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Embryo - Rocksession  CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 64 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Embryo is probably the only group that managed to have two record labels simultaneously releasing records, the first in Liberty records (also busy with crosstown rivals/friends ADII) and the second in famous Brain Metronome label (no introduction necessary, right? ;-)). While actually frequent in the jazz realm, this is definitely not so in the rock real, although Embryo is as jazz as it is rock. This situation would last some two years and four albums (two apiece) and the you'de be hard press to find a fan preferrring the worlks released on one of the labelsto the other. Originally on Liberty, they had a dispute about the commerciality of the album Embryo wanted to release, so Embryo went to Nrain records and got a Metronome release for Steig Aus, while the group went on to reccord the Father, Son, Holy Ghost album that seemed to please Linerty most, eve,n if one can't say the latter is overtly more commercial than the former. The situatiion went on with Rocksessions (and its weird/finny/tasteless gatefold artwork) released again on the Brain Metronome label while they would record the slightly more accessible We Keep On for the Liberty label.

Musically between Steig Aus and Roksessions, the line-up is slightly different with Bunka's absence (taken up by Schwab on guitars and Hoffman for the sax), but the three US jazzmen remained in the forefront of the group. Indeed, Jackson on organ, Waldren on electric piano and King on contrabass (the group also had Evers on electric bass), give much the tone of the group, but the German part of the group is definitely giving the direction, a Sub-Asian raga feel, which also dictates the length and imrpovisational nature of the four tracks (Steig Aus only had three), and even the short Place To Go shows no compromise with its heavy percussive manner and fuzzed-out guitar. The almost 16-min corker Entrances relies more of Jimmy Jackson's organ, on which all the soloists will improvise on a 7/4.

The flipside starts much gentler on Waldren almost straight jazz electric piano, soon relayed by Hoffman's violin and so on, but the tone remains calm, crossing ever so softly the rock realm but mostly on the soft side. The closing Dirge starts from a fusion centre deep in Earth's crust, melting rocks, preparing to spew its lava onto the outside layer of our planet. Fantastic stuff.

No matter how one may view Embryo's total oeuvre, it absolutely impossible to overlook the albums that appeared on the Brain Metronome label, mainly because they are among their bests, but they might also really represent what the group was up to musically than the more "commercial FSHG or WKO.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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