Sunday, July 15, 2007

Steve Marcus - Tomorrow Never Knows (Vortex 1968)


Blogger low said...

Steve Marcus' first solo album was an audacious and overlooked early jazz-rock fusion effort, predating by a year or two the more celebrated innovations in this field by the likes of Miles Davis and John McLaughlin. All but one of the six tracks are instrumental versions -- mildly to radically extended -- of then-recent rock songs, among them "Eight Miles High" (a natural for the jazz treatment), the Beatles' "Rain" and "Tomorrow Never Knows," "Mellow Yellow," and the less likely Herman's Hermits hit "Listen People." In a way it's a more free jazzy, wholly instrumental outgrowth of the similarly near-forgotten early fusion group the Free Spirits, as three-fifths of the Free Spirits (who had put out a slightly earlier album on ABC) -- guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Bob Moses, and bassist Chris Hills -- make up three-fifths of the band on Tomorrow Never Knows. Coryell contributes some fierce electric guitar work (getting into some feedback on "Tomorrow Never Knows"), and Mick Nock some psychedelic-style electric keyboards, though bandleader Marcus does assume the greatest prominence with his Coltrane-ish saxophone improvisations. Whether this would appeal to rock-grounded listeners, despite the undoubtedly rock-grounded material, depends very much on individual tastes. Though at times it sticks fairly close to the familiar riffs and melodies of the songs, at others it goes into extremely adventurous, at times even cacophonous free jazz (as they do at the end of "Mellow Yellow") that might lose some less hardy souls. "Eight Miles High" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" (where Coryell really lets loose) are the most successful tracks, with the closing Gary Burton composition "Half a Heart" taking the band back to more introspective, straighter jazz grooves. The CD reissue on Water is boosted by thorough historical liner notes, including recollections by Marcus and Nock.

1. Eight Miles High
2. Mellow Yellow
3. Listen People
4. Rain
5. Tomorrow Never Knows
6. Half A Heart

7/15/2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger steve.d said...

wow!explosive steve marcus on tenor and soprano,thank you.

7/16/2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used to have this album a long time ago. it got lost and i've been looking for it ever since. thank you for posting this one. MARTIN-EZ

7/19/2007 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saxophonist Steve Marcus spent the late 60's and early 70's touring and recording with Gary Burton, Herbie Mann and Larry Coryell as well as playing with guitarist SONNY SHARROCK and vibe man Roy Ayers. This album was originally released on Atlantic's Vortex label in 1968 and makes its CD debut here. Produced by Herbie Mann and featuring Larry Coryell on guitar -- the 'jazz' band works its way thru free form psychedelic rock versions of songs by The Byrds ('Eight Miles High'), Donovan ('Mellow Yellow'), and the Beatles (an 11 minute freakout of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and 7 minutes of 'Rain'). Fans of lounge-core kitsch will enjoy these late 60's pop music instrumental grooves, while modem jazz fans will love the Coltrane-like freak out of Marcus' sax work and rock fans will dig some of Coryell's most distorted and shredding guitar work. A 16 page booklet with new liner notes and rare photos is included."

7/19/2007 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight... You download records from file sharing services, then you upload them to your blog for others to take, and along the way you can't even bother to write your own review of the music. Way to go also stealing the review from without attributing it to the website or the original writer, Richie Unterburger. Would it have been so hard to mention the person who wrote the review?

10/26/2008 10:18 AM  

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