J-Ja

 

J Ann C Trio (USA): At Tan-Tar-A (Burdland LP 3300, 1965?)
Lounge
Ann Delrene (lead vocals, bass)
Led by a female singer and bassist, this trio was the resident act at an expensive country club called the Tan-Tar-A. Their very rare album offers sparse, garagy covers of ‘Jambalaya’, ‘Night Train’, ‘The Girl From Ipanema’, ‘Moon River’ et al, with an early sixties sound (although I suspect the disc could date from a few years later). For most people, the slightly odd, eerie ‘Voo Doo Doll’ will be the highlight. GRADE: C+.

J P De Saint Croix (Switzerland): Les J P De Saint Croix (Trinité TRN 10.001, with poster, France, 1973?)
Folk/Rock
Marie-Claire Krempf (joint lead vocals), Jocelyne Pernet (joint lead vocals), Catherine Störi (joint lead vocals), Annette Maulaz (joint lead vocals), Marie-Claire Bornard (joint lead vocals), Anne-Françoise Cuendet (joint lead vocals), Anne-Claude Guiessaz (joint lead vocals), Catherine Jaques (joint lead vocals), Anne Durgniat (joint lead vocals), Jeanine Thorens (joint lead vocals), Anne-Lise Kaempf (joint lead vocals), Mireille Cuendet (joint lead vocals), Mary-José Chevalley (joint lead vocals)
This youth choir album has full band backing and creates a suitably evocative mood, but on the downside it has massed vocals throughout and is all a bit jolly and middle-of-the-road. Thus, whilst it’s well recorded, sometimes quite beautiful and occasionally mildly interesting (with the odd neoclassical touch in the arrangements), it frequently strays too close to ‘Songs Of Praise’ fare for me. GRADE: C.

J P De Saint Croix (Switzerland): Chantent L’Évangile (Trinité TRN 10.022, with poster, France, 1974?)
Folk/Rock
Catherine Störi (joint lead vocals), Annette Maulaz (joint lead vocals), Anne-Françoise Cuendet (joint lead vocals), Catherine Jaques (joint lead vocals), Anne Durgniat (joint lead vocals), Jeanine Thorens (joint lead vocals), Anne-Lise Kaempf (joint lead vocals), Anne Egger (joint lead vocals), Sylviane Gander (joint lead vocals), Françoise Fuchs (joint lead vocals), Lisette Paillard (joint lead vocals), Mary-Claire Alber (joint lead vocals), Anne-François Alber (joint lead vocals), Josiane Duvanet (joint lead vocals), Claire-Lise Magnin (joint lead vocals, piano)
This is a huge step forward from their first, with much more varied electric arrangements and some nice instrumental breaks. In parts, it’s still a little too jolly and earnest, but there is some very pleasant and atmospheric music here GRADE: C+.

J Rider (USA): No Longer Anonymous (OR 016, 1996, recorded 1977)
Rock
Marsha Rollings (principal vocals)
As the title suggests, this is a collection of 1977 demos by the band formerly known as Anonymous (under which guise they issued the extremely rare album Inside The Shadow). This is in the same musical style, though a little heavier and less psychedelic; that said, the superb jamming ‘Sunday’s Hero’ has the late sixties West Coast vibe in spades. Both LPs were compiled onto a single CD (Aether Archives # 0009, 2000). GRADE: B–.
See also Anonymous

Jacamis (West Germany): A Bridge For You (No label J-7554.1, with insert, 1986)
Rock
Gitta Löwenstein (joint lead vocals)
This is a rather dull mainstream rock LP with soul, funk and symphonic edges and occasional Christian lyrics. Gitta Löwenstein certainly traded down when she moved from the excellent Werwolf to this anonymous outfit. GRADE: D.
See also Werwolf

Jack Of All Trades (Greece): Jack Of All Trades (Pegasus PEG 008, with insert, 1990)
Folk/Rock/Garage/Psychedelic
Vicky Varitis (joint lead vocals)
This short album (under half an hour) features just four tracks: two more uptempo melodic rockers and two gentler folkier pieces. All are simple but effective, with subtle psychedelic edges, and the album probably peaks on the longest cut ‘Confusion’. GRADE: C+.
Jack Of All Trades (Greece): Just Before Unfair Loss (Ikaros Music LP-002, 1995)
Folk/Rock/Garage/Psychedelic
Vicky Varitis (joint lead vocals)
Their second album is in a similar dreamy vein to their first, but a bit more substantial with nine songs (including an unusual, somnolent cover of ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’). This is the better of their two LPs, with some lovely moments, but they’re both worth hearing.

GRADE: C+.

Jack Of All Trades (Greece): Around And Away (Ikaros Music 013, some with posters and slipcase, 2014, recorded 1990-1991)
Folk/Rock/Garage/Psychedelic
Vicky Varitis (joint lead vocals)
Comprising eight unreleased songs recorded in 1990 and 1991, this enjoyable album offers the band’s usual trippy, folky garage rock. All copies featured a handsome thick gatefold sleeve, with a numbered limited edition of 70 copies also coming with three posters and an embossed slipcase; this luxurious packaging didn’t stop my copy from being pressed slightly off-centre. GRADE: C+.

Jackie & Dave (USA): Jackie And Dave (Century 32850, 1968?)
Folk
Jackie Robinson (joint lead vocals)
This is coffeehouse folk, similar to the straighter end of, say, Jim & Jean. Nearly all the material is covers of the usual suspects, including Ian & Sylvia, Tim Hardin and Leonard Cohen. Completely undocumented, this appears to be an extremely rare LP. GRADE: C.

Jackie & The Geezenstacks (UK): Jackie And The Geezenstacks (Hollick & Taylor, one-sided unreleased acetate, 1965)
Beat
Jackie Panting (lead vocals)
This oddly-named and obscure British beat group’s recording career stretched to a one-sided, 12" acetate on a Midlands-based private label. Recorded in March 1965, the acetate comprises four original songs and an instrumental based on the ‘1812 Overture’, and shows the Geezenstacks to have been well ahead of their time. Unlike many beat groups, they were superb musicians, and used simple, stripped-down arrangements of voice (without any distracting harmonies), dual electric guitars, bass and drums. Indeed, the songs, and in particular the superb lead guitar work, often bear a resemblance to early Jefferson Airplane, whilst the instrumental sounds like the Shadows-with-a-touch of prog. Had they survived into the psychedelic era, Jackie & The Geezenstacks could have been a fascinating band. GRADE: C+.

Jack’s Angels (Austria): Believe In A World (Amadeo AVRS 9200 St, 1967)
Folk
Claudia Pohl (joint lead vocals, percussion)
This coffeehouse folk's band debut inevitably has a few Dylan-esque moments with harmonica; equally inevitably, they’re the lowpoints of an otherwise very good LP. With their rich harmonies and gentle instrumental textures, they sometimes resemble the Seekers, but without blending in any pop or MOR influences the results are far superior. GRADE: C+.

Jack’s Angels (Austria): Restless (Amadeo AVRS 9203 St, 1967)
Folk
Claudia Pohl
Like its predecessor, this is an unusually good example of its style. The original songs are well-written, the covers are carefully chosen and the performances are nicely understated, with no intrusive strings or pop edges. A couple of cuts are perhaps a little jolly, but that comes with the territory, and this never crosses the line from earnest into preachy, which is an achievement in itself. The album was also released as Songs in West Germany, with a completely different sleeve (Philips 843 956 Y). GRADE: C+.

Jack's Angels (Austria): Our Fantasy Kingdom (Amadeo AVRS 9224, 1967)

Folk
Claudia Pohl

Housed in a stunning psychedelic sleeve, the band's third and final LP is as enjoyable as their first two. The highpoint is the closing title track, beautifully sung by Claudia Pohl, which has a slightly mystical edge and is easily the best thing they ever recorded. GRADE: C+.

Susan Jacks (Canada): I Thought Of You Again… (Goldfish GFLP 1002, 1973)
Pop
Produced and arranged by husband Terry (who wrote five of the songs), this is a logical step forward from the second Poppy Family album. Whilst several tracks are rather inconsequential, there’s some good soft rock here, and Susan is in fine voice throughout. GRADE: C.
See also Poppy Family

Jacqui & Bridie (UK): Tour Of Scotland With Jacqui And Bridie (Nevis NEV LP 148, 1974?)
Folk/Rock/Lounge
Jacqueline McDonald, Bridie O’ Donnell
The tasteless tartan cover suggests a monstrosity of an album, and with its cheesy, end-of-the-pier arrangements (mostly based around string synthesiser, piano and drums) this is often as close to cabaret music as to folk/rock. Nonetheless, some of the ballads are quite beautiful, making you regret their decision to include any uptempo cuts at all. GRADE: C.
See also Various ‘The Best From McTavish’s Kitchens’

Jacula (Italy): Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus (The Rogers TRS 010001, 1972)
Progressive
Doris Norton (lead vocals, violin, flute)
The story of Jacula/Antonius Rex is one of the most confusing on this site. The band is known to have issued three albums during the seventies – this one as Jacula and two as Antonius Rex – but from the early noughties onwards began issuing new albums under both names that were billed first as unreleased recordings from between 1969 and 1980 and later as reissues of unknown private pressings, with original copies being offered at vast prices on the band’s website. The problem was that none of these later albums sounded like their seventies work (though they did sound like each other, which was another red flag) and nor did they sound as though they dated from their putative era. Further, no ‘original’ copies have been offered of any of them except directly via the band, which makes their provenance further suspect. In any case, Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus was definitely issued back in 1972, though the bonus cut on the most recent reissue (which borders progressive metal and is sung by guitarist and bassist Antonio Bartocetti) probably doesn’t date from 1973 as claimed. In any case, this is a classic of avant-garde neoclassical progressive that takes Bach and English church music and distorts it to supposedly Satanic ends (though Bartocetti later suggested he made such a strange record in order to fake mental illness and escape national service). Based around organ and occasional Moog synthesiser, the music is darkly beautiful yet somewhat hammy at the same time, drawing as much from Hammer Horror soundtracks as classical music. A few moments of gentle, whimsical folk are interpolated to lift the mood. Depending on your perspective, this is either kitsch or eerie, breathtaking or faintly ridiculous. To my ears, it’s a masterpiece, even if I’m sceptical of some of the tall tales surrounding it – one of which was that the band’s keyboardist Charles Tiring was then 68 but had an 18-year-old wife. As a footnote, some sources suggest that the singer on the album (credited as 'Fiamma Dallo Spirito') was not Doris Norton but Vittoria Lo Turco; like almost everything to do with Jacula and Antonius Rex, this seems difficult to prove conclusively. GRADE: A.
Jacula (Italy): In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum (Black Widow BWRCD 051-2, CD, with digipak, 2001)
Progressive/Metal
Doris Norton (occasional vocals, keyboards, effects)
According to the band, this was recorded and originally released in 1969, supposedly in a run of 310 copies on an English private label called Gnome; these copies were allegedly sold to groups of occultists rather than distributed commercially. In any case, the album was completely unknown before its 2001 release on Black Widow and the only ‘original’ copies ever to be offered are through the band’s website or via one of their friends on eBay. Musically, it sounds like something recorded in 2001, crossing modern progressive metal styles (owing a heavy debt to Black Sabbath and gothic doom in general) with the organ-based approach of Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus. GRADE: B–.
See also Antonius Rex, Doris Norton

Jadallys (France): Le Silence (Brennus BR 8129, CD, 2004)
Metal
Sélène (lead vocals)
Whilst rooted in doom metal, this is a varied album indeed. Sélène adopts a range of vocal approaches, whilst the ultra-heavy riffing is interspersed with lush keyboard passages, progressive diversions and almost ambient moments. The result is quite an unusual record that often moves in unexpected directions whilst remaining coherent and consistently understated. GRADE: C+.

Jade (UK): Fly On Strangewings (DJM DJLPS 407, 1970)
Folk/Rock
Marianne Segal (principal vocals, guitar)
Backed by studio musicians the calibre of Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship), Terry Cox (Pentangle) and Clem Cattini, this trio cut an excellent electric folk LP with some nicely trippy Swingin’ London edges, often bearing a resemblance to What We Did On Our Holidays-era Fairport Convention. Although the UK issue is rare, the American pressing (credited to Marian Segal & Silver Jade, and packaged in a single rather than gatefold sleeve) is still relatively cheap. GRADE: B–.
See also Marianne Segal

Jade (Venezuela): Jade (Color 102 - 35025, 1983)

Pop

Marisela Pérez (joint lead vocals), Meiver Acuña (joint lead vocals), Candy Rojas (joint lead vocals), La Nena Pulido (joint lead vocals)

Don’t be fooled by the presence of Estructura vocalist Marisela Pérez or the fact that this was released on the same label as Equilibrio Vital – this is as far from progressive rock as you can get. Instead, it’s pure eighties pop – bouncy, funky, synthesised and disco-oriented – performed by a female quartet and masterminded by one Isaías Urbina, who wrote just about everything, arranged, produced and played a fair chunk of the instruments. In fairness, this is not obnoxiously bad (even if it does lift some of its riffs directly from pop hits of the day) due to good singing and some moments of rock guitar, but this sort of thing is far from my listening of choice. GRADE: C–.

See also Estructura

Jaén Kief (Colombia): Las Hadas No Vuelan Más/I. Vagas Nubes (No label PET 2389, CD, with digibook, 2003)
Progressive
Sol Beatriz Jaramillo (joint lead vocals, guitar), Catalina Aréiza (keyboards, saxophone)
With a distinctly South American feel and a few hints of Jethro Tull, this excellent album operates as a continuous suite of music, blending instrumentals and songs. Virtuosic yet mellow, it’s all wonderfully atmospheric and is highly enjoyable throughout. As a footnote, the disc received a broader release on Muséa (FGBG 4649.AR, France, 2006) with a standard jewel case and booklet. GRADE: B–.
Jaén Kief (Colombia): Las Hadas No Vuelan Más/II. El Agua De Frente (No label, CD, with digibook, 2006)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Sol Beatriz Jaramillo (joint lead vocals, guitar), Catalina Aréiza (keyboards, saxophone)
Their second and final album is in the same vein as their first, though more conspicuously jazzy. Although pleasant, it is neither as atmospheric nor as consistent as its predecessor. GRADE: C+.

Jaffray (UK): Alice (Tank BSS 152, 1976)
Folk/Rock/Psychedelic
Like the Chicken Shed album of the same name, this school project LP is a concept piece based around the works of Lewis Carroll; however, Jaffray opted for a psychedelic folk, rather than pop, based setting. Whilst the album is not that consistent – several tracks are weak schoolgirl folk – parts are excellent and even quite aggressive, with some fuzz and wah-wah guitars. GRADE: C+.
Jaffray (UK): The Seven-Sided Dice (Wild Dog DOGLP 14, 1978)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Kerry Hancox (principal vocals)
Originally staged as a school concert, The Seven-Sided Dice is even better than its predecessor. Essentially, the album falls midway between Ithaca and Reality From Dream, with a full electric band sound (complete with organ, electric piano, violins and occasional fuzz guitar), and an odd stage musical/theatrical twist. The result is a quintessentially English baroque folk/rock album with a strong Moody Blues influence and a quaintly psychy atmosphere; at times, it is hard to believe the LP is not the product of some long-lost late sixties rural acid-folkies. The penultimate track ‘The Chess Battle’ adds a further twist, being a heavy experimental progressive instrumental with savage distorted guitar work and weird electronic treatments, sounding almost like an outtake from Amon Düül II’s Yeti or some similar Krautrock piece. However, the real jewel in the crown is lead vocalist Kerry Hancox, who sounds like a teenage Annie Haslam; by rights, she should have gone on to become one of the defining progressive rock singers of the eighties. GRADE: B–.

Jan & Lorraine (USA): Gypsy People (ABC S 691, 1969)
Folk/Psychedelic
Jan Hendin (joint lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, kazoo), Lorraine Lefebvre (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Housed in a gorgeous gatefold sleeve, this is a superb album of psychedelic folk, with nearly all the material being self-penned. Among the many highpoints are the gentle, Eastern-flavoured ‘Bird Of Passage’ (with Magic Carpet’s Keshav Sathe on tablas), the raga-tinged title track, and the lengthy, jamming ‘The Assignment Song-Sequence’. Not everything is perfect – I could live without the whimsical ‘Old-Tyme Music’ – but the overall standard is extremely high. The album was recorded in London (and produced by Bee Gees collaborator Anthony Browne), but Jan Hendin and Lorraine Lefebvre were American. GRADE: B–.

Janeczek Sisters (Ireland): Sing Around Munster, Vol 1 (Cuchulainn CCHS 1015, 1976?)
Folk
Katherine Janeczek, Anne Janeczek, Margaret Janeczek, Eva Janeczek
Cut by four teenage sisters of mixed Irish and Czech descent, this rare folk album features some beautiful harmonies and a lush overall sound similar to Mac Murrough. Despite the presence of a couple of rather middle-of-the-road uptempo numbers, this could conceivably be an expensive and sought-after LP in the future. I am not aware that they ever got to cut a ‘Vol 2’. GRADE: C+.

Janison Edge (UK): The Services Of Mary Goode (Gargoyle GRG 001, CD, 1998)
Progressive
Sue Element (lead vocals)
When this first came out, I was somewhat underwhelmed, considering it identikit neoprog in the Landmarq mould (not entirely surprising, since the two bands shared a keyboardist and drummer). But whilst Sue Element does recall Tracy Hitchings, she also hints at Jerney Kaagman and there are definite tinges of the more commercial end of Earth & Fire in their sound. Further, whilst the instrumental backing is very Landmarq-like, Janison Edge have a much better grasp of melody and dynamics, and whilst safe and predictable this is more progressive than much of the output of better-known bands like Magenta and Mostly Autumn. GRADE: C+.

Gesangorchester Peter Janssens (West Germany): Ökumenische Beatmesse – Liebe Ist Nicht Nur Ein Wort (Schwann Studio

451, 1972)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Jutta Hahn (joint lead vocals)
Although the album has no artist credit, this was among the first projects by the prolific Christian composer Peter Janssens and his usual set of collaborators. Interspersed with spoken-word passages, many of the songs have a mid-paced, formal, hymn-like feel typical of Janssens’s work and are not terribly interesting. However, also typically for Janssens, there is some good material here: notably the fuzz guitar-driven opener ‘Vorspiel’, the pleasant folk/rock song ‘Nur Einer’, the gentle ‘Brot Und Wein’ and the loungy, jazzy instrumental ‘Meditation’.

GRADE: C+.
Gesangorchester Peter Janssens (West Germany): Song Of Love – Nach Texten Aus Dem Hohenlied Der Liebe (Schwann Studio

457, 1973)
Folk/Rock
Jutta Hahn (joint lead vocals)
Once again, this has no artist credit, but it was mostly composed by Janssens and cut by a similar line-up of musicians to Ökumenische Beatmasse. Whilst this never equals the highpoints of its predecessor, it’s one of Janssens’s more consistently enjoyable albums, with a light, breezy feel, some baroque touches and good use of flute. GRADE: C+.
Peter Janssens Band (West Germany): Gebet Für Marilyn Monroe/Psalm 21 (Pietbiet 1002, 1973?)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Jutta Hahn (joint lead vocals)
Featuring two side-long suites with lots of flutes, this is among Janssens’s most progressive works. There are some attractive melodies on offer and some very pleasant moments, but it’s a pity that both suites are absolutely crammed with lyrics; this would become a hallmark of his compositional style. GRADE: C+.
Gesangorchester Peter Janssens (West Germany): Ich Suche Einen Sinn Heraus (Peter Janssens Pietbiet 1019, 1975)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Jutta Hahn (joint lead vocals)
With just five long tracks and some surprisingly political lyrics, this is among Janssens’s more interesting albums. The opening ‘Leidenschaft Unendlich’ has an unusual lounge jazz flavour, whilst ‘Psalm 57’ and ‘Psalm 5’ see Janssens switching from his usual piano to organ, creating a progressive rock atmosphere. Meanwhile, ‘Die Vision’ is (unusually for Janssens) based around acoustic guitar and the closing ‘Wie Auf Einer Töpferscheibe’ recalls his normal style but with some jazzy and proggy edges. But as usual, it’s his insistence on cramming in far too many words to the detriment of fully developing the music that prevents this from realising its potential. GRADE: C+.
Gesangorchester Peter Janssens (West Germany): Wir Hören Schon Die Musik (Peter Janssens Pietbiet 1011, 1974)
Folk/Rock
Gundi Jöcker (joint lead vocals), Marianne Schulte (joint lead vocals)
Mostly this is business as usual, and like all Janssens’s albums is consistently quite good without being great, but two tracks stand out. ‘Dass Weite Meer’ is uncharacteristically dreamy and haunting, whilst ‘Müllrock’ (written by guitarist Gerd Geerken rather than Janssens) is a fantastic instrumental, driven by a heavy rock guitar riff and a funky musical base whilst Geerken (heavily constrained by the material elsewhere) really cuts loose with some powerful fuzzed soloing. GRADE: C+.
Peter Janssens Songorchestra (West Germany): Break Down The Walls (Peter Janssens Pietbiet 1024, 1976)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Gundi Jöcker (joint lead vocals), Marianne Schulte (joint lead vocals)
The lengthy ‘Psalm 21’, which takes up most of side two, is impressive, with some interesting melodies and lyrics, well-handled tempo changes and some superb (and in parts, quite avant-garde) flute from Klaus Dapper. Typically for Janssens, the other three songs on the side sound as though he composed them in his sleep, with ‘Freedom And Unity Add Up’ having a good guitar riff undermined by the infuriatingly childlike chorus. Over on side one, the haunting ‘Bread And Wine’ is the highlight; the remainder would be quite good if not for the cabaret-style drumming. A couple of songs display a calypso influence; possibly Janssens wanted to make a danceable record as this was primarily intended for export to Kenya. Whilst typically patchy and irritating (Janssens was clearly capable of making great albums, so why didn’t he?), this is among his best and most sought-after LPs. GRADE: C+.

Janus (USA): A Beginning (Adohr, 1970?)
Folk
Shelley A Sinclair, Lani J Wheeler
Issued only as a promo in a white sleeve with basic graphics on the front, this is one of the rarest American private pressings. Janus comprised two female folk singers performing with simple acoustic guitar backing; the best comparison for the vibe would be the British duo Sandalwood. Unlike Sandalwood, very little of the material is self-penned, with the most striking number being a gentle and haunting reading of ‘I Know You Rider’. This is a very pleasant and winsome record, and unsurprisingly a very expensive one. GRADE: C+.

Janus (Japan): Metropolis (Janus L-001/ICR-1072, with booklet, 1978)
Rock/Metal/Progressive
Tomoko Hasegawa (joint lead vocals), Ikuko Sawada (joint lead vocals, piano)
This supple hard rock album boasts both some excellent riffs and superb musicianship (particularly notable on a nimble instrumental). With lots of progressive moves and an unusually good recording for a private pressing. this is quite a treat for heavy music fans, though its limited pressing means that it is almost impossible to find. GRADE: B–.

M Jarvis/A Jarvis (UK): M Jarvis/A Jarvis (Plural 002, 3" CD, with clear plastic sleeve, 2004)
Folk/Ambient
Mikarla Jarvis
This odd little (in every sense of the words) mini-album offers half-a-dozen folky (mainly) instrumental vignettes totalling 16½ minutes. The music draws on both world and ambient music, with some classical references, so there’s a fair amount on variety and whilst I’m reluctant to give anything so insubstantial a grade higher than C+, this is quite the little gem and could delight many listeners. GRADE: C+.
M Jarvis/A Jarvis (UK): Jun (Ruralfaune Rur038, CDR, with minisleeve and insert, 2008)
Folk/Ambient
Mikarla Jarvis
This may be physically larger than their last effort, but it’s not much more substantial, clocking in at 19½ minutes. Once again, it’s a series of haunting and beautiful vignettes that arrive, relax and mollify, and then disappear, without much having changed. GRADE: C+.

Jaye Sisters & The Blue Jayes (USA): On Tour With The Jaye Sisters (No label JB-1000, 1967?)
Lounge/Garage/Country/Rock
Darlene Jaye, Pattie Jaye
Issued in a fetchingly primitive sleeve, this obscure set showcases a lounge act that claims in the sleeve notes to have won ‘friends across these United States’. Recorded in Nashville, it has a definite country sound, but with a nice stripped-down garage vibe featuring good singing, electric or acoustic guitar (with no pedal steel), bass, drums and percussion. ‘Love Of The Common People’ is particularly good, but this is a pleasant record throughout. The back cover states that the record is ‘not for commercial use’, but I’d suspect this means they sold it at their gigs rather than that it was intended for promotional purposes. As a footnote, the labels title this Sing, though the sleeve clearly calls it On Tour With…. GRADE: C+.

Jazz Composer’s Orchestra (USA): The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra (JCOA LP 1001/2, double, with booklet and box, 1968)
Jazz/Avant-Garde
Carla Bley (piano)
If you can get through several minutes of shrill squalling horns that open this double LP, there is some interesting music here, though this is frequently rambling, diffuse and self-indulgent. There’s no doubting the effort put in by composer and conductor Michael Mantler (later a long-term collaborator with Carla Bley), but you’ll have to like free-jazz – and horns – a lot more than I do to fall in love with this. On the plus side, the genesis of Escalator Over The Hill, which involved many of the same players, becomes obvious from time to time. GRADE: C+.
See also Carla Bley, Gary Burton Quartet, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Michael Mantler, Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports

Jazz Q Praha (Czechoslovakia/Ireland): Pozorovatelna – The Watch-Tower (Panton 11 0285, Czechoslovakia, 1973)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Joan Duggan (occasional vocals)
This long-running Czech band’s debut album is nearly all-instrumental, but Irish singer Joan Duggan adds a few vocals to the lengthy ‘Trifid’. Although occasionally ponderous, this is for the most part superb Vertigo-style early seventies jazz/rock, with some excellent fuzz guitar and electric piano work. GRADE: B–.
Jazz Q (Czechoslovakia/Ireland): Symbiosis (Supraphon 1 15 1536, Czechoslovakia, 1974)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Joan Duggan (lead vocals)
Unlike its predecessor, this is mostly song-based, with Duggan fronting and co-writing nearly everything. Often resembling Julie Driscoll, the disc is of a good standard, but I much prefer the more exploratory and inventive Pozorovatelna. Ironically, the CD bonus track ‘Presage’ is probably better than anything on the LP proper. GRADE: C+.
Jazz Q (Czech Republic/Ireland): Live 1974-75 (Bonton 71 0030-2 911, CD, 1991, recorded 1974-75)
Blues/Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Joan Duggan (principal vocals)
This posthumous live album is more wide-ranging than their studio sets, with at least half being blues/rock (including an opening cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Watch Out’). Inevitably, it’s a bit patchy, but there are several fine tracks on offer. As a footnote, the band’s seven studio albums (including five with an all-male line-up) were compiled along with this set and an excellent disc of singles and rare cuts as the boxed set Martin Kratochvíl & Jazz Q (Supraphon SU 5872-2, 2007). GRADE: C+.

See also Various 'Jazzrocková Dílna'