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Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing at Baxter's CD (album) cover

AFTER BATHING AT BAXTER'S

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.84 | 85 ratings

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Garion81
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I count this one and Touch self titled as the best example of American Proto Prog which would influence the future generation of prog artists. JA went above and beyond exploring on this one after the super compact and tight arrangements of Surrealistic Pillow.

They pulled out all the stops on several tracks like Spare Chaynge, Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon and The Ballad of You, Me and Pooneil but the albums real progressive moment is in Garce Slicks song Rejoyce. Playing it in a minor key to start as well as letting Jack Casady's bass supply the lead is truly fantastic then the song moves into 6/8 bridge then becoming a jazz trio with Dyden's drums entering. Some really tight chord changes and playing before the last verse. Grace was way ahead of her time and if that isn't prog then nothing is. She is the single element among the writers in JA that made it Proto- Prog. The Ballad Of You Me and Pooneil runs through several different parts to create a mini suite with some great vocal harmonies and a great bass solo by Casady. Spare Chaynge is a jam between Dryden, Kaukonen and Casady that invokes some Psychedelia but also some great jazz I love the way it builds to a rousing climax. Not really prog per say but a lot of experimental stuff and an insight into how Jack and Jorma interacted as well something that is still going on today. Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon is another in the line of Kantner songs that moves through different sections from the airy opening section to an almost sort of jazz bridge saturday afternoon) back into a more pumped up opening section then down to a slow waltz Saturday Afternoon section back to a rousing Climax of Won't You Try.

Some really great original songwriting here. There is a lot more on this record but those 4 songs really give its flavor and prog style. Some people might think some of this is dated and a person under 40 might listen to this and not relate at all but there is so much this band did to lift the boundaries of music to help forge the way for progressive rock to exist that it would be a shame to see this fade away. 5 stars I am afraid.

Garion81 | 5/5 |

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