Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Looking Into The Abyss

Amidst of all my school work, "work" work, and going to shows, I desperately try to squeeze even the littlest time to indulge myself into extensive researching and writing for the sake of content of this blog. Troubling commitment? Nope, not even. Writing for look&listen is more like me watering my plants on a weekly basis... mind you all that only ONE (of two) died! Scurrying from my embarrassment, this look&listen post shines on forgotten musicians that have vanished before reaching fame and artists that I simply know NOTHING about (ironic huh? As if I'm supposed to do all the homework for every post, heh).

Aalon Cream City

Aalon - "Summer Love"

Aalon - "Magic Night"

Not much can be said about Aalon. You can google about them all you want but there's scarce coverage on the band, likewise on Wikipedia. I personally haven't excavated into the band's history due to the lack of time, but if anyone's willing to do the nitty gritty and find more info, school me, because I would like to know.

Signed by Arista in 1977 (or is it Thump Records?), Aalon struggled to gain mass appeal with it's unique mixture of "Rock n' Soul." Underrated by the masses, the group produced only one album but it failed to hit charts and band quickly faded into oblivion in the late 70s. Yet their ecstatic mixture of Disco/Soul R&B/Rock remains noteworthy, especially during a time when not many bands or artists pioneered in such combination of genres. "Summer Love" takes a different approach from the rest of the album's songs, whereas the majority of tracks resemble more of a Rock sound similar to bands like Chicago and Steely Dan. Aalon Butler, founder of Aalon and former guitarist of the Eric Burdon Band, shared ideas with Burdon in combining the sounds of R&B with Rock. With influences from "Sly & the Family Stone, Graham Central Station, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Isley Brothers (among others), Cream City was a soul-funk gem with a definite rock influence." (All Music Guide)
Not much can be said about the groups disbandment and Aalon left the late 70s fusion music scene with Cream City as their only album.

Unknown test pressed record

unknown track1

unknown track2

unknown - "Feel Like Making Love"

This was one of those occasional "good accidents" I had stumbled upon in a local LB record store a year ago. It's also another reason why I treasure dollar bin boxes so much, you just never know what great gems you will find. Flipping through the crates, I stumbled upon this copy of what sounds to be some great Brazilian Jazz LP. With a bland test pressing label and illegible penmanship, I was unable to accurately decipher the artist, album information, otherwise a valuable pen scribble of some sort of name. The first track of the LP (possibly the second 12" of the album) begins with a fluctuate rolling of keys off the electric keyboard, which is carried by a steadfast, jaunty melodic voice, sung in Portuguese (please correct me if I'm mistaken). The second track plays smooth Bossanova, bringing one's mind at ease; while on the b-sides, we have an elegant rendition of Roberta Flack's hit, "Feel Like Makin' Love."

I have suspicion that this LP is a reissue through the site, as the words "whatmusic" is labeled on the b-sides of the record. I'm assuming that the artist or album's title is the cursive word on the far right of the test press side, but my inability to comprehend the name leaves me clueless of who the musicians are. If anyone knows anything, drop a line via comment box or email.