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
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
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