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Emergency!

...Thankfully not an actual one but a reference to the 1969 groundbreaking debut by The Tony Williams Lifetime an album to which I wanted to dedicate a post since very long time. Recorded by a stellar ensemble of musicians which included founder and drum prodigy Tony Williams (who already at the age of 17 had been working as the drummer of Miles Davis!), the legendary John McLaughlin in the electric guitar (I believe that I do not need to mention any credentials here), organist Larry Young and later other prominent musicians such as Jack Bruce, Alan Holdsworth, Tony Newton and Ron Carter, it is considered one of the most significant recordings in the history of Jazz (and not only).



From its very opening moments, Emergency! showcased that it was recorded to innovate by defying every convention and genre restriction. The powerful and very much eclectic mixture of Jazz rhythm patterns in drums and Rock guitar crescendos set new standards in music and gave actually birth to the fusion genre. Unsurprisingly, Emergency! polarised the music critics of its time but nevertheless its influence would be soon recognised not only in the evolution of the genre but would be also identified in albums like Hendrix's Band of Gypsys (which would be released one year later). There were also of course music writers, like Lester Bangs, who understood that something new and beyond the limits of Jazz was played and recorded. Below his review in the November 1969 issue of the Rolling Stone magazine.



Personally, I consider Emergency! together with Get up With It by Miles Davis the most important (and my most favorite) Jazz albums of all time. If you love Jazz and Rock you shall not deprive yourself from the opportunity to listen to these gems.


Short Reviews


I am not following up that much with new releases lately but I still have a few worth mentioning ones to present :



Named with a word that translates (from Greek) as "Sorrow", the new album by Spectral Voice delivers a content that is nothing else than what its title denotes. 4 tracks that are equally intense, agonising and powerful, making Sparagmos one of the first great releases of 2024.



Receiving a new release from Savage Republic to review is a big thing in my book. However an obvious question that someone would raise, is which Savage Republic are we talking about and of course depending on the answer that someone would give in this question there may be different expectations from a live album by the legendary post-punk group in year 2024. Nevertheless, the recording and the performance of the current team of musicians that perform under the name of Savage Republic is above from just descent doing justice to some of their classics tunes. Purists though may still have a different opinion...



Fugit are an one man band coming from Italy and Bury Me Here sounds like the equivalent of having two tabs open simultaneously in your internet browser, one playing Black Metal and the other Lounge Jazz and Electronic Music Youtube videos. Without being groundbreaking, their output (which takes its themes from Mental Health topics) sounds appealing but also very much depressing.



I started following Οπλίτης after their second offering, the excellent Ψευδομένη and even though I still cannot really understand the gimmick with the (pseudo) old greek titles, I still very much enjoy their music. My interest was a bit lost after their 3d and 4th releases however their recent 5th album Παραμαινομένη being more avant-garde oriented, managed to revive my attention making me considering that it is their(?) best release so far...


 
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