martes, 26 de julio de 2016

Jade Warrior "Last Autumn's Dream" (1972)

The Album. Until now, "Last Autumn's Dream" was the only early Jade Warrior album that I haven't heard. As well as all of the band's albums in general, this is a distinctly original and in many ways unique ProGduction. Musically, though, its contents are rather different among themselves and by various parameters. In that way, to describe the album more or less properly, first I need to divide it into two parts.
Then, stylistically, these parts will contain the compositions that are based on either the Art- or Hard Rock structures. Classic Art-Rock with the distinct Jade Warrior sound is presented on half of the tracks that are featured on the album: A Winter's Tale, Morning Hymn, May Queen, Lady of the Lake, and Born On the Solar Wind (tracks 1, 6, 7, 9, and 10).

Each of these compositions contains excellent and truly Jade Warrior arrangements created by very tasteful and diverse interplay between solos of electric and bass guitars, and passages of acoustic guitar and various flutes. Most of the best tracks on the album feature parts of both drums as well as hand percussion instruments. May Queen (which I find the most interesting piece on the album) and Born On the Solar Wind are marked with distinctly Japanese colours.

A very tasteful Progressive Hard Rock is heard only on Joanne (track 4), whereas both of the other 'heavy' compositions, Snake and The Demon Trucker (tracks 2 & 8), are merely traditional, straightforward Hard Rock songs. Both of the remaining pieces, Dark River and Obedience (tracks 3 & 5) represents typical "ambient" music with just a few Art-Rock arrangements. (Most readers well know that the term "Symphonic Progressive" is hardly applicable to the music of Jade Warrior in general.)

Summary. Widely regarded as the best of the early Jade Warrior albums, "Last Autumn's Dream" is, in my view, only a bit better than their debut album. Overall, I find it a very good album, though the band's previous work "Release", as well as "Fifth Element", are way better, at least for these ears. Which, of course, can't diminish this album's role in the development of Progressive and especially in the widening of the stylistic borders of it.

"A Winter's Tale" - 5:06
"Snake" - 2:55
"Dark River" - 6:26
"Joanne" - 2:50
"Obedience" - 3:12
"Morning Hymn" - 3:36
"May Queen" - 5:22
"The Demon Trucker" - 2:34 (JW + David Duhig)
"Lady Of The Lake" - 3:17
"Borne On The Solar Wind" - 3:02
Jade Warrior - Last Autumn's Dream ( Full Album ) 1972 

Jon Field - flutes, percussion, piano, acoustic guitar
Tony Duhig - electric guitars
Glyn Havard - bass, acoustic guitars, vocals
Allan Price - drums

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