Friends - s/t. 1973 USA

Underground America comes through once again. With Europe, especially in places like France and Germany, it's relatively easy to spot the pigeon. For every pop album, there was an experimental avant-garde release not far behind. But not the US of A. The land of the quick buck. No, you have to dig deep and far. And in all genres. Because you never know where the next great album lies. Friends. Yea, good luck in finding info with a name like that. But one name jumps out once you've been exposed to this treasure: John Abercrombie. What on Earth? That's TWO discoveries for me recently that features this well known ECM guitarist. The other being Stark Reality.

And since we spoke of Germany earlier, that's exactly where I'd guess this album had come from had I not known any better. Let's first discuss the lineup of instruments: Guitar, sax, bass and drums. Big deal right? We'll start with Abercrombie, since he's the marquee name thrown around. He was clearly in his Mahavishnu John era, and has no problem playing jazz guitar like Jimi Hendrix on steroids. So we already have an edge. Most of the bass work is stand-up, like I'VE NEVER HEARD ANYONE before. Louisiana born Clint Houston is all over his instrument, like a pissed off Jimmy Garrison. Love Supreme my ass - Hate Supreme and get out of my way homeboy. Drummer Jeff Williams puts in the most ordinary performance, and he's still nothing short of excellent. And then there's Marc Cohen. He MUST HAVE KNOWN Tim Belbe. Any jazzer reading this page is going who is Tim Belbe? But the Krautrock heads know - were talking Xhol Caravan here. Wah-wah, fuzz, phased, echo-plexed and just flat out tortured. What Mike Ratledge did to the Lowrey Organ is what Tim Belbe did to the saxophone. And Marc Cohen FREAKS OUT even more than Belbe did - at least on vinyl. Elton Dean might as well be Charlie Parker when we're in this game. So basically we have four long, very freaked out instrumental tracks of jazz rock underground avant insane madness. And it rocks like nobody's business.

This album is just ridiculous. Awesome.

Personal collection
LP: 1973 Oblivion

1 comment:

  1. I have this, yeah, it's super-tight freako-burn all the way.


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