Valentyne Suite [Remastered & Expanded] [2 CD]

Valentyne Suite [Remastered & Expanded] [2 CD]

by ColosseumColosseum

CD

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Overview

One of England's prime jazz-rock -- or, more accurately, rock-jazz -- outfits, most of the members of Colosseum had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both "The Kettle" and "Butty's Blues" are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well in a grander context; in the latter case much grander, as a brass ensemble enters for the last part, drowning out everything but the guitar, an indication that this recording is in dire need of remastering. "Elegy" is a fast-paced, minor-key blues that stretches guitarist James Litherland's vocal abilities. Things do get far more interesting with "The Machine Demands a Sacrifice," which offers solo opportunities to organist Dave Greenslade and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith before re-emerging in what can only be called a proto-industrial style, all heavily treated clattering percussion. The album's real joy comes with "The Valentyne Suite," which takes the band out of their bluesy comfort zone into something closer to prog rock. Bandleader Jon Hiseman is a stalwart throughout, his busy drumming and fills owing far more to jazz than the studied backbeat of rock. Greenslade proves to be a largely unsung hero, his only real solo in the suite something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing. As to criticism, bassist Tony Reeves has very little flow to his playing, which severely hampers a rhythm section that needs to be loose-limbed, and Litherland's guitar playing is formulaic, which can be fine for rock, but once outside the most straightforward parameters, he seems lost. In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable, and for much of the time, extremely enjoyable. [In 2017, Valentyne Suite was reissued in a two-CD remastered and expanded edition featuring the bonus track "Tell Me Now" plus the 1970 LP The Grass Is Greener.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/04/2017
Label: Imports
UPC: 5013929469945
catalogNumber: 2946994
Rank: 59240

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Colosseum   Primary Artist
Dave Greenslade   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Bowed Vibes,Group Member
Dick Heckstall-Smith   Soprano,Tenor (Vocal),Woodwind,Group Member
Jon Hiseman   Drums,Machines,Group Member
James Litherland   Vocals
Tony Reeves   Bass,Group Member
Clem Clempson   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Maurice Ravel   Composer
Jack Bruce   Composer
Dave Greenslade   Composer
Gerry Bron   Producer
Pete Brown   Composer
Dick Heckstall-Smith   Composer
Jon Hiseman   Composer
James Litherland   Composer
Tony Reeves   Composer,Producer
Mike Taylor   Composer
Dave Tomlin   Composer
Mark Powell   Concept

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