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Puppenhaus - Jazz Macht Spazz CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 8 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. PUPPENHAUS from Germany were formed back in 1969 and sadly they never released a studio album. This is a live archival release from December of 1973 recorded at SWF studios but it wasn't released until 2009. Early on the band rehearsed in a small factory storeroom on weekends before deciding to do the communal living in an old farmhouse much like KRAAN did. They were busy with work, school and jobs around the farm during the day and they would rehearse during the evenings. Their heroes were ET CETERA, Frank Zappa, KING CRIMSON, John McLaughlin, TRAFFIC, YES amongst others. As they rehearsed they found themselves moving in a Jazz direction and listening to bands like WEATHER REPORT, SOFT MACHINE, PASSPORT and Miles Davis. I gotta say that these guys can play, I'm so impressed with all five of these band members but especially the bass player Frank Fischer who would join RELEASE MUSIC ORCHESTRA in 1975 and the drummer Berthold Maier who would later join ZOMBY WOOF. I love the album cover that the Long Hair label came up with as well.

"Anfang" has this catchy melody to start out and it will be repeated. Love the bass just before a minute with the drums and electric piano. Flute joins in as they seem to jam here. Some sax around 3 1/2 minutes and it does get dissonant around 5 minutes. The bass is upfront again before 5 1/2 minutes as the drums support. There's a psychedelic vibe here then it changes after 8 1/2 minutes as we get a calm with flute. Beautiful section, then it ends as it began. "Jazz Macht Spazz" has this smoky atmosphere with some lazy sax over top as sounds come and go. It then kicks into a jazzy groove as the sax continues. So good! Check out the bass before 3 1/2 minutes as we get a calm. Soon we get walking bass, drums and electric piano leading the way. Flute arrives at 5 minutes then it kicks into gear again tastefully. This might be my favourite track.

"Swingende Elefantenkompanie" opens with drums as flute and more join in. Some crazy vocals follow as it turns humerous both vocally and instrumentally. The bass suddenly takes off at a high speed as the rest try to keep up. Love the guitar here and electric piano, and of course the bass and drumming. The sax replaces the guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. A change after 4 minutes as it settles right down with keys, bass and a beat. Flute over top after 5 1/2 minutes. It's picking up a minute later with keys leading as the flute stops. The band is ripping it up late with distorted keys along with bass, drums and sax but check out the drum work here!

"Let The Pig Out" opens with some solo flute that lasts until after 2 minutes. The guy can play. Then bass and drums kick in followed by sax. The tempo picks up around 3 1/2 minutes and there's some silliness here. Dissonant sax follows then the previous soundscape returns. "Improvisationen" is simply that, an over 17 minute improv. We get a somewhat ominous start surprisingly with plenty of atmosphere as sounds come and go. Sax, drums, keys and bass in particular. Then it starts to slowly pick up. This reminds me of Miles Davis, mostly the atmosphere and distorted keys. Flute replaces the sax after 9 minutes then we get some scat vocals 11 1/2 minutes in. Bass and drums only 13 minutes in although the keys join in as well. A calm 16 1/2 minutes in with sparse sax and electric piano to end it. Improvs can be hit or miss but they nailed this one

Yeah this is my kind of music man. The bass and drum work kills but then I'm also a sucker for electric piano. I still can't believe these guys had to wait until 2009 to have any of their music officially released. A must for Jazz/ Rock fans out there. Almost 5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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