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martes, 8 de marzo de 2016

Tasavallan Presidentti - Lambertland (1972)

Empezamos el día con otro discazo de los Tasavallan Presidentti, más progresivo nórdico en el blog cabezón, con su particular estilo de jazz rock tan diferente al que escuchamos generalmente, con sus maneras compositivas que a veces recuerda a los Gentle Giant. Recomendación, ¡no se lo pierdan!

Artista: Tasavallan Presidentti
Álbum: Lambertland
Año: 1972
Género: Jazz Rock
Duración: 40:24
Nacionalidad: Finlandia

Lista de Temas:
1. Lounge
2. Lambertland
3. Celebration Of The Saved Nine
4. The Bargain
5. Dance
6. Last Quarters

- Jukka Tolonen / guitar
- Eero Raittinen / vocals
- Pekka Pöyry / saxophone, flute
- Måns Groundstroem / bass
- Vesa Aaltonen / drums

Disco (discazo) que nos reseña Vicky, y que viene a engrosar nuestra lista de joyas musicales casi desconocidas, olvidadas y perdidas, y hacemos justicia y lo damos a conecer a lo grande, como le corresponde a una obra de ésta magnitud. Pero tengo poco tiempo y está el review de Vicky, así que me remito a sus palabras:

He aquí el tercer disco de Tasavallan Presidentti. ¿Qué decir sobre Lambertland? Es uno de mis favoritos (bueno, en realidad me resulta muy difícil elegir uno entre sus cuatro trabajos principales). Una de las primeras cosas que uno puede percibir al escucharlo es el cambio de sonido. Por un lado, hay que tener en cuenta que ya no está más Frank Robson, sino que quien canta es Eero Raittinen. Además, ya es otra la dirección musical, muchísimo más inclinada al jazz rock (aunque tal vez no sea tan sorpresivo ya que las influencias del jazz eran más que evidentes). Es interesante destacar que casi la totalidad del disco fue compuesta por Jukka Tolonen y que las letras fueron escritas por Mats Huldén (¡quien fue el original bajista de Wigwam!).
Ya de entrada, con “(Smoothy Works the) Lounge”, nos sumergimos en un diálogo entre Jukka y Pekka Pöyry sobre un muy buen colchón rítmico. A decir verdad, es un poco difícil entender lo que canta Eero (algo que me acabo de dar cuenta de que no aclaré en las reseñas anteriores es que Frank Robson era inglés). Pero más allá de este y algún que otro detalle acerca de él y su forma de cantar, creo que contribuye a la unicidad y al sonido del disco. Luego sigue “Lambertland”, la cual comienza con una guitarra muy suave y tranquila para ir de a poco tomando vuelo. Vuelo es una palabra que yo tendría muy presente a lo largo de todo el álbum, porque está lleno de ideas fantásticas! Algo que me llamó la atención desde la primera escucha fue la forma abrupta en que termina “Lambertland” y comienza “Celebration Of The Save Nine”, sino me equivoco compuesta por Pekka. En canciones como esta última, “Lounge” o “The Bargain” se puede apreciar, como había mencionado al principio, la increíble química que había entre los músicos, sobre todo entre Jukka y Pekka (basta con escuchar esas desenfrenadas frases de saxo y guitarra que tan comunicadas están). Lo mismo se puede aplicar a “Dance”, que es otro buen instrumental donde principalmente los protagonistas son la guitarra y la flauta, y donde por momentos surgen conversaciones entre ellas en las que una le pregunta algo a la otra y ésta le contesta, o viceversa, o de pronto se acompañan. ¡No puedo obviar el tremendo solo que se manda Jukka en esta canción! Después de semejante instrumental, cierra el disco con “Last Quarters”, siendo una despedida bastante tranquila, con unas dulces melodías de flauta y bajo y una guitarra muy agradable. ¡¡Espero que lo disfruten!!

Si no le creen a Vicky, acá les dejo unos comentarios en inglés,

"Lambertland" is an early 70's album with English vocals, and a jazz-rock influence. The music is quite strong, and seems inspired by Frank ZAPPA's "King Kong" and "Third"-era SOFT MACHINE. Unfortunately, although the musicians are all top-notch, they chose a below-average singer for the job. The singer tends to sound quite harsh, and sometimes sings out-of-tune. You also tend to wish that they he had sung the album in Finnish, rather than English, because of his accent. Overall, you can expect some great music mixed with some questionable vocals.
Steve Hegede

Stuart Nicholson's excellent book "Jazz Rock: A History", has only a few faults, one of which is its too abbrieviated history and analysis of the European jazz rock scene. One or two clues to what has been omitted, will be found from listening to this record. Tasavallan Presidentti are one of those seemingly obscure bands who contributed to jazz rock's development. Even so, they were briefly popular in the UK because of "Lambertland".
Sonet distributed the vinyl version in the UK around 1973, with a sticker on the cover, stating "....Tasavallan Presidentti are a tidied up Traffic...". As selling aid, it told the potential buyer more about the band's earlier albums and much less about the music here. With "Lambertland" TP had developed well beyond the jazz-tempered, psychedelic rock of Traffic, and produced this minor classic of fusion. This is jazz fusion that evolved in the typical European way: rock musicians taking in jazz influences (cf. much of American jazz rock was jazz musicians taking on board rock rhythms and electrification). Let's examine one of my all time favourite jazz rock tunes, as a an example of this album .
'The Bargain' is a rock tune that within a few bars has become jazz. Fade up an urgent drum shuffle, quickly sax and wah wah guitar overlay the drums, provided by Jukka Tolonen and Pekka Pöyry respectively - both as solo musicians nowadays have reputations equal to Jan Akkermann - at least amongst those who know their albums. Then a beautiful interplay of guitar with sax, giving a call and response with the vocalist. The lyrics are well sung in English beit in the blue rock style of the period - a lesson learned from fellow Finnish musicians Wigwam; if you want to break the British and US market sing in English. Lines of verses initially sound disconnected - but listen well these are words about shoe-shine boys, bargains, street hustle. This upbeat tune lingers long in the memory and for me, simply has stood the test of time, as does all this album.
Richard Heath

Well, Lamberland is TP's third album, even if you'll probably never hear their second, which only received a local distribution and has never been reissued legitimately on CD. By the time of this album, the group's line-up had noticeably changed with singer Robson's replacement with a more local Eero Raittinen and wind-player Aaltonen's replacement with Pekka Poyry. As you can guess, the change of voice might have changed TP's general soundscape, but the winds also changed a bit their musical direction. Unlike on their debut album, you'd be hard-pressed to find TP being derivative of X or Y or pastiching Z. Indeed, with LL, TP seems to be closer to jazz-rock with a Canterbury twist, which is a direct consequence of Tolonen's taking over the lion's share of the compositions, and leaving the lyrics to outsider Swede Mats Hulden. Another twist that since Robson's departure and Groundstroem's increased bass presence, keyboards have seen their importance diminished, but they're still around.
Right from the first notes of the opening Lounge, it's quite obvious that TP has stepped well forward in their progression and Raittinen's vocals leave you no hope to return to the Robson days. In some ways, while rather different-sounding, TP's formula is still more or less the same, just majorly improved (partly based on Groundstroem's much improved and often brilliant bass playing) and increasingly personal; their brilliant jazz-rock taking a slight but original personality twist, but the classical moods are still around as well, as the early part of title track will show. In LL (the track), Raittinen's personal style of vocals are an acquired taste, and Poyry's sax will probably surprise a few progheads, but it's certainly nothing insurmountable. The sole Poyry-penned instrumental track Celebration is probably the hardest track of the album, with some funky rhythm and tricky time sigs.
Over the flipside, Bargain emerges from the naught, slowly rising to a maddening repetitive bass riff and Raittinen's manic vocals, taking the band's soundscape to a very unique/personal level. The instrumental Dance also features tricky time sigs and some extremely brilliant interplay at breakneck speed. The closing Last Quarters is a mid-tempo track that may just be the album's weaker track (being too wordy), but still remains amazingly good.
Since I've never heard their second album, it's rather difficult to say whether the change of musical horizon was abrupt, but the least we can say is that TP is a different beast by now from their debut album, but their shift towards JR/F was more or less coincidental to their rival Wigwam (well WW was a bit earlier on that ball), who had also taken the same JR/F turn with Pohjola and Gustafsson's increased shared of the songwriting at the cost of singer Jim Pembroke's with late 71's Fairyport. But unlike Wigwam's almost schizophrenic musical personality, TP's was a lot more focused and cohesive. Surely my fave of three of four albums I've heard.
Sean Trane

After TP's second album (not the one with Pekka Streng), it became clear that their vocalist Frank Robson would not continue as the leading vocalist. This eventually lead to the fact, that Eero Raittinen joined the band. While I still don't quite understand why - his voice is considerably more suitable for a blues outfit - it did help this album to become a totally unique item. His voice is generally seen as the worst part of this album, but nowadays it's pretty much impossible for me to imagine anyone else singing here. As for the music, well, it's mostly brilliant. Jukka Tolonen was at the top of his game in 1971-1973, his inspired guitar playing is nothing short of spectacular. It's futile and pointless trying to compare Tasavallan Presidentti to anyone, but it seems I'm doing it anyway. Imagine Soft Machine on stage with the guys from Colosseum joining in, and add a rough, bluesy vocalist singing with a bizarre accent to the mix, and you'll have a slight idea of what this sounds like. Pekka Pöyry on flute & sax gives his own special touch to the album - his flute playing is often soft and gentle, but the man is no slouch with the saxophone either. Don't get me wrong though, Lambertland is ultimately a pretty raw and wild album - you won't find anything similar to the "slicker" and slightly over-produced approach of Return To Forever and Weather Report. All in all, when it comes to "primitive" jazz-rock, it rarely gets any better than this. Lambertland is not a perfect album by any means, but it's more than worthy of the price tag. 4,5/5 stars.

This is the most appreciated album by this band, and it truly is a record worth of listening. I personally liked FRANK ROBSON's singing voice more than EERO RAITTINEN's who sings here, but this line-up plays bit different kind of music than the previous one, so I think his style fits better to this jazzy style. All of the tracks are fine, having both structured composed parts and a space for jamming. There are also two instrumental tracks, though the "Celebration of The Saved Nine" makes a one piece of music with the delicate title tune. This can be sincerely recommended to all fans of a jazzy rock music, and "Lambertland" should fulfill all the requirements to acquire the status of a classic album internationally. Nearly essential pancake for your turntable!
Eetu Pellonpää

After the psychedelia of their previous albums, Tasavallan Presidentti underwent a similar evolution to that undergone by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, moving into jazz fusion by the time this album came out. Of course, there are differences; for starters, Zappa's quirky sense of humour and ready command of a million different styles of musical composition clearly aren't present here. But at the same time, I think the album does succeed in breaking some new ground; in sections, it sounds almost like the sort of territory that Henry Cow or Discipline/Matthew Parmenter would explore in their jazzier moments in years to come. Not a full-blown classic, but still a solid album more than worth a listen.
W. Arthur

4.5/5 stars. Very close to being a five star album in my opinion.This Finnish band are simply incredible instrumentally and while some have issues with the vocals I personally don't.This is their third album released in 1972. As the liner notes state,they were at this point (after 2 albums) a household name in Finland.There's a new vocalist and reedsman for this one.The original bass player for WIGWAM not only wrote the lyrics for this album but he did the cover art. And no he doesn't play bass here as original bass player Mans Groundstoem continues to do that.The other two original members are the great Jukka Tolonen on guitar and drummer Vesa Aaltonen. In May of 1972 this band became the first Finnish band to headline a tour in the UK. Some interesting words in the liner notes from Ian MacDonald about this band as well. He stated this in September of 1973. "As with most of the recordings of the Eurorock- movement, "Lambertland" was inexpertly recorded, but the essential qualities of the music break through and show the band to be technically proficient beyond the standards of even Danish groups or France's GONG and MAGMA". I think I would call some of those things he said here controversial at the least.
"Lounge" sounds so good to start out then it settles in then kicks back quickly before we get vocals, flute and a full sound.The liner notes show no keyboards were involved but man it sure sounds like mellotron here but maybe it's the flute.These guys really sound amazing. Sax and guitar trade off before 4 minutes as we get this long instrumental break that ends before 7 1/2 minutes when the vocals return. "Lambertland" opens with gentle guitar and atmosphere.The vocals a minute in are almost spoken.They stop as percussion and sounds that echo take over. It starts to build after 3 1/2 minutes.Vocals and a fuller sound come in before 5 minutes. It blends into "Celebration Of The Saved Nine" where the intricate guitar and sax impress with their complexity. Some nice chunky bass too as the drums pound.
"The Bargain" has a beat with sax and guitar as the vocals come and go. Catchy stuff. An uplifting section arrives after 5 1/2 minutes but it's brief. "Dance" has a killer bass, drum and guitar intro. Flute joins in too.The guitar lights it up after 2 minutes right through until before 4 1/2 minutes. He's ripping it up again 5 1/2 minutes in. "Last Quarters" sounds amazing to start then the flute then vocals join in. A calm before 6 minutes then it picks back up with vocals a minute later.
An incredible album that will appeal to JRF fans.
John Davie

Y para cerrar el post, les dejo el sonido de la presentanción en vivo de "Lambertland" en una radio de Finlandia en 1972.

10 comentarios:

  1. Yo sí le creo a Vicky, ya escuché los otros dos y son extraordinarios, así que ¡vamos por este! Gracias

  2. Hola, creo que hace falta el link, gracias

    1. No, ya dijimos que para evitar problemas, los links van en la lista de correo.
      Por un blog libre de piratería! XD

    2. Carlos, para suscribirse a la lista de correo, entrá acá que te dice como hacer:

  3. Recibo los mails, pero no consigo encontrar los links. Parecen bien escondidos. Dónde están? No es una crítica, es una duda. A propósito, gracias por compartir esta música, que nos deja más "open mind". (Obs.: no consegui identificarme en este comentario con mi email de la subscripción, por eso aparece anónimo. Abs. Claudio)

  4. Mmm, no, a verrr, no no, yo tampoco encuentro links alguno. Lástima.

    1. Bilbajazz, los links están en la lista de correo, pero repito: tienen que estar suscritos a ella. Para suscribirse a la lista de correo, entrá acá que te dice como hacer:

    2. Te digo cual es la modalidad:

      1) Entrá acá: http://www.egrupos.net/grupo/cabezademoog/alta
      Poné tu dirección de correo, y esperá un mail de confirmación.

      2) Cuando te llegue el mail, seguí los pasos para confirmarlo, creo que lo tenés que responder. Y listo.

      3) Una vez hayas hecho esto, te llegará otro mail indicando que ya particiás, y entre otras cosas te dirá cual es la dirección de la base de datos de links.
      Cualquier cosa me avisás!

  5. Ok. Encontré. Gracias !
    Cancelé el registro anterior e hice uno nuevo, esto tal vez le sirva a otro que tenga problemas.
    Abs. Claudio


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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).