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MORPHEUS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany


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Morpheus biography
The band started out in 1971 as OPOSSUM, a six-member jazz-rock outfit. With time, dissention set in as two of the members wanted to tie the band down to free jazz while the other four wanted to rock. So in 1975, the foursome walked out, regrouped as MORPHEUS* and released a self-produced album titled "Rabenteuer" - a name which combines the German words for "raven" and "adventure", as in "Raventure". Unfortunately, the music had been recorded too slowly, resulting in the whole album being a semitone too low. Despite this, the LP (of which a mere 500 copies had been printed) became a collectors' item. Luckily for us, Garden of Delights has re-released it in CD format, using the original master tapes and making it a point to correct the sound problem. Incredible as it may seem, some 22 years later the whole band has reunited around their guitarist and released a brand new CD titled "For a Second". The band consists of guitarist Gerold Adler, alto sax player Heinrich Holtgreve, bassist Peter Blömeke and drummer Alvaro Tarquino.

"Rabenteuer" is an all-instrumental jazz-rock album with lots of saxophone and bits of flute, similar in style to early KRAAN with perhaps a nod or two to MISSUS BEASTLY. Being partly improvised, the music has an almost 'live' feel to it; it is warm and features great guitar riffing as well as strong melodies. The CD version comprises a bonus track, a terrific 20-minute jam session salvaged from the master tapes. The band's more recent album "For a Second", released in 2002, may sound a bit laid-back in comparison but is still redolent of the old MORPHEUS charm, with plenty of trippy sax and catchy hooks.

Recommended to fans of early KRAAN and GONG as well as to jazz-rock fans who enjoy improvisation.

* Note: not to be confused with a string of metal bands also named MORPHEUS.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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MORPHEUS discography


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MORPHEUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 19 ratings
Rabenteuer
1976
2.60 | 5 ratings
For A Second
2002

MORPHEUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MORPHEUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rabenteuer by MORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.66 | 19 ratings

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Rabenteuer
Morpheus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I seem to be in the minority with my great appreciation of this Jazz/ Rock album from Germany's own MORPHEUS. Mind you it took several spins and a closer listen from yours truly to finally unlock it's treasures. Released in 1976 this all-instrumental album is a jammy affair with sax and guitar usually leading the way but man that bass player kills on here. He's so upfront and you know I thought of KRAAN fairly early on as I listened to this and he certainly brought to mind the great KRAAN bass player Hellmut Hattler. Interesting as well that the flute which there isn't a lot of isn't played by the sax player but by the bassist.

"Rabenteuer" apparently in German combines the words "raven" and "adventure" and we see the raven on the album cover with other things that I'm sure have something to do with the song titles. Man this sounds pretty amazing to start the way they seem to tease us with that oh so moving melody that comes and goes. It settles in around a minute with the sax playing over top. The guitar takes the lead a minute later followed by a calm before 4 minutes as the bass and picked guitar take over with drums as it builds. So good! The sax is back quickly though and KRAAN comes to mind here. Some nice bass as well again reminding me of KRAAN. The sax and guitar take turns the rest of the way.

"Brandung" has simply a breath-taking intro with that bass, guitar and drums before it kicks in to a faster pace with sax joining in. Back to that more atmospheric sound from the intro but with melancholic sax this time. Themes are repeated and check out the bass solo late as it speeds up. Great track! "Breitmaulfrosch" allows each member to strut their stuff. It's catchy with some tempo and mood shifts and again the bass is prominent, especially after 3 minutes. Love the calm that follows with guitar leading the way as the sax returns as well. "Oktober '74" is a brighter piece but it's also the shortest at around 2 1/2 minutes. Such a feel good tune with the sax leading the way but the bass jumps out at me a minute in as well.

"Tanz Der Morphine" opens with guitar as we get some high hat sounds before everyone joins in. The tempo changes often and I love the sound before 1 1/2 minutes. I'm not big on the short outbursts but they only happen a couple of times. "Abflug" is the over 15 minute closer. This is where they jam and I'm surprised at the lack of sax in this one. Some atmosphere to start as flute and guitar join in. Clashing cymbals follow before it kicks into gear before 3 1/2 minutes with deep bass lines. The guitar returns as the drums continue. Sax after 11 1/2 minutes and it calms down before 14 minutes to the end. My edition has a 20 minute bonus track called simply "Morpheus Jam" which it certainly is but it's more dynamic than the last track and a nice edition to the recording.

For me this is an outstanding release and one I'm thankful to own. KRAAN fans should check it out.

 Rabenteuer by MORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.66 | 19 ratings

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Rabenteuer
Morpheus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Out of the ashes of the Kraut/Psych/Jazz-Rock act Opposum came to life this German Kraut/Jazz-Rock band from Warburg in 1975.Actually Morpheus was just a shorter version of Opossum, as bassist/flutist Peter Blömeke, guitarist Gerold Adler, sax player Heinrich Holtgreve and drummer Alfred Franke shared time with both bands.Morpheus released a private LP in 1976 entitled ''Rabenteuer''.

This an equal-sounding effort along the lines of KRAAN, ALTONA, MISSUS BEASTLY and AERA with the tracks being all-instrumental and split between guitar-driven workouts and sax-based light improvisations.A good example of jazzy Kraut-Rock, ''Rabenteuer'' has unfortunately a very dated production and a very mediocre sound quality, like if the band played all pieces live, but the musicianship is satisfying, characterized by a great number of funky beats, psych-sounding guitar parts, a groovy rhythm section and a huge amount of sax leads.All compositions have good structures with a semi-loose feeling and a positive aura, where the listener can listen to plenty of solos and nice breaks.The only major flaw seems to be the similarity between the tracks, especially on the interplays.The Garden of Delights CD reissue seems even more interesting, as it contains a 2o-min. live jamming of the band, typical of the Jazz-Rock style in Germany around the 70's with some nice guitar and sax solos to be discovered.

Not better but also not worse compared to the mass of German Jazz/Kraut-Rock bands.Lots of energy, improvisations and interesting grooves based on guitars and sax, which will leave pleased all fans of the Kraut movement.Recommended.

 Rabenteuer by MORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.66 | 19 ratings

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Rabenteuer
Morpheus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Formed in 1975, Morpheous's musical community brought to light a very cool free jazz album (their unique with this original formation) a year later. An improvised effort in the tradition of electric, trippy jazz rock items published in Germany during the same period. Consequently the jazz instrumental sections are mixed with freak out sax elements, cloudy keyboard's parts, storming guitar riffs and adventurous, imaginative long guitar solos. With a regular changing mood, this album contains its colourful progressive moments. The reissue notably includes a bonus track which is a rather shining epic piece, masterfully lead by possessed jamming sessions.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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