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lunes, 16 de marzo de 2015

Daevid Allen & Euterpe - Good Morning! (1976)

Artista: Daevid Allen & Euterpe
Álbum: Good Morning!
Año: 1976
Género: Rock progresivo / Canterbury
Duración: 47:11
Nacionalidad: Australia / Cataluña


Lista de Temas:
1. Children Of The New World
2. Good Morning
3. Spirit
4. Song Of Satisfaction
5. Have You Seen My Friend?
6. French Garden
7. Wise Man In Your Heart
8. She Doesn't She
9. Euterpe Gratitude Piece (Bonus track)

Alineación:
- Daevid Allen: vocals, glissando guitar & solo guitar
- Gilli Smyth / space whisper & licks
The members of Euterpe:
- Pepe Milan / mandoline, charango, acoustic guitars, glockenspiel
- Ana Camps / vocals
- Tony Pascual / Moog String, keyboard & guitar
- Toni Ares / contrabass
- Toni Tree Fernandez / guitars
Special Guests on Wise Man in Your Heart:
Mike Howlett / Bass
Pierre Moerlen / Percussion


Otro disco de homenaje a Daevid Allen, esta vez con un disco que tiene su historia, porque comienza con la disolución de Gong, su banda, y fue allí que el señor Allen decide pasar unas vacaciones en la isla de Mallorca. Aquí se encontró con un grupo de músicos catalanes, llamado Euterpe, con quien Allen comenzó una colaboración. El disco se grabó en Mallorca y tuvo gran éxito, siendo una obra única que fue considerado por los fans y críticos por ser tan bueno como cualquier cosa grabada con Gong.
Por cuestiones de tiempo no voy a hacer el comentario del disco pero les aseguro que está muy bueno, en cambio les dejo algunos comentarios de terceros y en inglés, no encontré nada en castellano...

I’d obviously heard one on “Maggie May” and on my brother’s copy of “Dingley Dell” by Lindisfarne which I played fairly regularly, but this was the first time I’d heard a mandolin being used in music that wasn’t basically diddly-diddly-folky type stuff. It was being used in my current kind of music, instantly transforming it into something that sounded “happy” instead of deep and philosophical. Which was the trick, of course, because the album is deeply philosophical in Daevid Allen’s inimitable style. It is mostly acoustic, always beautiful and strangely gentle – being played (as he points out on the album cover) by “a band without a drummer! Hurray!” There wasn’t a song on there that I didn’t like but I particularly enjoyed “Children of The New World” and “Have You Seen My Friend?” However, the one that I really loved, and still do, is “Wise Man In Your Heart”, a long, meandering song in true Gong style featuring glissando guitars, a great bass line and percussion that sounded a bit like my colander rhythms! What marks it out though, is Allen’s voice. It is aching and heart-felt, especially on the line, “I climbed through many lives to find, the secret golden flower…”
It was, I think, my interest in the mandolin, that prompted my dad to take me with him when he went to visit the home of John James, a friend of his. I don’t know how he knew him, probably something to do with work, but he was a musician. A real live, working musician who played in a jazz band! It was a smallish house down in the Eastwood area of Rotherham that looked like every other terraced house on the street. But inside… The first thing that struck me was that he didn’t have a television! No television? And then I saw the instruments – everywhere there were instruments – on stands, on shelves, on the settee, propped up against cupboards, everywhere. Guitars, banjos, a mandolin, trumpet, clarinet – and those were the ones I recognised! What’s more, he could play them all!
Dad also started taking me now and again to the Cranworth Arms pub in Rotherham on a Friday to see Dave Brennan’s Jazz Band. They played traditional jazz and people (dad included, much to my embarrassment) would sit, often with their eyes closed, nodding their heads and tapping the table along to the beat. Quite a few of the audience sat on their own but obviously weren’t bothered in the slightest, they just loved the music and the smokey, beery atmosphere of a jazz club.
Shortly afterwards, my parents bought me a second hand bass guitar from the same swap shop I got the Wah-Wah Pedal from on Orchard Lane. I practised for hours trying to play the Gong bass lines as well as making up a few of my own. Using two cassette recorders, I could now record a drum (colander) rhythm on one, and play that back whilst playing the bass guitar, recording both onto the second recorder. I then played that one back whilst playing along on my six string guitar and recording that back onto the first one. The sound quality was unlistenable but I was creating recorded music! It was also at this time, that on one memorable occasion, my guitar teacher said to me, “Yes, I think you can call yourself a guitarist now, not just someone who plays the guitar.”
John Brookes, one of the leaders at Hatfield House Lane Methodist Church Youth Club, was a guitarist and singer who’d recently started a band playing rhythm and blues covers. He was in his early twenties, as was Dave (I never did know his surname) the other guitarist in the band. The drummer was John Lacey who was the new Minister at church. They needed a bass player and whilst I wasn’t really a “bass player” as such, I did have a bass. I was in! We practised most weeks in the church hall at High Green Methodist Church playing songs by bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac. I didn’t really know them but was desperate to learn and got pretty good, pretty quickly. Our first gig was one Saturday night at our church and although it was blues and rock music, I still wore a tea-cosy hat and pretended I was Mike Howlett, playing my Gong-style prog-rock bass lines. We had a stage and lights and everything.
The performing bug had bitten!
Grooveware

When Daevid Allen either left (or was forced to leave) his flagship band Gong in 1974 following the release of the group's classic seminal space-rock, nascent jamband Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, where he'd go next was anybody's guess. Gong would gradually transition into a fusion group led by percussionist Pierre Moerlen, while Allen retired to his home on the Spanish island of Mallorca and, working with the Mallorcan-based Euterpe and a couple of multi-track tape recorders, recorded Good Morning!—a surprisingly relaxed album of unexpected innocence and beauty that has remained largely out of print since its release in 1976.
Thankfully Esoteric Records—risen from the ashes of Eclectic with a continued mandate to reissuing seminal British music from the late-1960s and 1970s—has brought Good Morning! back into print. With Mark Powell's usual fine attention to the remastering process, this version of Good Morning!—like many Eclectic/Esoteric remasters including Egg's 1974 The Civil Surface (Esoteric, 2007)—is definitive. It's a fact that even today's technical capabilities are limited by what originally went to tape, making Allen's DIY production all the more impressive for just how good it sounds.
Along with Euterpe, Allen is joined by longtime partner/vocalist Gilli Smyth, which means that, although Good Morning is a more acoustic affair, there's still some tie-in to the space-rock psychedelia of Gong. There's an element of absurdity (especially on the waltzing closer, "She Doesn't She... ) and no lack of hippie spirituality, but it's still more lyrically direct than anything Allen wrote for Gong. Even with the synth washes and reverb/delay, there's a folksy tinge, in particular the lyrical "Children of the New World and title track, with its warm vocal harmonies, string washes and acoustic bass. The episodic title track in particular, completely avoids standards verse-chorus-verse convention, proving Allen to be a writer capable of unexpected complexity.
With no drums to be found on most of the disc it possesses a feel that, at times, might be considered pastoral if it weren't for the copious reverb and delay that lifts the music into the stratosphere. "Spirit proves that the Canterbury scene, which also included songwriters Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt, didn't grow in a vacuum. While ultimately distanced from the scene, Allen was undeniably a key component in its germination.
"Wise Man in Your Heart, reuniting Allen with Moerlen and Gong bassist Mike Howlett, is a clear highlight—eleven minutes of transcendence that mixes Celtic-inflected melodies with a hypnotic pulse, surprising harmonic depth and jam-style electric guitar. "Euterpe Gratitude Piece is an equally lengthy synthesizer wash-driven bonus track that may predate—or, at least, coexist with—Brian Eno's earliest ambient experiments. Both are reason enough to consider Good Morning! a high point of mid-1970s progressive music. Coupled with the rest of the album it's a low-tech but surprisingly strong sounding and idea-rich masterpiece that's thankfully back in print and widely accessible.
John Kelman

Daevid Allen's flights of fancy and cheerful hippie proselytizing have given birth to projects as diverse as the progressive rock of Gong as well as naturalistic solo works such as Good Morning. This record was recorded in 1976, six years after Allen's last solo outing, Banana Moon. It differs markedly from that record, as well as his group work with Gong. Good Morning is more acoustic, with no drums, and was recorded on a four-track tape machine at Allen's Majorcan home, "Bananamoon Observatory." As with Gong, Allen plays his cosmic-effected "glissando" guitar, and he calls on girlfriend Gilli Smyth for her signature "space whisper." Additionally, he employs an unknown Spanish group called Euterpe. The songs here merge together well and have a childlike wonder, punctuated by Allen's singsong delivery and some peaceful synth. Side one is the quiet, poetic side, whereas side two comes closest to Gong, with the moody 11-minute "Wise Man in Your Heart." Where previously Allen leaned on the compositional skills of Smyth, Christian Tritsch, and others, all of the songs on this record were written by Allen. The word that best describes his songwriting would be relaxed. Allen doesn't strive for profundity, and in so doing creates a work filled with humility and charm.
Peter Kurtz

Amongst the sleeve notes of this 2nd solo album proper, Daevid exclaims ' At last .... a band without a Drummer ! Hooray ! ' This album is the product of Daevid's getting together with a Spanish troupe of acoustic musicians called 'Euterpe', whilst he was based in Majorca. 'Euterpe', by the way, is the name of a Greek God of Music..... and there is no Drummer !! The music is as whimsical and dreamy as anything Allen has created (before and after). Most of this material is purely 'personal' sounding and stream-of-consciousness stuff. It is surely Spacey and Psychedelic, original and weird. Even if Allen is an out- to-lunch sort of character, his individual ideals, beliefs and approach always sound way ahead of their time. And he does have a valid perception of the world in which we live in. The musical illustrations presented here by Daevid and his 'bunch of Catalunatics' only occasionally display some form of melody, and for the most part, have a strange structure, if indeed any at all. For these traits alone, the album stands its own ground. I came across this record during the mid-90's, and haven't listened to it that often, but it's certainly excellent. I adore the cover-art - it's so Gong. The highlight and masterpiece track off the album is the big one on side 2 - 'Wise Man In Your Heart' (11.35) - featuring none other than his trusty Gong-mates Pierre Moerlen (Perc.) and Mike Howlett (Bass). This tune alone is amazing. A phenomenal, mesmerising Glissando Guitar heavy travel, with a superb rhythmic backing, and kozmik rant from Allen. This composition is precious and reason alone for tracking down this release. Those familiar with the extended, Space-excursions from Gong, 'You' (in particular), along with the more Jazz-oriented Moerlen- led ensemble, will discover a perfect marriage between the two styles. The title track is another strong piece of music. I'm not really convinced it belongs in the Canterbury camp, but Space-Heads and Gong- Freaks should enjoy this excellent album regardless.
Tom Ozric

Back in the mid 60s, most progressive musicians at the time were putting out songs that were, well, silly. That doesn't make them bad, but just listen to Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd, or Steve Howe's pre-Yes band, Tomorrow, or Giles Giles & Fripp, or The Nice. At some point around 1970, most bands got verrrrry serious. This never happened to Daevid Allen.
As far as I know, to this date, Daevid Allen is making the same funny, whimsical music that he always has. And this is a good thing. Nobody does it better.
This album is just what you would expect. I like it.
Scott

Daevid Allen's first solo album after his resignation from Gong after You is a collaboration with Euterpe, a mainly acoustic group of Spanish musicians. The album is a bit more cohesive than his previous solo effort, Bananamoon, and finds Allen in a contemplative mood. His famed sense of humour and whimsy is still present, of course, but this time around there's heavy doses of reflection and ponderings on the way people hurt each other and the struggle not to repeat the mistakes of the past - topics which are of great interest to Allen, but which had only been communicated through whimsical comedy in his previous work.
Euterpe are a fine backing group for Allen's musings, Gilli Smyth is of course on hand to add Gong-esque space whispers, and the album comes to a peak with The Wise Man In Your Heart, on which fellow Gong veterans Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen guest, and which in its swirling futuristic-psychedelic rhythms seems to provide a precedent for the dance music of a couple of decades later. On the whole, Allen couldn't have judged this one better - the album not only reassures fans that he's still the mischievous wizard of times past, but also has a distinctly different sound from his work with Gong, proving that there's more to Allen than pothead pixies.
W. Arthur

How does one describe this music? There are almost no drums. Other than Allen's own glissando guitar, most of the guitars (and mandolins etc) are acoustic. There are electric keyboards, which (along with the glissando guitar) are mostly used to create a spacey, trancelike effect. One or two of the songs have something approaching a standard song form, but others are completely through-composed, almost stream-of-consciousness affairs The opening track "Children of the New World" is one of the more conventionally structured songs - it almost sounds like one of Genesis' more pastoral moments (similar guitar picking, similar harmonic sense and melodic approach though obviously lower in the vocal register). "Good Morning" sounds like it is going the same way, but veers off in multiple directions, in several places completely unhinged vocally - particularly when Ana Camps takes over towards the end. "Spirit" largely eschews rhythmic drive in favour of floaty vocals. Partway through, fast strummed guitars and a somewhat menacing narration takes over, then stops abruptly, and the floaty vocals return, supported by keyboards and glissando guitar. "Song of Satisfaction" is a delicate song accompanied by piano only. "Have You Seen My Friend" is a whimsical song, folk-flavoured, the mandolin comes out here, but so does the Moog with some more typically proggy lines, and in the middle we even get a brief quote from Greensleeves. "French Secret Garden" has similar folky elements, but when the electric guitar comes in it sounds more like a throwback to the early psych-rock of the 60s (but still no drums). For the lengthy "Wise Man In Your Heart", Allen is joined by former Gong colleagues Pierre Moerlen and Mike Howlett, who provide a distinctively Gong-like trance groove, with plenty of tuned percussion, with washy keyboards and guitar in the background, and eventually Gilli Smyth's distinctive space whisper adding to the trancey feel. Take away the arrangement, and the melody sounds like a celtic folk song. It was a highlight for me on first listen, and seems to be for other reviewers, but I wonder if that's because it's Gong-like qualities give it a stylistic familiarity to hold on to, compared to the rest of the album? "She Doesn't She" is another whimsical folk-like piece, this time in a waltz rhythm, with prominent saxophone (? no one is credited with playing any such instrument), and what sounds like an accordion. Although musically the album often wanders off in obscure directions, lyrically it is a far more direct statement than Allen's previous work with Gong, eschewing talk of pothead pixies and flying teapots in favour of direct meditations on the way we treat each other. A strange album, but a beautiful one.
Simon

This solo album from Gong luminary Daevid Allen date from about the time that he originally left that band. Unlike the earlier solo album Banana Moon, this album has more of a stylistic consistency, focusing on a kind of pastoral space folk-rock. Granted that description has enough adjectives to make listening to this worth anyone's attention, and as usual Allen does make a few detours. Gillie Smyth of course contributes some vocals, and I'm pretty sure percussion whiz Pierre Moerlin is artfully banging around on the vibraphone at a few spots.
The opening duo of tracks does a phenomenal job of establishing the space folk groove. Allen does sound a little reigned in here, and the atmosphere reminds me a bit of the quieter tracks from Pink Floyd's Meddle. "Spirit" starts out sounding like an outtake from the Beach Boys' Smile before shifting into another section that features some entertainingly menacing vocals from Allen. "Have You Seen My Friend" and "French Garden" return to more pastoral fields, but this time with a healthy dose of freaky 70's analog synthesis. "Wise Man In Your Heart" goes for the epic vibe of the more relaxed extended tracks on Gong's You. It's not as good as those classic tracks, but very few psychedelic prog songs are. After a brief slough through music hall kitsch on "She Doesn't She...," we get CD bonus track "Euterpe Gratitude Piece." It's a foray into Berlin School electronics that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album, but I like it and it does provide a nice sonic mindbath to close things out on.
Although Gong's early to mid 70's albums are the main event for fans of Caterbury psych-prog, Daevid Allen did a fine job of staking out a little patch of personal sonic space on his solo albums. Good Morning is no exception. There's no doubt that this is the same man that fronted Gong during their golden years, but it's definitely not the same thing.
Dr. Schluss

In 1975, following his departure from Gong, the highly influential group he had founded, Daevid Allen sought musical solace in the village of Deja on the island of Mallorca. Here he encountered a group of Catalan musicians, Euterpe, with whom Allen began a collaboration. Recorded in Mallorca, the album Good Morning! was released by Virgin Records in 1976 to great acclaim, being a unique work that was regarded by fans and critics as being equally as good as anything he recorded with Gong, if not better. Filled with Allen's startling original musical observations, Good Morning! appeared briefly on CD in the early 1990s and vanished quickly. Long sought-after by the legions of Gong/Daevid Allen followers, Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the reissue of this album with fully-restored artwork and superb 24-bit digitally-remastered sound. The first-ever official CD release for this classic album in sixteen years.
Forced Exposure



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