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CD/DVD Releases: And Yet More Nuggets From Wayside Music

Posted on Saturday, October 15 @ 22:00:00 UTC by nightowl

In their October 10th update, among all the restock or older titles but new arrivals, Wayside Music announced that they had the following three AltrOck releases available (all released by AltrOck on September 27 (or thereabouts)):

Camembert - Schnörgl Attahk (AltrOck, $18.00): Really superlative first full length from this French jazz/rock band. This French group from Strasbourg first came to attention 3 years ago with their self-released EP, which showed great promise. But this new release really ups their game and presents this seven-piece instrumental group at the top of their (or anyone's, really) musical game. The compositions are intricate but not "difficult" and a little bit reminiscent of Frank Zappa at his most "jazzy."

The musical performances by these youngsters are simply to die for and even at this stage of the game, they have a really distinctive sound (name another group with a harpist! anyone?). While you have never heard of any of these musicians, the performances are so good that I felt I had to list their names and what they play: Bertrand Eber: trumpet, didgeridoo, cowbell, voices and whistle, Guillaume Gravelin: harp, Fabrice Toussaint: tenor trombone, xybraphone, percussion, Julien Traveletti: bass trombone and tuba, Vincent Sexauer: electric guitar, Philémon Walter: drums, Pierre Wawrzyniak: bass, acoustic guitar and voices + guest Francesco Zago: electric guitar on one track. This is really world-class, impressive stuff. You can't go wrong by checking this one out. Highly recommended.

Find it here at Wayside

Pocket Orchestra - Phoenix (AltrOck, expanded/remastered, 2CDs, $23.00): This is a reissue of the album Knebnagauje, which was the first-ever release of any material by this unknown and lost avant-garde progressive rock band of the late 1970s into the mid 80s. Finally, 25 years after their dissolution, there was a very limited (500 copies) edition made by the MIO label as their last release, just as the label was shutting down. Many folks had a chance to buy this, but many more were shut out missed a chance to own this great muscial document. Until now.

The line up of the band consisted of Tim Parr - guitars; Craig Bork - piano, keyboards; Joe Halajan - saxes, clarinets[ Bill Johnston - cello; Tim Lyons - bass; and Bob Stearman-drums. Pocket Orchestra started off in Phoenix, AZ, where they were pals with the guys in Cartoon (which, btw, is how I knew of them, as Scott Braziel gave me a cassette of some of their work when I met him in 1992 or so and we made several attempts in the late 90s to issue this material, but I was dealing with the wrong ex-members of the group and it didn't work out!).

Moving to Olympia, WA circa 1979, they used the name Knebnagauje and recorded half of the music found on this album. Later moving to San Francisco in 1982 to be with their old pals Cartoon once more, they changed their name to Pocket Orchestra, and recording the other half of this CD. They dissolved in 1983, without having ever released anything and this release, made from the old master tapes which sound surprisingly good and vibrant, is the first time that anyone outside of the band's immediate circle of friends and fans can hear them. The label compares them to Samla and while I hear that I also hear just as much of a sound sort of bordering on a busier take on early Henry Cow, especially Legend. Sometimes a tad too busy, but it's hard to be critical of something that is this well done and accomplished which never reached anyone, so this still comes very highly recommended. This includes a Udi Koomran remastered version of the original Knebnagauje abum release and includes a previously unreleased and unheard disc of live material in 'good bootleg' quality. There's a lot of unheard material or expansion of material from the studio tracks here, but honestly, there's nothing here on the live disc that I personally found nearly as compelling as the original studio tracks. If you didn't move fast enough when the original CD version was available and you don't already own this, then this release is a absolute must-have, but honestly, if you already have this in its previous form, I honestly don't think you need to "upgrade."

Find it here at Wayside

Dave Willey - Immeasurable Currents (AltrOck, $18.00): Dave Willey is a multi-instrumentalist who is the co-leader and co-composer of the material of the great Hamster Theatre ensemble. He has also been a member of Thinking Plague for about 15 years now.

Immeasurable Currents is a moody, somewhat low-key-but-intense album that is definitely closer to Thinking Plague than it is to the Hamsters and is a very ambitious release and something that Dave has been working on for a number of years. This is a collection of 12 songs that use poems by Dave's father that were originally published in the book, The Tin Box Papers and Other Poems. There is some great singing by both Deborah Perry (former singer of Thinking Plague and 5uus) and Elaine di Falco (current singer of Thinking Plague and Hughscore) and the CD features other musical performances by Dave, Hugh Hopper, Elaine di Falco, Mike Johnson, Wally Scharrold, Dave Kerman and others. Arty and classy and unique.

Find it here at Wayside

Plus there's David Bedford - The Odyssey Live (Gonzo, $18.00): In one of life's slightly bizarre and sad coincidences, this was released within a week of Dave Bedford's death. This extremely high quality live recording contains a huge assortment of some of the biggest talents of creative rock of the day and the sound here is perfect. Highly recommended!

David Bedford - synth
Mike Oldfield - guitar
Mike Ratledge - synth
Jon Lord - synth
Peter Lemer - string synthesizers
Dave Simmonds - string synthesizers
Dave Stewart - grand piano
Brian Gascoigne - electric piano
Dave Morson - clavinet
Neil Ardley - Hammond organ
Stewart Bedford - grand organ
Murray Barr - vibraphone, timpani
Sophie Dickson - solo vocals
Anne Murray, Amanda Finton, Margaret Winterman - recorders
Elly Lemos - cymbal gong
Queen's College Choir

"David Bedford released The Odyssey in 1976, it was a musical setting for the epic by Homer and focuses on Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, who was being pestered by various Princes. Supposing Odysseus was dead, having been killed in the Trojan War, the various princes wanted to marry Penelope, who said she would decide who to marry when she had finished weaving a shroud. Having weaved during the day, she unpicked it at night so that she would never finish it, and Penelope’s Shroud is a recurrent theme of the album.

"Bedford of course is renowned as one the Britain’s foremost composers and arrangers working in both the classical and rock genres. His first success was as arranger of Kevin Ayers’ Joy Of A Toy album and collaborated with Mike Oldfield, subsequently arranging an orchestral version of Tubular Bells.

"David’s first solo album was for John Peel's Dandelion label and was called Nurse's Song With Elephants. He later recorded the legendary The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. It was decided to stage a live concert of the album at The Royal Albert Hall in January 1977, and as the album was recorded mainly on keyboards, no less than seven keyboard players were in the line-up; amongst them was Bedford, Deep Purple’s Jon Lord and Egg’s Dave Stewart. So prominent was the keyboard sound that the event was billed as the 'greatest keyboard event ever.' The atmospheric musical extravaganza also features Mike Oldfield, whose guitar solos on 'The Phaeacian Games' and 'The Sirens' are just out of this world; and a stunning guitar solo from Andy Summers of The Police on 'Circe's Island.' For good measure, there’s also The Queen's College Choir and a Wine Glass Orchestra. The show was recorded for a radio broadcast, and apart from that and the original performance, it has never been heard since. It’s been long overdue. Oh, and the good news is that Odysseus returned safely from the Trojan War, kills all the princes and Penelope was able to complete her shroud."- Martin Hutchinson/The Bolton News

Find it here at Wayside

You'll also find Moraine's Metamorphic Rock release, which we wrote about earlier; it is released by MoonJune Records

[Source: Wayside Music]

Posted in Album Release News