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Mother Gong - The Owl And The Tree (with Daevid Allen) CD (album) cover

THE OWL AND THE TREE (WITH DAEVID ALLEN)

Mother Gong

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I really love Gong Egg's Trilogy - for their psychedelic craziness, few later PM Gong albums as excellent jazz fusion works. Numerous side-projects starting from late 70-s are of very different quality, from great to almost unlistenable.

Mother Gong is original Gong's singer Gilli Smyth side-project, based on participation of multi-instrumentalist Harry Williamson and some Gong family members. On "The Owl And The Tree" two more great artists participates - Daevid Allen and Catapilla's sax player Robert Calvert .

What we have here is excellent Gilli Smyth-led project - aerial, spacey music with touch of Canterbury, plenty of excellent jazzy sax soloing and psychedelic atmosphere. If you liked Gilli's moments on Egg Trilogy, but didn't had her participation enough, just take this album! Excellent concentrated Gilli's spoken/singing poetry, fantastic atmosphere, and less Allen's craziness. Fantastic light'n'bright poetic work, full of sax in air.

The only problem with this album for me is David Allen's two songs somewhere in the middle. Not like he sings badly, but his two compositions are out of place and destroy common album's atmosphere. Without these two songs, the album could be almost excellent. But Daevid's 14 minutes-long "I Am My Own Lover" ( the song that could be nicely placed on some Allen's solo album) just break that light and mystic atmosphere by it's regular craziness.

So - one of really great post original-Gong album, very recommended, especially to fans of Gilli's voice and spacey mystics.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#292259)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am not entirely sure about the whole Gong history here. But as far as I understand it, Gong went with Moerlin's jazz and the original Gong weirdo sound became homeless. Well, until Gilli Smyth established Mother Gong, that is.

On this album at least, you will find a lot of Gong's weirdness from the Teapot Trilogy era. The jazz is still there, but in a much more pastoral elegant form. This has a lot to do with Robert Calvert (Catapilla) and his saxophone. He gets a lot of space on this album. He and Gilli Smyth's vocals. Her lyrics is spaced out to say at least. Some of the lyrics is also very serious. The song Hands is a prime example. Daevid Allen's guest contribution to this album is a bit wild though. But this album most of all about Gilli Smyth and Robert Calvert. In particular Gilli Smyth is really defining this album. She is also the mother gong so no wonder.

I am surprising myself when I admit I really likes this album. Mother Gong is not a bad constellation and Gilli Smyth really gets everything together here and comes up with an ace. Well, close enough that is. The songs here are really great and should appeal to all Gong and Canterbury scene fans. There are some stunning great spaced out jazz here. Mostly on saxophone. Thank you, Robert Calvert !

In short, this is a great album well worth checking out and one of the better albums Gong almost released.

4 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#576613)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Daevid Allen guests on this album, but as with all Mother Gong releases it's very much Gilli Smyth's show. The inclusion of Catapilla saxophonist Robert Calvert (not to be confused with the poet, solo artist and occasional Hawkwind vocalist!) enables Smyth to explore a different avenue of jazz-influenced Canterbury than the fusion-oriented Pierre Morelen's Gong; Mother Gong's music here is more based around spacey free jazz and gentle, organic atmospheres. It's undoubtedly a good album, but the particular musical vision it's chasing isn't quite my cup of tea, and the material isn't quite strong enough to overcome that. A worthwhile piece chasing up if you liked the dreamy space whisper segments from classic Gong albums and think an entire album along the same vein would be an awesome idea.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#591911)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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