Amazing Blondel — Englische Musicke
(Edsel EDCD 365, 1972/1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01
Amazing Blondel existed throughout the early 70s, originally formed by John Gladwin and Terry Wincott after leaving another even more obscure band called Methuselah. This compilation is drawn from their second, third and fourth albums (they produced a total of nine between '70 and '77.) For these three, the band was a three piece, singing and playing krumhorns, recorders, lute, theorbo, guitars, dulcimers, flute, piano, harpsichord, Mellotron, organ, tabor, cittern tubular bells, glockenspiel and percussion. From this instrument list and the fact that (at this point in time) they were drummer-less, you might be getting the idea that this was some sort of medieval-meets-modern folk trio, which is absolutely correct. Musically his is very close to Gryphon circa Midnight Mushrumps, while the vocals may remind a bit more of Peter, Paul and Mary. Very nice stuff, this is.
The first eight tracks are drawn from their third (Fantasia Lindum) and fourth (England) albums, and represent the most musically sophisticated of the material here, which any prog fan without an aversion to folk music should have no trouble enjoying. Included are the incredible twenty minute title track of Fantasia Lindum, "A Spring Air," "Dolor Dulcis," and two extracts from "The Paintings" on England. After the 43 minute mark, the compilation begins to draw from their more simple second album Evensong – still excellent, but not quite as powerful musically. Still, I think most fans of early Gryphon, Fairport, and other British folk-rock will be delighted with this one.
Related artist(s): Amazing Blondel
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more