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Passport Second Passport album cover
3.46 | 65 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mandragora (3:46)
2. Nexus (5:23)
3. Fairy tale (7:32)
4. Get yourself a second passport (4:03)
5. Registration O (9:24)
6. Horizon beyond (6:46)
7. The cat from Katmandu (4:38)

Total Time: 41:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Doldinger / soprano & tenor saxes, electric piano, synthesizer
- John Mealing / elelectric piano, organ
- Wolfgang Schmid / bass guitar
- Bryan Spring / drums

Releases information

LP Atlantic ATL 40417 / CD Atlantic 244 143 (1988)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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PASSPORT Second Passport ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PASSPORT Second Passport reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Saxophone ace Klaus Doldinger's second PASSPORT album saw the band, in 1971, still trying to find its musical feet. Unlike the more refined electronic jazz rock of their upcoming albums the sound here is closer to pure fusion, if that isn't an oxymoron, and surprisingly funky coming from a quartet of such scruffy looking young Germans (the blond, bespectacled Doldinger is the notable exception to the group's hirsute grooming policy at the time).

But a certain focus was still lacking at this early, embryonic stage of their career. It would take another few albums for technology to catch up with Doldinger's ambitions, judging from the yardstick of this album's limited keyboard array: mostly primitive electric pianos and clavinets, with a few modest synthesizer runs and a little un-credited mellotron flute.

And the band itself still needed some fine tuning. The lean, clean voice of Doldinger's trademark tenor/soprano saxophone is, as always, the axis around which everything turns, but the classic PASSPORT line-up wouldn't emerge until the album "Looking Through", two years later. In retrospect the obvious weak link here is drummer Brian Spring, a serviceable musician for the time but no match for the nimble pyrotechnics of his replacement, the amazing Curt Cress.

Still, the music shows a youthful vitality that can still be invigorating, from the upbeat, toe-tapping energy of the album opener "Mandragora" to the playful curtain closer "The Cat From Katmandu" (love that title). "Fairy Tale" is a luminous, luxurious vamp on a well-known traditional melody, with a cool ersatz bossa-nova vibe to recommend it, and John Mealing's over-cranked organ solo over the slow, heavy 3/4 shimmy of "Registration O" wouldn't be out of place on an early CAN or AMON DÜÜL recording. The latter half of the album (Side Two, on my still pristine vinyl copy) in particular stretches out more, with extra room allowed for open improvisation.

It was never too challenging an album, even its day, but this is easily the best of PASSPORT's early releases (at any rate it's the only one I still own, which says pretty much the same thing), and the music is a pleasant change of pace from the copy-cat trends of most European Prog Rock. Plus it sports another cover of unique, Magritte- inspired surrealism from the same Hamburg art studio that designed all of the group's classic '70s albums, each of them as distinctive a hallmark as Roger Dean's work would prove to be for YES.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second PASSPORT album continues building upon the solid foundations of the debut. "Mandragora" is a nice melodic opener with prominent use of electric piano/clavinet and of course Doldinger's wild sax. More aggressive "Nexus" is interesting for a short bass pedal works (wah-wah). "Fairy Tale" is a slower tempo, gentle theme with very good bass lines although sax gets sometimes too improvised.

If you are a Bosnian citizen you might particularly like "Get Yourself a Second Passport" due to a shameless and discriminatory visa policy of EU countries towards happy owners of the Bosnian passport, who are still very limited to travel abroad without being humiliated every now and then on the border crossings. Otherwise you may like its unison bass and el. piano parts.

Second part of album is not so good and gets repetitive with aimless soloing, starting from too long "Registration O" till the album end. This album is much less interesting than the debut but is still a decent jazz-rock work, especially if you are a follower of this music style.


P.A. RATING: 3/5

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second Passport album fluently continues the groundwork laid out on the debut. Doldinger is the only remaining member from the previous line-up and that clearly shows how much this whole band is his brain child only. He would again completely change the line-up on the next release, mostly without much effect on the sound.

There are subtle differences with the debut though. With only Doldinger on saxes (instead of the two saxes on the debut), the keyboards are given a bit more room. New key-man John Mealing clearly prefers the electric piano and clavinet, and not organs as Jimmy Jackson did on the debut. It creates only a slight difference in sound.

Some of the songwriting is a bit problematic. A lot of time goes to the kind of jamming that suits the atmosphere of a live-club but that can be a bit dull to just listen to. Still, with Mandragora, Fairy Tale, Second Passport and Registration O is still has some great tunes.

Passport confirm as a provider of easy-going jazz-influenced tunes that could appeal to fans of Caravan and Gong. It's almost as good as the debut but a bit more predictable. Anyway, if you want pleasant energetic jazz-rock, you can't really go wrong with the Passport's first two albums or the later Cross-Collatoral. 3.5/5

Review by Warthur
3 stars Whilst the debut Passport album was on what was then the cutting edge of fusion, the second release the band stepped back a bit into more comfortable jazz territory. This isn't to say this is a pure jazz album - in particular, opener Mandragora incorporates a powerful funk bassline - but it does err towards the jazz side of the jazz-rock spectrum. Standout performer here is Klaus Doldinger himself, whose saxophone synthesiser contributions dominate the band's sound. It's a shame the band chose to play it safe here rather than attempting to continue the more daring approach of their debut, but this is still a pleasant listen which will offer fans of Weather Report or Return to Forever much that is of interest.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Klaus Doldinger's band would officially be named Passport after the first great album, but the line-up for the second upcoming release would totally change.Doldinger recruited Americans John Mealing and Bryan Spring on keyboards/piano and drums respectively, while the bass and guitars were responsibilities of Wolfgang Schmid.Another product for Atlantic, ''Second passport'' would see the light in 1972.

All titles are composed by Doldinger and this is another almost perfect example of dynamic, rich and powerful Jazz/Fusion with a sound somerwhat split between the British scene and the Kraut aesthetics.From the great GENTLE GIANT-like opening tunes of ''Mandragora'' to the loose jamming of ''Nexus'' and the restless sax breathing of Doldinger, the album makes it clear already from its starting point that this is an excellent work of deep inspiration.''Fairy Tale'' offers back this unique Space/Jazz approach of Passport, already listened on their debut, with the beautiful combination of electric piano, hypnotic rhythms and melodic saxes.The later tracks are also magnificent, having a sound balanced between Brass-like Rock, Canterbury Fusion and Kraut-Jazz.Ultra deep and powerful bass lines, great organ parts, jazzy guitar solos, light electric pianos and of course Doldinger's sax interventions, the tracks scan the path from tightly structured passages to fully improvised solos and interplays in a very succesful way, that sounds no less than highly entertaining and extremely professional.

Another highlight in Doldinger's long discography.''Second Passport'' is one of these albums that can make even someone who dislikes Jazz listen to it several times.Highly recommended, definitely an album of All-Star level regarding the Jazz/Fusion stylings.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I came late to Passport, not ever having heard of them until about 1993. After Blue Tattoo, I first bought Passport Control, then Hand Made, Looking Thru, and Cross- Collateral in the span of just a few months, and finished with Infinity Machine within a year after those. For quite a few years, ... (read more)

Report this review (#34649) | Posted by | Monday, May 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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