Monday, June 18, 2007

Burnin Red Ivanhoe - M144 (1969)

One of the earliest (if not the earliest) progressive rock album of Scandinavia and certainly of Denmark (along with Culpepper’s Orchard), BRI’s debut album is also notable for being a double one (fighting with Norway’s Junipher Greene for that title) and is filled with very diverse influences. Resolutely rock in spirit, the album oscillates between the blues, soul, jazz (or more likely jazz-rock) and many more folkloric styles, without actually being folky.

Armed with their double-wind section attack (the group is actually an septet – two different bassist used - if I judge by the album credits), the group’s evident forays would of course head towards jazz, and therefore jazz-rock, but a strange mix of Chicago Transit Authority and Colosseum. To say that such an obscure rtecord received the best of production in lonely Copenhagen would be the over-statement of the year, but the album has not really azged badly either.

One of the strange things about this album is that although there are some twenty tracks, none of them obviously jump out as highlights (well maybe - just maybe - Purple Heart and its follow-up Larsens), and likewise none are weaker than just average. But it does appear that the second disc is slightly better than the first, but I am not sure where which stops and which starts for I review the CD version..

Just barely noticeable is Claesson’s violin in Kaj, Menzer’s flute in the following Tingel- tangelmanten (whatever…;-), but we do notice the mouth harp (over-mixed) in Laeg Dig. The blues are an indispensable part of their repertoire and therefore maybe creating a slight sense of disinterest for part of the album, but be careful not paying attention; you could be missing out something the second you start drifting. And you might just bne missiong the impressive Killjoy finale.

Karsten Vogel (a jazz scene hanger-on since 61) would then go on as the leader of Secret Oyster, which is aptly, named since this group still remains one of the best-kept secrets of Denmark, and safely tucked away in an oyster. Back to this debut album, although hardly essential, if you are into Colosseum, this (BRI’s early albums) could be a must for you. Having borrowed it for the last month from a friend for reviewing purposes, I still contemplate whether acquiring it or not. And believe me, this is tough choice for there are superb moments in it, especially given its age and its background. Written by Sean Trane.

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Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot for this one!

Anonymous said...

to ezhevika fields,

muchas gracias para esta musica

saludos de quito: karo

Anonymous said...

Desde las Islas Canarias (Tenerife) ,muchas gracias por la buena musica que he podido escuchar en tu blog.