Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Facedancers - The Facedancers (1972 us, sensational progressive rock)



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.
by Michelle Armour, Philadelphia  
Tracks
1. Little Waterfall - 7:24
2. Dreamer's Lullabye - 5:47
3. Nightmare - 3:12
4. Jewels - 4:00
5. Let The Music Set You Free - 5:26
6. Children - 8:27
7. Beta - 6:08

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

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13 comments:

  1. 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.

    Thx Marios.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It makes me extremely happy to see that you've shared this album! Dale is my father, and I'm glad to see that people are enjoying the fruits of his, my uncle's, and their bandmates' labor and creativity. The band was based in Philadelphia.
    Thank you Marios! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Michele.....can you tell us any more about the band ? Are there any real bio's on line ? Can't find any ?
    Thanks,
    Rich Rollison
    Brooklyn

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rich,
    I've got the bio right here!

    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.

    Best,
    Michelle Armour
    Philadelphia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Michelle Armour.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for such a detailed review ... as I said above, a great album! Michelle Armour, thank you once again for so detailed info about the band of your father
      greetings!!!

      Delete
    3. Wonderful bio, Michelle. Just picked up the album today and can't believe there isn't more written about them. Looking forward to getting obsessed with this record in years to come :)

      Delete
    4. Michelle i would like to contact you in regards to this record. Please email me at izabelcaligiore@gmail.com

      thanks

      Delete
  5. Dear Marios!
    The link is dead :(
    Could you reupload the album?

    ReplyDelete
  6. .....The Facedancers...Updated.....

    ReplyDelete