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Topic ClosedArena (Australia) for jazz-fusion

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Arena (Australia) for jazz-fusion
    Posted: April 22 2017 at 11:09
Hello all, I'd like to please propose a Seventies Australian group Arena for jazz-fusion, and their sole 1976 self-titled album.

The press release for the vinyl reissue describes them as follows:

"If you can imagine the gathering of a group of Australian session musicians channelling the sounds of Herbie Hancock Headhunter’s and Marc Moulin’s Placebo, recording an album out of hours at a TV studio and then releasing a privately pressed hard hitting jazz funk record then what you have is Arena, one of Australia’s most revered and scarce rare groove records."

This was the name given to a pick-up group of session players led by Ted White, a veteran of the British big band jazz scene (an associate of Ted Heath and Basil Kirchin) who had immigrated to Australia in the 1960s to work in the burgeoning television industry. This one-time studio project (recorded only to test out the facilities for a new studio) barely yet thankfully saw an LP release in 1975. Pressed in minute quantities only with limited distribution, the album was subsequently forgotten and obscured by time, only to be resurrected in the 90s by DJs and collectors seeking out lost and rare records.

The album has since become one of the country’s most celebrated and collectible jazz funk recordings and has proved to be a pivotal point in Australian jazz, marking a shift from the modern jazz and R&B sounds of the previous decades to the cross pollinating electric jazz funk of the 70s. Characterised by the heavy use of electronically treated saxophone, psychedelic guitar, Moog and spacey Fender Rhodes, the album is a classic of the genre.

The complete album is exemplified by its complicated and obsessive jazz rhythms, abstract and middle-eastern horn lines and pulsing electric funk."

a01 - Journey In Three's (6:29)
a02 - Scope (4:05)
a03 - Duke (3:50)
a04 - Scrichell Cat (6:35)
b01 - Keith's Mood (7:34)
b02 - The Long One (6:25)
b03 - Turkish Defunked (7:41)

Arena are:
- Ted White / saxophone, flute
- Peter Jones / keyboards, electric Piano
- Graham Morgan / percussion, drums
- Bob Arrowsmith / bass
- Charlie Gould / guitar


Listening to it again tonight, it even reminds in parts of the Soft Machine, Perigeo and perhaps the `Shamahl' onwards era of Gong!

These seem to be all the online clips available, but if the Jazz-Rock-Fusion group decide to investigate the group, I have the reissued LP and can probably provide it for listening.

Thanks for looking!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 16:21
The first of the YouTube links is one of those 'Various Artists' topic uploads that isn't available here in the UK, and the other two don't seem to have embedded here properly for some reason (unless it's just my browser playing up!)

Anyway, here are the two that work in the UK:

Good stuff indeed! Thumbs Up

Incidentally Michael, are you familiar with Sydney musician Charles Hall's album 'Charles the First' that is mentioned here in this 2006 post:, and is on spotify as a 2009 release:

This guy has certainly been around, and sounds to me as though he might have potential for an evaluation here:

What do you reckon? Embarrassed
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 13:03
Taking it to the team, thanks for the suggestion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2017 at 07:55
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