terça-feira, 31 de outubro de 2017

Bruce Palmer - The Cycle is Complete 1971

Bruce Palmer (acoustic/electric guitars/Fender bass) is best known for his association with the earliest incarnation of the Buffalo Springfield. It was he and Neil Young who trekked from their native Canada in the latter's hearse (named Mort) to Los Angeles in search of Stephen Stills with the hopes of forming a rocking teen combo. His tenure was cut short by deportation which stemmed from two separate marijuana-related convictions in 1967 and 1968, respectively. The Cycle Is Complete (1971) -- Palmer's only solo effort -- is an eclectic masterwork with stream of consciousness jams that combine folk, jazz, and rock onto a quartet of primarily instrumental sides. Joining him are a seemingly disparate group of musicians who include Ed Roth (organ), Danny Ray aka "Big Black" (conga), and from the West Coast psych-fusion group KaleidoscopeChester Crill (violin), Paul Lagos (drums), Jeff Kaplan (piano), and Richard Aplan (nee Aplanalp) (flute/oboe). Also playing a pivotal part in the musical exchange is one of Palmer's pre-Buffalo Springfield acquaintances from the Toronto-based band the Mynah Birds. Rick Matthews would become better known several years later under his super freaky persona as the funky Rick James. Throughout this release he can be heard on percussion and most notably on the improvised scat-like vocals that materialize from within the instrumentation. Each of the tracks is ultimately as unique as the proverbial fingerprint. They are indeed inclusively well-developed musical statements. "Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse" is a frenetic and exploratory quarter-hour of jazzy intonations and features a bluesy vocal by James. Much in the same way that Skip Spence goes for it throughout his magnum opus Oar (1970), these musicians act and react on skill and intuition. The end result is something along the lines of latter-era Traffic and the psychedelic soul of the Rotary Connection. The brief "Interlude" sounds remarkably like "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" as Kaplan and Palmer solidify their respective association. "Oxo" swirls around a heavily Eastern-influenced progression that weaves in and out of some interesting sonic spaces and includes some non-lyrical vocalizations from James. The moody and brooding "Calm Before the Storm" is a languid and dark sojourn that is once again marked by some interesting ideas and, perhaps more importantly, equally engaging execution. AMG.

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