Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

viernes, 2 de octubre de 2015

Brand X - Moroccan Roll (1977)


Artista: Brand X
Álbum: Moroccan Roll
Año: 1977
Género: Jazz Rock / Fusión
Duración: 49:25
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Sun in the Night
2. Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You've Broken Yours Off Already)

3. ...Maybe I'll Lend You Mine After All
4. Hate Zone
5. Collapsar
6. Disco Suicide
7. Orbits
8. Malaga Virgen
9. Macrocosm

Alineación:
(Vean los créditos del disco, están simpáticos)

- John Goodsall / Guitarras eléctrica y acústica, efector, sitar, coros
- Percy Jones / Bajo, efectos, autoharp, marimba

- Robin Lumley / piano eléctrico y acústico, autoharp, sintetizadores, coros
- Phil Collins / Voz, piano, batería
- Morris Pert / Percusiones e incidentales


Moroccan Roll es el segundo disco de estudio de Brand X, aún con Phil Collins en los tambores y un nuevo percusionista añadido. Comienza con una melódica "Sun in the Night", una serie de frases cantadas por Collins con coros de Goodsall y Lumley sobre percusiones libres y sitar. Están cantados en sánscrito (bhaasvat saayam - Sun in the night / sarva samaacinoti - Everyone is together / zaazvata uddhaara - Ascending in the heavens / jyotis avisarmin - Life is forever) y son un buen abstract que indica que será un disco agradable de escuchar; Collins lleva la voz principal y sabemos que es un gran cantante. 

Sigue un tema de más de diez minutos con un título igual de largo: "Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You've Broken Yours Off Already)...", escrita por Collins. Aparece el sonido característico del bajo de Jones y la rola tiene una nota en el disco: "Esta pista fue grabada 'en vivo' en el estudio -no tiene overdubs". Es un gran tema improvisativo, con momentos muy agudos en la guitarra en diálogo con el teclado. Baja de intensidad y destacan las percusiones multicolores de un nuevo integrante: Morris Pert, que se acopla muy naturalmente con Collins. Le sigue un cierre de la anterior, "Maybe I'll Lend You Mine after All", muy suavecita, donde Collins toca el piano.

"Hate Zone" tiene un beat pop, muy de la época, y aunque parece reducirse la intención de fusión, los solos de guitarra y los apoyos de teclado, que la hacen casi tecno, son muy interesantes. Fuera de eso, sí parece ser una concesión al pop. "Collapsar" es un breve interludio atmosférico, casi ambient, antes de pasar a otra referencia de un diálogo con la música del momento: "Disco Suicide", que aquí sí está de vuelta la gran fusión funk que uno espera de Brand X. El cierre es espectacular, los teclados emulan campanas para alcanzar el crescendo del tema. De este disco, yo me quedo con este tema.

"Orbits es otro interludio" breve, ahora basado en el bajo, que da paso a los dos temas extensos de cierre del disco. El arranque de "Malaga Virgen" recuerda a "Nuclear Burn", una frase loca de Jones en el bajo y las improvisaciones sobre ella. Se resuelve, luego de algunos compases en un beat cercano a samba, pero sin perder ese toque de tiempos raros que lo hacen tan jazzy. La batería es impecable. Hacia los cinco minutos, los solos de bajo son alucinantes y por fin sale a algo que parece rumba loca, imagino que por eso es lo de Malagueña. "Macrocosm" es más espacial, con las guitarras y teclados haciendo atmósferas densas. Como todos los buenos temas de Brand X, tiene cambios de intensidad y momentos de experimentación con la sonoridad y el ritmo.

Algo que no había comentado en el primer disco es que las carátulas tienen diseños espectaculares, siempre fotográficos pero intervenidos con conceptos de ilustración más o menos presentes. En Moroccan Roll, la foto es de un exterior tipo Sahara en el que se trazan círculos y vectores que señalan sus reglas de composición. El diseño es de un estudio famoso por haber producido muchas carátulas que se quedaron en el imaginario colectivo, como The Dark Side of the Moon y The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, to name a few (habría que dedicarle un post al arte de Hipgnosis).

Segunda entrega de Brand X al mundo, y segundo post dedicado a esta gran banda de fusión. Dicen que Collins decía que Genesis era su esposa y Brand X su amante, con la que podía mostrarse tal como era. Dicen.



Referencias:

El Cielo y el Dedo:

Brand X se inició en 1975 como una banda de jam-session financiada por Island Records, a la que el representante de A&R, Danny Wilding, bautizó con el nombre de "Brand X" (Marca X) para realizar su seguimiento de actividad en el calendario de estudio, quedando como apelativo oficial. El baterista original y vocalista Phil Spinelli y el guitarrista Pete Bonas dejaron la banda después de grabar el primer y desaparecido, por tanto inédito, álbum de Brand X. El baterista de Génesis, Phil Collins, se hizo cargo de la batería ya a principios de 1976, pero el disco Unorthodox Behaviour fue lanzado coincidiendo con una extensa gira por Reino Unido y a principio de 1977, Brand X decidió contratar a un baterista de reemplazo de Collins debido a los horarios en conflicto con Génesis (aunque Collins regresó para las fechas estratégicas en todo el año).

Kenwood Dennard del grupo de Pat Martino fue reclutado en Nueva York, haciendo su debut en la banda durante la gira por EE.UU. (mayo y junio de 1977) según figura en el álbum en vivo “Livestock”. Collins volvió al redil en una serie de fechas en septiembre de 1977, incluyendo dos apariciones en el mismo día en Londres (fiesta en el jardín del Palacio de Cristal) y París (Fête de l'Humanité) lo que se considera la primera vez que una banda tocó dos veces en vivo, y al aire libre, en distintos países y en el mismo día. Una segunda gira por EE.UU. les siguieron a estos conciertos, a finales de año  y de nuevo con Dennard en la batería. A esas alturas, Collins dejó el grupo para concentrarse en Génesis y para “Masques”, de 1978, fue reemplazado por Al Di Meola y el baterista Chuck Burgi, así como el ocasional tecladista Peter Robinson, quien había tocado con Stanley Clarke.

Collins fue reemplazado en los años siguientes por un formidable despliegue de baterías, incluyendo a Kenwood Dennard, Chester Thompson y Mike Clark (un innovador y pionero del jazz funk-fussion conocido por su trabajo en Headhunters de Herbie Hancock). Más recientemente, la silla del tambor fue ocupada por Frank Katz. El percusionista y compositor Morris Pert se añadió más tarde para el seguimiento del Moroccan Roll. (La banda había empleado anteriormente a otros percusionistas, como Gaspar Lawal, Bill Bruford y Heyman Preston).

En 1979, Collins se reincorporó a la Brand X como parte de la serie de sesiones de grabación en que se generará suficiente material para dos discos, Product de 1979 y Do Don't Hurt? del 1980. Estos se grabaron en los Startling Studios, ubicados en la casa de campo de Ringo Starr (antes propiedad de John Lennon) con dos operativos de diferentes formaciones como alternativa (Mike Clark -mikeclarkmusic.com) para proporcionar la batería en algunas pistas, como más tarde explicó Jones: "Nuestras compañías discográfica y de gestión fueron quejándose de las pobres ventas de los discos y nos dijeron que teníamos que hacer la música más accesible. Algunos de los chicos estuvieron de acuerdo en esto, pero yo sentía que hacer eso no iba a generar nuevo público, sino que probablemente sólo alejaría al que ya teníamos, la única solución era tener dos bandas, una más accesible y otra más experimental. Para actuar conmigo, elegí a Robinson, Clark y Goodsall, para la otra dirección quedaron Lumley, Collins y Goodsall con John Giblin en el bajo. Grabamos en turnos, el nuestro fue de 8 p.m. a 4 a.m. y los otros, de 10 a 6pm".
Una gira por Reino Unido tuvo lugar entre abril y mayo de 1980 (co-protagonizada con Bruford) con Mike Clark de nuevo en la batería.


Dave Connolly - AllMusic:

Morrocan Roll is not a step toward the rock & roll side of the fusion equation, but rather an experiment with Eastern sounds and softer textures that trades in the thunderstorms of their debut for rhythmically rich siroccos. Expanded to a quintet with the addition of percussionist Morris Pert, Brand X balances their arrangements with more equanimity, resulting in a subdued sound that is mesmerizing rather than arresting. The songs are written by individual members (their debut credited the band), but this doesn't yield the results you might expect: while Percy Jones' "Orbits" is essentially a showcase for the fretless bass, Lumley's "Disco Suicide" shares more with Frank Zappa than the artist's typically dreamy tones, and it's Phil Collins' "Why Should I Lend You Mine" that sounds most like the work of Lumley. The better compositions come from John Goodsall, including the opening "Sun in the Night" (featuring sitar and a smattering of vocals from Collins), the parched-sounding "Hate Zone," and the album-ending "Macrocosm." Jones' "Malaga Virgen" is another highlight, led by the artist's popping bass, delivered with a unique mix of restraint and explosive energy. Morrocan Roll is notable for a heightened sense of humor, from lighthearted liner notes to its everything but the kitchen sink ending. If the music is more spiritually informed than their flashy debut, the contemplative listener will find this brand of subdued fusion jazz equally rewarding.


Wikipedia:

Moroccan Roll (1977) is the second studio album by British jazz fusion group Brand X. The title is a pun referring to this being their second album: "more rock and roll", however, Moroccan Roll is not a step toward the rock & roll side of the fusion equation, but rather an experiment with Eastern sounds and softer textures.[2] The album is mostly instrumental; only "Sun in the Night" is sung by Phil Collins.


Sean Trane - ProgArchives:

Second opus from this now-quintet, with the addition of percussionist Morris Pert, Moroccan Roll is born on an almost Canterburian pun, with an exotic Saharian artwork that has been retouched by high technology. The group is joined by Morris Pert, a percussionist that will beef up the sound of the group, but Pert will also become an important "songwriter" for the group.

One of the originality of this album is that it is Brand X's only with vocals (and even then mostly choirs) on the opening and closing tracks, but unfortunately it wasn't that good an idea. It doesn't help giving World Music credibility to the opening Sun In The Night, despite Goodsall's dabblings on a sitar. The Collins-penned double-shot "Lend" tracks (the lengthy titles might come from some Public Schoolboys friends of his that haven't fully grown up), but unlike what we'd expect, both tracks remains slow with the occasional Goodsall's McL-ian guitar bursts. A manic drum burst opens fire on the Hate zone, a full-funk piece where the group's five cylinders give it their best shot.

On the flipside, Collapsar (not to be confused with National Health's Collapso) is a short synth filler penned by Lumley and it doesn't even serve as an intro for his following Disco Suicide, an electric piano-led funky track, but certainly not my fave BX track, the synth sounds being cringe-y and the cheesy choirs and tubular bells are not helping either. Orbits is a bit Percy Jones' answer to Collapsar and just as useless, since it's no intro to his Malaga Virgen , an up-tempo track at the start where Jones tries to outdo Pastorius in the middle section, but is not helping his own composition in doing so. But Virgen's second half returns to the opening theme, before going bass-happy a second time. This writer doesn't understand all the hoopla on this track and much prefers the following monster-jam Macrocosm, the one BX track to rival with Nuclear Burn, with an overheating Goodsall guitar and an incredible end, as if the 5 cylinders of this group had problem stopping and misfired back on the track.

MR was for decades my fave BX, but once the millennium arrived, UB took over and has stayed ahead, because tMR one is too uneven, especially on the fillers. But don't get me wrong, MR is still the second best BX album and should please most fusionheads.

Gatot - ProgArchives:
I'm a big fan of Phil Collins drumming because his style was really terrific in early albums of Genesis. That was the reason why I had this album in my collection. The first time I listened to it, I was surprised the kind of music was completely different than Genesis. At that time I had no information about who and what BRAND X was all about - no internet, no prog magazine, nothing. The only thing I knew was Phil Collins and I expected something like Genesis. The music of BRAND X reminded me of the music of bands like Return To Forever (Chick Corea), Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin) or early albums of Al Di Meola (Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy, Splendido Hotel). So, I dropped my imagination about Genesis, and I just enjoyed the music .."boom!" it's an excellent music man!

The album starts off with an eastern nuance music with great vocals with "Sun In The Night" (4:25). The sitar work by John Goodsall will remind you immediately to the work of Ravi Shankar. It's a very rewarding track. "Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You Have Broken Off Already)" (11:16) begins in an ambient style with keyboard work combined with improvised bass lines. Drum enters in crescendo and the style reminds me of Bill Bruford's. Guitar enters nicely and performs its sol augmented with great combination of keyboard improvisation and dynamic drum. Wow! I have to admit the virtuosities of all musicians here - they all play wonderfully! "Maybe I'll Lend You Mine After All" (2:10) is a logical continuation of previous track. It's a slow track exploring bass guitar, chanting vocals, keyboards / piano and Morris Pert's percussion work.

"Hate Zone" (4:41) starts off with dynamic drumming followed with a stream of music produced from bass guitar, stunning keyboard solo and percussive. It's one of my favorites - because the music is energetic and beautifully composed. Guitar solo is stunning and it reminds me to the work of John McLaughlin or Gary Boyle. The combination of percussive, solid bass lines and improvised keyboard / synthesizer produces a segment with eastern nuance. "Collapsar" (1:35) is a mellow track containing exploration of keyboards and its sound effects that projects a spacey nuance."Disco Suicide" (7:55) starts off with great bass work followed with medium/fast tempo music with wonderful combination of keyboard, guitar and drum. The piano solo is stunning. The music style changes from medium to fast and slow tempo with variations in solo (piano and guitar).

It flows nicely to another excellent track "Orbits" (1:38), continued with "Malaga Virgin" (8:28) - a wonderful track with jazz-rock improvisation music featuring great guitar solo, inventive bass lines, dynamic drumming and stunning keyboard. In "Malaga Virgin" Percy Jones performs his skillful bass guitar work, augmented with sitar and percussive. It's really a great track . "Macrocosm" (7:24) is an energetic jazz-rock fusion music in the vein of Return To Forever featuring fantastic interplay between Goodsall guitar work and Robin Lumley's keyboard. This kind of music that reminds me to the interplay of Al Di Meola with Chick Corea in Return To Forever. An excellent track. The drum work by Phil Collins is also terrific, augmented with Percy Jones inventive bass lines.

. For those of you who love jazz-rock fusion music, this album is highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!


A este brother no le gustó pero escribe con mucha chispa - George Starostin's Reviews:

Now you certainly wouldn't expect artistic growth from these guys, unless you're a grimy battered fusion fan who sees more difference between the Soft Machine's Six and Seven than between Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson Sings The Carpenters, but for some mysterious reason, they decided to go ahead and offer us some all the same. Maybe it was the punk revolution that sent them into this off-the-rocker mode. Anyway, the record starts with a composition you'd least expect on a generic fusion album: 'Sun In The Night', which goes as far as to actually feature some vocals (I don't have any documental proof for it being Phil the Collins, but does sound like it, and if he was good enough for taking over Genesis, he certainly could be good enough for taking over Brand X). On top of that, it adds a loosely swinging rhythm section with different Eastern overtones - including multiple overdubbed sitars. The album title certainly suggests an Arabic influence; but to my subjective ears it sounds more like a delirious mish-mash of everything, with Chinese and Indian themes bumping into each other as well. Still later on, Goodsall goes Nutsall on the sitar and starts treating it the way Sri McLaughlin would treat a regular electric guitar; I've honestly never heard anyone torture that delicate instrument in such a rough way. Hey, maybe Brand X could have made a bigger name for themselves if they accidentally started smashing sitars during gigs. Just imagine the consequences.
A couple more spots on the album might host a few other Eastern motives for you, but I have a hard time investigating those corners: even if there is something trickily Oriental hiding in the guise of yer average fusion lifestyle, I don't hear it, no matter how forcefully the album title or the All-Music Guide knowledge base would have me believe. What I do acknowledge is a slight reversal of the accents. No longer do Phil's drums feel like they're universally taking centerplace. Oh, he certainly cares - the Eighties aren't upon us yet - but he also looks like he's also willing to let the other guys share the main bulk of the fun while being a bit detached himself. Who knows, maybe the increasing Genesis duties were taking their toll.

This could also explain the fact that there are more straightahead "solos" on Moroccan Roll than on its elder brother. This time, both Goodsall and Lumley take their chance to really stretch out on the most lengthy tunes, and they actually reveal some dazzling chops they'd kept so cleverly concealed before. On 'Macrocosm', for instance, Goodsall plays some of the speediest, most refined lines you'll ever find this side of Alan Holdsworth's stint in the Soft Machine (of course, I'm talking the rockier side of fusion here, not McLaughlin or anything), and when Lumley occasionally plays in unison with him, the effect is stunning. (You should, of course, keep in mind that you're hearing all this from somebody whose real idea of "stunning" is a power chord on Pete Townshend's guitar, so please understand that I won't be losing sleep over 'Macrocosm' - but you just might!).

Yet with Mr Collins growing an extra inch of beard and taking away an extra inch of interest, the rhythm section ends up not being as ear-prickingly jerky and sharp as it used to be. A couple tracks - short ones, fortunately - don't have any drumming at all, serving more like mood pieces ('Sun In The Night' is formally also a mood piece, but Phil is still all over that one, to great effect) or launchpads for indivudal spotlights (Percy Jones' 'Orbits' which is just a minute and a half of fretless bass soloing). And although 'Disco Suicide' has little to do with disco apart for the title and the apprehension on the listener's part, Phil's drumming is about as interesting on that track as if he were really sticking to a generic disco beat, which he is not. (For that matter, it is possible to do great drumming even while sticking to the disco beat - just listen to all the crazy stuff Clem Burke does on 'Heart Of Glass'!). His two big breaks come on 'Collapsar' (beginning with a short actual drum solo) and particularly on 'Malaga Vixen', which, in a way, are the last great showcases for Phil the Intelligent Drummer you'll ever hear. But who can blame him? Programming drum machines is sooo much more exciting, and besides, you don't get blisters on your fingers like Ringo did.

On the other hand, Phil is credited for writing the basis for another lengthy jam, 'Why Should I Lend You Mine' (with the atmospheric soothing coda 'Maybe I'll Lend You Mine After All' - don't you just love how much blood, sweat & tears do jazz-fusioners waste while coming up with impressive names for their wordless epics? And sometimes the names end up being the best thing about them!), which, frankly speaking, is nothing to write home about, except that unlike your typical jam, it's actually multi-part and goes through a soft swingy section, a soft moody rhythmless section, and a couple other sections as well that my English level currently prevents me from naming explicitly. (Then again, I wouldn't even dare to start thinking about how to name them in Russian!).

In terms of melodies, 'Sun In The Night' beats 'em all, but I swear to God some of the tunes start out as riff-based, or at least "theme-based" like all them well-behaved, obedient instrumental jazz tunes shoulda (but not all of them woulda). 'Hate Zone' has this gruff, unpleasant descending riff which isn't exactly "hateful", though; in fact, the whole funky approach of the tune calls for the 'tough' designation, but hardly for the 'horrifying' one, so down with the title, up with the atmosphere. 'Disco Suicide' has a main theme based on keyboards, no, even chimes - and a very anthemic, spiritual theme it is, it just doesn't have anything to do with the jam part of the composition which is boring as hell. And the backbone of 'Malaga Vixen' is a weird-sounding post-psychedelic guitar riff that I would personally love to see developed into something bigger - instead, they decide for some reason that this is the place for the bass player to practice his obligatory runs.

The best 'melody' bit is to be found in 'Macrocosm'; it's hardly jaw-dropping quality, but it is quite a visionary-sounding piece, and if it were a little less funkified, I would have no trouble accepting it on a Yes or, well, Genesis album somewhere on the fringes of one of those twenty-minute suites about life, death, and foxes dressed in red. The title itself is telling: you don't call a song 'Macrocosm' unless you think of something important, and there's obviously been a lot of writing, arranging, and maybe even musical philosophy involved in these last seven minutes. Unfortunately, it's still somewhat inadequate, especially the coda where they seem to be wanting to go out with a real bang (BIG bang?), but don't really have the ability, no matter how tight Goodsall winds up his finger-flashing mechanism. The overdubbed applause at the end are quite a silly gimmick as well. Still, on some level it works.

Overall, everything is a huge disappointment after the major surprising power of 'Sun In The Night'. Once the pain has subsided, though, you start discovering all those little riffs and [sub-]melodies that are much more normal and predictable, but still decent, and then also come back to appreciating the players' skills which certainly haven't diminished since last year. All of which make me treat Moroccan Roll as a respectable, if not tremendously exciting, fusion album. It lacks the fresh punch of Unorthodox Behaviour, when the mere idea that he was going, for the first time in his life, to record a drum-oriented album all to his liking, was enough to inflame Mr Phil; but it's still way, way better than whatever followed in its steps with Phil, having satisfied his ambition, jumping ship for good.









3 comentarios:

  1. Download (flac + cue + log + scans):
    http://pastebin.com/MkRRadVP

    ResponderEliminar
  2. Gracias Calle Neptuno por compartir esta joyita. Esta banda rara vez se ve en las bateas de las disquerías. Muy agradecido.
    Un abrazo fraterno, Kike.

    ResponderEliminar




Lo más visitado...

Lo más visitado en el mes

Lo más visitado esta semana