Exposé Online banner

Bruce Palmer — The Cycle Is Complete
(Collectors' Choice CCM-375, 1971/2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01

The Cycle Is Complete Cover artBruce Palmer is part of one of rock's most famous stories. He and Neil Young, fresh out of the Mynah Birds, drove a hearse to Los Angeles looking for Stephen Stills to found Buffalo Springfield. Palmer didn't last long in that band, having legal issues involving marijuana, but managed to land a deal to record an album for MGM. He teamed up with former Mynah Bird Rick Matthews (later known as the super-freaky Rick James), several members of Kaleidoscope, Ed Roth on organ, and conga player Danny Ray (going by the name "Big Black"). The musicians jammed freely around Palmer's loose compositions, and consensus is that Kaleidoscope pianist Jeff Kaplan assisted greatly in assembling the ramblings into something resembling coherence. Apparently, the musicians did not all play at once, but worked in layers overdubbing improvised parts onto what had already been done. The end result is very free sounding, though it has nice lazy grooves informed by many cultures, mostly consisting of bass and acoustic guitars with percussion, while the other players (and occasional vocalizing) come and go. Kaleidoscope violinist Chester Crill and flute/oboe player Richard Aplan are particularly effective in setting this music apart from anything else. It's somewhat akin to a jam that Traffic might have done, especially when the organ joins in. One track features some incredibly spooky Mellotron with a pulsing groove backing. It's great music for when you're not in a hurry to get somewhere, and a precursor to much of World Music.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 34, 2003 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Bruce Palmer

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Vander - A Tous les Enfants... – A children's album from Magma founder and leader Christian Vander? Precisely. I was more than a little skeptical when I first heard about this, and was even more hesitant to buy it when I heard...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues