Esoteric Recordings already re-issued several remarkable albums recorded by the classic seventies formation Jade Warrior. Waves (1975) was their fifth album and their second production for the legendary Island Records. This album consists only of two long pieces. You may compare their musical style to the music of Anthony Philips, Mike Oldfield, Gandalf and the new age and ambient recordings of producer Brian Eno. The two main musicians on this album are Tony Duhig (guitars) and John Field (piano, drums, percussion, flute and oboe) supported by some of their musical friends: Stevie Winwood (Moog-synthesizer), Graham Morgan (drums) and David Duhig (guitar). It won't surprise you that the album's theme is based on the waves the sea brings forth. If you listen to this album be aware that the atmosphere, the surroundings and the mood you're in are very important. Don't try to listen when you're busy and tense, but sit back in a lazy chair and listen relaxed to all the sounds and rhythms floating by. The middle-section of the second piece is a bit heavier with its jazzy and freaky guitar solo. The last part with the flute in the vein of Camel is more enjoyable.
The second CD Floating World, recorded a year before Waves, begins with strange experimental sounds in Clouds. You hear soundscapes of hammering and of machinery together with the peaceful sounds of synthesizer rhythms and flutes in the vein of Gandalf. Waterfall contains an electric guitar solo that slightly reminded me of Carlos Santana, but also Gandalf can be recognized here. It ends with African drumming and Indian flutes. In Red Lotus a heavy guitar kicked me of my chair, a very odd musical experience by the way, but halfway the tranquil passages have returned. The fifth track - also named Clouds - is a brief interlude with the junior girl's choir of Orpington. Rain Flower is characterized by a Santana-like guitar sound. Easty with its eastern flutes and rocking guitars could have been a piece of the legendary Camel-album Nude. On Monkey Chants a Jimi Hendrix- like guitar eruption is played by David Duhig. The peaceful Memories Of A Distant Sea with acoustic guitar, flute and synths is my personal favourite. This is a perfect unwinding piece for a quiet evening or a visit to the sauna. Last song Quba has some spoken words by Martha Mdenge. It's mainly acoustic and ends with oriental vibes.
If you like the music of Camel, Mike Oldfield, Anthony Philips and Gandalf these two albums are a welcome addition to your CD-collection.
*** / *** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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