Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Various Artists

One Way Glass: Dancefloor Prog, Brit Jazz & Funky Folk 1968-1975

Review by Gary Hill

This is a killer collection of music. It's a great way to sample a lot of fairly obscure acts without having to commit to a full album by any of them. Not everything here is progressive rock. A few acts (Soft Machine, Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) are generally considered prog. The bulk of that at least fits into jazz rock or proto-prog. I think there is enough of that type of content to land this under prog. Beyond that point, I can't really recommend this enough. It has a great book with it and a lot of killer music. This plays well from start to finish, and will probably help you find some new artists whose catalogs you can explore. It should be noted that I have previously reviewed a few of the tracks here on other albums. For the sake of consistency those track reviews were copied or modified for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc One
             
Trifle - One Way Glass

This is cool stuff. It's part jazz rock, part psychedelia and all cool. I love some of the guitar riffs on this. The vocals are rather dreamy. The horns bring some great jazz stylings. The closing jam with non-lyrical vocals and wailing saxophone is particularly effective.

Colosseum - Elegy
This energized jam is quite cool. It's very much a jazz rock, proto prog piece. I love the passionate vocal performance. The whole cut really rocks.
Curtiss Maldoon - Man from Afghanistan
Jazz and psychedelic rock merge on this killer tune. It's high energy and has some great guitar work.
Paul Brett Sage - 3D Mona Lisa
This is very much a folk prog piece. I love the contrast between the mellower sections and the rocking one. Sure, there is still plenty of psychedelic rock built into this thing, but it's so much proto-prog. I love the instrumental section on this tune. It has some killer psychedelic guitar soloing.
Quicksand - Home is Where I Belong
Some of the instrumental parts of this make me think of the first incarnation of Yes. I love the bass guitar sound and lines. The whole piece is a great example of jazzy, psychedelic rock inspired proto prog.
Second Hand - Somethin' You Got
This is a powerhouse cut that really rocks with some definite jazz. The percussion is prominent and grooving. This gets pretty freaky with an animalistic person near the end.
Paladin - Get One Together
A dramatic proto prog jam opens this and moves things forward. It shifts to a killer 1970s funk groove from there. This instrumental is very classy.
Fat Mattress - Cold Wall of Stone
Speaking of a groove, this has a great one. It has some soulful and funky elements. I suppose that overall it's more of a jazz rock piece, but the emphasis is on the rock end of the equation. This is just so strong.
Hard Stuff - Libel
Funk and rock mix with style here. Imagine James Brown's band playing rock music. You'll be in the right zone for this cut. It's a lot of fun. It's also very catchy.
Gravy Train - Sanctuary
The horn solo on this with funky backdrop is all class. The whole cut really rocks, though. This has some great textures and sounds built into it.
The Web - City of Darkness
Imagine the Animals merged with Blood Sweat and Tears. You are probably hearing something close to this cool track.
Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Out of Nowhere
This instrumental has a lot of killer rock and roll merged with jazz and more. It's a classy track.
Gasoline Band - The B***h
I love the killer jazz rock jam that brings this into being.
Pentangle - I Saw an Angel
There is plenty of folk music built into this. It drifts toward space rock in the psychedelic elements that emerge later.
Jonesy - Ricochet
Fast paced early prog rock with a bunch of jazz in the mix, this is so cool. It has a great soaring quality to it. The vocal arrangement is top-notch.
Edwards Hand - Revolution's Death Man
I love the guitar fills on this cut. The tune is a jazzy proto prog number that's just so cool. That guitar really steals the show, though. A false ending gives way to a short section with "U S" as the only lyrics.
Bond & Brown - Macumbe
This feels like a jazzy, proggier version of Santana to me. It's a powerhouse rocker with a very involved percussive section. The combination of male and female vocals works well. This is just a powerhouse rocker.
CMU - Henry
I like the combination of folk music, proto prog and psychedelia built into this number. I'm not overly crazy about the vocals in this, though. Despite that the cut seems to work pretty well.
Knocker Jungle - Sunburnt Virgin Trousers
Folk rock with a bit of a bluesy edge is the order of business here. There is a psychedelic rock vibe here, too.
Climax Chicago Blues Band - Cubano Chant
This instrumental does a great job of combining jazz-like proto prog with something not far removed from the sound of the original Santana. This is a lot fun. The closing kazoo solo really adds to that spirit of fun.
Open Road - She's My Sister
Based on a weird energized folk rock sound, I'm not a big fan of this cut. It's alright, but a bit too odd for me.
Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - The Lord Doesn't Want You
Weird psychedelic rock, proto prog and more merge on this cool cut. While this is arguably even odder than the previous piece, it works so much better. This is like Frank Zappa turned toward funk and space rock. This is so cool. There is some space rock near the end.
Disc Two
               
Melanie - I've Got My Mojo Working

Funky and oh so cool, this is folk rock turned toward jazzy stuff. Yet there is some roots music in this. The violin is an interesting touch. I absolutely love this song. This is one of my favorites across the three CDs.

Blue Mink - Eyeballs
Built around a killer soulful groove, this is so tasty. It's probably more of a soul turned jazzy piece, but has some psychedelia and other elements in it.
Chillum - Celebration
Now, this is more of a pure prog rock thing. Sure, there is still some psychedelia built into this cool instrumental, but this sounds a lot like Emerson, Lake and Palmer in a lot of ways. This is a fairly extended piece (over six minutes) and a real shifting powerhouse.
John Kongos - Confusions About a Goldfish
Folk music is the driving factor here. The overlayers of sound bring it in toward the folk prog end of the spectrum. This really manages to rock, too. The lyrics on this are deep.
Skin Alley - Skin Valley Serenade
The flute begs comparisons to Jethro Tull. The fast paced, jamming motif on this isn't far removed from that sound, either. It does have more of a psychedelic folk edge to it, though. I love the bass work on this. The drop back for flute dominated section is a nice touch, too. This is a great instrumental.
Jody Grind - Little Message
While there is still a bit of a psychedelic edge to this, the cut is really full on progressive rock. It's frantically paced and just such a potent number. It has some killer instrumental work, and the vocal delivery is on fire. There are some sections in the extended jam later that call to mind a more psychedelic ELP to me.
Dana Gillespie - Weren't Born a Man
Built with plenty of funk and blues in the mix, this is a cool cut. It has a real trippy kind of psychedelic vibe at its heart. I dig the jazzy jam later in the track a lot.
Hardin & York - Drinking My Wine
The keyboard fills on this are so cool. The cut has a real folk prog kind of vibe. There are hints of blues and funk built into this. Just listen to the bass line on this thing, too. It's a smoking hot tune with a real psychedelic edge to it. The jazzy jam later in the cut is on fire.
Juicy Lucy - She's Mine, She's Yours
Bluesy rock, jazz, psychedelia and more merge on this killer cut. After a bit of a false ending it powers back in for an instrumental reprise that's so cool.
Burnin Red Ivanhoe - Avez-Vous Kaskelainen?
This powerhouse jam is part psychedelic rock, part proto prog and part jazz. It's also all cool. It's a full-on instrumental treatment that wanders into space music later in the piece. It gets incredibly intense.
Demon Fuzz - Message to Mankind
I love the cool groove on this killer cut. It's soulful, but also packed with a great psychedelic prog element.
Alan James Eastwood - Closer to the Truth
Folky proto-prog is at the heart of this cut. It has some world music and plenty of jazzy stylings in it, too. The flute adds a lot to the mix.
Siren - Wake Up My Children
Folk prog is the concept here. This has a healthy helping of psychedelia in the mix, too. This rocks nicely. I love the flute on this thing.
Curtis Knight Zeus - The Devil Made Me Do It
A powerhouse soulful jam, this is great.
Atlantic Bridge - Hilary Dickson
This number is a jazz rocker that is more of a pure fusion piece. It's classy.
Blue Beard - Sly Willy
This is smoking hot. It's part soulful jazz, part psychedelia and overall proto prog. It's so classy and has some great instrumental twists and turns.
Joan Armatrading - Mean Old Man
A fairly straightforward folk rocker, this is great. It might not be particularly proggy, but it shines.
Spencer Davis Group - Funky
I don't know about funky, but this killer jam has a lot of jazz rock built into it. An instrumental, everyone seems to get a chance to shine.
The Foundations - In the Beginning
Although there is a lot of jazz built into this instrumental, overall it's a full progressive rock piece. Granted, this is early prog, but prog nonetheless.
Disc Three
             
John Kongos - He's Gonna Step On You Again

Starting with rhythmic elements, this turns out to a rather blues based hard rocker. There is psychedelia and glam rock in the mix here.

Paladin - Bad Times
The cool organ driven groove on this makes me think of The Doors. The cut has more of a prog rock edge to it, though. The jam mid-track feels like The Doors meet Santana to me. I really love the percussion work out on this thing, and I'm not really a big fan of drums.
The Tremeloes - Instant Whip
This screaming hot rocker really works well. It's a noisy, raw, rock and roll celebration.
Atomic Rooster - The Rock
With plenty of jazz and rock music built into it, this is a killer proto prog jam. It's an instrumental.
Fat Mattress - Margarita
A folk meets psychedelia kind of jam, this reminds me quite a bit of early Pink Floyd. It's a bit weird, but also oddly charming.
Soft Machine -Gesolreut (Live)
This killer jam is just the kind of thing you'd expect from Soft Machine. It has plenty of jazzy elements along with a great progressive rock base. There are leanings toward space music, too. This instrumental is so classy.
Bridget St. John - Some Kind of Beautiful
Jazz, weird psychedelia and other elements dance around each other here. This is a folk prog kind of thing overall.
Audience - House on the Hill
I love the saxophone soaring over this arrangement. The cut is built on a psychedelic rock arrangement overall, but lands in the proto-prog zone.
Noir - Indian Rope Man
Energized psychedelic rock makes up the basis for this rocker. The organ solo section moves it into proggy territory.
Skin Alley - So Many People
With a cool almost funky instrumental mode, the vocal arrangement brings this into the proto-prog vicinity. This is a killer cut. I dig the flue solo section on it quite a bit.
Trifle - Alibi Annie
Soulful and classy, there is a solid jazz edge on this.
Juicy Lucy - I'm a Thief
Jazzy rock is the concept of this. I love the soulful female backing vocals on the chorus. This thing really rocks.
Hanson - Travelling Like a Gypsy
With a lot of funk in the mix, this has a cool mix of jazzy rock and more straightforward stuff. It's a catchy tune with a great groove. The jamming later in the piece overstays its welcome just a bit.
Fair Weather - Looking for the Red Label
Jazzy prog rock makes up the musical concept here. It's a classy instrumental that is quite effective.
The Web - I'm a Man
This is a smoking hot rendition of the classic tune. In fact, this is one of my favorite versions of this old number.
Pesky Gee - Pigs Foot
This makes me think of Little Feat to some degree. Add in some Booker T. and the MGs and you might be in the right vicinity. This instrumental jam is a lot of fun. There is some cool instrumental work from everyone here. Each of the instruments gets to shine at various points.
John Schroeder Orchestra - One Way Glass
A jazz turned psychedelic rock based piece, this is quite effective. It makes a great closer for the set.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2017 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com