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Passport - Hand Made CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!

This band is Doldinger's baby and this was the first line-up to record an album and tour. It is also one of the better album of that first era (very visible because all sleeve artwork are by the same artist) and of course most progheads will be interested in this era instead of the second one (stating with 77's Iguacu) that will be more Latino-fusion - a bit like later Weather Report or Spiro Gyra.

Abracadabra and the title track are the two highlight of this album but all tracks are strong. We hover around a very KB jazz-rock with Doldinger and Roberts on KB (Doldinger also doubles up on Sax) and the guitar is somewhat not present enough as Schmid doubles up on bass and guitar! The main influences I can think of is a bit of Canterbury style as the KB sometimes remind me of Caravan's David Sinclair's organs but also some Bundles-era Soft Machine.

Outside these consideration , Hand Made is a real excellent album well worth investigating !

Report this review (#34650)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Klaus Doldinger is a master. I consider it more Fusion than prog but the lines blur alot. Every cut is great this album is a must have. The only thing is that I Like the live version of Abracadabra from the Doldinger Jubilee 75 album better. (Which is suprisingly not on the list)


Report this review (#34651)
Posted Sunday, May 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars.This is PASSPORT's third album and the first one that Doldinger would use mellotron on.There are three songs on here that are pretty incredible ("Abracadabra", "Yellow Dream" & "The Quiet Man") but the rest aren't quite good enough for me to offer up 4 stars.

"Abracadabra" opens with some excellent drumming before a sax led, full sound takes over. The drumming and sax work are fantastic. Bass and keys come in around 3 minutes as they really start to cook. Here comes the sax again before 6 1/2 minutes. "The Connexion" opens with some atmosphere as a lone sax can be heard. Other sounds come in as it builds. Not a lot going on really until after 4 minutes when we get a full sounding melody.

"Yellow Dream" features a spacey intro of mellotron and other sparse sounds. Some very smooth sax arrives 1 1/2 minutes in. I like this one a lot, it's quite dreamy. An outbreak of guitar occurs but it's brief as the sax and mellotron return. This contrast continues. Beautiful track. "Proclamation" is kind of funky, it's not bad, but i'm not a big fan of this one. "Hand Made" is dominated early by drums as sax comes in. Light drums and keys are joined by sax. This one gets kind of funky as well. It's ok. "The Puzzle" is without a doubt funked up Jazz. Haha. Some nice guitar after 3 minutes. "The Quiet Man" is such a peaceful sounding song. The sax is as smooth as glass and light drums, keys and bass are all so subtle. Keys take the lead from the sax until before 4 minutes when sax takes over that role once again.

This record isn't nearly as good as their earlier "Passport-Doldinger" album, but it's still an enjoyable listen.

Report this review (#176374)
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars For the third Passport album, Doldinger changed the entire line-up again, only to arrive at an album with exactly the same type of jazz-rock songs as on any of the previous albums. A small change in keyboard arrangements can be noted. After all it's 1973, and the organs, piano and clavinet of old are further broadened with some synths and mellotron, mainly played by Doldinger as well.

The same formula is applied to pretty much every song: at the heart sits a steadily swinging bass-line and a an agreeable mid-paced rock or funk beat, the songs start with a couple of memorable sax leads followed by solos for piano and/or sax and ending with the main melodies again. Does this ring any bells? Yes it does, it's exactly the same formula that Ozric Tentacles would apply 20 years later. On the ensuing Passport releases, the extended use of synths makes the correspondence even bigger.

Hand Made is a fine but safe album where Doldinger abstains from trying much new things. It has some nice melodies but also some rather flat ones, it has a couple of cool jams but also dull ones. Still a good album overall, on par with the first two.

Report this review (#308400)
Posted Friday, November 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Although not much has changed compositionally between this album and the previous two Passport releases, I like it a bit better than Second Passport - the sound is a bit more energetic and compelling, and there's a bit more rock-inspired aggression to it. Not too much, mind - we're still dealing with comparatively safe middle-of-the-road fusion that isn't too experimental - but it's a 3 and a half star effort rather than a three star one. Klaus Doldinger's keyboard work occasionally shows a mild Camel or Canterbury influence here, but are otherwise less prominent than on the previous two albums, which I think is a mistake - I'm always more interested in Passport when they combine spacey keyboard and synthesiser drifting with fusion.
Report this review (#510389)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In a creative orgasm Passport's third actual album became reality in 1973.This time there is no John Mealing or Bryan Spring around, instead Doldinger invited German veteran drummer Curt Cress, while a young keyboardist named Frank Roberts, who had just released a single on Atlantic, would join the rest of the team on electric piano and organ.No surprise, he would later become a member of Isotope.This work would again be released on Atlantic, entitled ''Hand made''.

To my ears ''Hand made'' sounds closer to traditional Jazz-Rock that the first two Passport offerings, that means the band delivers a more loose and even more energetic style, which is a nice thing, but fails a bit in terms of consistency, like during the useless drum/bass monologue on ''The connexion''.Moreover Doldinger would sacrifice some of the previous incredible spaciness in the name of funkier and upbeat tunes.Still there are plenty of good moments to find in the album.Wolfgang Schmid's throbbing bass lines have finally become a trademark of the group, the same occurs for Doldinger's long and melodic sax solos.Doldinger along with Roberts are also responsible for Passport's impressive keyboard-driven depth on this release, which includes COLOSSEUM-like organ moves, soaring synthesizers, nervous electric piano and additionally some clavinet on ''Proclamation'' (no connection with Gentle Giant's self-titled track from ''The power and the glory'', even if there is where the clavinet appears).As with every Passport album, there is a good bunch of synth fanfares and organ runs with Doldinger keeping a great balance between sax-driven soundscapes and other instrumental parts, bassed on groovy moves, jazzy free-stylings and a tight prog content.

''Hand made'' appears to be slightly less experimental and daring compared to Passport's strong early steps.But this does not mean it is not a good album.It still is a good Fusion creation by Doldinger & co. with nice organ/synth work, impressive electric piano and a dominant sax flavor.Recommended.

Report this review (#1156841)
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | Review Permalink

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