Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Proto-Kaw - Early Recordings from Kansas 1971-1973 (US progressive rock - Flac + mp3 320K, HQ scans)

There are several things I would like to say about this collection. First, and I think I speak for all the guys who played in this band, we never dreamed these recordings would ever be released, much less nearly thirty years after they were made. These are not "audiophile" recordings. They are what they are: demos recorded in small studios, live recordings made with a couple a cheap microphones and a small reel to reel, etc. Every effort has been made to make them as listenable as possible. They do, however, chronicle the evolution of the band Kansas, and as such, I think are historically of interest. I still am amazed at some of the music that we were making at that time. It is also significant, I think, to demonstrate that Kansas was playing progressive music long before we had ever heard some of the bands we have been accused of emulating. That a group of musicians from the Heartland of agricultural America could be making the kind of music that we were in that time and place is reason enough to release this CD. 
~ Kerry Livgren, 2002.
This album compiles and releases for the very first time all of the studio recordings (as well as two live recordings) made by guitarist and composer Kerry Livgren with the 2nd edition of Kansas, a seven-piece band that immediately preceded the formation of the lineup of the band that the world knows as Kansas. These recordings present a different and fascinating contrast to the music that Kerry would develop and release upon the world with Kansas just a couple of years later. Yet, as composer of all the tracks here, they still have his obvious imprint. In fact, two of the songs here would later reappear in different versions on Kansas' albums; Belexes would show up on the band's self-titled debut album, while Incomudro would appear on their 2nd album, Song For America. With dual keyboards (one of whom doubled on reeds) and an electric saxist/flautist featured in addition to the more standard rock instrumentation, the sound is obviously influenced by jazz/rock pioneers as well as early progressive rock bands such as Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson. Early Recordings From Kansas 1971-73 is an exciting archival release of dark and exploratory early American progressive rock. The fact that these musicians were not able to find success while making this adventurous music in the heartland of agricultural America over 30 years ago should not be a surprise, but the fact that the tapes have survived and are able to finally be presented to the world in an authorized form will give fans of Kansas as well as all fans of early progressive rock a very pleasant surprise. These recordings have been licensed from, and released with the full consent and agreement of all the musicians. Kerry Livgren has returned to the original tapes and worked on all tracks in his studio to present this material in the best possible light. He also contributed liner notes and provided archival photographs.

01. Hegemonium   7.48
02. Reunion in the Mountains of Sarne   7.44
03. Nactolos   11.37
04. Belexes   5.10
05. Totus Nemesis   13.53
06. Greek Structure Sunbeam   5.41
07. Incomunde   11.26
08. Cyclopy   5.45
09. Skont   9.36

Lynn Meredith: Vocals
John Bolton: Electric Saxophone, Flute
Don Montre: RMI Piano, Flute. Alto Sax
Kerry Livgren: Guitar, (Piano on Nactolos intro)
Dan Wright: Hammond Organ, Ring Modulator
Rod Mikinski: Bass
Zeke Low: Drums on tracks 1/2/3/8/9
Brad Schultz: Drums on tracks 4/5/6/7

[Rip and Scans made by CRIMSON] 
Click here (pass: crimson02170811)

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