domingo, 1 de febrero de 2009

Dia G 01.02.09 (5) - Quintessence - Quintessence (1970 UK)


Quintessence was among the first true progressive rock outfits signed by Island Records. Led by
Australian-born Shiva Shankar Jones (keyboards, vocals) and Raja Ram (flute, violin, percussion), the group also included Alan Mostert (lead guitar), Sambhu Babaji (bass), Maha Dev (guitar), and Jake Milton (drums), all of whom, in addition to a common interest in Indian music, also shared the Hindu faith. The group's roots lay in the hippie community in the Notting Hill area, which was to London roughly what Haight-Ashbury was to San Francisco. Their breakthrough performance took place at a festival called Implosion, where they put on a good enough show to get noticed by Island Records, which signed them and got their debut LP, an elaborately packaged concept album entitled In Blissful Company, out before the end of the year. Its mix of rock, jazz, and Indian elements was popular enough at the time with their core audience, especially one track entitled "Notting Hill Gate," a tribute to the hippie community, which found a slightly wider audience; the band subsequently recut the song in a more pop-oriented rendition as a single. The group had a strong reputation from their live work, and their early recordings seemed to build from this base. Quintessence's career reached its commercial peak with their self-titled second album, which got to number 22 on the U.K. charts. They did one more album for Island and then jumped to RCA's new British progressive rock Neon imprint for two LPs in the early '70s. Jones departed soon after the release of the group's second album for the new label, and they split up not long after that. In 1973,
Jones became part of the big-band progressive outfit Kala, which recorded one album for the Bradley's label, and in subsequent decades he restarted his own version of Quintessence.
While Quintessence's second album had a guileless sincerity to its spiritual striving that was uncommon in pop music, it's very much a relic of its hippie age. The good points? An uncalculated, genuine wish to both reflect the era's ideals and to use its music as a tool to achieve them, as well as a willingness to blend aspects of jazz, Indian music, and religious invocation into an overall psychedelic-progressive rock structure (complete with flute and some acid rock guitar). The bad points? An absence of conventional songwriting chops, exacerbated by the band's tendency to ramble on in formless jam-like passages, though actually none of the tracks here exceed six minutes. Certainly it's eclectic, with a commune-like vibe permeating the proceedings, though the recording's quite professional. "Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga" sounds rather akin to the We're Only in It for the Money-era Mothers of Invention, though minus any hint of satire or irony in the over the top beatific lyrics. Overall, though, it feels a little like listening to the house rock band of a pan-religious cult that doesn't have anything of particular value to sell.
The 2004 CD reissue on Repertoire adds a live version of "Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga" (originally released on the first pressing of the 1970 Island compilation Bumpers) as a bonus track.

Para este refresco damos dos calidades de la reedición de 2004, a 320 Kbps y FLAC


1 comentario:

katetoscopio dijo...

Nuevo pass (refresco): katetoskopio/quintessence