folk-pop version of the Mick Jagger/Keith Richards song "Will You Be My Lover Tonight?" None of these records charted, though his self-penned B-side of 'She Belongs to Me,' 'Why Must They Criticize?' (both released credited to George Bean & the Runners), was later covered by the In Crowd on their way to becoming Tomorrow. Bean moved to British CBS for one single and appeared in the movie Privilege, where he sang "Onward Christian Soldiers." He subsequently formed the group Trifle, which was managed by Robert Stigwood, with future Strawbs member Rod Coombes in the lineup, but he died before they got to record for the Pye Records progressive rock offshoot Dawn Records."
|Loadstone LP front|
This is the information found in Fuzz, Acid and Flowers (Vernon Joynson): "This album is of interest for Flowerpot, an [epic, progressive] 15 minute-long psychedelic suite which takes up the whole of Side Two. Complete with sound effects, phasing, screams, echo loops and bird noises, the track was recorded in one take, with the voices overdubbed later.
|Loadstone LP rear cover|
The albums lack of sales caused the group to slowly dissolve to working lounge gigs in Vegas. When that was over the band members went on to other groups. Today, all the members are still working as musicians in one capacity or another except for Douglas, who passed on in 1991. The groups energy in live performance could never really be captured on record. The horn sound created by the Trumpet, Trombone and Sax with the funky rhythm section was truly incredible.
Barnaby Records still owns the masters, with a few tracks never released. Dave Grusin is mostly known as a jazzman and soundtrack composer. (Vernon Joynson / Stephane Rebeschini w/thanks to Sam Cernuto) Musicians: Barry Abernathy (bass), Sam Cernuto (trombone), Larry Devers (drums), Steve Douglas (aka HUSCZKA) (trumpet, fluegel horn), John Phillips (tenor sax, flutes, oboe, bassoon), Terry Ryan (keyboards), John Sterling (guitar)."
|Puzzle LP front (1973)|
|Jug Session - |
Easy Here 45 (1970)
|Gasoline Band LP front and band photo|
Discogs.com is George Thompson Jr. (bass), Joe Ogé (congas), William Goffigan (drums), Brian Bevan (vocals, guitar), Fred Schwartz (keyboards), Major Wilburn Jr. (tenor sax), Charles Bowen Jr. (alto saxophone), Jerome Johnson (trombone), Jim Dvorak & Ronald Phillips (trumpets). Discogs refers separately to two of the American guys; Jim Dvorak (Brooklyn) and William Goffigan (Maryland). There's a clip of Dvorak playing trumpet in london recently, here, and a further list of his involvements at almusic.com here.
-----------------------------The Silk track at number 10 is fast and insistent with cool vocals. They were not a horn band as such, but had some horn arrangements layed on their only album 'Smooth As Raw Silk' (1969). Here's a great write-up for Silk I found at Bad Cat Records :- "This short-lived Cleveland-based outfit is probably best known for having served as a springboard for singer/guitarist Michael Stanley Gee of future Michael Stanley band fame.
|Silk - Smooth As Raw Silk LP|
Signed to ABC, the band were teamed with producer Szymczyk (who also co-wrote several tracks). The group's 1969 debut "Smooth As Raw Silk" served to showcase the band's broad and versatile repertoire. Gee and Sabo split vocal duties and while both were professional, neither was overwhelming (Sabo actually struck me as the better of the two). All four members contributed the writing chores (a cover of Tim Rose's 'Long Haired Boy' and the country tune 'Custody' were the lone non-originals), the results found the band touching base on a wide array of genres ranging from country ('Custody'), to sensitive singer/songwriter moves, and even horn rock ('Not a Whole Lot I Can Do'). The results were never less than professional, but the lack of focus left you kind of wondering who these guys really were - at times it almost came off as a demo intended to show they could do it all. The collection got off to a nice start with the effects laden 'Introduction' (dedicated to airline pilots everywhere) and the psych-rocker 'Foreign Trip'. From that point on things became very hit or miss. Sporting some nice twin lead guitar work from Johns and guest guitarist Harry Porter 'Skito Blues' was an excellent rocker. Almost as good was the raucous 'Come On Down Girl'. At the other end of the spectrum taking on the then-taboo issue of divorce and children the C&W-flavored 'Custody' was easily the strangest song. Coming in a close second, 'Scottish Thing' somehow managing to meld a trance feel with bagpipes. The song was also interesting in that it was dedicated to Elektra's Jac Holtzman (even though the band was signed to ABC).
|Smooth As Raw Silk rear (CD)|
Ultimately [the LP] was maddeningly inconsistent; almost sounding like a wedding band trying to show they could cover all sorts of musical genres ... The album actually managed to hit the top-200 charts (peaking at # 191) but with little support from ABC (the company didn't even release a single), the quartet subsequently called it quits."
-----------------------------Moving on to Aura, this is another band with scant on-line information, though they made a consistent s/t album of heavy horn rock in 1971. I have chosen the song 'Truckin' from it. This is how Vernon Joynson's Tapestry Of Delights describes them:"A Powerful Horn-Jazz-Rock outfit from Los Angeles. The stand-out cut is Life Is Free on side 2. Chuck Greenberg (flute, sax) and Terry Quaye (congas) also guested on the album."
|Aura LP (1971)|
Aside from Andy, the rest of Aura (according to Tapestry Of Delights) were: Sam Alessi (organ, piano, vibes), George Bar (vocals, trumpet), Fred Entesari (sax), Dennis Horan (drums), Al Lathan (vocals, percussion), Jerry Smith (bass, vocals) and Bill Waidner (guitar).
|Warehouse - Powerhouse LP (1972)|
|Swegas 'Child of Light' LP cover|
Thanks for listening......horns up!!