Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Free Spirits - Out Of Sight And Sound (1966)

It is said that wikipedia is a somewhat accurate barometer of the relative ubiquity of a band, or writer, or anything, for that matter. Suffice to say that in reviewing the Free Spirits, I am doing so in favor of pulling them out just a touch from otherwise obfuscated obscurity. Originally recommended to me by Master Cianan, himself a treasure trove of rarified goodies, I was completely floored when I heard this album. Everyone by now realizes my obvious bias towards free-wheeling jazz and my sincere disgust in tired blues licks, so it will surprise no one that I like this album. The best way to describe it musically, I think, is that it's a fairly standard collection of pop songs from the 60s in the vein of the Fab Four gone horribly awry -- that is to say, they pissed all over them and added some snazzy brass backdrop. The first song, "Don't Look Now (But Your Head Is Turned Around) is an explosive rock-jazz fusion with the most insane saxophonist. No idea who he is, but he plays over and around everything like he's Robin Goodfellow; and yet when he's not doing so, he's fitting nicely in all the right places. In fact, I can't really think of a piece of music that isn't purely jazz where the saxophone seems more important to the music than any other instrument. Seriously. My faves: "Bad News Cat," "Cosmic Daddy Dancer," "Sunday Telephone" and the aforementioned "Don't Look Now." Oh, and the sitar on "I'm Gonna Be Free" is rad. Check this out if you can. B-


Master Cianan said...

I was thinking of reviewing this. Now I guess I won't.

Good record, tho!

Master Cianan said...

Also, Larry Coryell on guitar, dude. Larry Coryell!

taotechuck said...

I'm not a big Coryell fan, but since you and Master C like this so much, and since you both are obviously brilliant musical judges due to your ability to see that Steely Dan is complete and utter dreck, I'll give this a listen.

Seriously, though, I am going to try to track this one down. Bob just got something called Trio of Doom (which has Coryell and Jaco Pastorius) and he said it's awesome. Besides, this was the tail end of my favorite period in jazz, so I think I'se gots to give this one a listen.

Oh, and "obfuscated obscurity?" What, because regular old obscurity isn't good enough for this one?

Master Cianan said...

I've heard of Trio of doom, but haven't actually listened yet. I gotta say though, there isn't much busting out on Coryell's part on this record. It's really the sax that's wanking all over the place. It's crazy pop music more that it's jazz, but it's damn good and I like Coryell not for just being a durn fine player, but also for sending his compliments to a chef who happened to be me.

The Mad Hatter said...

Steely Dan is beautiful dreck. Especially when Skunk wanks and Denny drools. Lovely guitar concomitance.