Disques Somethin' Else – 849 497 BY, France, 1969
I’ve always enjoyed this album. Bought it when I was still a student, in the earlyseventies, at the “Pele Mele”, now one of the most famous second-hand books and records (and DVD, computer games etc) shops in Brussels. I’m talking about the "old" Pele Mele , when it was still run by Monsieur Henri and his elderly mother. Pele Mele is still there: different location(s), - they moved a few times but always in the same vicinity - different management but always a popular cratedigging place although their selection of records (CD especially) has dwindled and the prices have expended (but they’re still very reasonable). So many of my records came from that place!
It was pretty cheap in those days. I could buy three or four second-hand albums at Pele Mele for the price of a new one elsewhere. For many years I never bought a new album. I am of the opinion that good music is like wine, it gets better with age.
For some forty years this album fooled me into believing that Joe Harriott was playing o it because that’s what on the sleeve notes on the back of this French LP.
“ Avec la participation de : Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler / Alto Saxophone – Joe Harriott / Flute – Chris Taylor / Piano – Pat Smythe / Double Bass – Coleridge Goode / Drums – Alan Ganley / Violin, Harpsichord – John Mayer / Sitar – Diwan Motihar / Tabla – Keshav Sathe / Tambura – Chandrahas Paigankar”
Well, as I recently discovered, it is almost completely wrong: exit Joe Harriott, Kenny Wheeler and Alan Ganley. Enter Tony Coe, Ian Hamer and John Marshall.
The actual line-up:
Trumpet / Flugelhorn – Ian Hamer
Tenor Saxophone/ Clarinet – Tony Coe
Flute – Chris Taylor
Piano – Pat Smythe
Bass – Coleridge Goode
Drums – John Marshall
Violin – John Mayer
Sitar – Diwan Motihar
Tabla – Keshav Sathe,
Tambora – Viram Jasani
Because of the absence of Joe Harriott, this album is not as highly regarded as the previous Indo-Jazz Fusion albums. I do not agree. Tony Coe on reeds, Ian Hamer – already a veteran, he’d been playing since the 50s - on trumpet and flugelhorn and John Marshall (the youngest in the band) on drums are top-notch players who bring their own individuality into the band. Bur the music remains definitely John Mayer’s own. “Inclassable” as I’d put it in French, Delightful music from a bygone era when the expression “World Music” hadn’t been invented yet.
N.B This is the same album as “Etudes” released in the UK on Sonet with the right credits in the sleeve notes.
1 Intro And Rondo