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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pop Workshop, Sweden - International


Pop Workshop - Vol. 1 1973 Grammofonverket
Pop Workshop - Song of the Pterodactyl. 1974 Grammofonverket

It was over 8 years ago when I first received a CD-R for "Song of the Pterodactyl". If that were their only album, it most assuredly would have been part of my initial series of postings in 2009 and '10.  But I wanted to hear their debut album too, before compiling a post. Midwest Mike was kind enough to send it over twice - but unfortunately they ended up being the wrong albums (someone else is helping him dub these from his collection, and mixed them up accidentally). Meanwhile I was trying to secure my own copy via ebay, and would you believe I finished in second place... twice! It seemed my destiny was not to hear this album at all. Fortunately MM stayed with it - and the third time was a charm. And so, after a many year delay, we are able to finally present Pop Workshop.

On the same label (Grammofonverket) as the much recommended Ibis album, Pop Workshop are clearly a band operating in the raw jazz rock category (rather than fusion). Founded by two prominent Polish jazz members on keyboards and sax, Pop Workshop - over the course of both albums - features marquee name players such as guitarist Janne Schaffer, drummer Tony Williams, and bassist Mads Vinding. This is definitely music of the underground, and fans looking for slick fusion will have to look elsewhere. I would say Ablution - another international band based in Sweden - is probably the closest comparison here. "Song of the Pterodactyl" adds in the more trendy Herbie Hancock "Headhunters" era styled funk to great effect. Both are very good albums that are in dire need of a CD reissue.

Priority: 2

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