Get this crazy baby off my head!



Colosseum - An Introduction To...Colosseum - 2004 - Sanctuary

This is genuine mind-expanding music that doesn't quit, and even better yet, it expands the perceptions and the range of thought in several dimensions at once -- something nearly unthinkable to consider when listening to any '60s or early-'70s music in the 21st century. And the whole context is totally unexpected. Who would ever imagine that, when Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies formed Blues Incorporated in 1962, someday the group would spawn a virtuoso prog rock band like Colosseum, whose work owed so much to those blues roots? That's the first thought likely to flash through your head when listening to the first of a brace of Dick Heckstall-Smith saxophone solos, or the equivalent moments by James Litherland or Dave Clempson on guitar, on An Introduction to Colosseum. The 72-minute compilation carries listeners across the group's four albums and sounds ranging from soulful, jazz-influenced instrumentals to the funkier pieces on their second and third albums, as well as their magnum opus as a progressive rock outfit, "Valentyne Suite." You'll probably be struck instantly by the amazing array of bold (yet not flashy) virtuosity in jazz, soul, blues, hard rock, and elements of classical that are on display, and instantly perceive the link with the early-'60s British blues embodied by Korner, Davies, Heckstall-Smith, et al. Colosseum represented a solution to a problem that a lot of listeners, writers, and music scholars had given up on as hopeless (and not necessarily worth reviving), revealing how blues could make the leap to larger musical contexts. When Chess Records tried it with Rotary Connection or those psychedelic Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf albums, or the Rolling Stones did Their Satanic Majesties Request, it seemed as though blues-rock had run into a dead end in trying to merge with larger musical forms, but the range of material here -- very obviously connected to the same source from whence the Stones sprang -- proves that there was a way to make that leap without losing the appeal of the original source. The two live cuts at the end of the disc (including Jack Bruce's "Rope Ladder to the Moon") from the group's concert album on the Bronze label also show how good this group could sound on-stage -- a little loud at times, but still cohesive and intense. As a single-CD anthology, it's difficult to imagine too many releases outdoing this one, and as it promises an "introduction" to the group, its reach never exceeds its grasp or its ambitions. © Bruce Eder ©2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/an-introduction-to-colosseum-mw0000698098

Colosseum's music has been brilliantly described as "high-energy jazz-blues-rock fusion with classical influences." Colosseum is one of the pivotal progressive bands that emerged in the second part of the 60's. In 1968 the founding members were drummer Jon Hiseman, the late tenor sax-player Dick Heckstall-Smith and bass player Tony Reeves, later joined by Dave Greenslade (keyboards), Clem Clempson (guitar), Chris Farlowe (vocals) and Mark Clarke, who replaced Tony Reeves. After Colosseum was disbanded in ’71, most of these members formed or joined known groups like Humble Pie (Clem Clempson), Atomic Rooster (Chris Farlowe), Greenslade (Dave Greenslade re-united with Tony Reeves) and Colosseum II (founded by Jon Hiseman). The band reunited in 1994 and still play occasional gigs. "An Introduction To...Colosseum" is a progressive mix of several styles (rock, jazz, blues) with lots of sensational solos and captivating interplay. Colosseum were never fully appreciated for their talent, and this album is a great chance to hear the work of a group of hugely talented musicians. Listen to Jon Hiseman's refined hands-on drum work, the unique, rough blues voice of Chris Farlowe, Dave "Clem" Clempson's fat guitar sound, Dave Greenslade's great organ lines, Dick Heckstall-Smith's sublime saxophone and Mark Clarke's subtle bass foundations."An Introduction To...Colosseum" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Colosseum's "Those Who Are About to Die Salute You", "Valentyne Suite", "Daughter Of Time", "Colosseum live", "Grass Is Greener" and "Tomorrow's Blues" albums. Colosseum's "Live Cologne 1994" album is on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 159 Mb]


1. Walking In The Park - Graham Bond (3:54)
2. Plenty Hard Luck - Dave Greenslade, Jon Hiseman, James Litherland, Tony Reeves (4:26)
3. Backwater Blues - Bessie Smith (7:36)
4. Debut - Dave Greenslade, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jon Hiseman, Tony Reeves (6:18)
5. Elegy - James Litherland (3:11)
6. Valentyne Suite - Colosseum (16:54)
7. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice - Pete Brown, Jon Hiseman, James Litherland (3:53)
8. Time Lament - Dave Greenslade, Jon Hiseman (6:10)
9. Bring Out Your Dead - Dave "Clem" Clempson / Dave Greenslade (4:19)
10. Rope Ladder To The Moon - Jack Bruce, Pete Brown (9:45)
11. Encore...Stormy Monday Blues - T-Bone Walker (7:29)


Dave Clempson, James Litherland - Guitar, Vocals
Tony Reeves, Mark Clarke - Bass
Dave Greenslade - Organ, Keyboards, Vocals
Jon Hiseman - Drums
Dick Heckstall-Smith - Saxophone
Chris Farlowe - Vocals


One of the most influential of the early British progressive rock bands, Colosseum fused an adventurous approach to rock with strong jazz and blues influences and classical keyboard accents; they earned a loyal and lasting following they never scored a major breakthrough hit. Colosseum was founded in 1968 by saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, bassist Tony Reeves, and drummer Jon Hiseman; the three had previously worked with John Mayall, playing on his album Bare Wires, and Heckstall-Smith and Hiseman were formerly members of the Graham Bond Organisation. The first lineup was completed with the addition of Dave Greenslade on keyboards, Jim Roche on guitar and vocalist James Litherland, who took over on guitar when Roche soon departed. After making their live debut in Newcastle, Colosseum earned a valuable ally in legendary BBC disc jockey John Peel, who featured the band on his Top Gear radio show. Fontana Records signed the band, and their first album, Those Who Are About to Die Salute You, was released in 1969; it fared well in the charts, and the lead-off track, "Walking in the Park," was issued as a single, though it proved to be the only 7" from the group. Colosseum's second album, Valentyne Suite, appeared later the same year; it was the debut release from Vertigo Records, the influential progressive and hard rock label. (Vertigo and Fontana were both affiliated with the Dutch recording firm Philips.) 1970's Daughter of Time featured a new lineup of the band; James Litherland left to form the band Mogul Thrash and Tony Reeves moved into production full-time, and Colosseum added guitarist Dave Clempson, bassist Mark Clarke, and lead vocalist Chris Farlowe. Another Colosseum album, The Grass Is Greener, appeared in 1970, but it was in fact a revised version of Valentyne Suite, released only in the United States and featuring four of the original selections from the LP and four new songs. In 1971, Colosseum jumped ship from Vertigo to the newly formed Bronze Records and recorded a handful of shows at Manchester University and the Big Apple club in Brighton; the band broke up before they could complete a studio album for their new label, and 1971's Colosseum Live would prove to be the last release from the group's first era. In 1975, Jon Hiseman launched Colosseum II, a more jazz-oriented combo which also featured Gary Moore on guitar and Don Airey on keyboards; the new group released three albums before parting ways in 1978. In 1994, the Daughter of Time lineup of Colosseum reunited for a concert tour, and a live album was drawn from the concerts. The band issued a new studio album in 1997, Breads & Circuses, and Colosseum has reconvened for periodic recordings and live shows ever since. Saxophonist Barbara Thompson (who is married to Jon Hiseman) frequently appeared with the reunited version of Colosseum, and became an official member of the group following the death of Dick Heckstall-Smith in 2004. © Mark Deming © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/colosseum-mn0000090945

1 comment:

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