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Richie Duvall And Dog Truck - Richie Duvall And Dog Truck CD (album) cover


Richie Duvall And Dog Truck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 1 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the super rare American examples of 70s jazz-rock, the oddly named RICHIE DUVALL AND DOG TRUCK has remained somewhat of a mystery since this band dropped its one self-titled album onto the market in 1973 and then disappeared without a trace. Although reliable info is fuzzy at best, this band supposedly emerged out of Long Island just outside of the influence of New York City but was apparently more enamored by the sounds of European jazz-fusion and the English Canterbury Scene sounding something like the USA's other fame to Canterbury fame, The Muffins, only several years prior. The Canterbury whimsey is on clear display with the added "This is a NON-PROFIT RECORD" clearly printed on the front cover!

The lineup consisted of Richie Duvall (drums, keyboards, saxophone, bass guitar, vocals), Ken Duvall (guitar), Bob Couillard (bass guitar), Don Schabner (guitar), Skip Vest (trombone, electric piano), Jeff Camp (trumpet, organ), Bob Martines (clarinet). In addition to the Canterbury jazz flavors imported from across the pond, the other obvious suspects of influence on board include the jazz-fusion era of Frank Zappa, the quirky avant-eccentricities of Captain Beefheart however this is a mostly all instrumental affair with few vocals to be heard. The exception is the rather bizarre closer "Moons Never Spool." So rare indeed is this album that it has never seen a second coming after its initial 1973 vinyl release which now fetches several hundred US dollars for rabid collectors if it can be found at all.

What's even more surprising than the fact that England's Canterbury Scene had colonized as far west as New York state in the USA is the fact that RICHIE DUVALL AND DOG TRUCK performed this style of complex jazzy prog rock so competently. Sounding as if this could've been slipped into the Soft Machine canon between "Fourth" and "Fifth" the band displays all the eccentrics of jazz-rock liberation with tricky time signatures, beautiful horn sections which even includes some innovative use of the trumpet. While firmly rooted in English jazz-fusion, the band also includes some rock guitar dominance via Richie Duvall himself as well as a few psychedelic moments of organ freakery bringing some of Zappa's works like "Hot Rats" and "Uncle Meat" to mind.

For an early DIY style of complex proggy jazz-rock, RICHIE DUVALL AND DOG TRUCK were the real deal with an above average methodology for crafting memorable tracks that incorporated the aforementioned influences while still finding a unique way of expressing them that sounds like no other. This is in fact a long lost gem mined from the obscurity bins that more than deserves to find a proper CD reissue. I was quite surprised to come across this little gem of a long lost American piece of jazz-rock fusion with Canterbury flavors. While obscure albums are nothing out of the ordinary, excellent ones are! Perhaps dampened by the silly album cover and even more ridiculous moniker, this band exuded an excellence that surely would've attracted more attention if only they had been part of the club in jolly old England. While the album was destined to go nowhere at the time, it more than deserves a second look in the modern era.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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