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lunes, 16 de marzo de 2015

Mother Gong & Daevid Allen ‎- The Owl And The Tree (1990)


Artista: Mother Gong & Daevid Allen
Álbum: The Owl And The Tree
Año: 1990
Género: Rock progresivo / Canterbury
Duración: 50:54
Nacionalidad: Australia / Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. I Am a Tree
2. Lament
3. Hands
4. Ally
5. La Dea Madrí
6. Owly Song
7. I Am My Own Lover
8. Love Poem
9. Coda Wave

Alineación:
- Daevid Allen / vocal, glissando & acoustic guitars
- Gilli Smyth / speaking voice, spacewhisper & stillness
- Harry Williamson / everything imaginable plus synthi's, keyboards, vocals, craziness
- Rob Calvert / breathing into microphones & saxophones & ears
- Rob George / thinking time with spaces, silences, drumbatter & percussions
- Fretless Fred (Conrad Henderson) / bass guitar, no fretting, no Worries, no wacking furries
- Tim Ayers / bass guitar Quicksilver
- Wandana Arrowheart / Hugs sparks and Owl's harmonium
- Georgia / torchy freesong & soulsinging


Otro disco de homenaje al poeta, escritor, compositor, visionario y multiinstrumentista Daevid Allen, siendo un artista completo y con mayúsculas, relacionado no solamente con la escena Canterbury sino además con la experimentación en el jazz y jazz rock. Aquí como invitado de honor en un disco de los Mother Gong... vamos a explicar un poquito, ya que ene realidad Mother Gong es un proyecto del cantante Gilli Smyth y con la participación del multi-instrumentista Harry Williamson y algunos miembros de la familia Gong, entre ellos el señor Allen, por supuesto.

En 1981 Allen volvió a Australia y se estableció en Byron Bay, donde continuó su actividad artística, realizando performances y recitales poéticos. Junto al artista de perfomance David Tolley, investigó las posibilidades de los loops y las cajas de ritmos. Participó en un proyecto llamado you'N'gong (juego de palabras con «Young Gong») junto a su hijo Orlando y miembros de Acid Mothers Temple, actuando con el nombre de Acid Mothers Gong. También realiza actuaciones con un grupo dedicado a la improvisación, Guru And Zero.
Wikipedia

Recordemos que para la década del ochenta no solamente participa de proyectos en solitario y con Mother Gong, sino que además realiza actuaxiones con un grupo dedicado a la libre improvisación llamado Guru and Zero, y fue parte de la University Of Errors, de la banda de Jazz-Rock Brainville y de Spirits Burning, sin contar las esporádicas reuniones con sus antigüas bandas. De finales de esa época es este disco que los invito a conocer y a disfrutar.




Ya les dije que por cuestiones de tiempo no puedo hacer comentarios de los discos que amablemente nos trae Alberto, en cambio les dejo algunos comentarios de terceros y en inglés, no encontré nada en castellano...

A laid back mix of spoken word poetry from Gilli Smyth and jazzy, classic Gong textures, vignettes and humor. A lot of sax, chilled out synth and glissando guitar on this one. Overall a relaxing and artistic effort that will soothe and inspire if you approach it with an open mind. A work of art and one of the best post-70s Gong-affiliated releases I've heard.
wakeupitstomorrow

The recitations of Gilli Smyth is beautiful and poetic, often dreamy and friendly but sometimes with a political edge. Around theses lyrics, the drums, bass and saxophones are rather free to explore the space of nature. You can often resemble waves in the music: the life of oceans, like beautifully designed and streamlined dolphins playing together. It is lovely, but sometimes dull.
Jack Orion

I really love Gong Egg's Trilogy - for their psychedelic craziness, few later PM Gong albums as excellent jazz fusion works. Numerous side-projects starting from late 70-s are of very different quality, from great to almost unlistenable.
Mother Gong is original Gong's singer Gilli Smyth side-project, based on participation of multi-instrumentalist Harry Williamson and some Gong family members. On "The Owl And The Tree" two more great artists participates - Daevid Allen and Catapilla's sax player Robert Calvert .
What we have here is excellent Gilli Smyth-led project - aerial, spacey music with touch of Canterbury, plenty of excellent jazzy sax soloing and psychedelic atmosphere. If you liked Gilli's moments on Egg Trilogy, but didn't had her participation enough, just take this album! Excellent concentrated Gilli's spoken/singing poetry, fantastic atmosphere, and less Allen's craziness. Fantastic light'n'bright poetic work, full of sax in air.
The only problem with this album for me is David Allen's two songs somewhere in the middle. Not like he sings badly, but his two compositions are out of place and destroy common album's atmosphere. Without these two songs, the album could be almost excellent. But Daevid's 14 minutes-long "I Am My Own Lover" ( the song that could be nicely placed on some Allen's solo album) just break that light and mystic atmosphere by it's regular craziness.
So - one of really great post original-Gong album, very recommended, especially to fans of Gilli's voice and spacey mystics.
Slava Gliozeris

I am not entirely sure about the whole Gong history here. But as far as I understand it, Gong went with Moerlin's jazz and the original Gong weirdo sound became homeless. Well, until Gilli Smyth established Mother Gong, that is.
On this album at least, you will find a lot of Gong's weirdness from the Teapot Trilogy era. The jazz is still there, but in a much more pastoral elegant form. This has a lot to do with Robert Calvert (Catapilla) and his saxophone. He gets a lot of space on this album. He and Gilli Smyth's vocals. Her lyrics is spaced out to say at least. Some of the lyrics is also very serious. The song Hands is a prime example. Daevid Allen's guest contribution to this album is a bit wild though. But this album most of all about Gilli Smyth and Robert Calvert. In particular Gilli Smyth is really defining this album. She is also the mother gong so no wonder.
I am surprising myself when I admit I really likes this album. Mother Gong is not a bad constellation and Gilli Smyth really gets everything together here and comes up with an ace. Well, close enough that is. The songs here are really great and should appeal to all Gong and Canterbury scene fans. There are some stunning great spaced out jazz here. Mostly on saxophone. Thank you, Robert Calvert !
In short, this is a great album well worth checking out and one of the better albums Gong almost released.
Tom Ozric

Daevid Allen guests on this album, but as with all Mother Gong releases it's very much Gilli Smyth's show. The inclusion of Catapilla saxophonist Robert Calvert (not to be confused with the poet, solo artist and occasional Hawkwind vocalist!) enables Smyth to explore a different avenue of jazz-influenced Canterbury than the fusion-oriented Pierre Morelen's Gong; Mother Gong's music here is more based around spacey free jazz and gentle, organic atmospheres. It's undoubtedly a good album, but the particular musical vision it's chasing isn't quite my cup of tea, and the material isn't quite strong enough to overcome that. A worthwhile piece chasing up if you liked the dreamy space whisper segments from classic Gong albums and think an entire album along the same vein would be an awesome idea.
W. Arthur

Mother Gong is basically the partnership of singer Gilli Smyth and multi-instrumentalist Harry Williamson along with various friends and family, including saxophonist Robert Calvert, who essays some lovely solos on "Unseen Ally" and "La Dea Madri." Their former Gong bandmate Daevid Allen, as the credits humorously suggest, is "a collection of sub-personalities held together by their friend"; the sub-personalities on display on his half of the split album The Owl and the Tree are that of the Incredible String Band-like psych-folk gnome (a word that he pronounces with the G in the charming "The Owly Song") and the blissed-out space rocker on the lovely 14-and-a-half-minute multi-part suite "I Am My Own Lover." Mother Gong's half of the record is equally fine, a combination of prettily meandering instrumentals and Smyth's familiar fairy tale recitations. The two halves don't really mesh as much as they occupy similar orbits, but with Mother Gong and Daevid Allen lacking the space to get too self-indulgent, they both deliver some of their most focused and enjoyable music.
Stewart Mason

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.
toroddfuglesteg

Y seguiremos con más discos del Alien Allen a lo largo del día...




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