Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Whiz Kids - s/t

Whiz Kids - s/t

Kasaba KSB 200, USA, 1974

A nice obscurity I bought off ebay last year. The Whiz Kids were a duo from Michigan who released their only album on their own Kasaba label in 1974. Often described as progressive or even prog-psych by dealers, the music is better described as fairly commercial rock with poppy elements and the very occasional nod to progressiveism via synth. While enjoyable, I think the music would have definitely benefited from the addition of full guitar.
Of the nine songs presented here seven are originals and two are covers - 'Long Time Gone' by Crosby, Stills & Nash and '(Ride My) Chevrolet' by ZZ top.

I am also aware of one single 'Take' b/w 'Big Cigar Blues' (Kasaba KSB 101) which was released in 1971 and apparently features Cub Koda on guitar. These songs don't appear on this album and I have never heard them, so I don't know to what extent the guitar is used or if the style of music is in keeping with the album. It is interesting to note that the label of the single, pictured below, states that it was recorded in Canada.

Side 1 - 1. Tear The Walls Down (2:20) 2. Six Months (2:15) 3. Judas (3:25) 4. Long Time Gone (4:31) 5. Time To Lose (2:20)
Side 2 - 1. Start All Over Again (2:51) 2. (Ride My) Chevrolet (2:38) 3. I'm Leavin' (5:40) 4. Poison (4:38)

Pat McCaffrey-keyboards/horns/bass pedals/vocals/guitar; Ken Michalik-percussion/vocals

Recorded at Glen Arbor Roller Mills and Pampa Studios.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Circus Books & Music

Circus Books & Music

Located on Danforth Avenue in Toronto's east end this is another book/record store, though in this case the ratio between books and vinyl is fairly even. The prices can be a bit on the high end compared with some of the other shops I frequent, but they always seem to have some choice items in good condition. They are open 7 days a week, until 8PM Monday to Saturday. On the down side, all but a couple of the times I have been to Circus (generally in the mid-afternoon) I have dealt with a young fellow who could certainly do with some customer service training. Not exactly the friendly and outgoing type, but hey, I'm there for the vinyl.

Circus Music & Books
866 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
416 925 6116

Monday, November 5, 2012

Clark-Hutchinson - A-MH2


Decca Nova SDN.R.2, UK, 1969

An excellent album of instrumental eastern and flamenco influenced jazzprog jams, I picked up this beautiful specimen at Sonic Boom last Wednesday. An original British press, the disk shows what looks almost like water marks when held to the light, but there are no scuffs or even the slightest of scratches to speak of. It plays without noise. The sleeve has some slight creasing and small wear to one corner. The worst thing about this is that I don't have the original inner sleeve. The rear surface of the sleeve has a punch out hole in the top right area through which the colour of the inner sleeve could be seen. Red indicated a mono version (and red label on disk) and blue indicated stereo (blue label). This indicator hole did not appear on the American release of the album (Sire 97021, 1969). Alas, this copy has a generic white (yellowed with age) inner sleeve. I read some words online to the effect that the red label mono version (original UK) was never pressed, but I have seen pictures of them, so I believe they were.

Side 1 - 1. Improvisation On A Modal Scale (10:00) 2. Acapulco Gold (7:00) 3. Impromptu In 'E' Minor (8:30)
Side 2 - 1. Textures In 3/4 (11:00) 2. Improvisation On An Indian Scale (13:50)

Andy Clark-vocals/keyboards; Mick Hutchinson-guitar; Stephen Amazing-bass; Del Coverley-percussion.
Recorded at Recorded Sound Studios, London on May 21st & 23rd 1969.

Listen here: