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Passport Ataraxia (Sky Blue)  album cover
3.26 | 41 ratings | 4 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ataraxia, Pt. 1 (2:55)
2. Ataraxia, Pt. 2 (5:23)
3. Sky Blue (4:38)
4. Mandrake (4:27)
5. Reng Ding Dang Dong (3:01)
6. Loco-Motive (4:17)
7. The Secret (5:05)
8. Louisianna (4:32)
9. Algeria (5:12)

Total Time: 39:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Doldinger / saxophones, flute, keyboards, Mellotron
- Willy Ketzer / drums
- Elmer Louis / percussion
- Roy Louis / guitar
- Guillermo G. Marchena / vocals, percussion
- Dieter Petereit / electric bass
- Hendrik Schaper / keyboards

Releases information

LP Atlantic ATL 50456 (Ataraxia) / LP Atlantic KSD 19177 (Sky Blue) / CD WEA 2295-42148 (1988)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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PASSPORT Ataraxia (Sky Blue) ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PASSPORT Ataraxia (Sky Blue) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars With "Sky Blue", Klaus Doldinger tips his hat and his planetary axis to German electronic music, while making it his own as only he can do. The two-part "Ataraxia" alone is worth the cost of the disk, beginning with gently hypnotic synths and building to a crescendo of vivacious sax-led testimonies that never completely drown out the keyboard rhythms. This is music that can appeal to jazz, progressive, funk, world, and even remotely adventurous new age fans.

Keyboards do tend to dominate when the sax is not to the fore, and on the other title cut, "Sky Blue", the synthesizer doodling reaches its apex without wearing thin. Roy Louis' guitar and Dieter Petereit's bass provide the backing that makes Passport one of the more listenable groups of their ilk. This is jazz for sure, but in a more loosely structured rather than free form sense. Listen to "Mandrake" for an even better example, with guitar leads not unlike some of Andy Latimer's workouts on "Rain Dances", but with a greater respect for the overall piece. It's not so much dance music, but music that dances. Another highlight is the chugging "Loco-motive", in which Doldinger's flute simulates the whistle of the train when actual audio samples are not being used, and his flutes elsewhere are happily integrated with the sax. Quintessential travelling music, it skips and careens along the rails with its own frothy character.

A refuge of level headed coolness as it was in 1978, "Ataraxia" remains as relevant today as then, and a passport to further enjoyment of this classy act.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars After the pop-jazz that preceded, Doldinger reshuffled the line-up of his backing band again in an attempt to find a new vibe for his music. I'm afraid the vibe is still very much pop-jazz that is further brought down with new age music sounds, especially due to the keyboards.

The result is somewhere between Passport's own pop-jazz, Alan Parsons Project and Oldfield 80s new-age. That's a combination of elements that stands very far from the creative excitement I want to hear in music, though I can understand other people might still find some quality through what rate as impermeable layers of turn-offs for me.

The number of disappointments are countless on this album. How else can I describe the sticky saxophone pop of Mandrake, Locomotive and Alegria, or the faceless new-age relaxation tape muzak of Ataracia and The Secret. A really bad album for me.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Underrated late '70s Passport album, this album found the group with a complete overhaul of their lineup. Gone are Curt Cross, Kristian Schultze and Wolfgang Schmid, with a whole new lineup. Passport has always been Klaus Doldinger's vehicle to begin with, as the first album, Doldinger from 1971 featured a lineup that's completely different from the lineup that gave up Looking Thru up to Iguacu (except for Doldinger, naturally), so this isn't the first time Passport had a complete overhaul of their lineup. Gone is much of the Brazilian style of Iguacu, except for that last cut, "Alegria", instead you get some of that mid '70s Passport style, with a spacy electronic backdrop, and two cuts, "Sky Blue" and "Loco-Motive" bearing more than a passing resemblance to instrumental Alan Parsons Project. I happened to like the direction Passport was heading here. I am particularly fond of the electronic direction they were heading here. "Mandrake", on the other hand is more typical Passport, with that unmistakable sax playing from Klaus Doldinger. This song gets me thinking of a TV game show theme song. I have always been under the impression Doldinger was of two minds, he wanted mainstream acceptance, at the same time he had creative ambitions. Had he not had those ambitions, he could have scarily ended up as the Kenny G of the 1970s. There's at times Passport did border on smooth jazz, and that is most noticeable on "Louisiana". Then there's "Reng Ding Dang Dong". This one just utterly blew me away. Probably the most original piece of music I have ever heard from Passport (a band never known for originality). This is an electronic piece, done really funky of synthesizers. I really love this piece, I can't believe this is really Passport. While Passport in general might not be of interest to lovers of progressive electronic, "Reng Ding Dang Dong" sure does, as it's firmly in that camp! This album is not perfect, "Alegria" is Brazilian-influenced jazz I can do without (seems everyone agrees), and is probably the reason I've been hesitant to get Iguacu. Call me crazy, I found Ataraxia (Sky Blue) more enjoyable than Infinity Machine. Of course Cross Collateral is by far the best Passport album, as far as I'm concerned, but I was really surprised with this album, given if you go by this website, Infinity Machine is their last worthwhile album. For me, it's Ataraxia. Not everything is great here, but I enjoyed it much more than I imagined.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The last good album before drastic change in direction. Passport is Klaus Doldinger's vehicle. An extremely productive composer, performer, the band allows for some stretching out alongside his other works for German TV, where he provided countless soundtracks for noted TV-series, as well as ... (read more)

Report this review (#943661) | Posted by BORA | Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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