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Eric

Miroslav Vitous - Purple - On Columbia

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This has always looked interesting to me - with McLaughlin, Zawinul and Cobham. Never seen it, never heard of anybody hearing it!

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I bought this one right away back then - got a good review in the German magazine Jazz Podium, and since I always liked Vitous, I went for it. Why SONY Japan never reissued this on CD is beyond me. It is not earth shattering, but an interesting early fusion melange, very open settings, Vitous overdubbing electric, or even electric piano, everybody leaves a lot of space in the music for the others, like a Bitches Brew stripped down to the very essence. The complete line-up is only on part of the album.

It is totally different from his US debut Infinite Search, which is powerplay, in comparison - Purple is not exactly restrained or thoughtful, but takes its time much more. Perhaps Vitous doesn't like it anymore?

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First time I've ever even heard of it! :blink::blink::blink:

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First time I've ever even heard of it!  :blink:  :blink:  :blink:

Yeah, I've never even heard of this album.

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So, this was a Japan-only release?

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So, this was a Japan-only release?

Yes - never heard of any other issue.

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Wow.

That personnel in that time frame makes this something I would very much like to hear.

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Definitely. I stumbled on to this doing a McLaughlin search on AMG. Could not even find a "one star" GEMM dealer selling a G+++ copy for $75 ... ^_^

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It is good, and it is rare... don't have a copy of it, but it's one I'm always thinking about picking up. A lot of Sony jazz LPs from that time frame are uncommon.

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Wow.

That personnel in that time frame makes this something I would very much like to hear.

Some of the compositions are intriguing as well.

Guy

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Gave this a spin during breakfast. Somewhere in between In a Silent Way and the first Weather Report.

On side one, Zawinul on Rhodes, Vitous on acoustic and Cobham play the title track, which is a rocky Vitous original (some bowed bass solo overdubbed), and Ron Carter's Mood. I like Zawinul better here than on any other album, I must admit.

Side two starts with McLaughlin, Vitous on electric bass and piano (overdubbed), and Cobham doing Water Lilie, which could have made it to Weather Report's first LP as far as the mood is concerned; Shorter's Dolores with just Vitous and Cobham, two basses, arco overdubbed, similar to Mountain in the Clouds from Infinite Serach; and Vitous' It Came From Nowhere, an experimental rockish track with Vitous and Cobham, both oberdubbing electric piano and a second drumset.

A nice one - now that Legacy reissued even the more obscure Japanese Hancock LPs, why not this one?

Or rather some of the newer reissue labels, Wounded Bird, Water, or Rock & Groove?

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Never heard it, never seen it... but I bloody need it. :rmad:

KD

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Here's some information from "a reliable source":

This album was a demo session that Miroslav recorded in 1970.

When he 'left' Weather Report he 'sold' this to Japan for 'large' money

and 'never paid' the 'sidemen'.

Since there is a looming fear of retribution Sony won't touch this.

And the deal was for Japan only.

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I've been wanting to pick this up for a long time. It always seems to go for lots of $$$$$$ on eBay!!!!!!!!!

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This has always looked interesting to me - with McLaughlin, Zawinul and Cobham.  Never seen it, never heard of anybody hearing it!

I've always gained comfort knowing these guys were contained in one small recording. :)

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Here's some information from "a reliable source":

This album was a demo session that Miroslav recorded in 1970.

When he 'left' Weather Report he 'sold' this to Japan for 'large' money

and 'never paid' the 'sidemen'.

Since there is a looming fear of retribution Sony won't touch this.

And the deal was for Japan only.

The liner notes in the accompanying data sheet in Japanese are dated to 1974, that fits into above story. If I ever get the equipment to transfer this to CD I will let you know. Maybe I should sell this on ebay some day ..... how much does it go for?

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Well, eight years on, I have yet to see the damn thing, but did find an alternate cover - from the French Epic pressing, apparently:

post-219-0-27217300-1366308459_thumb.jpg

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Orange!

I did get a copy finally; it wasn't too expensive (tho missing the obi). Nice - if not earth-shattering - session.

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This has always looked interesting to me - with McLaughlin, Zawinul and Cobham. Never seen it, never heard of anybody hearing it!

I've always gained comfort knowing these guys were contained in one small recording. smile.gif

:lol:

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Completely new to me too -- intriguing!

But I don't understand the idea that Sony won't touch this for fear of retribution -- from who and for what? If Sony/Japan bought it outright then they own it and can do anything they want with it. The surviving sidemen might be pissed that they never got paid, but their beef is really with Vitous who would appear to have gone behind their backs. I guess a question would be under what contractual circumstances did everybody participate in the first place and who paid for the session. But in any case, Sony owns it and since when do they care about retribution if there's no legal ground for opponents to stand on? Frankly, they probably wouldn't care if there was legal ground if there was real money to be made by reissuing. More likely they won't touch it because nobody but, um, us and a few our friends would buy it. Might be different if there was a horn player here with some marketplace value (Wayne Shorter? Joe Henderson?) or perhaps if the more saleable Chick Corea were in place of Zawinul. Just speculating.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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Completely new to me too -- intriguing!

But I don't understand the idea that Sony won't touch this for fear of retribution -- from who and for what? If Sony/Japan bought it outright then they own it and can do anything they want with it. The surviving sidemen might be pissed that they never got paid, but their beef is really with Vitous who would appear to have gone behind their backs. I guess a question would be under what contractual circumstances did everybody participate in the first place and who paid for the session. But in any case, Sony owns it and since when do they care about retribution if there's no legal ground for opponents to stand on? Frankly, they probably wouldn't care if there was legal ground if there was real money to be made by reissuing. More likely they won't touch it because nobody but, um, us and a few our friends would buy it. Might be different if there was a horn player here with some marketplace value (Wayne Shorter? Joe Henderson?) or perhaps if the more saleable Chick Corea were in place of Zawinul. Just speculating.

I tend to agree with you. I do have it and it's an interesting release albeit a little short at 35 minutes. It's of particular interest to Vitous fans, I think, as the overdubbed arco solos really are quite impressive.

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Here's some information from "a reliable source":

This album was a demo session that Miroslav recorded in 1970.

When he 'left' Weather Report he 'sold' this to Japan for 'large' money

and 'never paid' the 'sidemen'.

Since there is a looming fear of retribution Sony won't touch this.

And the deal was for Japan only.

The liner notes in the accompanying data sheet in Japanese are dated to 1974, that fits into above story. If I ever get the equipment to transfer this to CD I will let you know. Maybe I should sell this on ebay some day ..... how much does it go for?

My copy of the album is an original pressing on CBS/Sony Japan, apparently dating from 1970 (SOPC-57101-J), which seems to contradict the story of the post-Weather Report deal. It was reissued in CBS/Sony's "Best Jazz Collection" series in 1974, hence the confusion perhaps.

These are Miroslav Vitous' own thoughts about the session (http://www.innerviews.org/inner/vitous.html):

"I made that album after Infinite Search. I was working with David Baker, the engineer, and was experimenting with different musicians and material. I had Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin and Joe Zawinul there. They experimented with me. After six months, I thought I had enough material and put together an album. I think there is some excellent music on it. Purple was made before Weather Report started, but you can already hear some material that we later played with the band. There’s a song called “Water Lily,” which has an identical skeleton to a piece we recorded with Weather Report called “Morning Lake.” There’s another Weather Report piece called “Seventh Arrow” that was also on Purple. There was a development of the material on Purple that ended up in Weather Report. It was a stepping stone."

Not being much of a jazz-fusion pyrotechnics fan myself, I do like the openness and spareness of the music. One would imagine this to be essential listening for Vitous fans.

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I have a copy. It's a nice album that links the players to their chronology by filling in a gap, so to speak.

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