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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jackie King, USA

Jackie King - Skylight. 1978 The Texas Re-Cord Company

Now what says PROG like that cover, eh? One could pass hundreds of similar looking albums at your local Goodwill store - and all of them barely worth the 50 cents they are charging for them. Had this album come from a band named Le Savage Diabolique, and sported a HipGnosis styled cover, I guarantee you'd be paying upwards to $500 for it. Instead you get a cover of what looks like Goober Pyle performing for the Mount Pilot Ladies Auxiliary Fundraising event.

Of course, this is another amazing AC find. I'm not sure how he does it. I wouldn't even give this one a second look, much less forking over some dough to check out. Well - we're all glad he did! After hearing it, I bought one immediately. Probably paid more than I had to, but I wasn't chancing it, since absolutely no one knows what this is. There may still be a few copies out in the wilds. If you know where one is, I'd suggest you nail it quickly. Otherwise, this album is going to Landress-Hart territory in short order. You may recall that Landress-Hart was a $5 album - and not long after publishing it here - it started to fetch $400 or more. Still not quite sure how that happened... but I wasn't smart enough to secure one for myself. But this time I did just that. And the dealer I bought it from (photo above is that copy) called it Texas Bossa Nova. That's a pretty apt description actually.

If you don't feel like reading more, then let me give you the Cliff Notes version: Keywords: Cortex, Placebo. Wet your appetite did it?

Here is the AC's description, which is subdued and (I really appreciate this from him), not filled with hyperbole: "Jackie King is a jazz guitarist from San Antonio with an extensive history in the music industry, including stints with Shades of Joy (who did the infamous "El Topo" soundtrack) and Willie Nelson. But in the late 70s he was back in Texas and riding the fusion wave with this little-known outing on a small local label. Things start off in typical cruise ship lounge mode, with some added female vocals giving it a bit of Cortex-ish appeal at times. But then it gets a little weird, as we're treated to a couple of dreamlike, slow motion jazz-rock tracks with droning string synths, flute and sitar. Flip the disc over, and it's back aboard the Love Boat for a few minutes, before things turn strange again. "Twelve Signs" is a 10 minute excursion into deeper, darker waters, with wordless female vocals, flute and wah-wah guitar rattling off into space. It's almost like this was recorded 5 or 6 years earlier, when jazz-rock was still in its more experimental phase. A bit of a head-scratcher really, but an interesting one."

The whole review is absolutely spot on. This isn't an album for hardcore symphonic progressive rock freaks. Definitely has that late 70s French jazz funk fusion feel. I'm a nut for the first two Cortex releases - so the King album definitely scratches that itch.

The female vocals are performed by his wife, and she's really quite the looker. More info here about King, who has quite a reputation with insiders in the jazz world.

Of the last batch from The AC (starting with the Japanese Sun album), this album was my second favorite after the Jon & John, and perhaps just a smidge better than the Paradox.

Priority: 2

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