Exposé Online banner

Opossum — Bear's Banquet
(Garden of Delights CD 086, 1974/2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Bear's Banquet Cover art

Opossum is another of Garden of Delights’ wonderful finds. The band was a precursor to Morpheus, and never actually released any recordings during their existence (1971-75), though these remarkably clean tapes from a 1974 session were resurrected and prepared for the digital age by guitarist Gerold Adler. The band was founded by Peter Blömeke (flute, drums, synth), Karl-Heinz Cornelius (bass), and Heinrich Holtgreve (sax, clarinet) and eventually expanded to a six-piece with the addition of Adler, Alfred Franke (drums) and Robert Binnewies (keyboards). Their style encompassed the kind of electric improv pioneered by Soft Machine in the Third to Seven era, a comparison strengthened by the prominence of electric piano and sax. The band is elevated from mere Soft Machination by the use of flute and Adler’s guitar, which fits in nicely and does not dominate even though he is listed as composer on most tracks. In addition, the compositions are less riff-based than typical Soft Machine. The quality of the playing, especially the soloing, is very high, and it’s a tragedy the band never managed to get this recording released in its time frame. Of all the German bands playing improvisational jazz-rock in the 70s, Opossum could have taken a place near the top. I find the adventurous spirit of the music refreshing in today’s climate of safe, backward-looking jazz, and super-technical over-arranged fusion. Some brief moments of almost-corny samba are the only missteps in the set, and those are easily overlooked.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 32, 2003 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Opossum

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mr. Sirius - Dirge – When considering the finest releases of the Japanese symphonic rock scene, the first two albums by Mr. Sirius come to mind immediately, not only for their apparent absence of any immediately obvious...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues