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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Fire And Ice Ltd - The Happening (1966 us, experimental psychedelic set, beyond rock, jazz and folk, 2012 Kismet release)

Spontaneously, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and many other parts of the nation young musicians are assembling to create for themselves and their friends a new kind of sound. As Lewis Carroll's Alice stepped through the drawing room mirror into a world of rich imagining, so these gifted young experimentalists are determinedly breaking through the limitations of the old familiar forms - rock, and jazz, and folk, and blues, etcetera - freeing themselves to create a sound that encompasses all the as-yet unexplored possibilities of music. 

These get-togethers are called musical happenings. The sounds they produce are called by some spontaneous music, and by others free-form music. Some also call it 'mind-manifesting music'. And as one of the performers in this album half humorously stated, it might with equal aptness and equal imprecision be called 'ethnic psychedelic Afro-Cuban folk rock'. It is an exhilarating, exciting, galvanizing symphony of musical moods, an exploration into a kind of completely unchained sound that has never happened before. But it's happening now! In the forefront of the musical organizations creating spontaneous music today is Fire and Ice, Ltd. Fire and Ice is the brainchild of two brilliant young men of many talents. 

Pianist and organist Tony Scott was a child prodigy who gave early concerts in his native city of London. A strikingly handsome six-footer, he has been seen as an actor in leading roles in a multiplicity of feature films and television dramas in England, Italy, and America. Flutist and vocalist Paris Sheppard first sought artistic expression as a San Francisco poet amid comrades who included Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard the Locomotive, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. 

So great was the demand for Paris s readings in Bay Area coffee houses that he found he could not write enough material to appease his audiences appetite for them. "So," he says, "I just began going on the stage cold and creating prose poems on the spot with no previous preparation." The spontaneous facility with words that this experience gave him is reflected in the strangely beautiful lyrics he sings in this album. These also were created by him spontaneously before the microphones as a direct inspiration of the music.

1. I Just Thought Of The Moon – 6:12
2. The House Of Saturn  - 7:07
3. Star In Flight – 2:59
4. Summertime – 5:56
5. The Happening - 9:35

Fire And Ice Ltd
*Tony Scott - Piano, Organ
*Paris Sheppard – Flute, Guitar
*John Green - Bass
*Joseph Connoly - Guitar
*Roy Durkee - Drums
*Barbara Jackson - Arabian Drums
*Dorothy Erwin, Daniel Westen and Mildred Richard - The Chorus Of Voices

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Mandala - Soul Crusade (1968 canada, psych, prog experimental funk rock, 2010 issue)

Originally formed as The Rogues and consolidated its local standing by landing some important support slots, most notably opening for Wilson Pickett at the Gogue Inn on 25 May, and The McCoys at the North Toronto Memorial Arena on 9 August. In September 1966, however, the band decided to reinvent itself and emerged with a new name and image – Mandala. 

Mandala is a symbol (a circle within a circle within a circle) used by Buddhist monks as an aid to contemplation and was chosen by the band’s manager, Rafael Markowitz (aka Randy Martin). After the success of their top-ten corker 'Opportunity', the Mandala seemed destined for opportunities of their own. Their manager had early on hooked the band up with top U.S. booking agents William Morris, leading to gigs at L.A.'s Whiskey a Go-Go and Hullabaloo clubs - with the latter drawing capacity crowds of 1,400 fawning fans - as well as some extended jaunts in the Big Apple in early 1967. They returned to Toronto that summer as the unofficial flag-bearers of the "Toronto Sound", a gutsy amalgam of r'n'b and soul that was filling the clubs up and down the Yonge Street strip that year. 

It was at this point, however, that their luck started to lose steam. First, internal bickering caused them to shelve the initial tapes to their first and only LP Soul Crusade, and then singer George Olliver succumbed to the stresses of constant performing and left. By the spring of 1968, with the band spinning their wheels big time, Atlantic Records bossman Ahmet Ertugan bought out their contract from Decca records, and Soul Crusade was finally given widespread release. 

Much of Soul Crusade is longer on chops than on actual songwriting, with Henry Babraj's industrial-strength Hammond organ and Domenic Troiano's blistering guitar beefing up the rock end of this rock/soul stew. New singer Ray Kenner's powerful pipes allowed him to take the helms with relative ease and lead single 'Love-itis', while hardly another 'Opportunity', was soul-stomping enough to climb to number nine on Toronto's CHUM-AM charts. Especially cool is the lazy 'Stop Crying on My Shoulder', where the band take a bit of a breather to naively explore some Chicago-style northern soul. 

However, though buoyed by generally positive reviews, the band had to scrap a planned tour across Canada after bassist Don Elliot was involved in a car accident. A final single, 'You Got Me', showed that the band still had the goods, but its dismal sales would spell the end, with Troiano taking his considerable guitar skills to form the funky blues/rock outfit Bush in 1970.
by Michael Panontin

1. World Of Love (Don Troiano) - 2:45
2. One Short Year (Don Troiano) - 3:06
3. Love-It Is (Harvey Scales, Albert Vancel) - 2:42
4. Come On Home (Don Troiano) - 5:56
5. Every Single Day (Don Troiano, Keith Mckie) - 3:45
6. Mellow Carmello Palumbo (Don Troiano, Whitey Glan, Don Eliot) - 3:41
7. Can't Hold Out (Don Troiano) - 2:36
8. Don't Make Me Cry (Don Troiano) - 3:08
9. Stop Cryin' On My Shoulder (Don Troiano) - 2:31
10.Faith (Don Troiano) - 5:59

 *Don Troiano - Lead Guitar
 *Don Elliot - Bass
 *Whitey Glan - Percussion
 *Roy Kenner - Vocal
 *Hugh Sullivan - Organ, Vibes

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