Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New York Rock N' Roll Ensemble

Anyone remember them?


Todd Mason said...

I saw last night that you were posting something about them. I have one track on a CBS anthology LP from ca. 1970.

Todd Mason said...

In fact, I think the track is this, "Fields of Joy."

pattinase (abbott) said...

Saw them live in late sixties with a classical music group in Philly. Big computers/synthesizers on the stage. It seemed pretty fantastical then.

the walking man said...

Never even heard of them Patti. Looked them up and listened through some clips, I don't think they got much air time 'round here.

Deb said...

Didn't they do something from the Who's "Tommy"--like, maybe, the overture?

Also, didn't Donald Fagan (of Steely Dan fame) have an ensemble called the New York Rock 'n' Roll Review about 20 years ago? That's who I thought this group was at first.

pattinase (abbott) said...

They may have been local to the New York-Philly area. More local music then. As far as I know, they existed for a short time in the late sixties-early seventies. But maybe they tried a comeback, Deb.

Charles Gramlich said...

Eh? I'm afraid not.

Richard R. said...

Nope, new to me.

Todd Mason said...

My memory, as is usually the case with stuff dating back to my teens, was pretty accurate:

Different Strokes [U.S. sampler with Soft Machine, Spirit, Big Brother, etc.]
Catalog Number: Columbia Records / AS 12
Release Date: 1970
Comments: U.S. pressing. Red Columbia labels.
Side 1: Johnny Winter And-Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo,
Tom Rush-Merrimac County,
Poco-A Man Like Me,
Dreams-New York,
Big Brother and the Holding Company-Mr. Natural,
Miles Davis-Saturday Miles,
Spirit-Morning Will Come,
It's a Beautiful Day-Soapstone Mountain,
The Chambers Brothers-Going to the Mill,
Laura Nyro-Blackpatch.
Side 2:
Ballin' Jack-Found a Child,
The New York Rock and Roll Ensemble-Fields of Joy,
The Hollies-Too Young to Be Married,
Elvin Bishop Group-Don't Fight It (Feel It),
Fraser & DeBolt-All This Paradise, Bill Puka-Nothing at All,
Soft Machine-Out-Bloody-Rageous, The Flock-Big Bird.

Boy, that Hollies song is obnoxious, almost up there with "You're Having My Baby" and for similar reasons ("Too young to be married/Too young to be be free [!?!]/Too young to be married.../But what could they do?/They were going to have a bay-bee!" Sung and arranged beautifully, of course.) Redbone was Lolly Vargas's band with his brother et al., iirc, before he went solo doing older pop as Leon Redbone (the brothers, like myself, are mostly-Caucs with Native Am ancestry). I'd say Ballin' Jack and Bill Puka might just be the only acts represented more obscure than the NYR&RE...though Fraser & DeBolt and Dreams might well make that cut, too.

Todd Mason said...

from their WIKIPEDIA entry:

Released in 1971, _Roll Over_ was their most overtly rock album to date and, at that time, their biggest seller. The band's tour to support this album was unique in that in addition to their usual college dates, the band also played with leading symphony orchestras across the country including the Boston Pops and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. When playing these gigs, the group played a set alone and then joined up with the orchestra to perform an orchestral version of Kamen's rock song "Anaconda," and Kamen's song "Winter Child", based on the Aria from Bach's _Goldberg Variations_. Kamen's efforts at orchestral composing (and fusing rock and orchestral music) set the stage for his later work as a movie composer as well as a composer, conductor and performer with Metallica, Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd.

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said...

And when I pick up a misconception early on, it sticks as well! For years, I've thought Lolly Vasquez (not Vargas, though the brothers did call themselves "Vegas" for a a while) was the guy who called himself "Leon Redbone" after leaving the band, but that's not the case at all.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And I guess it was on that tour that we saw them. On the way home afterward, my brother was driving, a car in front of us flipped over and a young woman came out through the window. My brother stopped and jumped out to help her--don't remember what happened next. This was on Surekill Expressway. Never forget that either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Pretty impressive music on there despite the dated sentiments. I was just playing Laura Nyro yesterday. Great voice but her songs were an awful lot alike.