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Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - M144 CD (album) cover

M144

Burnin' Red Ivanhoe

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.35 | 18 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars M144 is the debut album from experimental Danish Jazz/ rock act Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe. Heavily rooted in the Danish jazz scene in the sixties Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe began to incorporate more rock influences into their music and soon had a good following in their native Denmark. M144 was released in 1969 and was one of the few Danish rock albums from that time with an international sound. The band enjoyed quite a success internationally especially in the UK where the album actually charted as one of the first foreign albums ever. Germany and the rest of Scandinavia were also markets for Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe.

M144 is a double album which was also something that was very unusual for Danish artists in 1969. The first LP has Danish sung lyrics while the second has English sung lyrics. About half of the songs are instrumental though. The lyrics are generally pretty fragmented and weird. I´m not sure but Ridder Rød ( Red Knight) does sound like there are some socialist thoughts put into it ( which was a very common thing in Danish lyrics from this time). Kaj is a pretty hilarious song about the lonely guy named Kaj who is only interested in girls on pictures. He lives with his aunt who is very interested in him ( censorship bip bip).

The album is full of great bluesy jazz/ rock tunes, very much in the vein of bands like Colosseum and Audience. Lots of brass and catchy hooks. Songs like Antique Peppermint, Medardus ( with vocals that remind me of Magma) and Saxophonepiece 1 and 2 are all excellent mostly instrumental jazz/ rock songs. Songs like Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne, Ridder Rød, Marsfesten, Kaj and Purple Hearts also showcase Burnin´ Red Ivanhoe´s high level of compositional and technical skill. Ksilioy ends the album and I must admit that it´s a bit too much for me with the repetitive midsection even though the musicianship is outstanding in this song.

The CD version is a double CD with six added extra songs where Why Don't You Trust is the most exciting one. Kaj is there again in a version recorded in 1997.

The musicianship is excellent and all involved are higly skilled musicians. Especially the brass playing is of an extremely high standard.

The production is excellent. Great organic mix.

What I enjoy so much about the album is that it never gets too jazzy. It´s always more rock music than jazz ditto and that´s how I like it. M144 is without a doubt one of the most groundbreaking releases in Danish music history and it´s a great progressive rock album as well. It´s close to being a masterpiece but not quite and 4 stars is well deserved. It´s a highly recommendable bluesy Jazz/ rock album. Maybe one of the best out there.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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