Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Burnin' Red Ivanhoe - M144 CD (album) cover


Burnin' Red Ivanhoe

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars 3 ½ stars really for this example of early Danish Prog!

When BRI released their debut in 1969 the band existed already for two years. Thus it's not surprising that they've gathered already enough material to fill a double vinyl. Originally their music was rooted in bluesrock with a strong psyche folk influence as demonstrated in most of the shorter tracks. Dominated by organ and electric guitar with some flute or mouthorgan thrown in at times one could call their style here "The Doors meet Tull". Some (at least for me) weaker songs offer a rather quiet and ballad-esque folk with a slightly odd touch reminding sometimes to a kind of glee club for drunkens (especially on the CD-bonus). But this is showing just one face of them since the longer tracks (basically on the second vinyl) are revealing a quite different, much more progressive character. Versatile and intricate jazz and brass rock full of verve using a broad instrumentation and with great solos of flute or sax. Highlight of the album is most probably "Oyizl" coming close to free jazz. Unfortunately some of the tracks had been shortened to fit on the double CD. I'd wish the more or less redundant bonus songs would have omitted instead.

Here the ratings for the individual songs (without bonus):

Ivanhoe i Brøndbyerne (7/10) Ridder Rød (4/10) Saxophonepiece 1 (9/10) Marsfesten (4/10) Antique Peppermint (9/10) Indre Landskab (5/10) Jiizlou (7/10) Kaj (6/10) Tingel-tangelmanden (8/10) Læg dig kun ned (6/10) Saxophonepiece 2 (8/10) Medardus (6/10) Purple Hearts (5/10) Larsens (6/10) Oyizl (9/10) Ivanhoe in the Woods (7/10) Ida Verlaine (7/10) Sensitive Plant (5/10) Inside (7/10) Ksilioy (5/10)

Overall rating: 65 %

As a summary M144 is a very remarkable debut and especially for the year of 1969 a noteworthy album containing many of their best jazz rock tracks but as well quite a few average and some rather weak ones. Thus it can be considered rather as a nice collection of songs than as a coherent work. I don't see an urge to recommend it as an essential addition to a prog fan's collection though certainly interesting for collectors of obscure Danish proto prog. Personally I prefer their fellows Secret Oyster and to those who are completely new to BRI I'd like to recommend their self-titled one which I'd like to call their best though offering less quantity for its money of course.

Report this review (#84262)
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One of the earliest (if not the earliest) progressive rock album of Scandinavia and certainly of Denmark (along with Culpepper's Orchard), BRI's debut album is also notable for being a double one (fighting with Norway's Junipher Greene for that title) and is filled with very diverse influences. Resolutely rock in spirit, the album oscillates between the blues, soul, jazz (or more likely jazz-rock) and many more folkloric styles, without actually being folky.

Armed with their double-wind section attack (the group is actually an septet - two different bassist used - if I judge by the album credits), the group's evident forays would of course head towards jazz, and therefore jazz-rock, but a strange mix of Chicago Transit Authority and Colosseum. To say that such an obscure rtecord received the best of production in lonely Copenhagen would be the over-statement of the year, but the album has not really azged badly either.

One of the strange things about this album is that although there are some twenty tracks, none of them obviously jump out as highlights (well maybe - just maybe - Purple Heart and its follow-up Larsens), and likewise none are weaker than just average. But it does appear that the second disc is slightly better than the first, but I am not sure where which stops and which starts for I review the CD version..

Just barely noticeable is Claesson's violin in Kaj, Menzer's flute in the following Tingel- tangelmanten (whatever.;-), but we do notice the mouth harp (over-mixed) in Laeg Dig. The blues are an indispensable part of their repertoire and therefore maybe creating a slight sense of disinterest for part of the album, but be careful not paying attention; you could be missing out something the second you start drifting. And you might just bne missiong the impressive Killjoy finale.

Karsten Vogel (a jazz scene hanger-on since 61) would then go on as the leader of Secret Oyster, which is aptly, named since this group still remains one of the best-kept secrets of Denmark, and safely tucked away in an oyster. Back to this debut album, although hardly essential, if you are into Colosseum, this (BRI's early albums) could be a must for you. Having borrowed it for the last month from a friend for reviewing purposes, I still contemplate whether acquiring it or not. And believe me, this is tough choice for there are superb moments in it, especially given its age and its background

Report this review (#90850)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#185959)
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars I'm always surprised when a band's debut album is a double, surprised first of all because the record company usually would frown upon it, and second would a new band have enough good material to fill the 90 minutes. In BURNIN RED IVANHOE's case they had been playing together for 2 years before they recorded this album, so it's not surprising that these talented Danes had lots of material.This was released in 1969 and is an interesting blend of Jazz / Blues and Rock. Lots of horns, organ, guitar, bass and drums, but also some violin, flute and vibes. I wish there was more guitar and organ though.

"Ivanhoe I Brondbyerne" is a good opener with the forceful vocals and drums while the organ plays along. I really like the organ in this one and the mellower sections. Flute before 2 minutes. "Ridder Red" opens and closes with horns but the rest is fairly laid back and catchy with outbursts of guitar. The vocals are almost spoken. The drums come to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes. "Saxophonepiece 1" is uptempo with sax playing over top. "Marsfesten" has these soft vocals with a mellow soundscape which are contrasted with the fuller more passionate passages. "Antique Pepperment" has this catchy beat with horns. Guitar after 2 minutes. Vocal melodies a minute later. "Indre Landskab" also has a catchy beat with what sounds like harmonica.Vocals join in. "Jiizlou" opens with horns and drums. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. "Kaj" and the next three tracks are the best stretch of music for me. Raw guitar opens this one before drums, bass, organ and vocals join in. I like the sound here a lot. Horns 1 1/2 minutes in. "Tingel-Tangelmanden" is slower paced with the focus on the vocals early. I like the guitar that goes on and on as the drums pound from 1 1/2 minutes to 4 1/2 minutes.

"Laeg Dig Kun Ned" has a good rhythm and they have two vocalists singing different lyrics at the same time. It works ! "Saxophonepiece 2" has a Rio flavour with the dissonant horns. "Medarjus" opens with solemn horns. A change after a minute as drums take over. Bass joins in,guitar and horns follow. Vocals after 2 minutes. It ends as it began. "Purple Hearts" reminds me of Syd Barrett. A fun song with lots of organ. A nice prolonged instrumental section to end it as well. "Larsen" is laid back with reserved vocals and floating organ. "Oylzi" is taken over by the drumming fairly quickly. Violin comes in then horns. A drums solo after 3 minutes. "Ivanhoe In The Woods" opens sounding like "Satisfaction" by the STONES. Lots of horns. "Ida Verlaine" is mournful to open. It kicks in with guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. "Sensitive Plant" opens with organ and drums as vocals join in. It's ok. "Inside" is experimental with sounds coming and going. "Ksilioy" is the 10 1/2 minute closer. It's uptempo with vocals right away. A good rhythm as vocals come and go. They jam for a long period of time. I like it.

Very much a mixed bag as most double albums tend to be for me. So much to like here though. I'm looking forward to hearing the more Jazzy followup. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#235122)
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | Review Permalink

BURNIN' RED IVANHOE M144 ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BURNIN' RED IVANHOE M144

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.