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Continuum Autumn Grass album cover
3.70 | 30 ratings | 3 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side one
1. Byrd Pavan (9:17)
2. Vivaldi Synthesis Two (2:20)
3. Overdraft (11:10)

Side two
1. Autumn Grass (26:15)

Total Time: 49:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Yoel Schwarcz / classcial guitar, flute, harmonica, recorder, saxophone
- Tim Rice / organ, piano
- Peter Billam / bass guitar, electric guitar
- Harvey Troupe / drums

- Ken Freeman / Freeman synthesiser on "Vivaldi Synthesis Two"
- Richard Hartley / piano on "Vivaldi Synthesis Two"
- John Warren / classical guitar on "Autumn Grass"
- Mike Hart / double bass on "Autumn Grass"
- Dick Wildman / drums and percussion on "Autumn Grass"
- Clive Stanhope / gong on "Autumn Grass"
- The Olympus Strings / cellos on "Autumn Grass"

Releases information

RCA Victor, Catalogue number SF8196

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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CONTINUUM Autumn Grass ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CONTINUUM Autumn Grass reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Lie back and smell the daisies.

"Autumn grass" is a criminally underrated album from the early 1970's, featuring jazz influenced prog played by four highly proficient musicians. The feature (title) track was at the time of the album's release one of the longest single tracks to appear on one side of an LP (but by no means the longest), running to some 26 minutes.

The band was the brain-child of Yoel Schwarcz. Despite the fact that they only ever made two albums, he is the only person to be a band member for both (although the others who played on the first album appear as guests here) . The line up for "Autumn Grass" includes the highly proficient keyboard player Tim Rice (no relation to Andrew Lloyd-Webber's mate).

Side one consists of three tracks, all developed through live performances before being committed to vinyl. The opening "Byrd Pavan" is an improvisation on Byrd's "Earl of Salisbury pavan" combined with Purcell's "Air on a ground bass". The band add a jazz dimension to the Elizabethan flavoured "pavan", with the organ work of Rice being particularly dominant. "Vivaldi synthesis 2" is an adaptation of Vivaldi's "Guitar concerto", with synthesised strings backing. This pleasantly relaxing piece was later revived by Steve Howe on his "Steve Howe album". The final track on side one is "Overdraft", the only band composition on the album. This piece is the most jazz based of the four tracks, and also the weakest.

As mentioned previously, the inordinately long title track occupies side two. Composed by Patric Standford specifically for the band, the sleeve described the track as "a ritualistic invocation". Various guest musicians contribute to the suite, notably the Olympus Strings cello section. The highlight though is the wonderful flute of Yoel Schwarcz. About midway through the track, he picks out a baroque melody with sparse accompaniment. This theme is used as the basis for a developing improvisation with ever increasing backing driving the flute to a frantic crescendo, before the main theme restores order.

During my student years of the mid 70's, this track, and indeed the album was a regular feature of my turntable. Whilst the length of the piece had a lot to do with it (30 minutes between changing sides was most unusual), I found the music perfect to study to as it has that rare quality of supporting listening on many different levels.

"Autumn grass" stands as a truly remarkable work, criminally overlooked both at the time of its release, and indeed now. Recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars CONTINUUM were a two-album British band led by the Hungarian multi-instrumentalist Yoel Schwarcz. Their music featured a unique combination of Progressive Rock, Classical and Jazz. Their first eponymously-titled album passed by virtually unnoticed at the time of its release in 1970, but their se ... (read more)

Report this review (#2302873) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This wholly instrumental album is very much a game of two halves. Side one contains some rather ambling and unfocussed jazz-rock improvisations mainly based on classical pieces. Track one is Byrd's Pavan which begins with a beautiful performance of Byrd's familiar pavan before launching into a ja ... (read more)

Report this review (#861073) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Saturday, November 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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