Label: CBS - S CBS 86059 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Test Pressing, White Label • Country: UK • Genre: Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classical • Style: Prog Rock, Classical
Just bought this album at the second Hocus Pocus - Tys Van Leer* - Nice To Have Met You store; didn't know a fellow Dutchman like Thijs could have made such a funky fusion album, thanks for the insights about this little known gem! Post a Comment. Classically trained flautist, keyboardist and master yodeler Thijs van Leer b.
The group also spawned guitarist Jan Akkerman, who surprisingly recorded the surprising Aranjuez CBS, with Claus Ogerman the same year as this album by his former Focus partner. It's a tremendous slice of jazz fusion that gathers its name from the flautist's first visit to the United States in November Leer, as writer B. Lynn Micale notes on the album's back side, "was overwhelmed by the sincerity and friendliness Hocus Pocus - Tys Van Leer* - Nice To Have Met You those he encountered.
And, at the end of every conversation, a phrase which struck him as being typically American, recurred, '…nice to have met you. But it seems sincere enough. It sounds sincere enough too, mostly because there is a distinct chemistry between the mostly American session musicians and their Dutch leader.
Leer is heard on flutes and synthesizers throughout, backed more than capably by a first-tier rhythm section of prominent New Yorkers including Richard Tee on keyboards, Eric Gale and Steve Khan on guitar, Anthony Jackson on bass, Ralph MacDonald on congas and percussion and, oddly enough, the brilliant West Coaster Harvey Mason on drums.
The album's best tracks are all found on side two, starting with "Tonight beneath the Twoth - Various - Sampler Digital 125 a Caribbean-styled groove that sounds as if it could have been inspired by Eric Gale, but finds Leer overdubbing catchy flute licks overtop Tee's grooving, fluid electric-piano lines.
Next best is "Rosebud," which could have perfectly found a home on any number of Tappan Zee albums - and inspiring Leer to, perhaps, his best performance on the record Tom Scott's minimal string work here crosses Claus Ogerman's Benson groove with Wade Marcus' flourishes for West Coast jazz guys at the time. Leer doesn't have much to do here, but his engagement with the groove and his semi-sparring with Scott make it all worthwhile.
But the muscular rhythm section propels the flautist far above the proceedings to deliver an entirely different message altogether, caressed by the engaging, lilting funk of Scott's witty string writing Scott's characteristic horn writing in "Nice To Have Met You" is something to behold too.
William Eaton gives "Bahama Mama" a Stuff-like groove Gale's solo drives the point home and the flautist provides perhaps the strongest performance of this tune heard on record.
Scott and Khan recorded the song again with Johnson for Alivemutherforya Columbia,so it's safe to say these guys knew the song. But, here, they really do something with it. Anybody wandering into this album looking for connections back to Focus won't be disappointed either. Leer gives attention to two Focus-era tracks, most prominently, a very rock-oriented remake of the group's worldwide hit "Hocus Pocus" written by Leer with Akkerman, originally from the album Focus IIwhich was later re-titled Moving Waves complete with Leer's distinctive and strangely unforgettable "oh yea!
The album's opener, "My Sweetheart," which originally appeared on the Focus album Mother Focusis audibly driven by guitarist Steve Khan and wouldn't sound out of place on any of his first three solo albums especially his second album, The Blue Manrecorded shortly after Leer's, also with MacDonald. All in all, a great album - which, of course, is unlikely to ever see the light of day on CD - and not nearly as weird or as unusual as the Magritte-styled cover artwork by Richard Hess, allegedly commissioned by the great designer and personal hero of minePaula Scher.
Scher's hand in the design is Hocus Pocus - Tys Van Leer* - Nice To Have Met You evident in the album cover's typography. Thanks to Pekis and the original poster, you can download the album here. Posted by Douglas Payne at AM. Random Access - Strange Loop - Random Access / Head On Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Lonnie Smith and more.
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