QUIET SUN — Mainstream

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QUIET SUN - Mainstream cover
4.55 | 19 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1975

Tracklist

A1 Sol Caliente 8:02
A2 Trumpets With Motherhood 1:30
A3 Bargain Classics 5:37
A4 R.F.D. 3:09
B1 Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small Non-Stick Kitchen Utensil 6:09
B2 Trot 5:00
B3 Rongwrong 9:39

2011 CD reissue bonus tracks(Expression Records ‎– EXPCD2R,UK):
8. Years Of Quite Sun (10:33)
9. Years Of Quite Sun (10:25)
10. Trot (6:13)
11. R.F.D. (2:24)
12. R.F.D. Part 1 (8:01)

Total Time 75:00

Line-up/Musicians

- Phil Manzanera / guitar,keyboards,piano
- Charles Hayward / drums,percussions,keybaords,voice
- Dave Jarrett / keyboards,piano,organ,VCS3
- Bill MacCormick / bass,backing vocals

guests:
- Brian Eno / synthesizer,keyboards
- Ian MacCormick / backing vocals

About this release

Island Records ‎– HELP 19 (UK)

Recorded at Island Studios, London, January 1975

Thanks to Kazuhiro for the addition and snobb, kazuhiro for the updates

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QUIET SUN MAINSTREAM reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
This album stands apart from a lot of the other jazz-rock records released in the early to mid 70s in that instead of leaning on short gratuitous melodies that lead to long improvisational sections, this album features well composed melodic development combined with organically shifting sound textures to create one of the most unique fusions of jazz-rock rhythms and art rock composition released during this time. Most of the instrumentals on this album share some common references and influences. The dissonant diminished scale melodies driven by odd-metered rhythms sound similar to mid-70s King Crimson. The freer jazzy sections sound a bit like Soft Machine on their 3rd or 4th album, other sections reflect early fusion artists such as Chick Corea or Brian Auger. The big difference is that this album is driven by sonic texture changes that help push the music forward thanks to the pioneering production work of Brian Eno.

Eno is the most valuable player on this recording. His production skills were ahead of the game at this point making the music a constant shifting kaleidoscope of sound, his "treatments" help the strong melodic developments of Manzanera shift smoothly from one idea to the next.

Two songs stand apart from the others. One of those is "R.F.D." by keyboardist Dave Jarrett. This is a beautiful piece of impressionism in the style of Ravel with understated electronic keyboards more similar to 60s lounge interpretations of classical music rather than rock. The other is "Rongwrong", which features drummer Charles Hayward in a Robert Wyatt style wandering avant-garde pop song, unfortunately Hayward doesn't have Wyatt's cool jazzy voice. Too bad this is the only release by this amazing band, it would have been nice to hear more.
Atavachron
The stories behind this Phil Manzanera-led set are numerous including an all night recording session wherein all the primaries were cut, the simultaneous release of his solo 'Diamond Head' which mirrors part of the material here, and a slew of record company rejection letters that rivals the best of 'em, complete with the furiously scribbled notes of a determined artist. It reminds us that even in 1975, perhaps the zenith of progressive music's popular appeal, material like this was a hard sell. But Manzanera had seen some success with Roxie Music, 'Diamond Head' was bound for the charts, and RM bandmate Brian Eno was along for the ride on this one for synth treatments. In musical hindsight, the result was one of the great rock expressions of its time. A truly whole and unique event that seems to happen spontaneously, and though a mere two rehearsals were had it is a fully-realized basement symphony, a dream one afternoon, a young man's triumph and a rare gift.

Eight-minute 'Sol Caliente' could not be better named and achieves a mingling of black fire rhythm and minimalist wave theory, jazz drone and molecular exploration that ends all too soon on the near-perfect (and trumpet-less) 'Trumpets With Motherhood'. Drummer Charles Hayward is alive, his traps mixed in front, partnered by bassist Bill MacCormack's needlepoint thunk and Dave Jarrett's light touch on the Fender Rhodes. A kazoo free-for-all opens 'Bargain Classics' but it's as if the first cut never ended, just got more deeply into an already astounding moment of clarity and madness at once, the players braving the hot soot and sparks given off, pushing deeper with no thought to outcome... the experience of a living, blood-pumping creature, startling in appearance and not a little threatening. Manzanera's classic hard-fuzz guitar tone grounds us to realty when necessary Canterbury style, like a comforting friend during a long mescaline trip. But his leadership is entirely generous and he allows all members to shine, creating the special conditions that made this session what it is. 'Mummy Was an Asteroid' is miraculous, huge, inspired... layered guitar and key lines meeting on the street for some bold infighting, Phil's wailing solos, what Soft Machine could have been. 'Trot' provides a short rest but is equally compelling, Jarrett's soft jazz and Eno's childlike background colors. The infamous 'Rongwrong' finishes and though endless, turns itself into a sweet and not unsingable love song featuring Charles Hayward's slightly off whine and stiff tongue in cheek performance from the band.

Surely a masterwork of its kind though best viewed against the backdrop of prog history, and I suspect the record will please those most who have heard a tremendous amount of music, good and bad.

Members reviews

siLLy puPPy
QUIET SUN is a strange little beast. The jazz-fusion band existing in the Canterbury Scene was one of the few to incorporate highly distorted rock guitar in its sound. The band actually started under the ridiculous Pooh And The Ostrich Feather moniker in 1970. The band’s existence has everything to do with Robert Wyatt who with Bill McCormick the bassist brought this idea into fruition. MAINSTREAM is the first and only offering from this band which formed and disbanded and then reunited and because of Phil Manzanera’s success in Roxy Music allowed this group to reform and record these ideas and finally release this wonderful musical magic in 1975.

The band consisted of percussionist old-school friend Charles Hayward (This Heat, Mal Dean’s Amazing Band, Radar Favourites, Dolphin Logic), bassist Bill MacCormick (Matching Mole, Robert Wyatt, 801 w/ Manzanera, Eno, etc) and of course, Phil Manzanera, who is most famous for his lead guitar work in Roxy Music but is also less famous for his Latin American music hailing from Colombia and Venezuela. This album, however, was his very first collaborative effort and what a beautiful one it is.

While MAINSTREAM incorporates all those wonderful, delectable sounds that make up the Canterbury scene of jazz-rock fusion like the beautiful jazz-rock offerings of Hatfield and the North, QUIET SUN offers some serious rock guitar to the mix above and beyond the call of duty. It didn’t hurt that Brian Eno participated in the project as well as long time music critic and Nick Drake popularizer Ian MacDonald who not only contributed as a lyricist with QUIET SUN but also lent his vehement support of the band’s credentials in the progressive musical world.

Really, how can you go wrong with such progressive classics titled “Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small Non-Stick Kitchen Utensil”? The Canterbury scene is here in full swing with the addition of excellent guitar contributions. The musicianship is absolutely brilliant and the tracks may need a bit of time to grow on you but ultimately they have won me over big time. This is an album that whispers in my ear that it’s time to hear it again.

When i ordered this i expected a simple original album format but i ended up with the 2011 remastered version that is in a strange form of a booklet that explains the entire history of the band and although it doesn’t fit neatly in the midst of my CD collection, it does present itself as a standout amongst the crowd in not only packaging but also in its unique approach of incorporating the Canterbury Scene with the hard rock that dominated the mid-70s. I, for one, find this to occupy a unique niche in all of music history at a particular time and place. The irony is that this album which was an idea of the earliest of 70s almost never came to be. I am grateful that it did because it is one beauty in the making.
Warthur
Phil Manzarena invited his old pals from Quiet Sun, his pre-Roxy Music band, to at long last create the album they'd always wanted to. For four guys who hadn't been in the same band for some three years, the group manage to gel remarkably well, and the album avoids sounding like a throwback thanks to the production assistance of Brian Eno.

Manzarena's distinctive guitar sound is what sets this one apart from many Canterbury albums, but the group as a whole all have a contribution to make and craft a startlingly original album. One can only wonder the impact this would have had on prog history had it come out in the group's prime; the amazingly titled Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small Non-Stick Kitchen Utensil ends with a furious burst of aggression and the punkish vocals on the closing Rongwrong makes the album at points sound like an arty post-punk piece as well as a lovingly crafted prog gem. Although it was surely a nostalgia exercise for all involved, somehow the album still managed to be years ahead of its time. Amazing.

Ratings only

  • Decao
  • Phrank
  • Fant0mas
  • St Tree Fun
  • Lynx33
  • Ponker
  • yair0103
  • Dr Dopo
  • mzztrd
  • Rokukai
  • BrainStillLife
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • Drummer
  • HeadlessJazzman
  • Sean Trane

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