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Jade Warrior - Jade Warrior CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.63 | 122 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The seeds of JADE WARRIOR were planted all the way back in the early 60s when Jon Field and Tony Duhig met while working in a factory and discovered they had a mutual interest in jazz and world ethnic music. After several years and experimenting with many different instruments they created a few bands and then moved on and eventually recorded a somewhat popular album under the July moniker. Finally in the year 1970, after adding Glyn Harvard on bass and vocals, John Field who would handle flutes and percussion along with Tony Duhig who handled guitars would buck the trends of the day and create a totally new sort of progressive rock that took ethnic influences in a totally new direction. The newly formed band quickly garnered enough attention to instantly score a deal with Vertigo Records.

The eponymous debut album by JADE WARRIOR pretty much sets a precedent of their entire career, one which presents the listener with a strange plethora of musical ideas often not gelling together in the most cohesive manner but more often than not leaving the listener entertained while always begging the question of "why would they do it like that?" Immediately on the first track this band sets itself apart from the pack. It begins with a nice clean and slow contemplative guitar part that becomes accompanied by a flute and then when the congas kick in throw you off totally. The term JADE WARRIOR supposedly has a Japanese samurai connection and the music does seem to have an Eastern meets Western feel with African and Latin vibes thrown in for good measure. They also utilized a unique combination of blues rock with Santana like percussion instead of traditional blues rock percussion.

After a soft and sweet opening track, it's quite the old switcheroo when on the second track "A Prenormal Day In Brighton" it delves into the 60s psychedelic blues rock scene creating a stark contrast between the first track. As the album continues the songs generally fall into two camps. One is the contemplative mellow and clean tracks that conjure up the exotic ethnic influences infused with a spacier acoustic type of freak folk and the more heavy psych bluesy hard rockers. The down side is that these tracks don't quite gel together as seamlessly as they probably should but on the other hand all of these tracks, no matter how stilted in their juxtapositions are quite enjoyable. It's not like the two styles even alternate. For the most part the slower tracks proceed up to "Telephone Girl" which begins the heavier hard psych rock style with the second track being the exception in the flow of things.

JADE WARRIOR has always been an underdog of sort in the prog world most likely due to their inability to create well flowing deliveries of their music to create a totally satisfying album experience without any stilted feel but i have to admit that i really like many of their albums and this debut release is the perfect place to start as it in a nutshell sums up what JADE WARRIOR's musical vision was from the start. While the next couple of albums focus on the heavy blues rock aspect of their music and beginning with "Floating World" they went for the spacier folky ethnic sounds, this debut has a mixture of both styles sometimes playing hand in hand but most of the time not. One of the most unique albums in 1971 that may not be an all time classic but one that is consistent in quality if not perfectly laid out in presentation.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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