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Thursday, January 7, 2016

David Kubinec's Mainhorse Airline - The Geneva Tapes (1969-70 swiss/uk, fine prog rock with jazz flashes, 2007 remaster)

It has always been said that the origins of the Patrick Moraz debut recording group “Mainhorse” are not well documented. Now, with the discovery after 37 years of ‘The Geneva Tapes’ all that has changed.

These tapes provide a unique insight into how the band was formed and what its original aims and personnel were. In the late summer of 1969, Moraz and his friend, bass player and cellist Jean Ristori came over to England in search of an English rock drummer and singer. After putting an advertisement in Melody Maker they hired a rehearsal room in Shepherds Bush, London for 2 days.

On the first day they auditioned drummers and chose a then unknown 17 year old Bryson Graham. The 2nd day was spent listening to singers and finally the choice was reduced to 2. The singer from that great band “If” and cult rock figure David Kubinec aka ‘Kubie’ from pop-psych band “The World of Oz”. Finding it impossible to decide between them, they were given an exam in which they both had to write lyrics for ‘Pale Sky’ in 10 minutes but Kubinec raced through it in 3 or 4 and they can be heard here in their entirety for the 1st time. And so Kubie was chosen.

These 4 guys then flew over to Switzerland and joined up with Auguste De Antoni the renowned French jazz guitarist and Swiss jazz drummer Arnold who were part of The Patrick Moraz Quartet which had already played to great acclaim at The Montreux Jazz Festival, forming a 6 piece group with 2 drummers with differing styles which Moraz named “Integral Aim”.

An innovative project of free jazz, rock, psychedelia and classical fusion (which filled the gap between the Underground and Progressive-Rock and which would have taken the world of music by storm) was over, but it makes the recent emergence of these original tapes all the more exciting. This album is a must for any fan of what became known as Prog- Rock, laying down as it did one of the foundation stones for that genre and yet these particular recordings have never been heard before.

A truly fabulous and unexpected find that shines a light into the dark corners of late-sixties and early-seventies experimental music. Moraz went on to play with Refugee, Yes and The Moody Blues, recording several albums of his own when he left them after fifteen years. David Kubinec, a wonderful songwriter in his own right, recorded solo material and also albums with The Rats and John Cale of Velvet Underground. Bryson Graham teamed up with Gary Wright, Spooky Tooth and The Paul Kossoff Band and was with Paul when he died on the flight returning from the United States.

He rejoined Kubie in David Kubinec's Excess in 1978 to promote the A&M album "Some Things Never Change" with Chris Spedding, Ollie Halsall and John Cale. In 1979, Kubinec went to the former Yugoslavia to watch his only child Emily growing up, and he joined "Stijene" a rock band which enjoyed great national success before the Balkan Wars. After the war, it was rumoured that he had been killed in a crossfire between the Serbs and Croats. This has never been confirmed, but it's certain that he hasn't released a record since.

In 1997, Rick Davies of Supertramp, who had always been a big fan of Kubinec's songwriting talent, paid him the compliment of titling the Supertramp album released that year "Some Things Never Change".  A fitting tribute.
by Louise Campbell

1. Overture and Beginners - 3:36
2. Blunt Needles - 6:28
3. Passing Years (David Kubinec, Patrick Moraz) - 3:28
4. Make It the Way You Are - 5:01
5. Pale Sky (David Kubinec, Jean Ristori) - 6:54
6. What the Government Can Do for You - 4:26
7. Daybreak of Eternity - 4:11
8. Directions for Use - 4:18
9. Very Small Child - 4:29
10.God Can Fix Anything - 11:27
All songs by David Kubinec except where stated

David Kubinec's Mainhorse Airline
*Patrick Moraz - Keyboards
*David Kubinec - Vocals
*Bryson Graham - Drums
*Jean Ristori - Bass, Cello
*Auguste De Antoni - Guitar
*Arnold Ott - Drums

Related Act
1969  World Of Oz - The World Of Oz

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