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WOLF

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Wolf biography
When CURVED AIR fell apart in 1972-1973 Darryl Way formed a new band called WOLF or DARRYL WAY'S WOLF who carried on much in the same style as CURVED AIR. The band compromised of Darryl Way (naturally) on violin and keyboards, Ian Mosley on drums (later to be in TRACE, STEVE HACKETT's band and of course MARILLION), John Etheridge on guitar (later to be a member of SOFT MACHINE) and Dek Messacar on bass (later to be a member of CARAVAN).

They recorded three albums ("Canis Lupus" (1973), "Saturation Point" (1973) and "Night Music" (1974) of mainly instrumental tracks heavily influenced by classical music. Comparisons to CURVED AIR are inevitable as well as CARAVAN and ELP.

The band never really had any commercial break through despite making some decent recordings and being an excellent live act. Recommended.!

: : : Dave Preston, ENGLAND : : :

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WOLF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.83 | 36 ratings
Saturation Point
1973
3.83 | 39 ratings
Canis Lupus
1973
3.40 | 28 ratings
Night Music
1974

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WOLF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Canis Lupus by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 39 ratings

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Canis Lupus
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Actually the first album from Darryl Way's Wolf(sorry Progarchives; but we all make mistakes!) this 1973 effort found the former Curved Air violinist teaming up with talented Canadian bassist Dek Messecar, future Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge and drummer Ian Mosley(who would, of course, go on join Marillion over a decade later). With Way's enigmatic violin riffs leading the way, 'Canis Lupus' is indeed a fine album, taking its stylistic lead from Curved Air but adding a tougher, more muscular sheen whilst also embracing elements of ethereal folk, playful jazziness and some startling instrumental interplay from the foursome. Highlights are many; the gorgeous guitar riff that pins together opening gambit 'The Void' proves a real treat, the fearsome 'Isolation Waltz' adds a powerful rock veneer to proceedings whilst the final, haunting mini-epic 'McDonald's Lament' showcases Way at his very best. For those who find Curved Air a little wimpy, Darryl Way's Wolf should prove a perfect antidote. An excellent debut release. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Night Music by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.40 | 28 ratings

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Night Music
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Prog_Veteran

3 stars (***1/2 really) All 3 WOLF albums are GREAT and examples of how self expression can be fantastic instead of cloning famous models. Probably the 3rd "Night Music" is the one that grabs me more because of Hodkinson excellent vocals addition. It completed the musical WOLF scope providing well balanced instruments with vocal harmonies. Darryl Way violin and keyboards are cool as the whole band famous performers (read P.A. for biography of them all). This is a fine example of how prog genre can provide unlimited creativity (hey, it's not jazz-rock style, please, WOLF is predominantly prog style with few ala guitar and violin Mahavishinu solos). In a prog context "Saturation Point" 1973 2nd WOLF may be the most consistent and pleasing album in spite of its annoying cover.

My 1991 Japanese CD edition has the lyrics (in english) and information but I don't read Japanese (for sure!!), a pity as I wanted to know what's written there? After this WOLF last album Ian Mosley replaced not less than Pierre Van Der Linden on drums on the Dutch band TRACE "Birds" (1975,**** highly recommended for keyboards lovers all 3 TRACE albums - to me, the FOCUS drummer demonstrates his most sensational playing in 1st TRACE "s/t" album maybe more than in any Focus albums). Darryl Way played in one track of TRACE "Birds" too. Please take Ian Mosley as the drummer who replaced Pierre Van der Linden, more than the "Fugazi" Marillion drummer. Also after Wolf's end, guitarrist Jonh Etheridge replaced in SOFT MACHINE not less than Alan Holdsworth in the album "Softs" (1975 ****).

I also can say that Darryl Way is not missed in Curved Air "Air Cut" (1973, ****), as later UK Eddie Jobson replaced him wonderfully - listen to 'Metamorphosis' his and Sonja Kristina composition track. Anyway I love Way return to Curved Air in the 1974 "live" (****) album. But Way contribution to C A "Midnight Wire" (1975, **1/2) is less in prog developments. So maybe It would be better if Curved Air remained with Eddie Jobson in the vein of "Air Cut" (at the time it failed in sales, but musically to me is one of the best C.A. albuns), and Wolf continued their career with Way. But there were market rules at record companies, and sales that kept them alive.

 Night Music by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.40 | 28 ratings

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Night Music
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Joćo Paulo

4 stars A great album for this band. The cd is reissue by Esoteric Recordings what much pleased me. The great violin sound with a great bass player, made Night Music an album what we should not have lost. Some parts are calm, but others have an impressive rhythm, which it does so that it is not annoyed. Nothing is exaggerated, but completely very balanced. In spite of is the most commercial of the three what the band did, it does not stop being a great album what I was already not hearing there are many years because the tape it broke in the auto-car. Hear and they do not go away to repent, specially the fans of the Curved Air
 Saturation Point by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 36 ratings

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Saturation Point
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars What a stellar line-up of excellent musicians, led by the crafty virtuosity of Darryl Way of Curved Air legend, with future Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge , future Caravan and The Strawbs bassist Dek Messecar and future Trace and Marillion drumster Ian Mosley. So what do we get? Some blazing string driven things with very few keyboards, the six string electric in battle with (at time against) the four string chin job! "The Ache" is a fiery instrumental opener that showcases Etheridge's rather tectonic playing as well as Way's capacity to parallel the emotional zeal with seeming ease. "Two-Sisters" leaves the station as a pleasantly sung Brit Rock piece, until the two soloists (the two brothers?) conspire to shred the arrangement to pieces, the little terrorists! Way in particular has a sizzling outro. "Slow Rag" is Etheridge's turn to show off his skills, weaving a leisurely guitar tapestry, in unison with Way's ultra-romantic glide, an ornate acoustic foray that has a definite Mediterranean feel, almost mandolin-ish , building up into a paroxysm of emotion and then gently ebbing, the violin's elegance leading the er. way. Mosley thrashes nicely on this fine piece. "Market Overture" supplies some electric piano musings, with supersonic jazzy electric guitar picking and a kindergarten violin sortie that builds inexorably, percussive adornments and booming bass taking this to an impromptu end. "Game of X" is at first straight ahead rock and roll, a two- fisted power boogie with scorching violin and some oddball hard scat singing but the shifting moods take this into a different expanse of improvisational violin screeching at the raucous guitar ramblings. Almost punkish at times, this definitely shows that the Wolf has big fangs. It becomes quite obvious that overproduced and lush symphonics are not what this rock predator is about. "Saturation Point" is a slow moving exploration that gives again both stringers the opportunity to forage above the bed of electric keyboards and seek out new sounds to play with, seemingly effortlessly. The classical tendencies here a quite remote as jazz or rock seem to be the prey of the day. Etheridge in particular has an electric guitar style that is enormously impressive, fluid yet raw, very animated as opposed to run of the mill. The bass rolls along nicely and keeps things nice and tidy. The fantastic finale is "Toy Symphony" (the definite highpoint here), which does revert to some intense violin classicisms but are quickly kidnapped by some weighty fuzz bass and cliff-hanger drumming, again flinging the arrangement into rockier geographies. Darryl Way displays his complete mastery over this tremendous instrument by choosing to eschew gratuitous note splashing and wringing out feeling and emotion from his trusted weapon. The final few minutes are a frenzy of exhilarating interplay that will leave you breathless. Just like being chased by a hungry wolf. Definitely worthy of your prog zoo, I mean.. collection. 4 canines.
 Canis Lupus by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 39 ratings

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Canis Lupus
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by raleks

5 stars Very good album, even with compare with of Genesis, JT, Yes and so on. Beatiful themes, excellent playing (especially Way's violin (as usual :) ) and guitar work), nice vocal, the rest of album's instrumentals also are good (though I prefer songs). Despite previous review I think there is no rip-offs from anywhere and sound is unique and catchy. Must have in any 70th prog collection. I have it got and listen to it periodically and every time with pleasure. I think most of men who tired of monsters of prog and discovering not so known 70th prog bands give 5 stars to this album, as I gave :)
 Night Music by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.40 | 28 ratings

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Night Music
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wolf was the band which Curved Air's violin/occasional keyboard player Darryl Way formed during '73/'74, whilst Eddie Jobson filled his shoes in that band. Assembling a selection of highly skilled musicians ; Ian Mosley (drums, and to this day, drumming for MARILLION), Dek Messecar (bass/vocals* - *1st two albums only) who later joined CARAVAN for the 'Better by Far' and 'The Album' releases, and John Etheridge (guitar), who later joined SOFT MACHINE for their albums 'Softs' and 'Alive and Well in Paris'. Employing a full-time vocalist, Colin Hodkinson, for this release (and he has a very good voice), enabled Dek more freedom for his, often stunning Bass playing, and this shows on the fantastic opening track, 'The Envoy'. Etheridge's guitaring is firmly in the jazz mould, and can remind one of an embryonic Holdsworth in style. This album, 'Night Music', is quite a gem, fairly consistent throughout, and fans of the abovementioned bands should most certainly enjoy all of Wolf's output. I wouldn't consider their music 'fusion', but it has hints of Canterbury and is a great example of U.K. progressive jazz-rock.
 Night Music by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.40 | 28 ratings

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Night Music
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by braindamage

4 stars The third work of release in 1974 "Night Music". The enhancement of the Vorcal part was aimed at on John Hodkinson of IF. It is a quite experimental content though the pop taste is felt like the main feature as for the tune that the way initiated. It is a masterpiece of the progressive rock that has been forgotten why. To our regret, it became the final work. Personally, I like lowered performance as for the vertical shake of the stick of Ian Mosley.
 Saturation Point by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 36 ratings

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Saturation Point
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by braindamage

4 stars The second work released in 1974 "Saturation Point". The style changed from the former work a little. Hard lock instrumental became an album at the center. It is a performance sharpened though it is not heavy. "Toy Symphony" is a symphonic number of bolero styles to which the violin is greatly taken an active part. It is the listening one the maximum in the album. The battle of John Etheridge and Darryl Way is thrilling. And, the drum of Ian Mosley is wonderful in the performance with the throb feeling.
 Saturation Point by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 36 ratings

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Saturation Point
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars WOW! When a progressive rock band has violin and guitars in his music, usually they are not played at the same time. In fact, they are simultaneously played here, and this really contributes to give Wolf a very personal trademark. This not very well known prog band gives us here a wonderful album, full of impressive violin, electric + acoustic guitars and dynamic & punchy bass! No one else than Ian Mosley himself(Marillion)plays the drums here: they are very well played and quite complex. Everything is very well synchronized, like Gentle Giant. It sounds a bit like Curved air, Caravan, Happy the man, Gentle Giant and Frank Zappa, but this album has really its own sound, and this makes the band very interesting. The record is mainly instrumental, and the keyboards are surprisingly rare, simple and discreet: they mainly consist in electric piano. This record is heavier and more symphonic and straightforward than "Canis Lupus": there are some very seriously loaded parts, very progressive, and the violin is more omnipresent.
 Canis Lupus by WOLF album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.83 | 39 ratings

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Canis Lupus
Wolf Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars WOW! This not very well known progressive rock band gives us here a wonderful album, full of impressive violin, electric & acoustic guitars and VERY dynamic & punchy bass! The drums are very well played and rather complex. Everything is very well synchronized, like Gentle Giant. It sounds a bit like Curved air, Caravan, Kayak, the King Crimson of the 70's, Camel and Gentle Giant; but this album has really its own sound, and this makes the band very interesting. There is a good interrelation between the electric violin and the guitars. The lead vocals are very good, and surprisingly the keyboards are not extremely abundant, mainly consisting in discreet electric & acoustic piano, and in a couples of spacy moog solos. "MacDonald's Lament" is absolutely a gem with its mellow crescendo featuring an unforgettable violin solo!
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