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Real Ax Band

Just Vibrations - Live At The Quartier Latin Berlin

Review by Gary Hill

This is a live recording from 1978. Perhaps it's technically not progressive rock, but it's clearly jazz rock or fusion. Since we generally put both of those genre under the prog heading, that's where this lands. I really enjoy this set quite a bit. There are elements of things like Frank Zappa, but it also has plenty of funk and space rock along with a lot more built into it. It's a killer set from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
You Really Shouldn’t Act Like That
This comes in tentatively and rather funky. It takes a while before it rises up into a real song-like structure, but that time is used well for exploration. The female vocals bring some serious jazz to the table. At times this makes me think of Frank Zappa quite a bit. It's a powerhouse tune that's part jazz, part rock and definitely proggy. At points in the jam mid-track it works toward something like The Grateful Dead. The cut works through a number of changes along the road. This is almost 11 minutes long, and they make good use of that time.
Everyone I Know

This is even longer than the piece that preceded it, running close to 13 minutes. It's another smoking hot jazz rock song. I really love the funky fusion jam that ensues along the ride and works into space rock territory. A jam later features some killer bass work and moves into spacey territory again. This number really works through a lot of changes.

Someone Else In My Skin

More fast paced fusion, this is a killer tune. It's shorter than the two previous numbers, but still runs close to nine minutes. There is a definite funk edge to this thing. They still find time to stretch out into some killer instrumental exploration later in the piece.

Dreitag Der Freizehnte

Other than the closing piece, at just under five and a half minutes of music, this is the shortest cut here. It has a lot of Frank Zappa texture and is a cool fusion jam that really gets pretty crazed. Although there are some non-lyrical vocals on this, beyond that this piece is purely instrumental. It has some killer jamming built into it.

Waiting

Soaring jazz rock, this is quite effective. I love the multiple layers of voices built into this. The jamming is powerhouse, but that's true of the whole album, really. There is a cool harder rocking groove that joins around the half-way point on the tune. The tune actually has some of the most powerful instrumental work of the whole set, working through all kinds of territory as it makes its way through. This number even turns toward Hendrix like stuff near the end. This track is a highlight of the set.

Sammelsurium (Et Brimborium) In Aquarium Est

A keyboard based jam opens this, and it works forward from there.  This number works through quite a few changes. It has some of the most directly rock oriented stuff on show here. It's also the most decidedly progressive rock based number of the album. In a lot of ways this instrumental is the most dynamic and diverse cut here.

Just Vibrations

With some scat vocals built into it, this is a short, but classy number that does a great job of ending the set. It's another with a definite Frank Zappa angle to my ears.

 
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