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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Titus Oates - Jungle Lady (1974 us, excellent dual guitar interludes and heavy bass riff focused power tunes, Radioactive edition)

Titus Oates was a Dallas, TX, progressive hard rock five-piece that was never well known. The group's lone 1974 LP was only issued locally on the Lips label, and until this reissue from Radioactive the only way to hear the thing was to lay down hard cash for a shoddy bootleg -- an important point because, while it may not have the bombast of a major-label recording, Jungle Lady does not suffer from the murky sonics that dog most self-released records of this sort. Because it was a local pressing, it has been nearly impossible to locate, too; as a result, Titus Oates has been at the top of many collectors' want lists for years, its legend growing every time someone added it to a personal catalog of Holy Grails. 

Does it live up to the hype? Sort of. Jungle Lady is a competent curiosity that balances tough Texas-style hard rock playing -- it's not ZZ Top, but it's close -- with progressive rock keyboards and jazzy guitar licks. Those aren't things that often intersect, and so the legend is deserved. "Jungle Lady" is a heady, largely unexplored mix of rock grit and prog flourish, it's sure to find an appreciative audience. 
by Wade Kergan 
1 Jungle lady - 3:16
2 Dream on a train - 4:07
3 Blanket - 3:33
4 Friend of life - 3:49
5 Jupiter mars - 3:55
6 Time is only to fear - 3:43
7 Mr. tips - 3:46
8 Don't get your honey where you make your money - 4:45
9 The cage 7/2/74 - 4:05

Titus Oates
*Rick Jackson - Bass
*Lou Tielli - Guitar
*Steve Todd - Guitar
*Bill Beaudet - Keyboards
*Lou Tielli - Lead Vocals
*Pam Jackson - Lead Vocals
*Rick Jackson - Lead Vocals, Strings Ensemble
*Chris Eigenmann - Percussion

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