Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wax Mundi: As the Turns Whirled

Welcome to November 21st, which means that on this day in 1877, inventor extraordinaire Thomas A. Edison announced his invention of the phonograph. Not to be outdone, rival Nikola Tesla would pioneer the art of record-scratching four years later, DJ'ing a house party in Budapest... an equally-as-Planet-Rocking feat which went largely unnoticed until his innovations were taken to the next level in The (Boogie Down) Bronx, New York, a century or so down the unwinding coil of time.
Too bad, but that kick in the shindig found Tesla -- always a man far ahead of his time -- situated 90 years too soon in the temporal/spatial continuum to luup up some of the headnoddic drum breaks emanating from this slab of vinyl, released in 1971 on the Douglas label and as-yet-unreissued on CD. It's sort of a post-soundtrack to the legendary Alejandro Jodorowsky's epic, lysergically hypnagogic diamond desert dreamscape "El Topo," with Latin-jazzier, funkified interpretations of some of the (visionary, inspiring) director's musical motifs from the original movie.
The band is made up of a stellar cast of San Francisco Bay Area musicians, including trumpet deity Luis Gasca and reeds-and-winds whiz Martin Fierro. Hadley Caliman handles a good deal of the tenor sax and blows his socks off in the process. This excellent transfer was done by a friend of a friend of mine and you can even dance to it completely naked, in honor of the state of undress in which many of the characters spend much of the film.
Shades of Joy
Music of El Topo

01 The Desert Is a Circle
02 Man of Seven Years 
03 Flute In a Quarry
04 Together 
05 El Topo's Dream
06 Slowest & Saddest Waltz  
07 Freakout #1

Martin Fierro - flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion, cowbell
Frank Morin - flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, maracas
Hadley Caliman - flute, tenor saxophone
Mel Martin - flute, tenor saxophone
Howard Wales - organ, electric piano
Jymm Young - piano
Luis Gasca - trumpet, tambourine
Ken Balzell - trumpet, trombone, tambourine, maracas
Eddie Adams - acoustic bass, electric upright bass, tambourine, cowbell
Peter Walsh - acoustic 12-string guitar, rhythm guitar
Jackie King - acoustic guitar, lead guitar
Ivory Smylie - congas, triangle
Jerry Love - drums
Jack Dorsey - drums, percussion
Roger "Jellyroll" Troy - electric 6-string bass, Fender bass
 
Engineer [Mixing] – George Engfer
Engineer [Recording] – Glen Kolotkin

Produced by Alan Douglas & Doris Dynamite

Arranged & Conducted by Martin Fierro
Composed by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Recorded and mixed at CBS Studios, San Francisco, California, 1971


LP transfer
Total time: 38:42
242 MB
Enjoy, and a toot of the horn to celebrate the advent of the ancestor of the modern turntable, a tale that began its culturally transformative spin cycle only 136 years ago today...
--J.