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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zoot Money - Transition (1968 uk, organ drivin' sunny psychedelic soulful jazz rock, 2009 Righteous Psalm reissue)

Bournemouth isnt particularly well known for its music. A renowned retirement zone where Tolkein used to holiday and eventually, er, retired to, it's cavernous NIC venue plays host to major tours but the sleepy coastal town has more in common with bath chairs and bowls than wild psychedelia and mod grooves. 

However, back in the '60s, it was 'swinging' and at the centre of the local scene was Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, a jazz, R&B and blues-inspired combo powered by the eccentric behaviour and tuneful keyboards of Zoot Money who'd, by 1964, drafted in future Police guitarist Andy Summers. Zoot, was a local scenester whose move to London became legendary through his tight trousers which occasionally split in a pre-PJ Proby moment. 

Zoot Money was already an enigma. Later, through the '70s, Money would go on to play with The Majik Mijits featuring Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriot, The Electric Blues Company, various incarnations of The Animals, Grimms, jazz rock fusionists Centipede as well as alongside Geno Washington, Spencer Davis, one time Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor, Kevin Ayers and a host of others. But In the mid-'6Os the whole world was turning upside down and Zoot was similarly rotating. The early Big Roll Band albums had provided some groovy blue-eyed soul and a few Ray Charles-like sounds before, in 1966, Zoot embarked on a solo project which would become “Transition”. 

Featuring the same players who were in the  Big Roll Band, he began recording this unique set which touched on soulful ballads, uptempo mod material and included a track called 'Soma' which was written by Andy Summers and featured him on sitar. An exciting mix of sounds, “Transition” route to the record shoo was truncated to say the least. 'Soma' had inspired Summers and Money to new tangents of music. It pushed the boundaries and encouraged Hie band to wig out further and, in a state of psyche-pop bliss, they decided they were so far uut of the Big Roll Band sound that they should change their name to Dantalian's Chariot and don the patchouli oil of the day. 

They would eventually play shows with the likes of Pink Floyd and their sole album 'Chariot Rising' featured a couple of the tracks from Transition in stranger incarnations and became a cult classic in the process, as it failed to ignite and turned their existing mod following off. After the Dantalion hiatus, 'Transition' was finally released on the Direction label and, by that time, the mods had embraced the psychedelic bug and the album slipped into obscurity and indeed became one of those buried treasures that is  talked of but seldom actually even seen. Finally, this lost gem has belatedly made K to CD. 

Remastered from the original quarter inch tapes, with all of Its glorious sweeping sounds, aching vocals and  groovy upbeat tunes intact, it's the epitome of cool. A year after its initial vinyl release, Zoot's 'Welcome To My Head' proved to be another out there experience that again gained cult status for its inventiveness but failed to garner sales – the right music at the wrong time again. Zoot Money is one of the great heroes of long lost eccentric English music. 'Transition'- from the bizarre sleeve down - is one of his finest moments
by Dave Henderson

1. Let the Music Make You Happy (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 2:37
2. River's Invitation (P. Mayfield) - 3:55
3. Soma (Andy Summers) - 6:23
4. What Cha Gonna Do? Bout It (Doris Payne, Gregory Carrroll, Rex Garvin) - 3:35
5. Stop the Wedding (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 3:57
6. Deadline (P. Mayfield) - 3:15
7. Recapture the Thrill of Yesterday (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:53
8. Problem Child (T. Wine, C. Bayer) - 2:23
9. Just a Passing Phase (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:00
10.Coffee Song (Raymond Smith, Tony Colton) - 2:49

*Zoot Money - Organ, Vocals
*Andy Summers - Guitar
*Paul Williams - Bass Guitar
*Nick Newell - Saxophone
*Johnny Almond - Saxophone
*Colin Allen - Drums

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  1. Nice choice. Thanks very much...

  2. while this album is a good'n, his next WELCOME TO MY HEAD = el masterpiece-o!
    [never on CD to my chagrin/knowledge]

  3. Πολλά ευχαριστώ Μάριε!

  4. Άλλο ένα σπουδαίο απόκτημα όπως και πολλά άλλα που έχω βρει στο Blog σου. Ευχαριστώ πολύ για το χρόνο σου και την προσπάθεια σου να φέρεις κοντά μας όλα αυτά τα γνωστά ή άγνωστα και συνήθως σπάνια άλμπουμ.

  5. Another welcome new discovery for me. The sound clip is lovely. Can't wait to hear all of it

  6. This is a cool album, a couple of tracks would appear on Dantalion's Chariot comps in the of which is the one titled "Chariot Rising" that was NEVER issued at the time. Here we read of it as their 'sole album...'
    I'd like to point out that as Dantalion's Chariot they only ever released one 45, the brilliant "Madman running thru the fields" also done by Eric Burdon & The Animals on the Love is album...that featured Zoot!

  7. I realized that the blurb about this album, by Dave Henderson is what you read in the booklet reissue...even worse then!
    I mean in this day and age, you just google it and soon find out about it...while they recorded enough tracks for an album, that 'Chariot Rising' was released in 1996 by Tenth Planet and later on on CD...I think it's totally unacceptable to provide so little and incorrect information Mr Henderson wherever you might be. What a shame!

  8. Hi Aldo,
    thank you for your comment, but i don't understand where exactly is wrong D. Henderson.
    His overview is about this specific release "Transition" and not the Dantalion's Chariot album.

  9. Hi Marios,
    I'm talking about this passage:
    "They would eventually play shows with the likes of Pink Floyd and their sole album 'Chariot Rising' featured a couple of the tracks from Transition in stranger incarnations and became a cult classic in the process, as it failed to ignite and turned their existing mod following off." If you read this and trust what it says you would think Dantalian's Chariot released their "sole album" in 1967 or even says it became a "cult classic"!!! I don't think he even heard it!

  10. ...also "the tracks from Transition in stranger incarnations" are the exact same tracks found on the POSTHUMOUS "Chariot Rising", in different mixes if at all...Soma, Recapture the thrill and Coffee song recorded during the Dantalians phase in 1967 unlike the rest that was recorded back in 1966 (and does sound like). "Chariot Rising", incidentally I don't think it was ever the title of a planned Dantalian's Chariot LP. Therefore 'Transition' despite what was said at the time is made up of 1966 typical Zoot's Big Roll Band adding those more recent tracks from their too brief psychedelic period...hope it's a bit clearer.

  11. Thanks Marios, I am doing the "Catch up".

  12. Thank you for sharing this. I always been a fan of Coffee Song.