Sunday, February 10, 2013

East Of Eden - Jig-A-Jig (1971 uk, amazing progressive jazz rock, Repertoire reissue)

Jig-A-Jig is a nine-track compilation from this wonderfully enthusiastic British band, spotlighting their jovial blend of folk-rock and jazz elements. With most of the material emerging from 1970's Snafu album, East of Eden's flighty, progressive atmosphere comes to life through the mixture of flute, saxophone, and, especially, electric violin. 

One of their most energetic numbers entitled "Nymphenburger" uses six violin tracks and four guitar tracks with some electric alto sax piled on top, entirely overdubbed with the result sounding beautifully clean, mainly because of the familiar "Rondo" theme, which was later made famous by the Nice. It's Ron Gaines' saxophone that gives "Ramadahn" its mesmerizing flow and tribal-like sound, while the fully instrumental "Jig-A-Jig" went to number seven on the U.K. charts in 1971, thanks to the cordial nature of the song's pop sound. 

The eight-plus minutes of "Gum Arabic" contrasts the airiness of the flute with the resonant chant of bagpipes, emerging as a truly eccentric piece of music, and "Confucius" focuses mainly on the guitar, causing the rhythms to stand out with a rockier tempo. East of Eden may not have gained the attention that the band was hoping for, even within the progressive rock ranks, but some of the members did go on to greener pastures. 

Drummer Geoff Britton went on to play in Paul McCartney's Wings for almost a year in 1974, and violin player Dave Arbus became a renowned session man, lending his craft to the Who's Who's Next album. 
by Mike DeGagne
1. Jig-A-Jig (Traditional) - 3:35
2. Nymphenberger (East Of Eden) - 6:12
3. Ramadhan (Unknown) In The Snow For A Blow (Medley) - 6:12
..b.Part I (East Of Eden)
..c.Better Git It In Your Soul (Mingus)
..d.Part III (East Of Eden)
4. Northern Hemisphere (East Of Eden) - 4:32
5. Gum Arabic (Caines) - 8:15
..b.Confucius (Drummond)
6. Isadora (Nicholson, Caines, York) - 4:31
7. Leaping Beauties For Rudy (East Of Eden) - 7:01
8. Jig-A-Jig (7" Version) (Traditional) - 3:42
9. Marcus Junior (Drummond) - 3:56

East Of Eden
*Dave Arbus - Violin, Wind
*Ron Caines - Saxophone, Vocals
*Dave Dufort - Drums
*Geoff Nicholson - Guitar, Vocals
*Steve York - Bass

East Of Eden mosaic
1969  Mercator Projected (Eclectic bonus tracks issue)
1970  Snafu (Eclectic bonus tracks issue)
1971  East Of Eden - East Of Eden (Repertoire remaster)
1971  New Leaf  (Progressive Line remaster)
1975  Another Eden (Flawed Gems 2012 remaster)

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  1. Already On Belgian D'Amougiees Festival (28.10.1969), East of Eden play "Jig-a-Jig" for the first time. The song is a medley of three Irish folk dances.

    It was Andy Sneddon's idea to play the medley. The crowd reacts enthusiastically, so "Irish Theme" (as they titled the medley) becomes the final song of their concerts. David Arbus wanted that sounds to be recorded, so it was taped in Paris in February 1970, and was used as the soundtrack for a French radio program POP1. When they back in Britain, encouraged by Dave Hitchcock, the band recorded the song 15th April 1970 in Morgan Studio and Tangerine Studios. The Records company released this stuff on a single "Jig-a-Jig / Marcus Junior" DM 297 which issue by Deram in May, 1970. The single hits the charts near a year later in April,1971. and their uncharacteristic hit, Jig-a-Jig, only served to confuse people as to the kind of music they were actually producing at the time.

    This is an album built around Jig-a-Jig, adding a re-arranged medley and a selection of previously released tracks from their first two studio albums. The medley starts with ‘Ramadhan’, a feature for Ron Gaines’ North African sounding soprano sax. The hypnotic rhythmic pulse is based on a theme by John Coltrane. On the original ‘Snafu’ album this was preceded by a piece of backward running tape called ‘Xhorkom’ best forgotten, as they say in ‘Spinal Tap’. ‘In The Snow For A Blow Pt 1′ is a medley featuring Ron Gaines on electric and acoustic alto sax. Dave Arbus switches to trumpet and tenor sax for a melodic line based on the Charles Mingus theme variously known as ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’, ‘Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting’ and ‘Slop’. Drummer Geoff Britton is called upon to play in different time signatures and solos in rather heavy handed fashion.

    Jig-A-Jig (LP Deram NDM 674 Ger-1971 only European compilation) resumed on CD Repertoire PMS-7073-WP Ger-1997 / CD Progressive Line PL 510 Austr-2002.

    Thx Marios.

  2. Haven't heard East Of Eden for years but I remember them being brilliant. Thanks for this chance to revisit a long-ago favourite band.

  3. East Of Eden - Jig-A-Jig UpDated...