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Jasper Wrath - Jasper Wrath CD (album) cover

JASPER WRATH

Jasper Wrath

 

Crossover Prog

3.39 | 19 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars Jasper Wrath hailed from Connecticut. In 1971 they released their debut album on Sunflower, an MGM subsidiary (who had a few artists I'm unaware of, plus that label did release very early archival material from the Grateful Dead from 1966). Sunflower never lasted, so it comes as no surprise the Jasper Wrath LP went out of print, and while hard to find, seems quite a bit harder to find without the punch hole. This band later fell victim to a scam on the tax dodge label Dellwood (a label that originally started as a legit label back in the mid '60s, but by '77 was resurrected, this time with that dubious reputation), with two albums released under phony names: Arden House and Zoldar & Clark. In the late '70s there was a brief glut of tax dodge labels (from about 1976 to about 1978), but apparently these labels were caught, and shut down.

I also dig the photo of the band on the back cover, as they looked like Three Dog Night rejects. Robert Gennette, in particular, looks a bit like Chuck Negron, with that mustache.

Anyways, this was their sole legit LP and I've really grown to love this album. Although from Connecticut, this album was actually recorded in New York City, given there was much better musical opportunities in New York for obvious reasons. This album was described as a cross between Yes and the Moody Blues (no Mellotron, though). I'm sure the Yes thing was mainly from the vocal harmonies, as that band was just starting to take off with The Yes Album (although the band did go more in Yes territory as the Zoldar & Clark album demonstrated, which at that point was no coincidence). There's often a folky and psychedelic feel. "Look to the Sunrise" is a rather catchy number that I find really enjoyable. "Mysteries (You Can Find Out)" has a nice psychedelic vibe. There's one song not credited, but it's in between "Autumn" and "Odyssey" is "You Bear Witness" (at least I think that's the name of the song). It sounds like a totally separate song from "Autumn" as it keeps repeating the "You Bear Witness" chorus. Also I own the original LP that clearly shows five songs on side one on the disc itself, although only four are credited. "Odyssey" really blows me away. A nice folksy psychedelic vibe going on. It's obvious this dates from 1971 but there's that psychedelic feel that obviously shows the band didn't want to leave the '60s totally behind. "Did You Know That" has a bit of a Santana feel going on, with a jazzy Wes Montgomery-like lead guitar. "Roland of Montevere" is probably the most proggy thing on this album but it's still not full-on Yes.

This album was a real grower on me. This is that type of album from 1971 that didn't totally shake the '60s off, so you'll notice a strange combination of the '60s and the early '70s. Nice album that's worth having!

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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