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Sunday, October 6, 2013

J & F Quintet, Switzerland

J & F Quintet - Contrast. 1976 private.

And here's the final submission from He Who Must Not Be Named. All the others I'd already received earlier in the year, and I figured maybe that would be the last I'd ever hear from him again. But as soon as he saw his name in bright lights, here on Monday Night CD Reissue Wish List Football he felt obligated to throw one more out there. Called it a teaser even. I'm afraid of him now. Anyway, came with the usual back story - says he got it from the same Swiss bank deposit box in Geneva as the Sideline, but yadayadayada I say.

Now this is a pure jazz album with a rock subtext. Flute with rock styled rhythms lay the foundation for sax and keyboard (mainly piano) solos. These rock foundations recall no less a luminary than Soft Machine, so they definitely make your head rise when listening. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this album is the use of language. I could swear I heard French and German, and maybe Italian. Heck, maybe even Romansh, therefore covering all the official Swiss languages. Some of the atmospheric flute passages recall the great Lloyd McNeill Quartet. The usually tight lipped HWMNBN offers this: "You MUST report this because of its progressive mix of folk with fusion, along with experimental passages, soft machine 3-type fuzzy fusion noodling in track 2, the whole reminiscent of masterpiece German album Exil Fusionen with its crazed mix of jazz rock and folk, and to top it all off, no one has it - mooohahaha" as the chilling laugh slowly fades into the ether. And as we do immerse ourselves further into Side 2, the album does change its tone from jazz to rock. And goes from very good to extraordinary.

Browsing popsike, I found the following excellent ebay review and recital of the original liner notes: "Very rare private record which really seldom turns up nowadays! Unique style which ranges from funky Jazz to experimental Fusion. All tracks are self composed by the groups member. "L'Auca" is great with a straight funky beat, superb bass line, Sax and Rhodes, excellent Jazz Funk track!! This copy comes with the rare insert sheet! On the backside of the cover is written:   "The J + F Quintet got known as a "Hard-Bop" group in German, French and Swiss Jazz clubs. For the last three years this group has played in the underground, concerning itself with experimental music. The group also finds time for studio recording sessions and film soundtracks.   This record is a representative example of their compositions, containing a wide spectrum of Jazz oriented music. If we here the motif of a folksong or of a classical chord, it doesn't disturb us, on the contrary we feel that the musicians use the different forms and join them with love in a perfect union.   The musicians of the J + F Quintet consider the record to be sketches in sound, and we would like to point them out as sketches of a very contrasty, interesting and lively world.""

This is a deep release, folks. Of the top echelon of jazz releases that experimented with rock structures, energy, and tones. Requires a couple of listens to fully comprehend. One of the better albums to come out of this last batch - and comes highly recommended.

Priority: 2

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