Sunday, September 30, 2007

The National Gallery - Performing Musical Interpretations Of The Paintings Of Paul Klee (1968)

Literally an 'art-rock' concept album from Cleveland, inspired by the works of artist Paul Klee (1879-1940) and complete with a glossy leaflet with lyrics and pictures of some of his paintings.

A fusion of harmonious folk, pop and avant garde with some psychy touches, culminating in its most memorable track Long Hair Soulful with stoned vocals and acid-etched guitar. This had been released on 45 in 1967 in an abridged form and credited to Bhagavad Gita, backed by an instrumental version of the same (Philips 40485, with PS). The instrumental take can be heard on Beyond The Calico Wall CD (not on the LP version).

The musicians themselves don't get a name-check, just a picture - three guys and a gal.

Composers Roger Karshner and Charles Mangione were involved with several other Cleveland area acts and Karshner was manager of one of the city's more successful sixties bands, The Outsiders.

It's worth noting that several tracks on this album were also recorded, in jazzier versions, by the Gap Mangione Trio on the album Diana In The Autumn Wind(GRC 9001) 1968, with Charles Mangione, Steve Gadd and Tony Levin. Mangione kept on recording throughout the seventies, with at least three albums on A&M between 1976 and 1979. (Max Waller)

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