lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

Keef Hartley Band - Overdog (1971 UK)

Together with Colosseum, the Keef Hartley Band of the late 60s, forged jazz and rock music sympathetically to appeal to the UK progressive music scene. Drummer Hartley had already seen vast experience in live performances as Ringo Starr's replacement in Rory Storm And The Hurricanes. When Merseybeat died, Hartley was enlisted by the London based R&B band the Artwoods, whose line-up included future Deep Purple leader Jon Lord. Hartley was present on their only album, "Art Gallery" (now a much sought-after collectors item). He joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and was present during one of Mayall’s vintage periods. Both "Crusade" and "Diary Of A Band" highlighted Hartley's economical drumming and faultless timing. The brass-laden instrumental track on John Mayall's "Bare Wires" is titled "Hartley Quits". The good-natured banter between Hartley and his ex-boss continued onto Hartley's strong debut, "Halfbreed". The opening track "Hearts And Flowers" has the voice of Mayall on the telephone officially sacking Hartley, albeit tongue-in-cheek, while the closing track "Sacked" has Hartley dismissing Mayall! The music in-between features some of the best ever late 60s jazz-influenced blues, and the album remains an undiscovered classic. The band for the first album comprised: Miller Anderson, guitar and vocals, the late Gary Thain (b. New Zealand d. 19 March 1976; bass), later with Uriah Heep; Peter Dines (organ) and Spit James (guitar).
After the subtleties and suppleness of 1970's The Time Is Near..., the Keef Hartley Band's third full-length, the group returned the following year with Overdog, a set that kicks them into overdrive. Opening with a dramatic flourish of wah-wah guitar, the anthemic "You Can Choose" instantly wipes all memories of the intricate design of the preceding album off the board. Big and brash, "Choose" pounds rock into funk with savage delight. In contrast, "Plain Talkin'" is all grit and glory, strutting its Stax-y antecedents center-stage, and smugly smirking at their hard-rocking ex-Brit beat contemporaries, who lost the blues in their rush to rock. Elsewhere, "Overdog" puts paid to prog rock pretentiousness, as the band slyly slide from haunting wah-wah guitar and spacy effects straight into funk, and back out again through coursing, driving instrumental sections. It's a spliced styling that's reiterated to even more dramatic effect on "Theme Song." Keef Hartley's drums keeps those segments pulsing, but it's "Roundabout" that's his true showcase, as his skins rumble away under layers of dramatic brass passages and crash around the guitar solos. His drumming reaches an apotheosis on the song's 7" version, a blistering attack of swing-styled beats that prods the brass to even greater heights, while his crack drumming on the flip side of the single pushes the guitarist into hyper-speed and the horns into rousing solos of speed jazz, only to collapse into slower passages of big rock that slams straight into Detroit. After that, the gentler, jazzy excursions of "Imitations from Home" are a well-deserved breather, although not for Hartley, whose intricate patterns keep him on his toes. Only the Beatlesque "We Are All the Same" provides any concession to contemporary pop audiences, but KHB cared little for them, so intent were they on proving to rock fans that there was no need to desert R&B, soul, and funk in their search for more experimental music and/or harder sounds. On their last set, they delicately pointed out the possibilities; here they hammer it home.


9 comentarios:

Dr. Bell Otus dijo...

Dr Bell Otus

Psicodelia pura dijo...

gracias Doc!

el.largo.esquembre dijo...

Si que me ha gustado este disco Doc, muy buenos los momentos jazzísticos, para mi el mejor tema es "imitations From Home" y yo destacaría el trabajo de Gary Thain al bajo, grande donde los haya.

Gracias Doc y un gran saludo desde casi el Algarve.

Dr. Bell Otus dijo...

Gracias por comentar a los dos.

Esquembre, Algarve tio???
Cual sitio de allí??
La costa del Alentejo, esta muy buena, muy primitiva y autentica, pero creo que ya la conoces, no?!

Espero que disfrutes y se posible, vete hasta Sagres, que se queda en la punta occidental del Algarve, y es el sitio menos explorado por el turismo, y con excelente pescado, je.

Abrazotes a los dos

Anónimo dijo...

Muchas gracias amigo Doc por postear este gran disco que no conocia de esta interesante banda inglesa.
Un saludo,

Anónimo dijo...

Excelente disco, no conocía esa banda. Realmente bueno. Tendré que escucharlo varias veces más para decidir cuál es el mejor tema...


Anónimo dijo...

thanks for this post

Chere dijo...

Muchas gracias/Thank you very very much

katetoscopio dijo...

nuevo pass (refresco): katetoskopio/keefheartleyband