Saturday, September 3, 2022

Shampoo - Volume One (1972 belgium, fine brassy jazz-rock with plenty of sophisticated ensemble work, energetic solos and psychedelic dreamy vocals, 2012 remaster)

Drummer Cel De Bauwer and singer/keyboardist Luc Smets had achieved some international recognition as members of the band Pebbles.  When Pebbles called it quits in 1971 they decided to form Shampoo recruiting  the talents of Mad Curry sax player Giorgio Chitschenko, lead guitarist Yves De Vriendt, sax player Francois Maes and bassist Rudy PinlŠ¹e.  The band's efforts didn't do a great deal in their native Belgium, but they found a supporter in the form of Francis Dreyfus who signed them to his French Motors label, releasing their sole album in 1972.  Produced by guitarist De Vriendt, the optimistically titled "Volume One" took a little bit of effort to get warmed up to, and while it wasn't a classic album by any stretch of the imagination, it had enough interesting segments to warrant the investment of time.

Whereas Pebbles had been a pop-oriented band, Shampoo shared more in common with Mad Curry's jazz-rock leanings.  That said, these guys clearly had an affection for quality pop music.  It was unlike anything else on the album, but the opener 'Brother' was a glistening slice of '60s pop-psych.   Even their more jazz-rock moves embedded distinctive pop elements - check out 'Keep The Day Cool'.  As the band's lead singer Smets was actually pretty good.  He sang with an accent, but it wasn't particularly pronounced, or irritating.  As musicians, the entire band were first rate with Chitschenko and Maes adding jazz-tinged solos throughout. 
Bad Cat 
1. Brother (Luc Smets) - 3:12
2. Keep The Day Cool  (Luc Smets) - 6:24
3. Some Reason (Giorgio Chincheko, Luc Smets) - 10:55 
1. Summer (Giorgio Chincheko, Luc Smets) - 4:22
2. Hot Dog (Luc Smets) - 4:09
3. Hurry Up (Cel De Bauwer, Luc Smets) - 8:59
4. My Sweet Honeybee (Luc Smets) - 4:18

*Luc Smets - Piano, Vocals, Organ
*Rudy Pinlee - Bass
*Yves De Vriendt - Guitar
*Giorgio Chitschenko - Saxophone
*Francois Maes - Saxophone
*Cel De Cauwer - Drums