As the folk boom of the late 60s led to the messiah musical craze of the early 70s (see Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, etc), a number of Japanese hippies felt left out of the trippy worship trend. So opportunistic psych ensemble People, led by keyboardist Yusuke Hoguchi (later of the Carmets), came up with their own quasi-religious rock opera concept, which the Teichiku label issued as Ceremony - Buddha Meet Rock.
Though largely overlooked when it first appeared, the limited-run release has since become a holy grail sought by heathen collectors of god ?rock, weirdo psych and prog ?funk for its engagingly dark vibe, wicked guitar scorch and head-nodding beats.
Since original copies of Buddha Meet Rock rarely, if ever, turn up and the Shadoks label LP reissue of 450 copies some five years back vanished before most people knew it was out, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a CD version put out by Japan's P-Vine label. The doomy chanting and psychedelicized foolishness over bumpin' Axelrod-style grooves have an entrancing, eerie quality that you might not expect from what appears to be a corny cash-in job. Almost 40 years later, it still sounds remarkably fresh and magnificently twisted.
The People - Prayer, Part 2
Dieter meets Peter
They might look more like a couple of chartered accountants than the leaders of a funky fresh experimental jazz combo, but saxophonist Dieter Seelow and keyboardist Peter Mayer evidently knew what they were doing when they entered Horst Jankowski's studio in Stuttgart back in June of 1970 as the Seelow & Mayer Formation.
The resulting Mr. Dynamite album, initially released on the tiny DK Disc label and now recirculated by Sonorama, presents a dazzling mix of hard-bop jazz swinging on a funky zeuhl?ish tip that favourably recalls some of Wolfgang Dauner's delinquent dabbling with Et Cetera and the Oimels from the same time.
For an encore, Sonorama follows it up with a breezy Euro-Brazilian session fronted by Ann Helstone and Daniella "Pamela" Milatovic called Samba Soul Beat In Black & White. It might not sound that promising until you find out that the backing band includes Dusko Goykovich, Siggi Schwab and a gang of other jazz scene heavies connected with Hans Wewerka, whose Orange label originally released the LP. Sweet. Sonorama.de.
Seelow & Mayer Formation - Mr. Dynamite, Part 3
Since Michael J. Dutton began looking for other cool stuff to remaster and reissue beyond the usual classical pieces recorded on shellac 78s, his rummaging through the Decca and EMI archives turned up a number of amazing jazz titles that have since appeared on Dutton Vocalion. A deeper dig has turned up the huge holdings of the combined Conroy and KPM sound library catalogues, which resulted in the recent sampler Sounds Of The Times 1970-77. Compiled by easy-listening expert Oliver Lomax, the collection unfortunately leans heavily toward the smooth jazz joints recorded for the KPM 1000 series rather than the ripping funk, psych and electro bangers that many collectors actually want. Still, there's a load of cool grooves to enjoy over the 25 tracks. Who knows? Maybe they're saving up the blistering Mohawks-style Hammond jams for the next volume. duttonvocalion.co.uk.
Sounds Of The Times comp - Block Buster
, Tough Assignment
and Funky Finale