Oct 28, 2012

Jasper Wrath - Jasper Wrath (1971)

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US band JASPER WRATH was formed in 1969, when Jeff Cannata (drums), Michael Soldan (keyboards), and Robert Gianotti (guitars) left their former bands to pursue other musical directions; and with the addition of Phil Stone (bass) the new band was formed.
The first six months or so of it's existence the band concentrated on writing new material, and then sent oout demos to select record companies in New York and Los Angeles. A few weeks later MGM Records contacted the band, and after a live showcase for the label the band landed a record deal. Their debut album was recorded at Phil Ramone's studio over a few weeks, and was issued in 1971.
A short time after the release a national tour is planned, but when Gionatti suddenly decides to leave the band; and a suitable replacement can't be found, the outfit temporarily splits.
Following an excursion in Europe a new line-up is formed. Cannata, Soldan and Stone (now also handling flute) remains from the first line-up, and James Christian (vocals), Scott Zito (guitars); and later Soldan's place as an active member is taken over by Jeff Batter (keyboards, synths).
The reformed Jaspwer Wrath doesn't issue any new material though; but continue as a live act until 1976. The material made in this second stage of their was later made available on a compilation album released in 1997; including selected tracks from illegal albums issued by the Dellwood label under false names (Ardent House: Coming Back; Zoldar & Clark: The Ghost of Way).
1. Look To The Sunrise
2. Mysteries (You Can Find Out)
3. It's Up To You
4. Autumn
5. Odyssey
6. Did You Know
7. Drift Through Our Cloud
8. Portrait: My Lady Angelina
9. Roland Of Montevere

Michael Soldan - keyboards and vocals
Jeff Cannata  - drums, percussion, guitar, woodwinds and vocals
Robert Gianotti - guitar, flute and vocals
Phil Stone - bass and vocals



DanP said...

Nice one, I enjoy this piece quite a bit.

adamus67 said...

During their short recording career, Hamden, Connecticut's Jasper Wrath (Robert Gennette, Chris Hawke, Michael Soldan and Philip Stoltie - the limited liner notes don't provided a clue as to who played what), managed to release one instantly obscure 45 ('Did You Know That' b/w 'It's Up To You', Sunflower catalog number SNF 5003) and an equally rare 1971 album. That's unfortunate since their album's a largely undiscovered treat.
First off, we'll be honest and tell you this is one of those releases that didn't grab us the first time we listened to it. Occasional woodwinds made it a little too laidback and mellow for our tastes ... That said, having spun it a couple of times, it's become a personal favorite.
Signed by MGM's short-lived Sunflower subsidiary, the quartet's self-titled 1971 debut features an entertaining hybrid of commercial, lite-psychedelic and occasional progressive moves. Produced by Joey Levine (probably explaining the commercial edge), Jim Carroll and the band, "Jasper Wrath" wasn't exactly the year's most original offering. On the other hand, the collection was full of strong melodies (imagine Gentle Giant had they gone in a more mainstream direction, or America had they gone for a progressive sound), some wonderful harmony work ('Autumn') and more than it's share of tasty guitar ('Mysteries (You Can Find Out)'). Highlights included the rocker 'Did You Know That' and the extended, progressive workout 'Roland of Montevere'.
Alex,Thanks a lot!