Get this crazy baby off my head!



Shadowfax - Magic Theater - 1994 - Warner Bros.

Shadowfax were a prominent "new age" band that flourished in the eclectic global music pond of the early '80s. One of the musical definitions of "new age" music is described in Wikipedia as "music with an ambient sound that has the explicit purpose of aiding meditation and relaxation, or aiding and enabling various alternative spiritual practices, such as alternative healing, Yoga practise, guided meditation, chakra auditing, and so on. The proponents of this definition are almost always musicians who create their music expressly for these purposes". That definition may sound boring and could certainly lead to an immediate dismissal of "new age" music by many people. However, as with all music genres, their "definitions" do not always relate to what you hear, and "Magic Theater" is one such example. The album is not boring, nor is it necessarily of a meditative nature. Relaxing, yes, but there is no Tantric, Yogaic, or other "religious" symbolism attached to the album. It is also important to say that many albums classified as "new age" are often more in the progressive jazz/jazz rock/fusion vein, and it is not always easy to label such music. The album is very listenable, accessible, and enjoyable. Also, "New Age" music is often associated with abstractism, and again, "Magic Theater" does not relate to this concept. This is not saying that abstract/new age music cannot be enjoyed. Listen to Brian Eno's great "Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks", an album which proves this point. "Magic Theater" is an original blend of electronica, fusion, ethnic, progressive, and jazz rock, with medieval, and even Canterbury Rock elements, played brilliantly by a band who originally started in 1972, in Chicago as a blues trio. So goes the evolution of music ! Try and listen to the late Chuck Greenberg's "From a Blue Planet" album, and also Shadowfax's "Esperanto" album. Although A.O.O.F.C concentrates on blues, jazz, electronica, and prog. rock, it is a good thing to open your mind to all types of music. There is no rubbish posted on this blog, and everything on A.O.O.F.C has some musical merit. .....(In the words of the late, great Ian Dury, did somebody say "Wot a load of old bollo?" !!). There is info on Shadowfax's "Shadowdance" album @ SFAX/SDNCE It is also worth checking out the group's "Folksongs for a Nuclear Village" album


Imaginary Islands - Chuck Greenberg
Hey! Your Hat's on Backwards - Stuart Nevitt
Secret Gathering - Armen Chakmakian
Ebony Wind - Chuck Greenberg
Castaneda's Boogie - Phil Maggini
Baker's Dozen - Chuck Greenberg
Night Passage - Armen Chakmakian
Remembrance - Phil Maggini
How Much Does Zimbabwe?- Stuart Nevitt
The Spirit Door - Phil Maggini


Danny Heines (Lap Steel Guitar),(Guitar),(Acoustic Guitar)
Andy Abad (Guitar),(Electric Guitar)
Phil Maggini (Upright Bass),(Fretless Bass)
Armen Chakmakian (Piano),(Synthesizer),(Keyboards),(Electric Piano)
Phil Maggini (Keyboards),(Vocals),(Bass),(Flute)
Stuart Nevitt (Drums),(Electric Drums),(Snare Drums),(Acoustic Bass),(Electric Bass),(Percussion),(Cymbals),(Vocals),(Sound Effects)
Ramon Yslas (Sound Effects),(Conga),(Percussion),(Bongos),(Shaker),(Chimes)
Chuck Greenberg (Soprano Sax),(Tenor Sax),(Woodwind),(Alto Flute),(Lyricon)
Glenn Morrison (Flugelhorn)
Aaron Gross (Dumbek)


One of new age electronic music's earliest and best-known proponents, Shadowfax was formed in Chicago in 1972 by saxophonist Chuck Greenberg, guitarist G.E. Stinson and bassist Phil Maggini. Originally a blues band, the trio soon began exploring chamber jazz and folk; even medieval music began creeping into the mix, appropriately enough for a group named in honor of a horse from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. Adding drummer Stuart Nevin in 1974, Shadowfax issued their debut LP, Watercourse Way, two years later; failing to make an immediate impact, the quartet did attract a cult following which continued to grow following their subsequent signing to the Windham Hill label. 1982's eponymously titled effort was their commerical breakthrough, reaching the upper rungs of the Billboard jazz charts; for the follow-up, 1983's Shadowdance, Shadowfax's ranks swelled with the additions of violinist Jamii Szmadzinski and pianist/synth player Jared Stewart. The group endured multiple personnel changes in the years to follow, with founding members Greenberg and Maggini both remaining constants well into the 1990s. © Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Shadowfax was a new age/electronic musical group, best known for their albums Shadowfax and Folksongs for a Nuclear Village. In 1988 they won the Grammy for Best New Age Performance for Folksongs for a Nuclear Village. In 1992 they were nominated for the Grammy for Esperanto. The group formed in 1972, and disbanded after 1995 when Lyricon player and leader Chuck Greenberg died of a heart attack. Having lost their signature sound, Shadowfax's members went on to other projects. The group takes its name from Gandalf's horse Shadowfax in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


128 Kbps only but sound ok