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lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

The Facedancers - The Facedancers (1972)

Empezamos la semana con el primer aporte de nuestra nueva adquisisión en el staff cabezón. Vicky nos pidió el disco homónimo de The Facedancers, banda de Filadelfia que hizo un psicodélico con dosis de progresivo, muy interesante por cierto. Como muchos de los pedidos, al menos los que accedo a subir yo, le hago a cambio de la reseña, y como la buena de Vicky se mandó con la reseña, acá tienen el disco para que puedan disfrutar todos los cabezones. Y los comentarios de nuestra cabezona no terminan aquí, bienvenida al staff cabezón!

Artista: The Facedancers
Álbum: The Facedancers
Año: 1972
Género: Rock psicodélico
Duración: 40:17
Nacionalidad: EEUU

Lista de Temas:
1. Little Waterfall
2. Dreamer's Lullabye
3. Nightmare
4. Jewels
5. Let The Music Set You Free
6. Children
7. Beta

- Barry Armour / Bass, Guitar
- Dale Armour / Flute, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
- Scats Bloom / Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
- Michael Loy / Drums, Percussion
- Kelley Moko / Guitar, Vocals

Vicky nos pidió el disco homónimo de The Facedancers, nosotros se los subimos y ella nos deja su reseña. Disco raro éste, ácido, áspero, experimental, muy pero muy personal, hipnótico, misterioso, original y de sonido propio, no sé cómo es que este disco no es más conocido y reconocido, Así trabajamos en el blog cabezón. Aquí, el comentario de nuestra cabezona Vicky K:

Debo decir que no es fácil encontrar información sobre The Facedancers. Fue una banda de rock progresivo/psicodélico formada en Filadelfia a principios de los 70’. Estaba integrada por Barry (bajo y guitarra) y Dale Armour (teclados, flauta, guitarra y voces), Warren Bloom (voz principal, armónica y percusión), Roger Kelly (guitarra y voces) y Michael Loy (batería). Lamentablemente, casi nada encontré acerca de estos músicos. Leí por ahí que entre sus influencias se hallaban el rock ‘n roll, R&B, blues, Dave Brubeck y Billy Evans. Además, los hermanos Armour habían estudiado guitarra clásica. Volviendo al álbum, lo grabaron con el sello discográfico Paramount en 1972 y fue producido por el legendario Teo Macero en el Blue Rock Studios en Nueva York.
El disco abre con la canción “Little Waterfall”, la cual comienza con una introducción de piano muy misteriosa y atrapante! Con ella quedé fascinada desde el principio. Personalmente, una vez que me pongo a escuchar este disco no puedo dejarlo hasta que termine. Entre la particular voz de Warren, las guitarras ácidas, los solos de flauta, los teclados, todo hace que sea un lindo y mágico viaje. Luego de esta gran apertura, el disco continúa con “Dreamer’s Lullabye”, una canción súper hipnótica y onírica. Creo que la esquizofrénica “Nightmare” debe de ser uno de los puntos de mayor tensión del disco (aunque Children no se queda muy atrás). En la mitad del disco, nos encontramos con “Let The Music Set You Free”, un alegre y ácido blues (aunque suene un poco contradictorio). La última canción, “Beta”, me parece una genial despedida para el oyente. Quizás sea un poco delirante lo que voy a decir, pero es como si al comenzar a escuchar el disco uno se metiera de lleno en el mundo ficticio que crearon estos Danzarines Rostro y ellos te saludaran luego de haberlo visitado. Es una pena que solo hayan grabado este disco, me hubiera encantado escuchar algo más de ellos. He aquí una pequeña anéctoda bastante irrelevante. Después de haberlos escuchado, inmediatamente traté de encontrar información sobre ellos. Y al primer lugar a donde fui fue a Wikipedia. Claramente no había nada ahí acerca de ellos. Sin embargo, encontré que “los danzarines rostro” eran unos personajes de la saga de ciencia ficción Dune, de Frank Herbert. Así que gracias a ellos conocí a esta increíble obra de ciencia ficción :D.
Vicky K

Son de los pocos comentarios en castellano sobre éste disco, creo que no encontrarán en la red, aquí, vamos con algunos otros comentarios en inglés:

The Facedancers were a progressive/jazz-rock band signed to Paramount Records in the 1970’s. They recorded one full length studio album with legendary producer Teo Macero (Miles Davis). Though the band and their album have built a cult following, The Facedancers remain a mysterious treasure in the hearts of progressive rock fans around the world.
The Philadelphia based band consisted of brothers Barry (bass, guitar) and Dale Armour (keyboard, flute, guitar, vocals), Warren Bloom (lead vocals, harmonica, percussion), Roger Kelly (guitar, vocals), and Michael Loy (drums). Originally a comedy-rock group called Lobotomy, they became the house band in the last year of the Second Fret Coffeehouse in Philadelphia. No longer strictly a comedy act, in 1971 they changed their name to The Facedancers just before making their self-titled album on Paramount Records in 1972.
The album was produced by jazz saxophonist and producer Teo Macero, at Blue Rock Studios in the Soho district of NYC in the summer of 1972, using 100 hours of studio time. Macero was concurrently producing Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" for Columbia records, so this was a moonlighting job for him. In those days if someone insisted that the group label their music, they answered with "jazz-rock", though they didn't consider it jazz.
The group's musical influences were eclectic. Kelly and Bloom were lovers of rock'n'roll, R&B and blues (Bloom admired Smoky Robinson in particular). The Armours' father was a pianist who had played in swing bands, and taught the boys classical, stride and swing. They liked Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck. The brothers had also studied classical guitar, and Dale was self-taught on flute and sitar.
Development was intentionally somewhat musically isolated. Not many record albums were played at the band house - some Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie, John Cage. There was still the overwhelming influence of the Beatles. There was no concern for "danceability", so they played with time signatures. When too hungry and obliged to take a dance gig, they covered the Rolling Stones for fun.
Michelle Armour

A very very obscure psychedelic gem in US underground rock scene.
When I met this album (of course never known about such an outfit), I could feel something of a fate. Even now I cannot understand this matter enough well indeed, but could not avoid purchasing this old well-used vinyl. Exactly this album recorded by The FACEDANCERS, a five-piece obscure US outfit in early 1970s, could be a brilliant gem not only for me but also for all of psychedelic progressive rock fans.
A graceful piano solo and dry-fruity chorus quietly open the curtain of the first scene "Little Waterfall". The former part is as beautiful as of some symphonic progressive rock band I always feel, and in the middle part an aggressive, percussive rhythm section plus heavy, painful guitar sounds can conquer our heart completely. Certain eclecticism should be in, especially bulky psychedelic essence. Not only plaintive but powerful like a waterfall in a storm, not little. The second track "Dreamer's Lullabye" is very poppy and catchy but at the same time very impressive with the percussion solo and crazy harmonica attacks. Do not forget what they meant to be ... as if they might say so. "Nightmare", the most avantgarde psychic war here, is never refined, with blatantly scattered voices and instrument shouts (yea I do consider they be good!). The vocalist sonorously sings for his "Jewels". Also the flute solo is attractive and addictive. The first song of B-side "Let The Music Set You Free", a simple blues song, is a bit boring but even the song has some overhead air I feel (bravo). And another masterpiece "Children" has three parts ... in the first and the last ones are streaming voices and floating flute solo, safe and sound keyboard raindrops. Please weep. The middle part, characteristic of this album and this band, is very massive active heavy rock one. This mixture mentioned above should be the real pure psychedelic I'm sure. And effective voice effects and loud 'n' rampant instrumental kicks are over the last "Beta". Cannot breathe without watching the face dancing from beginning to finish.
Sad to say The FACEDANCERS could not dance any more after releasing this gem ...
Keishiro Maki

Early prog crossover album from 1972 with some psychedelia influences. Produced by Teo Macero of Miles Davis fame. Creatively designed songs that show thoughtful experimentalism. The lead singer claims he hits the highest note ever recorded by a man on a rock record. True or not - the girly-sounding vocals work well in this context. Interesting album that rewards a few close listens. They use harmony vocals and have a slight folky and bluesy touch to their songwriting. But most of the songs feature long and complex instrumental breaks, that sounds right out of early 70s northern Europe, with flute, electric guitar and organ. The guitarist plays in a decidedly psychedelic manner. Excellent album. No one seems quite sure where the group is even from, though the album was recorded in New York (according to the liner notes) and seems to be the only clue to their existence.

Another brilliant obscure gem! As in a treasure hunt, I greedily guarded every little jewel that I find. When I listen for the first time a new "anonymous" disc, I often expect always something original, and this album has many interesting aspects to offer. Unfortunately the golden age of Progressive Rock didn't gave it the well deserved honor, but today it will be appreciated by the new prog listeners, and maybe like me, listen to it closing my eyes and sail upon a "Dreamers Lullaby"...
All that I know is that it was recorded in USA by "Paramount" and was produced by Teo Macero, the same producer of some Miles Davis albums. It's so hard to find some news about this formation, very hard. The same is for the album, so let's go to talk about it, at least trying to describe its style.
The sound is very interesting. It presents seven tracks strongly influenced by psychedelia and blues, far from classic Prog atmospheres of the time. Maybe, or rather certainly they've been influenced by Led Zeppelin that in 1972 was so active, especially in USA. Nothing to do with Led Zeppelin. No super guitarist, no super voice, but a good mix of Artistic Progressive Rock with a touch of blues and abundant psychedelic elements. These, very presents in that era especially in America, which some years before started the psychedelic movement, makes the album unique full of psychedelic veins. At the same time the movement started also in U.K, with the birth of bands maybe less blues influenced. The first time I heard them, I thought they could come from Sweden or Norway, anyhow from Scandinavian Peninsula, in fact they remember me hard prog band RUPHUS. Later I discovered they are American. The melodies and musical motives they've created are memorable, makes you the wanting to intone them. Is the case of "Little Waterfall, a good song where is appreciable a suggestive mix of the lead voice accompanied by a soft chorus, with a Prog intermezzo blues oriented. What immediately leaps to attention is the voice of lead singer Scats Bloom, probably the highest highs I've ever heard from a man (now I remember also the highs of Gianluigi Di Franco in "Trittico"). In the second song "Dreamers Lullaby" the highs of the beautiful voice of Bloom (which play also the harmonica like Robert Plant) blends with a keyboards solo on the same tonality! Really incredible. Also pleasant is the line bass in all the album making nice grooves.
The most psychedelic is "Nightmare" which describes very well the atmospheres of a vivid nightmare with sighs, screams and anxious tensions..."Things Aren't What They Seem. This Must Be A Dream". After "Jewels", a love song starts "Let The Music Set You Free". An old blues renewed by the Prog trend with a good guitar solo.
The song "Children" at the beginning soft atmospheres that vaguely recall the Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" and "Over The Hills And Far Away". Here there is a strange effect on voice that seems to be breaking like glass. The album ends with the song "Beta", another example of their psychedelic creativity on a nice track.
Personally I prefer the first 5 tracks, and if the others had the same ingenuity maybe I would have given it 5 stars, or 4,5. The musicality of this album is memorable and the moments of psychedelia are very nice. A little treasure made by unknown artists, surely to know and enter in your personal discography.
4/5 Stars - Better to know of its existence.
Marco Simone Muraca

Por cierto, esta es otra exclusividad del blog cabezón para que lo disfruten. Apúrense por las dudas porque la horda de M&M boys cada vez nos amenazan más con denunciarnos. Disfruten de éste disco ignoto pero muy bueno, quizás no aconsejable para todos los oídos, pero sí digno de rescatar para todos aquellos que le encuentren el gustito a la banda, ya que lo van a disfrutar tanto como Vicky.
Y quédense atentos porque, como siempre, tendremos varias sorpresas para ustedes.

4 comentarios:

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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).


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).