- Album name: The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble
- Group name: The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble
- Year: 1968
- Number of discs: one
- Label: ATCO
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Who owned it: my father
- Buy it on Amazon: $4.49
Level of familiarity before listening
I am not familiar with this group at all.
What I expected
I’d guess maybe jazz-rock fusion, but not as electric or psychedelic as The Mahavishnu Orchestra?
What it was actually like
I wouldn’t say it was jazz-rock fusion. It definitely had an experimental quality to it, and was primarily rock with a lot of jazz influence, as well as R&B and classical.
Sounds Of Time, for example, was like a mid 1960s rock song but with a distinct jazz sound, and tight vocal harmonies, and then a jazzy guitar solo that was much more psychedelic.
Studeao Atlantis, however, had the same tightly harmonized vocals – and I didn’t care much for them in this case – in a song that was far more psychedelic jazz. There was a guitar riff that was instantly recognizable as… I’m not sure what, exactly… maybe it was just meant to sound vaguely “eastern,” but it definitely worked, and I loved the jazz percussion and the whining guitar.
Another that I loved was Monkey, more of an R&B song that was definitely written for dancing, and that had a great guitar solo.
Poor Pauline was a Beatles parody, and specifically a serious attempt to channel Faul’s granny shit, and they actually did a good job at it. Mr. Tree also sounded oddly like a Beatles parody, but with more of a synthesizer sound.
Began To Burn and She’s Gone were both more conventional rock songs, but of the two, the latter was more rhythmic and I liked it a lot better.
Besides those, Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 1 In C Major (2nd Movement) was more or less as its title suggested, and I thought Pick Up In The Morning was weird, with kind of a silly sounding chorus, but good!
The Seasons, which consisted of four parts – a) Fall (with harpsichord), b) Winter (with organ), c) Spring (with chirping birds, running water and a keyboard) and d) Summer (with whistling, guitar, then carnival whistles, then back to what it had been, then back to Mr. Tree) – did not make a whole lot of sense.
4/5: would listen again