Friday, February 7, 2020

Bobby Callender - The Way / First Book Of Experiences (1971 us, exceptional raga world fusion psych)

An orchestral and eastern influenced psychedelic pop gem, Bobby Callendar’s “The Way” sometimes gets the shaft to “Rainbow,” but I like “The Way.”

Sometimes, when folks are asked if they could interview anybody from any time, it would be Gandhi. But, The Rising Storm chooses Bobby C. Seriously, somebody needs to get the scoop on this mysterious and intriguing record. Bobby’s intense lyrics are matched with a mix of eastern instruments, lush strings, and tambourine. I can’t say why but the tambourine sticks in my memory. Nothing says 60s pop like that wonderful percussion instrument.

Bobby C. was clearly very into the Mike Love style 60s eastern Buddhism thing. “Sitting ‘neath the bodhi tree… as one.  The Story of Rasha & Dhara is essential listening for psychedelic music fans. It’s pretty, and strange, and sports one of the smoothest basslines of the 60s.

Not to say that this record is flawless. There are a few skippable tracks, all in all it’s nothing to brag about, but there are some real nice gems in here. The opening is miraculous, while others are catchy, and others take you quite by surprise. Be prepared for religous themes and a generally trippy experience.

The lack of availability to this record is a disappointment; the sturdy digipak casing, reminiscent of some of the best vinyl record sleeves, should be a standard for CD reissues. And like I’ve been saying, this one is a real gem.
by Brendan McGrath
1. Drone/Going Back/Ist and 2nd Movement - 2:46
2. Awaken John/Lord Am I Dreamnng - 2:58
3. Bhodi Tree - 2:06
4. Satori - 2:28
5. Story of Rasha and Dhara - 4:27
6. Chant: Kasha and Dhara and Love, Love, Love - 0:59
7. Shringara - 2:02
8. 3rd Movement/Satyagraha - 6:37
9. Transmigration/Travel With Me - 3:43
10.Karma Yogi - 2:16
11.4th Movement/Ooda Rata Travel With Me - 2:23
12.Story of the Shepherd - 3:49
13.Let Thy Will Be Done - 2:17
14.Hari Om and Deva Chant Interlude - 4:18
15.Santa Grace - 3:16
16.Going Back Instrumental/Ooda Chant and Ending - 4:42
All compositions by Bob Callender

*Bobby Callender - Vocals
*Ralph Towner - Flugelhorn, Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Organ
*Glen Moore - Bass, Clarinet, Viola,  Piano
*Collin Walcott - Percussion, Tabla, Sitar, Dulcimer
*Paul McCandless - Clarinet, Oboe, Horn, Saxophone, Synthesizer
*Trilok Gurtu - Percussion, Tabla

1968  Bobby Callender - Rainbow (bonus tracks edition) 

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