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Showing posts from September, 2012

Return to Forever: Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973)

Return to Forever's Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy just might be the quintessential "fusion" album. Hymn was certainly one of the best of the early 70's, is it their best? well it is certainly the equal of Romantic Warrior.

 Though Hymn is rougher around the edges and less produced, the music also seems less composed and more improvised on the spot.

Guitarist Bill Connors who only appeared on Hymn, then left for an acoustic solo career.

He was replaced by the Firebrand Al Di Meola. I love Di Meola believe me, but Bill Connors has a sound that is more in line with say the style of John McLaughlin, more Jazz and less rock if you will. But oh can Bill Connors play some electric guitar, I mean he is killing it on this album, his heavy fuzz sound is perfect for the raw under produced sound.

 Don't get me wrong. the production doesn't sound bad, but the mix IS a little thin, I have The U.S. and German issues on vinyl ( pictured), as well the CD. All 3 recordings have …

John Coltrane: Coltrane Plays the Blues. (1962)

Coltrane Plays the Blues is one of those albums that takes a bit to warm too, it always sounded like wood shedding to me, then I found out that this session was really only outtakes from the My Favorite Things session.

 This music was not released until nearly 2 years after it was laid to tape. The fact is, Coltrane was already working for Impulse, and had no say what-so-ever in this music be released, I wonder if he approved?

Well no matter, the music is better than just quite good, it's also fascinating. I really like hearing Coltrane in the working process, you can hear sort of a Village Vanguard vibe on a few tracks.

Trane is letting loose a bit, "Blues to Bechet" and "Blues to You" especially, with the latter sounding like Chasin' the Trane. Coltrane doesn't do any real over blowing here, but the music is quite free, but not avant-garde.

The Soprano on "Bechet" is cool, because you can hear the development, understanding history, you know…