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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Forum Quorum - The Forum Quorum (1968 us, enjoyable pop psych with some kitsch essence, 2012 Aurora issue)



The Forum Quorum comprises a group of Greek and Italian boys who dispense what manager Hal Davis calls a 'Mediterranean sound'. Lead instruments are electric bouzouki, placed by Sturg Pardalis, and shepherd's flute, played by Roger Galleo. 

Pardalis doubles on electric guitar and Galleo on organ. Co-partner of Pardalis is Sal Palazzolo. Others include Mike Battalia on bass and Brian Albano on drums. The lead singers are Pardalis, Palazzolo and Galleo, who write most of the material for the group.

The age range is 17 to 19. Musical mentor of the combo is Gus Pardalis, director of the music department of a Queens, NV Junior High School and a composer. Ad man Davis has provided promotional and marketing advice, and has already implemented a many sided campaign. This includes a Decca Records contract, a movie. Mission To Mars, with Darrin McGavin and Nick Adams, and publication of a book in two months by Grosset & Dunlap titled How To Form A Rock Group. 

Additionally, they have recorded the Girl Scout theme song, Follow The Piper, planned as a special project through that organization. Backing this up are engagements on the Mike Douglas Show, the Cheetah, teen clubs, commercials for Sattler's department store in Buffalo, a national TV commercial and nightly sessions at the group's home base in Astoria, NJ. Davis keeps the group under strict discipline. "I want them to realize the meter is running," he says. 

He seeks to inculcate them with what is happening on the contemporary scene, and its relation to the past and future. "I want them to be articulate spokesmen of the world of rock," he says, "just as I expect their booh to be a guide to the rock business for young groups"
Billb/rd, February 17th 1968


Tracks
1. Girl Make Up Your Mind (Roger Calleo, Sal Palazzolo, Sturg Pardalis) - 3:01
2. Monologue (Gus Pardalis) - 2:41
3. 51st Though (Sal Palazzolo) - 3:39
4. There's No Runnin' Away (Sturg Pardalis) - 2:58
5. A Summer's Day (Sturg Pardalis) - 2:22
6. Misery (Roger Calleo) - 2:36
7. Your Turn To Cry (Sal Palazzolo) - 2:42
8. No More Tears (From The Sagittarius Production "Mission Mars") (Gus Pardalis) - 2:55
9. (I Wanna) Testify (Darwin Taylor, George Clinton) - 4:49
10. Just The Same (Sturg Pardalis) - 2:40
11. Synopsis (Roger Calleo, Sturg Pardalis) - 3:53

The Forum Quorum
*Sturg Pardalis - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Electric Bouzouki
*Sal Palazzolo - Rhythm Guitar
*Roger Calleo - Organ, Flute
*Brian Albano - Drums
*Bobby Castaldo - Bass

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Caravan - Waterloo Lily (1972 uk, incredible progressive rock, canterbury scene, japan extra tracks remaster)



David Sinclair departed Caravan and Steve Miller arrived. If that was a reason this album ditches a lot of the nice, folksy pop songs of 'In The Land Of...' to replace them with long, jam based tunes - then that was a line-up change to be regretted! The playing remains exemplary, but there are few actual songs here. The opening title track is a case in point. I'm not going to be harsh or anything, because this does still contain melody amid the many instrumental parts and solo parts that are always impressively played - but there is something a little soulless about this. 

The second track just really continues from the first, but is ever more jam based, sounds like it wasn't so much written as made up from hours of improvisation. It doesn't sound like a song, lacks a central theme or melody but does contain lots of great playing. It's not bad, don't get me wrong. It's actually fairly enjoyable but it lacks a certain character and distinctiveness. 'Songs And Signs' is better from a writing point of view. It's less than four minutes long, opens with very quiet, mellow vocals and a fairly bare musical backing. But, an atmosphere is created. It's not song packed with thrills or melody but it does withstand repeated listening, and actually gains from such listening.

'Aristocracy' is a nice little piece of funky playing and in fact, would have made a great album opener! It would have indicated a change of style and/or pace but not alienated fans of the groups previous records. 'The Love In Your Eye' suite is twelve minutes long. It opens with some nice string parts around a very quiet and mellow vocal. The bass comes in, the drums - the song picks up pace whilst remaining nicely mellow. The strings add to the track rather than become an unnecessary embellishment, and this is enjoyable listening. It does descend slightly towards a mindless Jam to close, but never mind that for now. 

'The World Is Yours' wraps up the album, and actually becomes a highlight of the entire record for me. This is a lot simpler in structure than much else of what's contained on the album, has a nice melody and comes across as charming within well played instrumental parts rather than relying on well played instrumental parts to carry the track alone. We need melody in this world, and 'The World Is Yours' has plenty of it! A nice enough album on the whole, this 'Waterloo Lily' - there is nothing really bad here, but equally so few genuine highlights. The quality of the playing earns it an extra half point to bring it above being disposable.
by Adrian Denning


Tracks
1.  Waterloo Lily - 6:47
2.  Nothing At All /It's Coming Soon  (S. Miller)/ Nothing At All - Reprise - 10:25
3.  Songs And Signs (S. Miller) - 3:39
4.  Aristocracy - 3:03
5.  The Love In Your Eye / To Catch Me A Brother / Subsultus / Debouchement / Tilbury Kecks - 12:31
6.  The World Is Yours - 3:41
7.  Pye's June Thing - 2:57
8.  Ferdinand - 2:57
9.  Looking Left, Looking Right /Pye's Loop  - 6:56
All songs by R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, R. Sinclair except where indicated

Caravan
*Richard Coughlan - Drums, Percussion
*Pye Hastings - Vocals, Guitars
*Steve Miller - Keyboards
*Richard Sinclair - Vocals, Bass
Guests
*Mike Cotton - Trumpet
*Lol Coxhill - Soprano Saxophone
*Colin Frechter - String Arrangement
*Jimmy Hastings - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
*Phil Miller - Guitar
*Barry Robinson - Oboe

the journey of Caravan
1968  Caravan (Japan SHM remaster)
1970  If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (Japan SHM remaster)
1971  In The Land Of Grey And Pink (Japan SHM remaster)

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