Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kaleidoscope - Pulsating Dream The Epic Recordings (1967-1970) 3 CD

Kaleidoscope were arguably the most eclectic band of the psychedelic era, weaving together folk, blues, Middle Eastern, and acid more often and seamlessly than any other musicians. The California group were formed under the nucleus of multi-instrumentalists David Lindley and Chris Darrow in the mid-'60s. Adding fiddle, banjo, and various exotic string instruments such as the oud and saz to the traditional rock lineup, Kaleidoscope complemented their experimental sounds with taut and witty (if lyrically eccentric) songwriting. Other important members were Solomon Feldthouse, who specialized in the Turkish-style instruments, and Chester Crill, who, to make documentation just that much more difficult, sometimes used odd pseudonyms like Fenrus Epp.

Saul (Solomon) Feldthouse - caz, oud, doumbeg, gong, bass, vocals

David Lindley - banjo, fiddle, guitar, harpguitar, vocals

Max Buda (Chester Crill) - organ, harmonium, fiddle, bass, piano, harmonica, harpsichord

Chris Darrow - bass, guitar, mandolin, vocals

John Vidican - percussion, drums, timpaniWith the exception of their mawkish forays into old-timey music, Kaleidoscope's work holds up well. Their first three albums were their best, highlighted by the lengthy tracks "Taxim" and "Seven-Ate Sweet," which are groundbreaking fusions of Middle Eastern music and rock. Kaleidoscope were a popular live act, even incorporating some flamenco and belly dancers into their performances. But in commercial terms their very eclecticism probably worked against them. Hit singles, too, were a difficult proposition for such a versatile group to get to grips with, although several of their 45s were pretty good. One of the best, "Nobody," was a most unusual fusion of R&B and psychedelia that found the group backing veteran rock and blues greats Larry Williams and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

Kaleidoscope's eclecticism may have been a by-product of numerous personnel changes throughout the last half of the '60s that would make the construction of a family tree a most unwieldy task. Darrow, in fact, only lasted a couple of albums; in 1970, shortly after their fourth album, they split up. Several of the group's more important contributors reunited for an album in 1975 (although Lindley played only a small part); there was another reunion record in 1988.

CD 1

01.Egyptian Gardens 3.05

02. If The Night 1.45

03. Hesitation Blues 2.25

04. Please 3.16

05. Keep Your Mind Open 2.15

06. Pulsating Dream 1.54

07. Oh Death 3.25

08. Come On In 2.07

09. Why Try 3.43

10. Minnie The Moocher 2.13

11. Elevator Man 2.54

12. Little Orphan Nannie 1.54

13. I Found Out 2.09

14. Greenwood Sidee 4.12

15. Life Will Pass You By 3.22

16. Taxim 11.20

17. Baldheaded End Of A Broom 3.12

18. Louisiana Man 2.42

19. You Don't Love Me 3.57

CD 2

01. Beacon From Mars 12.29

02. Rampe, Rampe 3.31

03. Nobody 2.35

04. Love Games 2.28

05. Egyptian Candy 3.01

06. Hello, Trouble 2.04

07. Just A taste 2.13

08. Lie To Me 2.45

09. Let The Good Love Flow 2.10

10. Killing Floor 2.44

11. Petite Fleur 3.29

12. Banjo 3.34

13. Cuckoo 4.15

14. Seven-Ate Sweet 11.31

CD 3

01. Sefan 4.25

02. Chocolate Whale 2.27

03. Another lover 2.42

04. Sneakin' through The Ghetto 3.17

05. To Know Is Not To Be 2.13

06. Lulu Arfin Nanny 3.09

07. Lie And Hide 2.52

08. Ballad Of Tommy Udo 2.49

09. Bernice 2.41

10. Soft And Easy 2.55

11. New Blue Ooze 9.39

12. Why Try 2.46


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  2. Wow! I thought your blog was gone... very happy to have found you again! This is one of my favorite music blogs, and I was very disappointed when it was taken down. Found you today just by doing a search for this particular title and your blog came up! Very excited that you're still around, and looking forward to seeing what wonderful tunes you have for us in the future.


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