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Baker Gurvitz Army - Baker Gurvitz Army CD (album) cover


Baker Gurvitz Army


Heavy Prog

3.24 | 35 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars East London-born brothers Adrian(guitar) and Paul Gurvitz(bass) may not be household names yet their contribution to the overall canon of 1970s rock cannot be over-estimated. Starting out during the late-sixties, the brothers would release two albums with their muscular, proto-metal outfit Gun - as well as a surprise hit-single called 'Race With The Devil' - before transforming into the similar-sounding but equally-adept Three Man Army. After another two albums, neither of which managed to make much of an impact, the brothers dissolved Three Man Army and were essentially head-hunted - or the musical equivalent - by ex-Cream sticksman Ginger Baker, eventually making up two-thirds of the drummer's prog-tinged outfit Baker Gurvitz Army. Along with the oddly-named vocalist Mr Snips(?) Baker Gurvitz Army would produce three excellent albums worth of dreamy rock - again to little genuine fanfare - before the brothers would again be on the move, this time to join up with Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge, playing on both of his proto-prog themed Graeme Edge Band albums during the mid-to-late-seventies. Right from their Gun origins, Adrian Gurvitz's superb guitar playing has been a feature of every album he has played on, and his work is the outstanding part of this debut release. Although inferior to follow-up album 'Elysian Encounter' - the Baker Gurvitz's strongest - this self-titled debut is the perfect tonic for those who find the complex noodling of Yes and ELP a bit too much and the hard-riffin' rock of Black Sabbath and Trapeze a bit too simple. Alongside Gurvitz, Ginger Baker's drumming often takes centre- stage, sometimes to over-elaborate effect, yet that's almost the point, the refined rock sound allowing the musicians to stretch out where necessary. The album's highlights include the raw opener 'Help Me', the soothing semi-balled 'Memory Lane' and, best of all, the eccentric 'Mad Jack', which finds both Adrian Gurvitz and Baker in fine fettle. By no means a classic then, but well worth exploring all the same.


stefro | 3/5 |


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