The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band — New Tricks
(Right Recordings RIGHT010, 1972/2001, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2002-09-01
Comedy troupes recording albums for the rock and roll audience stem from such acts as the Firesign Theater and England's Monty Python (with Eric Idle and John Cleese). Voiceprint has been keen enough to usher in a re-release of Vivian Stanshall and Neil Innes' UK act, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, which toured in the late 60s alongside such acts such as the Nice and Yes (among many others). New Tricks is the group's 18th album and this compilation also includes "I'm the Urban Spaceman" b/w "Canyons of Your Mind," a single that reached #5 in the UK and was originally from their third LP, Tadpoles. Pieces originating from their first LP, Gorilla, include "The Intro and the Outro" (which was reprised by Stanshall at the end of "Tubular Bells Part 1"). Other notable classics included "Shirt," which details a "man on the street" skit where passers-by are asked about the essentials of wearing apparel. "Hunting Tigers" is also a longtime fan favorite along with "We Were Wrong" (the closest thing to a genuinely serious song). I'm not certain how Yes' first keyboard player Tony Kaye became associated with this tongue-in-cheek comedy group, but he is credited for co-writing "Rusty (Champion Thrust)," which dates from 1972 along with "Slush." "Busted" portrays the agony of a hippie being caught red handed doing his thing in public. Overall, it's impossible to keep a straight face while listening to this collection of English whimsy.
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
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more