While there are literally thousands of psych LPs out there, there's a small core (say 400 or 500), that are widely recognized as sought after genre classics. This is one of 'em … It's always struck us as kind of interesting that these guys (bassist Larry Brown, former Fender IV and Sons of Adam guitarist Randy Holden, singer Jeff Nowlen, rhythm guitarist Geoff Western and drummer Danny Woods) have been lumped in with San Francisco bands such as The Dead, The Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Geographically hailed from Los Angeles they really weren't part of the Haight Ashbury scene (though they played a lot of shows at the Avalon and other San Francisco clubs). Musical comparisons to those other bands are equally clumsy given their weird hybrid of garage and psychedelia set them miles apart from most contemporaries.
“The Other Mozart” is Franz Xaver, son of Wolfgang Amadeus, who was born in the year of Wolfgang Amadeus’s death, 1791. Franz Xaver lived into the era of high romanticism and died in 1844. Franz Xaver’s lineage, some enthusiastic early reports from his teachers (not least Salieri!) and the influence of his mother, Mozart’s widow Constanze, ensured that Franz Xaver’s talents as a pianist and composer allowed him a career. He grew up and lived his last years in Vienna, but spent most of his adult life in and around Lvov (in present-day Ukraine). Constanze complained of his easy-going nature; whether this was the cause of his limited success is not known.
John Coltrane is undoubtedly in the upper echelon of elite jazz musicians, but deciding which album to listen to is complicated because his sound changed every week. Some groups exhaust a sound or just feel compelled to change direction, while some bands successfully keep the same sound for decades. The currency of Coltrane’s assessment is practically in days, not years. Was Coltrane content as a relentless explorer, or was he a tortured soul who constantly yearned for something else? In any case, choosing an album requires considering where it falls along his musical spectrum. The album The Other Village Vanguard Tapes was recorded in late 1961, when the improvising was very free and modal, but the rhythms had a strong pulse. It stands at the fifty yard line between his early outings and his later “out there” freer stuff.