Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Cream - Cream On Top (Polydor - 2855-002)

The Cream which was made up of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker had a short life span of only 2 years. However, the band released 4 albums during that time with numerous concerts along the way. 3 of these albums can easily be categorized as legendary regarding the British Blues Explosion of that era. Also this band crafted the status of Eric Clapton in the blues scene as well.

The general structure of the albums from this era are mainly extremely cozy. They are not undertaken with strict systematic behaviors. The main sense was originality and trying to show off their skills. It is very evident in the John Mayall albums as well as Alexis Korner's albums also even though less in the latter. Same feeling is there in The Cream's albums. More than normal legnthed solos are all over the place with modifications in the tracks covered. It was more like an experimenting period for all artists and for the listeners. They had a music in their hands which had already developed immensely in USA and they wanted to create their own version through trial and error. As of today, we can safely say that all these experiments have resulted in a successful sub genre of British Blues which paved way for many many artists.

This album has 4 tracks on it, hence you can now officially understand what I mea by lengthy solos. The album is not a short one, the vinyl is not 10 inch, just the tracks are long enough. I also reviewed the "Live Cream" album before and the feeling is not much different apart from the crowd noise which is absent in the background. The tracks "Badge" and "Toad" can really explain this in an easy way. The solos of Eric Clapton are stunning to say the least. On both songs, Ginger Baker also gives a shot at solos. They start as a little straight forward, but on both he somehow finds his rhythm later on to create beauties. Just on the solo in "Toad" he loses his grip once around the middle part of his minimum 8-9 minutes solo, but gets control fast enough. Jack Bruce somehow stayed out of the lime light for solos which maybe was the signal of their breakup. It's not easy to endure the ego of a master talent like Clapton anyway.

I also have to add that even though I didn't review it, I also own the bands first album "Fresh Cream" and all three have really developed and matured since that album. This is by far their most accomplished album albeit really lengthy solos. Did I mentioned the solos on the album :) If you find a decent copy of this album, do not hesitate.

To buy this album:

@ Ebay
@ Discogs

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oriental Wind - Chila-Chila (Sonet - SNTF 809)

Oriental Wind is a duo made up of Lennart Aberg and Okay Temiz. Okay Temiz is a world known percussionist from Turkey. Actually he is much better known around the world. Main reason has been his style. He makes a fusion between ethnic music and avantgarde jazz. This puts him in a weird position as far as Turkey is concerned since his repertoire is not well suited for the still developing Jazz listener audience of Turkey.

Temiz has collaborated with many top artists of his genre with the main being Don Cherry. For this album, Bobo Stensson featured in piano, Tuna Otenel has joined forces with his Alto Saxophone, Lennart Aberg came along with his flute and on top Thomas Ostergren supported on the bass.

The album consists of Jazz versions of ethnic songs from Turkey as well as Africa. an interesting thing is that the rhythmic scale of all the tracks are written beside the track names. Since some of them are quite challenging for a European ear (Especially Turkish ones with 9/4, 9/8 rhythms), this has been a good clue.

I don't really know the two ethnic songs from Africa, but the Turkish ones are quite famous old songs. The arrangements are quite interesting to hear. Two of them are arranged by Stensson, one by Aberg while the rest is the work of Temiz.

Tuna Otenel creates marvels in "Karasar Zeybegi" while "Estergon Kalesi" seems to be the power struggle between the finesse of Bobo Stensson and Lennart Aberg.

These are arrangements and therefore bits and pieces of the original melodies/tunes can be found in them. This makes the whole process even more intriguing. On top, the talents involved create a show which is absolutely a pleasure to listen. It felt like a cold morning breeze after a heated summer night.

To buy this record:

@ Ebay - Currently none on sale.
@ Discogs