October 30, 2010

5 TEB fans can't be wrong! At last here's the unrealised "Raga in D"!

The rare & never realised track here is from a tape that was found with no title by the great late Paul Minns in his attic and goes back to the  "Alchemy" sessions (end 1968/beginning 1969), recorded in the Abbey Road studios by Glen Sweeney (hand drums), Paul Minns (oboe), Richard Coff (violin) and Ben Cartland (viola) – the first TEB acoustic line-up.

TEB 1968: Minns, Cartland, Sweeney and Coff.
In a rare occasion (a letter sent to me in 1996) Minns talked about the origin of this track:
"I nearly cried when I heard this. It was like the return of an old friend. This raga is called In D and was the nucleus for ragas such as "Area Three" and  "Ghetto Raga", both in the "Alchemy" album. This track should have been on as well as it was recorded at the start of that session but Cartland announced after two tracks that he wanted to play keyboards instead the viola. As this was totally unexpected and unacceptable he quit. He tended to be volatile and very hippy. The replacement was Mel Davis on cello who excelled and who I now realise was an inspired player and the best I have ever played with. His slide bagpipes (rubber inner tubes) on "Dragon Lines" was marvellous. The session at Abbey Road went like a dream and took over under a week."

Just as Minns would have wanted, I've decided to call the track just "Raga In D", and it really emanates the fascinating mystery of the "Alchemy" recordings – an overall atmosphere that has miraculously been preserved for all these years, offers us an extraordinarily beautiful out-take, played live by harmonious musicians, determined in creating a well thought out sound project rooted in the classic Indian tradition.

So, the 5 Third Ear Band fans cant' be wrong! This is the purest distillation of the TEBand's music!
Download, listen & be touched by the raga at http://rapidshare.com/files/427945468/Raga_in_D.mp3

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 22, 2010

"New Forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac" available again on the Net for free downloading.

For years deleted, you could get again the rare recording of "New Forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac", a limited edition official tape (not a bootleg!) produced in Italy by A.D.N. Records of Milan in 1989: it is the complete concert TEB played at Teatro Impavidi of Sarzana (SP) on January 11th, 1989 during the second Italian tour - "The Peanuts Tour" as Sweeney loved to call it because the scarce moneys gotten. That concert, done in a beautiful tiny theatre by a great line-up (Sweeney, Carter, Dobson and Smith), was managed by a young and kind TEB fan, Luca Iani: you can see here the pretty original concert poster (in Italian: "The return of a legend"...).

A.D.N. promo ad
This is the concert track-list:
 1. "Egyptian Book of the Dead" (10.05)
2. "Third Ear Raga" (14.05)
3. "Live Ghosts" (12.50)
4. "Witches Dance" (10.00)
It was mine the idea to use a Mario Balestrieri's work for the cover. Balestrieri is an old artist, he's living in Cremona, my smalltown (the famous Stradivari's town). 
During that second tour the band stayed here for few days, having a day off concert in a small club in Piacenza ("Tuxedo Club", a videotape of it does exist...). 
This is the link (thanks to Simon!) to download the beautiful concert: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RTQKHA6Z.

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 19, 2010

Denim Bridges hunted up...

But after "Macbeth"... what's happened to Denim Bridges? 

"Denny Bridges hails from England and has played guitar for more bands than you could shake a stick at", states some  Web pages with rare informations about him (https://www.reverbnation.com/thebevans or https://myspace.com/bevansband  or http://thebevans.weebly.com/).

"A veteran in the industry, Denny toured Europe playing guitar with The Third Ear Band for 3 years, the highlight being in 1973 a nomination for a BAFTA award for the filmscore "Music From Macbeth".
With a developing interest in recording Denny turned his attention to record producing under the tutelage of Beatles’ producer George Martin. Working with Mr. Martin in London and on the island of Montserrat, Bridges garnered credits with acts as varied and notorious as Carly Simon, Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Annie Lennox, E.L.O. & Brian Eno, just to name a few. Relocating to the States in the late 80’s, Denny continues to tour and produce from his studio in NYC".
In the last years, also working as engineer for the East Coast Recording Company (a recording studio located in Warminster, Pennsylvania - http://ecrstudio.com/), Bridges formed a duo with the singer Fiona Frensche (http://www.myspace.com/fionafrenschepop): "Frensche invited Bridges to play guitar for a cruise ship engagement and the musical duo Grande Tourismo was born", reveals another page  on Internet. "Presently the duo Fiona Frensche & Denny Bridges perform Pop, Jazz, Folk & Blues standards with Bossa Nova and European classics added for variety.
The duo is performing a Cabaret Revue of well known & loved songs made famous by French legends such as Piaf, Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt and Brigitte Bardot. 

Recently a Summer 2007 tour has been scheduled to include appearances at various Carnivals, Fairs & Festivals in the MD, NY, CT New England area. 
A repertoire of European favorites from the 30's, 40's and 50's as well as old vaudeville tunes are on the song list.  Keep an eye out for a barrel organ to lend a Montmartre  flavor to the eclectic mix of musical numbers one can hear from the trio of Merry Music Makers: FIONA FRENSCHE, DENNY BRIDGES, & PIERRE the dancing chihuahua". (!!!)

In these last years, the Grande Tourismo has played mainly in USA - Florida and NYC - and recorded some albums, the last one titled "Oooh-la-la!" .

It's quite surprising to realize he's the same electric guitarist played with the Thirds in the Seventies... isn't it so?

[Note for all TEB lovers: you can ask to Bridges to produce a record with all the original Balahm recordings writing to him at the address:
Denny Bridges - 93220 First Street
Pinellas Park, FL 33782
tel.: (201) 532-2603
e-mail: dxbden@yahoo.com]

                                                     edited by Luca Ferrari

Tempest - "Tempest" (Island 1973) engineer 
Electric Light Orchestra - "ELO 2" (Harvest 1973) engineer Brian Eno - "Here come the warm jets" (Editions EG 1973) mixing engineer
Malcolm & Alwyn - "Fool's wisdom" (Pye 1973) engineer 
Kiki Dee - "Loving and free" (The Rocket Company 1973) assistant engineer 
Jeff Beck - "Blow by Blow" (Epic 1974) engineer
Camel - "Mirage" (Deram 1974) engineer
Nova - "Blink" (Arista 1975) mixing engineer 
Fripp & Eno - "Evening star" (Editions EG 1975) engineer
The Movies - "The Movies" (Firefly 1975) engineer 
Plastic People - "Birth control"  (CBS 1975) mixing engineer
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - "The Penthouse tape" (Vertigo 1976) engineer 
Joe Cocker - "Live in L.A." (Cube Records) 1976 engineer
Sassafras - "Riding High" (Crysalis 1976) mixed by
David Dundas - "David Dundas" (Chrysalis 1977) engineer
Strawbs - "Deadlines" (Arista 1978) engineer
Rick Wakeman - "G'Olè. The official film of the 1982 World Cup" (Charisma 1983) (original soundtrack) assistant producer
Dashiell Rae - "Songs without words" (Coda 1986) engineer
Stackridge - "Mr. Mick" (Nippon Phonogram 1996)  engineer
Annie Haslam - "Live under Brazilian skies" (Transatkantic 1999) producer & engineer
Annie Haslam - "Woman transcending" (White Dove Records 2006) engineer

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

(UPDATED July 17th, 2015)

October 16, 2010

"Third Ear Band, an old- time alchemy" . A conversation with Glen Sweeney.

During the third Italian tour, the press met the band for some interviews. Just after a gig in Gorizia (November 24th, 1989), Glen Sweeney answered to some questions asked by journalist Piero Bielli. The interview was published in "Auditorium" issue 4 at the beginning of 1990.
Here's a translation (sorry again for my bad English!) of the interview:

Piero Bielli: Can you tell us something about the beginning of the Third Ear Band?
Glen Sweeney: "The Third Ear Band developed itself from some other bands. In the Sixties I had played with The Giant Sun Trolley and I used sound and music just to provoke the audience and force them to think. The Hydrogen Jukebox invented  the electric acid raga, that was played to reproduce the LSD trip effects. We played in  many events and happening at the UFO Club. After our electric instruments was stolen I formed the TEB as an acoustic group".

PB: Which are the things inspiring you now?
GS:  "Ravi Shankar, Sun Ra, Zen, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Aleister Crowley and Terry Riley".

TEB playing on stage at the Gorizia gig.
PB: Is your current musical philosophy the same of the past?
GS: "Yes, it's just the same".

PB: Your first record was published by Harvest, a major: how is it happenend?
GS: "With the help of Peter Jenner (from Blackhill Enterprises, our management) he gave us to Harvest as a group with hippy 'taste' in a package with other bands".

PB: I know you believe in reincarnation. Do you like to live in the present, or did you prefer to live in the past?
GS: "I like to live in the present day as I liked to live in the past. Life is as an alchemy, it consists in repetition, and repetition can turn slag of metals in gold, the spiritual material".

PB: What do you think about esoteric implications of some kind of music?
GS: "Music is the healthy power of the universe".

PB: "About the TEB works: after all these  years, what do you think about your first three records?
GS: "That records are a product of the past, but for myself they contain magic that produces a sensation of wonder. "Macbeth"  is just a soundtrack...".

PB: Do you like the film? How did you met Polanski? The music was composed watching the film or it was composed in a second time?
GS: "I liked the film. The music was improvised section by section while we watched to it. But the film clips was in black and white. When the film was realised it was in technicolor, and for myself it reduced the dramatic impact of it. So the thing has caused a dissociation in me about  the music parts and the visual ones. If you watch the film you can see the TEB plays in the minstrels' gallery. It was the fate that one day  took Roman Polanski at the telephone. How and why I don't know".

PB: Why the band split just after three records and why have you decided to reform it?
GS: "We split because punk-rock changed the scene and everything was become hostile with us. I was thinking to do some of different. Luca Ferrari has been able to reform the band and "Rockin' Umbria" was the crime scene".

PB: Do you think now music scene is changed? If you think so, it's better or worst?
GS: "Now we have thousand of groups playing rock, folk, Indian music, African music... And this is OK for the music".

PB: At the moment all your new recordings are just from live concerts... What can you tell us about your forthcoming new studio album?
GS: "I can tell you it'll be published on 1990 ["Magic Music", published by Materiali Sonori]. It will be a collection of magic sounds, coloured by an antique Indian patina, with the electronic games of Mick Carter's guitar, Neil Black's soprano sax and flute and Glen Sweeney's alchemical percussion. Take a walkman, tune in and drop out with the magic music".

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 14, 2010

A new unrealised little cameo from the 1971 Balham recording sessions: a remake of "Air".

If (but when?) Mr. Denim Bridges would decide to produce a brand new record with the unrealised 1971 TEB tracks recorded in Balham Studios, we'd listen to this wonderful  3.25 remake of "Air", here just a rough sampler stolen with my Panasonic RQ-L30 mini cassette recorder during a private audition from Bridges' MySpace.

Denim Bridges in 2007 (?).
Despite the bad sound quality, you can appreciate now the very fine melodic flavour of Paul Minns' oboe on the repeated beautiful chorus and the great improvisations  of Buckmaster and the same Bridges...

Download and listen to "Air" at  http://rapidshare.com/files/424025668/Air_1971.mp3

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 11, 2010

Bernie Taupin's LP 'Taupin' from 1971 featuring Richard Coff on two tracks available on the Net.

Bernie Taupin's LP "Taupin" from 1971 (Elektra EKS 75020)  which features Richard Coff on two tracks is available for a free download at  these links:

https://rapidshare.com/files/2837060038/11_-_LIKE_SUMMERS_TEMPEST.mp3 https://rapidshare.com/files/3567428743/12_-_TODAY_S_HERO.mp3 

This rare and never edited on CD album, produced by Gus Dudgeon, is a spoken word record of Taupin reading his poems over a variety of musical backings (among the others Shawn Phillips...). The string arrangiaments are by the famous Robert Kirby (Nick Drake, Al Stewart...).
A short comment by TEB fan (& musician) Sedayne, that tracked down the link:

"The first of the two Coff tracks ["Sisters of the Cross", 2.39] features subdued droning viola which could, in all honesty, be anyone. The second ["Le petite Marionette", 1.33] is pure Coff - featuring multi-tracked pizzicato & bowed violin very reminiscent of the A&H soundtrack. Well worth a listen I'd say!".

So, download the record!

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 09, 2010

"The return of the acid prankster. Glen Sweeney tells the Third Ear Band story". A 1990 Nigel Cross interview.

One of the best interview ever made it's that Nigel Cross had with Glen Sweeney for the English fanzine called "Unhinged". Published in Spring 1990, now out of print, it's a very long, deep excursion through the TEB glorious epic, with some interesting revelations about facts and people involved (& funny anedocts), that inspired my little book on the band titled "Necromancers of the drifting West", printed in 1997.
(Just a recommendation: not all the things Glen says are true or totally true, but it's all part of the TEB Glorious Epic...)

                   ©"Unhinged" 1990

[Note: other 'classic' TEB interview on this Archive are at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/02/old-funny-article-on-teb-by-chris-welch.html (a Chris Welch 1969 interview), http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/01/very-precious-little-group-at-one-time.html and http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/01/very-precious-little-group-at-one-time_26.html (a two-parts Richard Williams 1970 interview) and  http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/06/glen-sweeney-interviewed-himself-in.html (a Sweeney 'auto-interview' about  The Hydrogen Jukebox recorded in 1989]
no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 08, 2010

Again about origin and meaning of the expression “third ear”…

As revealed in a past file of this archive (http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/07/origins-and-meanings-of-third-ear-band.html), apparently there're no obscure origins and meanings behind the expression “third ear” conceived by Carolyn Looker for the band of her husband Glen Sweeney: she had the happy intuition to relate

the well-known “third eye” philosophy to a “third ear” dimension to listen particular kind of sounds…
But it can be interesting to know that the origin of that expression it’s due to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) that used it in his famous “Beyond of Good and Evil” (1886, paragraph n. 246) about the reading of books written in German:

"What a torture are books written in German to reader who has a THIRD ear!".

Friedrich Nietzsche
Later, the same expression was adopted by psychoanalists as Erich Fromm, Enid Balint and, above all, Theodor Reik,  author of a book titled “Listening with the third ear. The inner experience of a Psychoanalyst” (The Noonday Press, New York 1948-1991).

Reik (1888-1969), Freud's pupil and friend, writing about the silence in anlysis, alludes to the “active power of silence” inside the relation between psychoanalist and patient.

Theodor Reik
In the history of humankind culture, usually the word is equivalent to life and silence is equivalent to death, thus silence is considered a problem. But - as Reik maintains - if the analyst isn't afraid of the silence, he can penetrate the “silence areas” using his “third ear” and get all the patient’s psycologic stuff removed.

He explained that “to truly begin a framework in which to conceive of another's subconscience, we must begin with an experience of shock and surprise. From there, to incorporate an understanding through the third ear, is to understand musical time by making comments with tact, as in a moment of analagous musical pause, or between measures.

Often to say the right thing is to speak at the right moment. Nietzsche describes the third ear in Beyond Good and Evil, where the analyst exists in a subjective state of psychological timing, and it is to this cadence between himself and subject that he listens. In the detection of unspoken emotional significance, what is unconscious is hidden by language and revealed in silence. In other words, a true emotional drive is often under what is not said, rather than what is said. And the tone of speaking tells us about the speaker emotionally more so than the words themselves. For example, a low speaker can develop in reaction-formation against loud parents”.

“Often there is more to hear than what you normally hear”, writes James E. Miller in his “The Art of Listening in a Healing Way” (Willowgreen Publishing, UK 2007).
“Your two ears can take in only so much. They can be attuned only to certain wavelengths. After that, your third ear may be the one that hears best. (…) Listening with your third ear is never an attempt to psychoanalyze someone, nor is it an effort to come up with a solution for another’s problem. It is simply your openness to be sensitive to those messages that may not have been uttered but have been nonetheless sent”.

Also an Italian book tries to investigate the nature and the power of that "third ear". 
In their "Il terzo orecchio. Dalle forme dell'ascolto alla musicoterapia" - "The third ear. From the ways of listening to the musictheraphy" (Soleverde, Torino 1991), Mario Delli Ponti and Boris Luban-Plozza state that the "third ear" is "the capability of mind to place sonic material in an artistic space, let it live on a rich personal involvement, getting hidden meanings".

In their fascinating excursus, the authors drive us through the rich and complex relation between music and mind, proposing the use of sound as a strong medication for mind.

It’s quite suggestive to try to do some correlations between TEB music and the idea of a “third ear” that can access to obscure areas of our mind and get subliminal sounds...

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 03, 2010

Bristolian radio programme dedicated to the memory of John Peel soon.

Steve Pank informs me Bristolian radio BCFM  will dedicate a one-day programme to the memory of the great John Peel on next October 11th, the date of his last broadcast in 2004.

Words, music & memories about the late great American DJ who changed the way to tell rock music, with a quotation of his involvement with the TEB.
"We will be providing a varied and in depth look through at the life and times of John Peel" - explains  at the radio - "playing some of his famous ‘peel sessions’ as well as a lot of the groups and musicians he has championed throughout his career and also keeping with the Peel ethos we will be playing other music that perhaps doesn’t get as much airplay as it should - hopefully introducing you to some new and old tracks that you might just fall in love with". 

Because they didn't know it and don't have a copy of it (!), Steve asked me to send him a copy of "Area Three" to broadcast it - the track on TEB's "Alchemy" where Peel played a jew's harp...

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

October 02, 2010

Another old & rare TEB radio session available now!

Thanks to great TEB fan and musician Sedayne, we have now another old rare TEB radio recording available from BBC "Sound of the Seventies", played on June 18th, 1970 by the glorious, incomparable line-up with Sweeney, Minns, Coff and Smith. 

TEB 1970: Sweeney, Smith, Minns and Coff.
The tracks, partially known in the last months through a YouTube video titled "The Sea" (watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UglnfqXuhJg ), are: 

1. "Dog Evil" (a.k.a. "Mosaic") - 6.50
2. "The Sea" (a.k.a. "Air") - 8.17
3. "Water" - 2.51

and offer a very peculiar incursion in an unfamiliar land of band repertoire.

You can download the tracks in MP3 format at:
no©2010 Luca Ferrari