HATFIELD AND THE NORTH — Hatfield and the North (review)

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH — Hatfield and the North album cover Album · 1974 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Warthur
A true Canterbury supergroup, Hatfield and the North brought together the qualities of its various members previous bands - combining the whimsicality of Gong, the sense of humour of Caravan, the jazz-rock chops of Matching Mole and the complexity and flair of Egg. The group blend all of their musical styles perfectly to create a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts, with a mood that ranges from the tranquil (Calyx, Fol de Rol) to the frenetic (Shaving Is Boring).

The instrumentalists are at the peak of their game - Phil Miller's guitar playing and Dave Stewart's ever-charming keyboard are particular treats. On top of that, the band shows an appreciation for the use of the voice as an instrument; Richard Sinclair proves willing to make the most unusual voices as part of his singing, the Northettes add an extra layer to the music with their angelic backing harmonies, and pal of the band Robert Wyatt puts in a guest appearance on Calyx (marking, incidentally, his return to professional musicianship following the life-changing accident which put paid to Matching Mole). Finding a perfect balance between the jazz fusion direction explored by Canterbury elder statesmen Soft Machine and the more whimsical approach of the likes of Caravan and Gong, the first Hatfield and the North album is a vital album for anyone exploring the Canterbury style of fusion.
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