Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock
Eclectic Discs are pleased to release the classic albums recorded by the legendary Jade Warrior for Island records between 1974 and 1978. The duo of guitarist Tony Duhig and virtuoso flautist and woodwind player Jon Fie... more »
Eclectic Discs are pleased to release the classic albums recorded by the legendary Jade Warrior for Island records between 1974 and 1978. The duo of guitarist Tony Duhig and virtuoso flautist and woodwind player Jon Field were signed to Island records in 1974, following the recent break up of the four piece Jade Warrior (who recorded three albums for Vertigo records between 1970 and 1973). Island founder Chris Blackwell signed the duo upon the recommendation of Steve Winwood, declaring Jade Warrior to be "an ornament to my label". Blackwell gave Duhig and Field access to unlimited studio time to create four albums that were later hailed as instrumental masterpieces, all of which fused ethnic African and far eastern influences with superbly innovative rock guitar playing by Tony Duhig. Waves is the second Jade Warrior release on Island and features the features Steve Winwood on piano and synthesiser throughout. Criminally shortened when released as part of the Elements anthology by PolyGram in 1995, the Eclectic re-mastered release is the first unedited appearance of the album on CD. Waves has been re-mastered from the original master tapes and features extensive liner notes, deluxe slip case packaging and fully restored artwork.
Soundscapes, distant sounds, pleasant tunes
Musicus | Oslo, Norway | 09/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Waves was the album that I was most impressed with back in the 1970ies. It used to be my preferred listening during lonely summer nights, when the twilight lingers on for hours in my country, as dusk transforms to dawn.
But I was a teenager then, my horizon somehow limited. Many albums of that period, I have later revisited, suddenly asking myself how I could be so fascinated then. The music hasn't changed, but I have, and what used to sound new and fresh, feels worn-out 30 years later.
So now, after learning that Waves was reissued, I have been curious to find out if it has faded, too, or how much, during the more than 25 years that have passed since I last time heard it.
I am happily surprised! I don't think it has faded even a bit.
But I owe to inform you that I listen mostly to classical music now, so I am not the best to know about the present state of this kind of musical art. In 1975, this album was at least state of the art when it came to engineering and the making of soundscapes. It don't think, say Pink Floyd, is any better, although of another idiom. Jade Warrior never became a commercial success, for reasons I don't understand. The tunes don't lack sweetness, so much is sure. The music is very pleasant, though perhaps too introvert to appeal to a broader public? The mix of romantic film music, progrock, jazz, dreamy ambient music, even some simple polyphony, a wide range of etnic influences, African, South American and Oriental, a unique blend, made it difficult to label. Jade Warrior made crossover, fusion, world music, new age... A fascinating aspect of Jade Warrior is how some voices are distant and other closeups, making a deep and wide soundscape, multiinstrumental, although lots of flutes, guitars and percussion dominates.
Brian Eno acclaimed Jade Warrior's former album Floating World; well, I think Waves is as sophisticated, if not more. Waves features Steve Winwood and some other guests, but the duo Tony Duhig and Jon Field was Jade Warrior at that time.
As the title suggests, Waves is a conceptual album. It is a vision of the sea. Most of it is very romantic, rather sweet, not avantgarde or any thing like that, anyway more skillfully put together than I can suggest here. From the notes we read things like "7 half speed flutes", "backwards piano", etc. Layers of sound are put on other layers, creating an orchestral impression. Or as Jon Field said it 20 years later, in 1995, speaking with the BBC: «We had tunes, but tunes were always easy, tunes aren't it. It's the atmosphere, it's always atmosphere. It doesn't matter how wonderful a tune is, if there's no atmosphere there - it won't work. You know, you can get an ice-cream band to go in and play a sequence of notes, which is what a tune is - but if there's no atmosphere there, it doesn't mean anything.» And about dynamics: «I think it's on Waves where we got it about as far back as you could go, to have it worthwhile to have it - which makes the BANG really loud. As you know, black and white - your blackest black and your whitest white, that's what you're dealing with, that's what we're dealing with in our records. Dynamics are extremely important. The loudest moment you can get, is only loud by dint of the quietest moment you can get. If it's all loud, then it's all normal.»
Part 1. To some faraway music, a huge whale rises to the surface - it sounds like an enormous wave is crushed at a shore. The next section is quite dreamy, with a distant electric guitar solo on layers of accoustic guitars, a the piano enters, quite sunny, jazz-like before everythings fades away. Then more dynamic jazzlike music, some kind of jazzy Cuban fusion perhaps, but by all means, it is composed, put together with great care, concluding in one more of these apparently simple melodies, before the piano jazzes it all over again, then the electric guitar, the flutes tema returning and everything concludes with the meditative silence transforming to another theme, beautiful layers of polyphony, simple counterpoint, but still... It is difficult to tag this music as jazz, ambient music, etnic, because the crossover is original, don't forget this is 1975! Part one ends with a simple rythmic melody, but so artfully put together, this is pop music, and how I love it!
Part 2. Rain forrest, rain, exotic birds, jungle, drums, congas, how Jade Warrior here makes the birds collaborate with the music, being a part of ut. An alarming tune of electric guitar, fading into the dreamy japanese zen-garden atmosphere so often encountered by Jade Warrior, a garden made of flutes. Meditation-like repetitions, inconclusive. Then a longer section, named Groover, where the music is taken to a rougher level, the most groovy, jazzrock-like section of Waves, sustained by electric guitar and moog. Then a short section of very peaceful music, idyll, all those flutes speaking together! After this sweet soundscape of sunset over the ocean, we end up by the whales, communicating to each other. (This is only a rough outline of about 45 min. of music.)
It is increcible what Jade Warrior managed to create more than 30 years ago, with no computers, no samplers. This CD is obligatory to anybody interested in so called progrock from the 1970ies, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Brian Eno. The question is if Waves doesn't deserve a wider audience.
The remastering is good. The only thing I dislike about this reissue is that Waves is divided in only two tracks on the CD, Waves part one and two, whereas at least part one on the original LP was divided into several tracks.
In my opinion, Waves is the most sophisticated Jade Warrior album. The very charming Floating World from the previous year (1974) was as original as Waves, but not so advanced, a rougher charm, featuring more progrock; I rate it almost as high as Waves however. After Waves, they made Kites (1976) which I find less substancial, though it is Jade Warrior's most oriental album to date; I will not exclude that I buy that one too, if not for other reasons, so for my personal nostalgia... Many consider Way of the Sun (1978) Jade Warrior's best album, but as it never appealed to me, I don't think it will do today either, so I leave it there."
Refreshing and spine tingling
Glenn Harper | 01/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ethereal yet electric. Waves is Jade Warrior doing ambient; it's open and cool, with jazz and world influences and jungle (literally, bird sounds and distant jungle drums) and whales. It's slight, but not in a bad way, as their's always enough detail and changes to keep it moving and involving.
I'd not listened to this(on vinyl)for over 15 years and remembered only one tune. But slipping the remaster on now, I hear it like never before and it sparkles.
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 11/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the ONLY Jade Warrior album I don't particularly like. It's because there's a noticeable absence of songwriting on Waves, whereas on all the previous Jade Warrior albums you were treated to some truly beautifully-performed and *interesting* instrumental jams which was combined with some magnificent songwriting.
Where's the songwriting on Waves? Where's the captivating instrumental playing?
For the most part, the guitars and flutes are played so quietly, unmelodically, and created with the intention of making you feel like you're mellowing out at the beach somewhere, that it ends up sounding better than it actually is. SOUNDS pleasant, but the songwriting isn't good enough to save it I'm afraid.
The praise this album receives is somewhat of a mystery to me. The instrumental playing misses the mark on Waves I'm afraid, but rest assured- Jade Warrior is STILL a really good band. Just pick up one of their albums released before this one to see the bands greatness unfold in all its magnificent beauty.
I just wish the band didn't rely so much on soundtrack atmosphere and would have focused on writing really memorable songs instead. Putting these instrumentals on the same level as something a band such as Camel would create just doesn't make sense in my world.
The album gets a few points because I DO really like the guitar playing. Even when I have trouble getting into the notes that are playing, just the SOUND of the electric guitar the band is going for here is bizarre and fascinating, and reminds me of early King Crimson.
I also have a fascination with Asian culture, and Jade Warrior has a VERY good talent making me feel like I'm somewhere in Asia, and absorbing the beauty and atmosphere of the continent.
I don't know, maybe the album will get better over time. Now is not that time however... at least, not yet. We'll see in the future.
Update- one day later.
Haha, the album HAS grown on me a little bit more! So I think I'm going to raise the album rating from a 3 to a 4. The second half of the album features some gorgeous flute playing, and some instrumental jamming that DOES sound a bit more melodic than I gave it credit for last night. Some of the instrumental arrangements are truly moving, and I feel as if I'm starting to get into them more with each repeated listen."