Missus Beastly - s/t. 1974 Germany

The evolution to a Masterpiece status (Gnosis 14; RYM 5 star) is a strange phenomenon. Like many albums at first glance, Missus Beastly's second album struck me simply as better than average (3.5 stars as it were). That was over 15 years ago when I first heard it. As the years went by, something about the album kept drawing me to it. Not all masterpiece albums take this long of course, but this is one of those albums that gets into your skin and just won't let go. It's now to the point where the measuring stick for all things jazz rock must go up against it. Cosmic Dreams At Play says of this album "uninspired slick fusion", which could not be further from the truth. The rhythm section here is amazing, jet propelled, sporadic, and energetic. The piano playing is divine, frequently compared to McCoy Tyner's best work. The dual sax/flute combination drives the melody and solo lines and they're always in control. And the tunes are memorable long after the music has stopped as perhaps best exemplified by '20th Century Break'. A brilliant album.

Personal collection
CD: 2005 Garden of Delights

And now we finally can hear the masters tape version on CD, thanks to Garden of Delights. Comes with 4 bonus tracks, which demonstrates a much rawer and looser Missus Beastly, but still very engaging.

Personally I find the LP cover absolutely hideous, and downright offensive. According to the CD liner notes, the band had no artistic control of this situation, and it appears to be the poor judgment of the label themselves. The cover doesn't represent the style of music at all. The CD is definitely the way to go here, with full liner notes, photos, and additional bonus tracks.

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