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GOLDEN AVATAR

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Golden Avatar biography
GOLDEN AVATAR is a Jazz Rock/ Fusion band from the United States with a very large ensemble of artists featuring on their debut album "A Change of Heart" 1976. The artists featured include founder of the band and visionary Michael Cassidy on lead vocals, guitar, Carl Bezzemer & David Stout on piano, Barry Goldsman on organ, synthesizer, Carl Lange & Steve Pinkston on bass, and Drew Lawrence on drums & percussion. Other artists complete the large musicianship gathering including Bob Conti on congas, John Goux on electric guitar, Jerry Peterson on Soprano saxophone, Rod Rozzelle on vibes, Marilyn Berger on harp, Garry Abbott, Hush Preston, David Stout & Jerry Petterson on flutes, David Stout & Bill Rechenbach on trombone, Harry Kim, David Grover & Kurt Sletten on trumpets, Gina Kronstadt, Steven Lance, Pam Thompkins, Lisa Adams, Joan Murakiani, Ulysses Roseman Jr., Tom Tally, Donna Paul & Kihae Kim on strings, and finally Madonna Slavin, Kevin Yee, Barry Goldsman, Micelle Pearlman & Alvin Marsden on background vocals.

The Hindu visionary Michael Cassidy writes all the lyrics and the music that ranges from diverse style such as big band jazz, symphonic, folk, funk and disco. The presence of orchestrated instruments such as brass and strings is a key feature. The lyrics have Spiritual weight and are sung with solid harmonies.

"Pastimes" followed in 1978 with the same extensive lineup. The album features a brand of symphonic rock on 'Visions', and an Indian-ballad 'There is a Light', with oboe, sitar and tabla. There is even Gospel flavours on 'Is it Worth the Price you Pay?' and flute dominated folk on 'Lover of the Lord'.

Cassidy's lyrics are a sardonic exploration of modernity and social decline, with a Gospel edge. GOLDEN AVATAR may remind one of BREAD, mainly due to Cassidy's soundalike voice David Gates, and also the music is reminiscent of the sounds of THE MOODY BLUES or CAT STEVENS.

---AtomicCrimsonRush (Scott Tuffnell)---

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A CHANGE OF HEART LP (VINYL) UK SUDARSHAN 1976A CHANGE OF HEART LP (VINYL) UK SUDARSHAN 1976
Sudarshan disc
Vinyl$24.50
$5.00 (used)
Golden Avatar A Change of Heart Original Sudarshan Disc Records release SD 1 1970's Jazz/Fusion/Rock Vinyl (1976)Golden Avatar A Change of Heart Original Sudarshan Disc Records release SD 1 1970's Jazz/Fusion/Rock Vinyl (1976)
Original recording
Sudarshan Disc
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$1.39 (used)
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Sudarashan
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GOLDEN AVATAR discography


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

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

3.08 | 6 ratings
A Change Of Heart
1976
3.00 | 1 ratings
Pastimes
1978

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

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GOLDEN AVATAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pastimes by GOLDEN AVATAR album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Pastimes
Golden Avatar Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Brendan

— First review of this album —
3 stars This album is pretty much an impossible find, so I guess I'm lucky. That's a shame 'cause it's not bad. Not as good as 'A change of heart'; the songs are shorter but it's more or less the same as the first album.

It begins well with the spiritual 'Vision', which is symphonic rock. It's followed by a beautiful Indian-ballad 'there is a light' with nice oboe, sitar and tabla. 'Payday' is a bit of a dud but 'Progress' is a nice funk song which is really catchy. Unfortunately some of the songs that follow are a bit weak, like the failed attempt at a gospel ballad 'Is it worth the the price you pay?' but they gather it up at the end with the gorgeous folk song 'Lover of the Lord', which has a nice flute/string arrangement and the anthemic 'Changing the face of the Earth'.

Although the music is generally not as strong as the first album, the lyrics are even better, they are biting (and sometimes cynical) towards modern society, so that helps to enjoy the album more, though if you don't enjoy preaching you probably would want to pass on this. The singeer sounds a bit like "David Gates" of bread and the music is kind of similar to Bread / Cat Stevens and maybe the Moody Blues, but not classic progressive rock, like Yes or ELP. Still, it's a nice lost classic from the 70's.

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 A Change Of Heart by GOLDEN AVATAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 6 ratings

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A Change Of Heart
Golden Avatar Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Frasse

2 stars I fail to see what's Prog on this release. It got some jazzier moments but otherwise sounds more like some Hindu version of Gospel. It's not entirely that either, so I guess it's something unique and, thus, Prog?

A few good songs but no one that lives up to it's full potential, due to a weak production. I don't know about the voice of Michael Cassidy, the man behind this band. I can't say it's bad, but maybe just not my cup of tea.

A nice sleeve cover though, with Arthur Rackham-esque art depicting the story of the title track; a caterpillar surrounded by fairies on the front. And on the back the caterpillar has transformed to a fairy himself.

Best songs would be "Bhagavad-Gita" and Time For Going Home".

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 A Change Of Heart by GOLDEN AVATAR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 6 ratings

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A Change Of Heart
Golden Avatar Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Brendan

4 stars Golden Avatar is basiaclly a band built around the vision of Hindu Michael Cassidy. Cassidy writes all the music and lyrics. The band has feet in several genre's, and they are generally quite a versatile band. You probably could brand them symphonic folk/prog/pop but they seem just at home tackiling funk/disco. Perhaps they aren't really progressive but are too original to place anywhere else.

Their strengths lie particularly in the arrangements. If you look at all the instruments listed in the credits section, at one point or another during the album you will really notice the presence of these instruments. They keep rotating the arrangements, giving each instrument a thourough work-out. Somtimes when a band features many instruments on an album, there is usually a focus on the main ones (organ, guitar, synths) and the less common instruments are more or less a brief novelty that don't really add to the music. Not so here. Their aim musically is to create ethereal music, presumably to complement the spiritually heavy lyrics. The melodies are strong, the vocal harmonies rich, and the music is great!

They have another album (pastimes), that is good too, but not as good as this one.

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