Friday, May 21, 2021

Darryl Way's Wolf - Canis Lupus (1973 uk, creation of shifting moods, incorporating classical, rock, and jazz elements, 2008 japan SHM bonus tracks remaster)

The 70s continue to be a repository of stimulating music that new and old labels don’t stop digging out. Well, this is not all gold that glitters, but several forgotten works resurface, coming as surprises to newcomers and as useful reminders to those who had already known them in their youth. A case in point is Wolf, the group founded by Darryl Way after leaving Curved Air (Keyboardist Francis Monkman left too in the same period). It was in 1972, the band had just released their third album, Phantasmagoria, the peak of their creativity as well as of their chart success. 

The blond fiddler’s new group consisted of guitarist John Etheridge, Canadian bass player Dek Messecar and drummer Ian Mosley. These names did sound new to rock fans, but this was balanced by the producer’s one: Ian McDonald, former King Crimson sax player. In those days, an actual guarantee. In Curved Air, Way’s counterpart had been Francis Monkman’s keyboards, whilst in Wolf this role was taken up by John Etheridge’s jazzy guitar — in retrospect, already walking on the road that would lead him to Soft Machine and his solo career. 

The leader also plays some keyboards, mainly electric piano and synth. Dek Messecar’s vocals cannot compare with Sonja Kristina’s, and besides that instrumental tracks use to look more interesting. This is the case of "Cadenza," mixing reminiscences of "Vivaldi," the famous Curved Air hit, with rock accents and powerful synth episodes. Echoes of Curved Air can still be heard in "Chanson sans paroles." "McDonald’s Lament", dedicated to the producer, is arguably the best track, with Way’s violin reaching lyrical peak.
by Jeff Melton, 2009-07-01 
1. The Void (Darryl Way) - 4:35
2. Isolation Waltz (Darryl Way, Dek Messecar) - 4:37
3. Go Down (Darryl Way, Dek Messecar) - 4:45
4. Wolf (Darryl Way, Dek Messecar) - 4:06
5. Cadenza (Darryl Way, Ian Mosley) - 4:48
6. Chanson Sans Paroles (Darryl Way, John Etheridge) - 6:28
7. McDonald's Lament (Darryl Way, Dek Messecar, Ian Mosley, John Etheridge) - 7:10
8. Spring Fever (Darryl Way) - 3:29
9. Wolf (Single Version) (Darryl Way, Dek Messecar) - 4:05
Bonus tracks 8-9

Darryl Way's Wolf
*Darryl Way - Violin, Viola, Keyboards
*John Etheridge - Guitar
*Dek Messecar - Bass, Vocals
*Ian Mosley - Drums
*Ian McDonald - Piano, Tambourine

1974  Darryl Way's Wolf - Night Music