Music From Big Pink—The Band (Capitol)
This band formerly known as the Hawks has the distinction of being Bob Dylan’s backing group. They are polished musicians and this album boasts a lot in the way of imagination in regards to lyrics and clever rhythm changes. The standout cut on the L.P. is a composition entitled ‘Tears of Rage’, penned by Dylan and band pianist Richard Manual: Good.
I Love You—People (Capitol)
The album suffers from a malady, known as poor material, the tracks are either profoundly bad or insanely inventive. Their current hit ‘I Love You’ is done well, but the only other standout is a giant entitled ‘Crying Shoes’. One other track of interest is ‘What We Need Is a Lot More Jesus and a Lot Less Rock ‘n’ Roll: Fair.
Ars Nova (Elektra)
This new group is given to a form of baroque rock, and what they do is excellent. Ars Nova’s artistically polished and technically adept musicians have broken through the maturity barrier. They are actually playing together! Even the more famous and established bands have an ego separation between members of the band. This sometimes detracts from real cohesiveness.
The lyrics, poetic, somewhat medieval, and delicate are carefully and thoughtfully placed together. (They are printed within the jacket): Very Good.
Introducing the Psychedelic Soul Jazz Guitar of Joe Jones (Prestige)
Who is Joe Jones? He is an absolutely fabulous guitarist. Like Gabor Szabo another example of a ‘new jazz’ guitarist, he has been around for quite awhile bumping around from studio to studio doing stand-in jobs, but he has never headlined his own album. Unlike Gabor, Jones’ style lends itself to coasting examples of an artist performing with complete authority.
This ability as a musician places Jones in respected company. He is just as good or better than guitarists Kenny Burrell and Phil Upchurch. His style of playing is remarkably similar to George Benson’s, but lacking Benson’s characteristic speed. Jones prefers to concentrate on articulation.
Rock and Blues guitarists should find this L.P. interesting because he does many of the common rock runs, but he does them right. Jazz guitarists should find him intensely interesting because this, his first L.P. is an example of a phenomenon known as ‘change’! He is different because he is truly exciting. (Excellent).