I'm amazed that I've only recently heard of this band. Talk about well-kept secrets. This 1971 debut comes from a trio with a vast collective imagination. They fit in with the progressive spirit of the age but use sparse arrangements, combining flute, guitar and congas/bongos (not sure which)for the most part. On "The Traveller" and "Dragonfly Day" they conjure up an awesome shimmering sound that exemplifies their main strength. Style tends to rule over substance. While the material is good, it's not hard to see why they remain obscure. It's a fine album, but it isn't commercial.
Lyrics tend to be vivid, but delivered almost like poetry rather than sung. Terms like "freedom" and "turn me on" rather give away the era. Some of the guitar work smacks of bluesy hard rock which, given the smallness of the arrangements, gives mixed results. Nevertheless, there are many beautiful moments, especially the gentle, hypnotic opening to "Sundial Song". Well worth the money if you're into the spirit of the subtler early 1970s rock bands.
Die-hard Jade Warrior fans will adore this album for its usual blend of enchanting melody and haunting vocals with an obligatory twist of prog rock. You travel the world and all its continents with Jade Warrior - taking in everywhere from Africa (Masai Morning) to the Far East, with a brief stop for a Prenormal Day at Brighton. Home's best for this reviewer and Windweaver is simply sublime. As they say, "City sights bring me down, Let the wind on the river turn you on!" There are darker notes with some discomfitting lyrics for those of a weird nature - Telephone Girl covers prostitution, while Psychiatric Sergeant explores issues of schizophrenia (or possibly multi-personality disorder) from the perspective of the affected. Poetically powerful. For most of the tracks, it's difficult to believe this is such an old-timer. Just don't expect it all to sound undated; not everything from the early 70s sounds quite so fresh today.
Wow! - this CD has clearly been lovingly restored using state of the art equipment with barely a hint that good old fashioned tape was the media on which this seminal album by one of musics sorely neglected bands was recorded. If you know Jade Warrior you'll just love the detail and sheer energy captured here that up until now has not been fully realised. You've got to hand it to the Japs - from a superbly printed card sleeve complete with miniature version of the original Vertigo inner sleeve to the repro of the centre label of the LP for the disc art this release is exemplary. Judging by the attached obi the releases for the follow up albums "Released" and "Last Autumn's Dream" are in the pipeline. I just can't wait! - 5+ stars for content and remastering.