Monday, May 21, 2012
Illustration - Illustration (1970)
This is a fairly rare recording that features a little-known band from Montreal that had mixed success in the early 70s. This would fit in with Blood, Sweat & Tears and similar groups that some would call "big band" jazz rock. The most memorable tracks on this album are "Upon the Earth" and "Wasn't I?" due to their well thought out arrangements, yet a fair amount of the tracks on this album seem incomplete in the conception of the arrangement. Often it seems like ideas aren't developed as well as they could be or songs end abruptly. Often transitions from one musical idea to the next are sudden and unsuspected. Even one of the better tracks "Upon the Earth" ends on a fade out leaving the listener wanting the last idea to develop. The best aspect of this album is the horn parts; they are unquestionably the most original part of the album. In "Box of Glass" the horns and the vocal part play very atonal parts at times which is different from a fair amount of jazz rock. The vocals are not poor, but you couldn't say that they are breakthrough. This isn't an awful jazz rock album, but you could probably just consider it mediocre. The best part is the experimentation of the horn and vocal parts. If you really like jazz rock it is worth picking up if you want to broaden what you've listened to, but this one is probably only for the most extreme lovers of jazz rock.