• Bob James " Once Upon A Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions" LP
180g Black Vinyl!
Record Store Day Edition, Limited Edition, Numbered
In 1965, James was a young musician trying to forge his own path. This largely took the form of exploring the reaches of sound with music many would comfortably place within the avant-garde. Once Upon A Time provides a rare glimpse into this facet of this generally uncaptured past. The title track first hints at these outward voyages with Robert Pozar’s slightly off-kilter drumbeats and some piano phrases unconfined by chordal structure, even as the rest of the piece seems mostly straight ahead. Any pretense is lost, however, by the trio’s version of Joe Zawinul’s “Lateef Minor 7th.” A catchy piano melody evolves into experimentation on the entirety of the instrument, with strumming and pounding on the strings. This approach is somewhat mirrored by Pozar and bassist Larry Rockwell as they test various less established ways to produce sound out of their own. They add indecipherable vocalizations, giving a somewhat unsettling aura. When the head returns, one senses it is not as peaceful as once perceived. “Variations” continues the concept, but James plays more conventionally to allow his bandmates additional room to push their limits.