Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Brainstorm — Last Smile
(Garden of Delights CD 051, 1974/2001, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2001-12-01
Exposé readers may recall my review of Brainstorm’s Second Smile re-release on Garden of Delights in our last issue. Last Smile is a natural follow-up, essentially chronicling the last active days of the main Brainstorm lineup. Taken from a live 1974 radio broadcast on West German radio (WDR), this disc offers five slices of early 70s jazz rock, firmly rooted in the Euro-Brit jazz rock sound made popular by bands like Soft Machine, Caravan, Hatfield and the North, et al. As on the studio releases, the musicianship is solid throughout, with particularly fine work from Rainer Bodensohn’s flute and Roland Shaeffer’s guitar and reeds. Shaeffer handles the vocal chores throughout as well and presents the English lyrics with seemingly little effort or distracting accent. The set offers a track from the first Brainstorm LP ("Das Schwein trügt"), two from the second ("Marilyn Monroe" and "There Was a Time") as well as two unreleased songs, "Signed" and "Stars on the Stage." Both new pieces slot in seamlessly with the other material while giving the players room to stretch out for some improvised jamming. Brainstorm was dealt a crippling blow when three of its core members walked not long after this performance and though the name carried on for a year or so afterwards, the group was never the same. Like the many Canterbury gems being unearthed by Voiceprint, Garden of Delights is dong a great job presenting classic gems of the European jazz-rock scene such as this. Highly recommended.
Related artist(s): Brainstorm (1)
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