Saturday, 15 April 2017

J.K. & Co - Suddenly One Summer 1969 (AMR Archive, Japan 2006)

The history of J.K. & Co. was little known, the details etched in admirably by Sundazed's CD reissue of their only album. The group was led by Jay Kaye, who was only 15 when he assembled J.K. & Co. in early 1968. With assistance from arranger Robert Buckley (also still in his teens), producer Robin Spurgin, and session musicians, he recorded a little-known album, Suddenly One Summer, for White Whale in Vancouver (to where he had briefly relocated from Las Vegas). His florid, melodic songwriting betrayed obvious debts to Donovan and George Harrison; his low-key vocals also recall George's late Beatle efforts. The sappier excesses of his lyrics haven't dated well, but his soothing arrangements (with low-key organs and saxes), beguiling melodies, and good-hearted, meditative ambience make him one of the worthier obscurities of the late '60s.
As a band, J.K. & Co. didn't really exist until after the album was completed, and Kaye formed a group to play the material live that included his cousin John Kaye on bass. Although the LP got a little bit of exposure on Californian underground radio stations, it was not well-promoted and remains barely known, even by many psych-heads. Their career was not aided by the label's bizarre decision to pull a 36-second-long track, the instrumental introductory piece "Break of Dawn," as the single. While they did play live in California, they broke up around the end of the 1960s, without releasing any more recordings. The rare album was reissued on CD by Sundazed/BeatRocket in 2001. (allmusic.com)

 This sounds like the solo album that George Harrison might have made before he left the Beatles, as several songs have that solemn, spiritual, forlorn quality Harrison perfected on cuts like "Long, Long, Long." With its languid guitars, organ, and somber mood, "Nobody" is so reminiscent of All Things Must Pass tracks like "Let It Roll" that one is surprised to find that this album was done well before the release of All Things Must Pass in the early '70s. Although the lyrics are blatantly hippie-ish, the music itself sets a dignified, almost stately mood with its intimacy and tasteful restraint. "Fly" and "Nobody" are genuine lost treasures of low-key late-'60s late psychedelia, and alone make the album worth investigating. But it's inspired and pleasurable the whole way through, down to the super-brief links and intros dotted throughout the record.

Very fine psychedelic pop album from '69. If you don't know it give it a try
                   
and enjoy
Cheers
           Frank   Flac
                       mp3@320 

1 comment:

  1. Also, Christine sounds like John Sebastian's Darling Be Home Soon... :)

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