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Proto-Kaw - Early Recordings from Kansas 1971-1973 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 54 ratings

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4 stars For a review I am to post an excerpt that is on the official P-K Site. This written by Kerry Livgren from his Book Seeds of Change:

The following is a more detailed history of this version of Kansas as written by Livgren...

"The second Kansas band was started immediately on the heels of the first Kansas band\'s demise in early 1971 by myself, Don Montre (the former Kansas I keyboard player, saxophonist and flutist), Lynn Meredith (the first lead singer of Kansas), and Dan Wright (the other keyboard player). To complete the band, we needed to find a drummer and a bass player. Zeke Low, the original drummer for Saratoga, (the band that immediately preceded Kansas I) became the drummer for Kansas II. For our bass player, we decided on a musician from Lawrence, Kansas named Rod Mikinski. We also added another saxophone player because I had come to like that instrument very much, and it became an integral part of the type of music I was writing. So we hired John Bolton, a saxophonist and flutist from Manhattan, Kansas, Lynn Meredith\'s hometown.

Musically Kansas II was really a continuation of Kansas I, at least initially. The musical style eventually changed and matured appreciably, but our economic circumstances did not. The others who decided to reform White Clover had a better financial time of it than we had. We continued to be as unconventional and blatantly original as we could possibly be. Our instrumentation, my composition, and Lynn\'s unique voice all contributed to making one unusual band.

This was a very prolific time for me; I seemed to crank out songs nonstop. Some of them fell by the wayside and were never performed. Others we played for a while and then dropped because I wrote at such a fast pace that we simply couldn't\'t perform them all. The music and lyrics for some of these songs have survived, but many are lost and forgotten. They weren\'t always very good (i.e. Juniper Bison, The Ent Song), but I would have to say that they were always different.

It was during this period that I was beginning to seriously get into various forms of mysticism and Eastern philosophies like Zen. These influences became increasingly apparent in my songs; the music and lyrics were growing more mystical and ethereal. The compositions were also becoming increasingly complex, frequently with multiple time signatures, tempos, and often long sections of experimentation and improvisation.

We were so poor that I vividly remember renting outdoor shelter houses at Lake Shawnee for the evening and rehearsing \'til the wee hours.

The second Kansas band managed to stay fairly busy, and we were able to eke out a living with our music. But we seemed to be making little progress, and success kept eluding us. On a couple of occasions, representatives of small record companies came to hear us and expressed some interest in signing the group to a recording contract. These incidents were great sources of hope for us; they became the cohesive force that bound us together.

We all had high aspirations, but nothing much ever came of them. There were no contracts, and we were being stifled by insufficient interest in the Midwest in our kind of original music. It appeared to be a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

- from Kerry Livgren\'s book, \"Seeds of Change\" (revised edition)

Copyright 2004 Proto-Kaw Website Design by Barak Hill

This CD should shut those up who claim Kansas is a pale imitation of the music that was around it. Should this group have been signed anytime during this period 1971-3 or if Don Kirshner decided to record Kansas right after he signed them in 1973 instead of 74 those statements could never have been made. This is essential prog historically and it is some pretty good stuff although raw and under produced.

Garion81 | 4/5 |


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