Release Music Orchestra — Bremen 1978
(Garden of Delights CD 097, 1978/2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01Judging by the number of excellent recent releases, Radio Bremen must have been quite a treasure for European music lovers back in the 70s. This CD is a prime example. I’m not familiar with the band other than by reputation, but if this live show is any indication, they were one of the better European jazz-rock fusion bands going in the mid to late 70s, with a sound reminiscent of Weather Report around the time of Mysterious Traveler. Since Zawinul, Shorter and company had moved on to other sounds by 1978, it’s welcome to discover another band exploring the possibilities of this area. The elements of the sound are keyboards (Rhodes and monophonic synthesizer, mostly), saxophone, bass, drums and percussion. Lead lines are established on the sax, sometimes with a keyboard instrument doubling or harmonizing, and the rhythms range from moderately spacey to driving and energetic, and aren’t overly funky. Only on scattered occasions are there tightly arranged unison parts. The material comes mostly from their 1978 album Beyond the Limit, which shares personnel for this gig. Manfred Rürup’s playing on the electric piano sometimes brings Zawinul to mind, the way he lets open voicings ring or doubles the bass line, but his synthesizer sounds original, not bringing to mind any of the giants of the era. Günther Reger’s sax playing is also original enough to avoid sounding derivative, going from sweetly melodic to Middle Eastern trills, quick runs, and agitated squeals, but never over the top.
Related artist(s): Release Music Orchestra
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more