Thursday, 19 November 2009

****Subject Esq -Subject Esq (1972 Fantastic Kraut Jazz-Fusion, great songs, forerunner of 'Sahara' band****

"What is Love?" -Subject Esq. Great track from a *SUPERB* prog rock album-check it out!

SUBJECT ESQ. were a German band from the early 70s. The music is rather typical early 70s proto-prog with elements of JETHRO TULL (for the flute-guitar interplay), early YES, and the occasional saxophone riffs remind of early VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR. There are some spacier and/or symphonic parts that recall NEKTAR, GENESIS (around "Trespass"), and maybe early ELOY. The band continued under the new name SAHARA after this album. Second album of German progressive, "For All The Clowns" is more straighter with an overdose of progressive influences, notably FOCUS / YES and CARAVAN and a potpourri styles.

Michael Hoffman, flutist, alto-saxophonist and lead(?) vocalist - his flute works do indeed create a solid Jethro Tull atmosphere (and it was, after all, a good period for anyone even pinching the moody stuff of the Tulls), plus intensify the best of the improvisation (though it seems an even work from the band, during each jam); the saxophone diem sound constantly brings the jazz energy, while as vocalist, Hoffman has an impact. Peter Stadler, with his keyboards, and the two guitarist of the show rival upon the heavy sound/rock moments, in an intensely cheerful, compact-drifting or (best of all) grouchy sentiment. Pittwohn's mouth-harp won't be pestilential for the sound of Subject Esq., but, true, you can't say great stuff about its role in the script.Wissnet and Rosekind, as bassist and drummer, do a "nicer" job.

Subject ESQ.'s style is generous, but somewhat minimal. Especially in "Alone" and "Giantania" (the second one stepping in as something precious), you get the feeling of easy and spontaneous themes, rock-like, with some expected full improvisations and peculiar drops and jumps of the sound. It gives a great on-going effect, but it makes the jam only practical and sensible. "What Is Love" is about the same, but it has a jazz light-pitch entire flavor. "5:13" is for the flute and mini keyboard-fusion, intense and mellow, creeling and hard-custard in the same time. "Mammon" is the big piece of the album, with a jazzy styled feeling, a heavy main jam forced to slow down into soft improvisations and dreamy vocals (with lyrics that aren't too unconvincing). "Durance is waiting" stands as a pretty and hard rock composition, with the guitars finally doing a big juice, and the vocal catch being animated.

1. Alone (5:22)
2. Giantania (6:42)
3. What Is Love (5:39)
4. 5:13 (4:31)
5. Mammon (12:40)
6. Durance Is Waiting (8:25)

- Michael Hofmann / flute, alto-saxophone, vocals- Peter Stadler / keyboards
- Stephan Wissnet / bass, vocals
- Alex Pittwohn / mouth-harp, 12-string-guitar, vocals
- Harry Rosenkind / drums
- Paul Vincent / guitars

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