Friday, April 15, 2022

Night Beats - Levitation Sessions (FULL SET)

The Reverberation Appreciation SocietyAustin, Texas

Night Beats - Levitation Sessions (FULL SET) "For our Levitation Session we recorded on reel-to-reel 1/2 inch tape in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Antelope Valley. Due to my natural tendencies to explore the layers of my ancestry and being forever inspired by the beautiful sounds coming out of the Saharan desert, I wanted to challenge myself to produce a recording that doesn't filter but fully embraces a similar environment. A search for symbiosis between the music and the ground it’s made on. Thanks to a place I love and respect, a welcomed challenge, and some of my closest friends, what you are hearing is Night Beats in one of its truest and rarest forms. Thank you for listening and thank you to those who lived on and cherished this land before us" - Night Beats

Reverberation Appreciation : 60 Tracks Label Compilation for free from: 

The Reverberation Appreciation Society

Monday, April 11, 2022

Kahvas Jute - Wide Open + a Lot of Bonus (Australian Psychedelic Rock 1971)

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This superb progressive rock band is one of the hidden treasures of early '70s Australian rock. They were one of the first bands signed to Festival's new progressive imprint Infinity and they produced just one single and one brilliant gem of an album, Wide Open. It earned rave reviews at the time, and it's been justly praised by rock historian Ian McFarlane as "a progressive rock milestone".

Alongside their comtemporaries Spectrum, Tamam Shud, Blackfeather and The Aztecs, Kahvas Jute spearheaded a new direction and indentity for Australian music. Their album, and the single from it ("Free") are still regarded as among the best Australian 'prog' releases of the period. The LP has long been a prized collectors item both here and overseas, and happily it has been reissued twice on CD, once by Festival in the late 1990s, and more recently in expanded and remastered form by Aztec Music. It's a must-have for any serious fan of Australian music.

Kahvas Jute formed in June 1970, bringing together members of two leading Sydney bands. Singer-guitarist Dennis Wilson was a seasoned player; he worked as a session guitarist for Festival in the mid-60s, and had been a member of beat-pop groups The Riddles, Kevin Bible & The Book (1966), The 9th Circle (1968) and Barrington Davis & Powerpact (1966-68), where he teamed up with bassist Bob Daisley, drummer Brain Boness and singer Barrington Davis. The Powerpact track "Raining Teardrops" is included on Raven's seminal Aussie garage/punk collection Ugly Things. Powerpact gradually developed a harder style, and with the departure of Davis in late 1968, it evolved into the well-regarded hard-rock group Mecca (1968-70), which initially comprised Wilson, Daisley and drummer Robin Lewis. In early 1970 they added vocalist Clive Coulson, who had previously worked as road manager for The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things and Led Zeppelin.

Mecca released a single, "Black Sally" / "Side Street Man" on the Festival label in March 1970; the A-side was included on Festival's So You Wanna Be a Rock'n'roll Star? 3CD compilation, and was one of many classic cuts recorded at Festival's legendary Studio A in Pyrmont. Mecca toured New Zealand during the year, but Coulson left soon after the tour ended, having been invited back to work for Led Zeppelin on a European tour.

After Mecca dissolved in June, Wilson and Daisley formed a new band. By this time Wilson was one of Australia's rising new guitar heroes and it's a measure of his stature that he was able to poach both guitarist Tim Gaze and drummer Dannie Davidson from top Sydney band Tamam Shud. Tim, who had started off with the Sydney band Stonehenge, was something of a child prodigy, having joined Shud at the end of 1969 (aged only 16!), where he replaced original guitarist Alex 'Zac' Zytnic. Tim had been with Shud for about six months, and was fresh from the recording of Shud's classic second LP Goolutionites and the Real People when he quit to join Kahvas Jute. Dannie Davidson had been with Shud from the beginning, having also been a member of Shud's predecessors The Sunsets and The Four Strangers.

The lineup was chock-a-block with talent -- the deft psychedelic/blues guitar interplay and soaring vocals of Wilson and Gaze, Daisley and Davidson's singularly powerful and skilful rhythm section (Daisley's bass playing is superb and has been frequently and favourably compared to that of Jack Bruce). To top it off they were armed with a full quiver of strong original songs, written or co-written by the band members. Not suprisingly, this embarrassment of musical riches immediately established Kahvas Jute as one of the top live acts of the day, and they were snapped up for Festival's new progressive rock subsidiary 

They recorded the Wide Open LP at Festival Studios in Sydney with renowned house producer Pat Aulton. According to Dennis Wilson, the entire album was recorded and mixed in just three days, which is rather ironic, because Dennis also revealed that one of the 'sweeteners' offered to the band when they signed was unlimited studio time! The album was one of Infinity's inaugural releases when the label was launched in January 1971. 

Influences from bands like Cream are evident (and there is a similarity between the voices of Jack Bruce and Dennis Wilson), but Wide Open is a powerful set, and there's a genuine Australian identity to the work, whatever the influences might have been. It's a real pity that they didn't last longer, since the album displays a truly impressive breadth and depth in material and performance — especially from the 17-year-old Tim — and certainly leaves you wondering what might have been had the band been able to develop further. Unfortunately it seems Tim Gaze was in a restless mood at the time (ye olde "musical differences" no doubt), and by the time the LP was released he had left Khavas Jute band to return to Tamam Shud.

Kahvas Jute continued as a three-piece and after after a successful farewell performance in June 1971 at the Arts Factory in Sydney, Wilson and Davidson left to try their luck in the UK, hoping to capitalise on the very positive UK reviews of the album. Bob Daisley didn't follow until July, so his place was temporarily filled by Scott Maxey (ex-Nutwood Rug Band). They played dates in London, but (typically) were unable to make any impression and broke up within a short time. According to Who's Who of Australian Rock, David O'List, former guitarist in The Nice, was a member, presumably at this time, although no details are given.

Bob Daisley stayed on in the UK and went on to work with many notable British acts including Chicken Shack (1972-73), Mungo Jerry (1973), Rainbow (1977-78), Uriah Heep (1982), Black Sabbath (1987-88) and Gary Moore (1985, 1989-90).

In 1973 Dennis Wilson was invited to front the classic Blow By Blow era rhythm section from the Jeff Beck Group (Max Middleton, Bobby Tench and Clive Chapman) but the project never eventuated, so he came back to Australia and reformed Kahvas Jute in May that year with with Davidson and Maxey. The group continued about a year, during which time they supported Bo Diddley on his second Australian tour. Peter Roberts (ex-
La De DasBand Of Light, Band Of Tabalene) replaced Maxey in March 1974, but in May '74 Kahvas Jute split for good, and Wilson and Roberts (who switched to guitar) formed a new outfit called Chariot.

Dannie Davidson joined Band Of Light (1974) and featured on their second LP The Archer, followed by stints in Sky Pilot (1975), Huntress (1976), Steve Russell Blues Band and Peter Walls Showband (1990).

Dennis Wilson spent three years with Chariot, and worked and/or recorded with many prominent Australian acts including Swanee, The Deltoids, Electric Pandas, Jump Back Jack, Screaming Tribesmen and Olivia Newton-John.

Tim Gaze rejoined Tamam Shud, where he stayed until they broke up in 1972. Tim and Nigel Macara (his former bandmate from Stonehenge and the later lineups of Tamam Shud) formed the shortlived Miss Universe, and then shifted to Melbourne, where they worked briefly with Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford on their post-Daddy Cool project (which eventually became Mighty Kong. Next came another short-term project, a power trio with bassist Steve Hogg, from Bakery) before Gaze and Macara joined the first lineup of Ariel. Tim remains one of Australia's most respected and sought-after guitarists, and has worked in a succession of fine bands, including the Tim Gaze Band and Rose Tattoo. Tim continues to write, record and produce from his Sydney studio. He took part in the warmly-recieved Tamam Shud reunion in 1993-4 and contributed two excellent originals to their reunion album Permanent Culture. He contributed to the solo album by singer Greg Page (The Wiggles). in the late 1990s watchful Sydney-siders could catch Tim playing the occasional gig live with his great band Tim Gaze and The Blues Doctors, which included bassist Chris Bailey (The Angels, GangGajang) and Australia's patron saint of harmonica Jim Conway (Captain Matchbox, Backsliders).

On 17 July 2005, Kahvas Jute -- with drummer Mark Marriott, an experienced session player -- reformed for a special performance gig at Sydney's The Basement. The concert was recorded and filmed for a DVD release. The set list that night featured six tracks from Wide Open, seven new songs, a cover of Cream’s "Politician" plus an impromptu jam on the old Yardbirds number "The Nazz are Blue" featuring guest vocalist Jimmy Barnes. In 2006 Aztec Music reissued Wide Open in a special 6 panel digi-pak, with rare photos and liner notes by Ian McFarlane, and five of the songs from the 2005 Basement concert included as bonus tracks.

From Aztec Records:

As far as Australian progressive blue-rock touchstones go, they don't come any better, and – well – more stoned than Kahvas Jute's only album, 'Wide Open' (Infinity Records 1971) available previously only in original form (to rich collectors), as iffy bootlegs on various European labels (Little Wing of Refugees and the opportunistic Akarma among the offenders) or on a badly mastered official reissue on the Festival label in 1993. Now for the first time since release this great record can be enjoyed in a version supervised by band front man Dennis Wilson. In fact, the sonics here are probably an improvement on the original record, having more oomph and a warmer sound than the LP. 1971 in Australia was a cusp year for Australian musicians, with flower-power giving way to harder progressive rock, in many cases bands taking the progressive blues coming out of the UK and USA as a reference point. Guitarist and vocalist Dennis Wilson and bassist Bob Daisley (one of God's bass players, who went on to international career with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Uriah Heep, Chicken Shack and many others) had cut their teeth in the Cream and Hendrix influenced Mecca. They teamed up with ex-Tamam Shud members Dannie Davidson (drums) and 16 year old guitar wunderkind Tim Gaze to form Kahvas Jute (Kahvas a variant of kavvas – apparently Turkish police, and Jute fairly obviously from the hemp-related plant).

At its heart, 'Wide Open' is about social and artistic freedom. This is evident from the gloriously structured melody and twin guitar gestalt of 'Free'. Instead of the more clichéd route of trading licks, Wilson and Gaze were technically skilled to the extent that genuine twin guitar parts could be composed and played, both live and in the studio. Daisley's fat Jack Bruce influenced basslines can now be heard at the correct Richter scale reading, and they are perfectly complemented by Davidson's expansive drumming, forming a rhythm section that rolls like thunder. With Wilson's Clapton-esque vocal, 'Odyssey' scratches their Cream itch nicely, but with the added dimension of complex solos played in perfect unison. 'Up There' is one of two Gaze compositions, and he makes the most of it with complex and jazzy structures that hark back to Tamam Shud. 

'She's So Hard to Shake' is full-tilt hard rock, but with oblique chord changes taking it out of the ordinary, as well as some totally gone bass from Daisley giving it enough propulsion to easily reach escape velocity. 'Vikings' dials things back to a ballad which traverses the road from delicate acoustic work to fine electric soloing, but it seems a little dated now. Probably a case of it being too close to its influences. Davidson contributes the surprisingly great 'Steps of Time' - it's a fine slice of Australian progressive folk-rock and not just a token drummer's contribution. The more you play the album, the more this track becomes a favourite. Gaze's 'Twenty Three' is typically classy, and Daisley's elegant 'Ascend' forms a fine on-ramp to the album's blazing apotheosis, the 10 minute 'Parade of Fools' on which all the guitar stops are pulled out for a full band workout that is clearly born of the live Jute experience but is nonetheless a fine document even in this constrained studio version.

There are five bonus tracks from a blazing reunion gig live at Sydney's Basement club in 2005 that is now available in full as a DVD/CD set. Suffice to say that the band has lost none of its potency, and you are back in the day if you close you eyes. A cover of Cream's 'Politician' joins key tracks from the album 'She's So Hard to Shake', 'Ascend/Ascension' and 'Parade of Fools'. New compositions are saved for the subsequent DVD release (and they're every bit as good as the tracks on 'Wide Open').  As always from Aztec, nothing is spared on the packaging and liner notes. (Tony Dale)

◉ Bob Daisley (bass) 1970-71
◉ Dannie Davidson (drums) 1970-71, 1973-74
◉ Tim Gaze (guitar/vocals) 1970-71
◉ Scott Maxey (bass) 1971, 1973-74
◉ David O'List (guitar) 1971 *UK only
◉ Peter Roberts (bass) 1974
◉ Dennis Wilson (guitar/vocals) 1970-71, 1973-74

Wide Open (Infinity SINL-934030) 1971
01. "Free" (Wilson)
02. "Odyssey"
03. "Up There" (Gaze-Davidson)
04. "She's So Hard to Shake" (Wilson)
05. "Vikings" (Wilson)
06. "Steps of Time" (Davidson)
07. "Twenty Three" (Gaze)
08. "Ascend" (Daisley)
09. "Parade of Fools" (Wilson)

Bonus 2005 live tracks on Aztec reissue:
10. "Politician" (Bruce-Brown)
11. "She’s So Hard To Shake"
12. "Ascend"
13. "Ascension"
14. "Parade Of Fools"

Kahvas Jute - Live at The Basement (Live & Studio) 2005
The Quickening - Live & Studio 2005
01. Somebody Do Something - 5.20
02. Could Be Anyone - 3.08
03. The Quickening - 4.44
04. What Have I Done To Deserve This - 3.41
05. The Blues Just Got Sadder - 4.09
06. Ain´t No Pleasing You - 3.55
07. Somebody Do Something (Live) - 5.58
08. Could Be Anyone (Live) - 3.29
09. The Quickening (Live) - 5.10
10. What Have I Done To Deserve This (Live) - 3.48
11. The Blues Just Got Sadder (Live) - 4.51
12. Ain´t No Pleasing You (Live) - 4.01

Then Again - Live at The Basement 2005
01. Intro
02. Free
03. Ain´t No Pleasing You
04. Somebody Do Something
05. She´s So Hard to Shake
06. What Have I Done to Deserve This
07. Ascend
08. Ascension
09. The Quickening
10. Vikings
11. Could Be Anyone
12. The Blues Just Got Sadder
13. Parade of Fools
14. Politician
15. End Credits
16. The Nazz Are Blue (Bonus)

Part 1: Kahvas
Part 2: Kahvas
Part 3: Kahvas
Part 1: Kahvas
Part 2: Kahvas
Part 3: Kahvas
Part 1: Kahvas
Part 2: Kahvas
Part 3: Kahvas