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Reviews Written by
Kevin Mcclure "kevin21549"
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Inventions And Dimensions
Inventions And Dimensions
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: £39.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soccotash!, 25 April 2007
I have seen this album around for a while tempting me to buy it but I have so many really solid jazz albums from this era that I do not get enough time to listen that I gave it a miss. I finally relented after seeing it recommended in the Rough Guide and I am not disappointed, The rhytmic settting for these tunes is brilliant with Hancock and the band assembled here on top form. There are also excellent liner notes that put this session into perspective and claims that the unseen guiding hand of Mile Davis is at work, helping Herbie choose the musicians for instance. The setting of the tunes is not startling particularly after such a long time, but there are some genuine momets of magic and I would recommend this to anyone exploring this area of music


If 3
If 3
Price: £10.94

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 19 April 2007
This review is from: If 3 (Audio CD)
I had all the If album in the 1970s but have long since lost them. When I saw them available on CD I wondered if they were as good as I remembered. I was not disappinted. If3 is spectacular. Dave Quincey takes the bulk of the writing credits and it is clear that he is at the top of his game here. The opening track Fibonacci's Number, which is a Quincey penned intrumental, starts deceptively with ominous organ before giving way to a funky groove with horns then flute taking the lead. This sounds like a classic 1970's film theme and I mean that as a compliment.The remainder of the tracks are songs with the whole band getting their moment in the limelight. Other members of the band do get writing credits which adds to the usual If mix of variety under the unifying band sound. Upstairs by Dick and Birgitta Morrissey has strong rock edge to it and Terry Smith andJ.W. Hodgkinsons Seldom Seen Sam not olny has a great title but is great song which contrasts a strong riff with delicate flute then electric piano.

It is a shame that this band did not survive for longer but we should be thankful that they left behind such a strong collection of albums.

As far as the other albums are concerned do check out If and If2 and as far as the last album is concerned you pays you money you takes your choice between If4 and Waterfall (the European Vs the American versions of broadly the same material in slightly different order and slightly different track listing) either way you miss the odd track that is on one but not the other and although my tendency is to go with the European If4 I think that Waterfall with the inclusion of You In Your Small Corner.. A and B sides as bonus track does shade it.


Time Is the Key
Time Is the Key

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome return of this album, 19 April 2007
This review is from: Time Is the Key (Audio CD)
Glad to see Pierre Moerlen's Gong albums available again even if at present it is only via Japanese import (why is it that they are far quicker to release back catalogue rock and jazz albums than we here or indeed the Americans are?)

I remember the first side of this as the previous reviewer did for the seamless flow from track to track, which will create little hiccups in playback for those of us who are still using anything but the most up to date file management systems for digital playback if we are copying to MP3 etc player. This does, however give the album abeautiful flow as the mood changes.

Pierre continued the dynamic jazz/rhythmic development that began prior to Daevid Allen's departure and transformed the band into a different beast than it was before. Unfortunately the growth of this complex dynamic, interesteing and very enjoyable music coinsided with the rise and dominance of Punk, which of itself brought a lot of positive changes to the music market but also threw a lot of babies out with the bathwater and I guess this band was one of the casualties.

I recently bought the Mike Oldfield DVD of Exposed (I'm ashamed to say I only bought it because it was 99p in the post christmas sale at Borders) It is mostly concert footage but there is a very short bit of documentary footage. Several musicians are seen talking. I thought it was bad enough when various members of the orchestra who played on the tour had captions of "musician" flash up but when Pierre Moerlen came on and the caption "band memeber" flashed up I was outraged. Any idiot who had a passing recollection of this area of music could have told you who this was and I would have expected a professional preparing this DVD for release would have been able to find out the names of all those speaking but particularly someone of this significance.

Anyway if you did pre-punk rock music infused with jazzy and polyrhythmic tones then try this out. All the albums are worthwhile and the Live album is good too.


Octopus
Octopus

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 18 April 2007
This review is from: Octopus (Audio CD)
This was the Gentle Giant album in my house. My brither bought it after we saw them at the Caird Hall in Dundee. We did not have the money to buy more than one album by most bands so I did not get into their other work until later, helped by Groucho's second hand record shop.

Track such as Knots and Dog's Life are engrained in my psyche and Raconteur Troubador is also a favourite


Armenia: Heavenly Duduk
Armenia: Heavenly Duduk
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: £9.08

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, 17 April 2007
This review is from: Armenia: Heavenly Duduk (Audio CD)
Words can not adequately describe this beautiful music. Many listeners will be familiar with the sound of Gasparyan's duduk as his music has been much used in film and television. The wonderful thing about this man is that he just seems to play so beautifully and easily, no gimicks, no image awareness, just fantasic music (and I mean fantastic in every sense of the word)and although I do not understand what he is singing, on the couple of vocal performances here, it does not matter it just sounds great! For a amn who looks like a middle aged school teacher dressed up in national costume on the sleeve he surely is the most surprisingly brilliant singiner and instrumentalist I have encountered in a long time.

This collection is consistently wonderful and uplifting to the soul. It is interesting that the album he did for Real World with Michael Brooks which I really like , now sounds a bit over instumented with the rhythms seeming intrusive in places. This purer sound which allows space for the instuments to breath is the real deal and all the better for it. That is not to say that I do not still realy like that other album, it is just that.

I have tried to correct the title of this album on Amazon but they just don't listen. It is from a series of Worls Music and this it the example from Armenia but the actual album title is Heavenly Duduk which is an pretty accurate description of what it contains


Mansfield Park [DVD] [2000]
Mansfield Park [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Frances O'Connor
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £9.53

11 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adaptation, 19 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Mansfield Park [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is clearly to a completely failthful adaptation of Austen but if you've just seen the new Billie Piper version, which misses out most of the layers of story and is totally two dimesioal then this seems like a slavish following of the text. This version is much loved in my houshold


Blazing Saddles [1974] [DVD]
Blazing Saddles [1974] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cleavon Little
Offered by videosanddvds
Price: £4.50

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great until the end where it just lost its way, 14 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Blazing Saddles [1974] [DVD] (DVD)
I remember going to see this at the ABC in Dundee and literally rolling in the aisles with laughter. Although my friends and I came out of the cinema having loved the movie I was always disappointed in the way it fizzled out towards the end with the tired custard pie fight in the studio canteen at the end and I still feel much the same way about it. Funnily enough I wathed this with my 16 year old sone who reacted in exactly the same way. So a bit of a flawed gem really but still worth a watch.


Man
Man
Price: £18.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Man!, 1 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Man (Audio CD)
This is a really under rated band.I first heard Daughter of the Fireplace on my brother's Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth album. This studio version is great too. When I went back to this band on CD, having not heard them for ages I was not sure if the magic would still be there. It is!


Seven
Seven
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £16.49

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last of the numbered (CBS) albums, 27 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Seven (Audio CD)
This is a perfect reissue of this album. I like it more than ever listening to it again and the CD version I already had was pretty good. The only weakness I have found is in the tail end of Mark Powell's liner notes. He states that the Soft Machine Legacy that formed from ex-Softs included Karl Jenkins which it did not (although there were a couple of post-Land of Cockayne reformations that he was involved in. It was John Etheridge, along with Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and John Marshall who formed the Legacy band. They have since continued with a non-softs replacement for the sadly departed Mr. Dean

This batch of reissues has prompted me to re-explore my Soft Machine collection. I have meny prized live albums particulary the BBC and Radio Bremen stuff. I have even given Softs and Alive and Well Recorded in paris another go and last night really enjoyed listening to the latter, which was always my least favourite of their albums (I think because of the final disco beat track)

To paraphrase Shrek, Soft machine are like onions, not because they stink (which they do not) but because they have many layers. I am increasingly attracted to their many different layers and this was another high point. Although I do also like the Harvest albums I wish they had kept the diversity of writing from across the band, displayed here, instead of it becoming a vehilcle for just a single memeber


Fifth
Fifth
Offered by silver-tentacle-UK
Price: £12.00

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-Wyatt, 20 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Fifth (Audio CD)
In the process of finding a perminent replacement for founding member and genius, Robert Wyatt, John Marshall arrived midway through this album after the temporary use of Phil Howard as drummer.

I really do empathise with Robert Wyatt about his departure form Soft machine. It was his band but is did love the albums that followed is departure up until Bundles and had he remained in this band we would have never had the brilliant Matching Mole albums. This band is an object lesson in the difficulties of balancing attitudes to others in conflict.

This is a fantastic album wonderfully remastered. if you have the previous CD version then you probably don't need this, although it does have a bonus alternate take. If you think you might like it and are wavering then buy it! You will not be disappointed


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