Jump to content

Eric Kloss - ESSENCE (Muse LP)


JSngry
 Share

Recommended Posts

...a damn fine Eric Kloss album.

Recorded 12/14/73 with the interesting - especially from this time - lineup of Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson (as he was then billed), Mickey Tucker (who "appears courtesy of Bluenote (sic) Records" a reference to the New Heritage Keyboard Quartet, I guess) , Buster Williams, Ron Krasinski (drummer, apparently a buddy of Kloss' who apparently "went to California to pursue his musical career". Hope that went ok...) & on one tune Sonny Morgan on percussion.

Tunes are very much "of the time", meaning modal in spots, slightly free-ish in spots, occasionally "rock-ish" in a non-commercial way. Kloss was always a "follower", but to me that's not necessarily a derogatory assessment. This is a guy who started waaaay young and was very much learning - as in going beyond what he already knew - as he went along. If you wnat to look at it "artistically" then hey, big whoop, next, move on. But looked at as one man's journey, well, maybe it should or shouldn't have been documented to the extent that it was for as long as it was (especially early on), but it was, and there's a story there, a human one of some interest if not necessarily a musical one of larger interest. Simply put, the guy's a "good player", and you can make of that what you want and probably not be wrong no matter what.

Still...

On this album, Kloss came to play hard and had a band who was more than willing and able to match him (and more than match him). These cats are burning, especially Peterson who was in the first flush of his Gil Evans-facilitated exposure, and Tucker, who's one of the best, most consistently interesting, ever-so-slightly idyosyncratic, pianists/keyboardists that not enough people have heard of (or heard enough of). If Kloss sounds at times like a student who's learned his lessons well and convincingly, these guys sound like the cats he was hoping to get it done with once he did.

Trust me when I say that this is one of those sleeper albums that you can go through your entire life not hearing and still have a good, excellent, even, life. But hearing it ain't gonna hurt a damn thing, and may well be considered a bonus. And if you're into Hannibal and/or Tucker, then you pretty much GOT to hear it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron Krasinski (drummer, apparently a buddy of Kloss' who apparently "went to California to pursue his musical career". Hope that went ok...)

does this count as ok? :rfr

Ron Krasinski has been part of the West Coast music scene since 1972. He has performed as a drummer for many pop acts, such as Larry Carlton, Beep Birtles, Colin Raye, Barry Manilow, Seals and Croft, Sheena Easton, and Olivia Newton-John. He can be heard on records with many of those pop acts and 70's teen acts like Shaun Cassidy, and Leif Garret, and also Dr. Dre's early work (NWA, EZ, Michelle Le).

As a composer, Ron draws from his playing experiences in TV and movies, including shows such as Murphy Brown, Family Ties, Sid and Marty Kroft shows and Marvel Cartoons. His knowledge of ethnic music rounds out his pallet. He has written dozens of jingles for such mega corporations as Toyota, Budweiser, IBM, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, and has music on Telemudo, MSNBC, and A&E.

He has also worked as an actor in Blue Valley Songbird starring Dolly Parton and is currently slated to appear in the Broadway production of Ring Of Fire.

http://www.pearldrum.com/r_krasinski.asp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest donald petersen

this is a good album. i need to pull it out again.

i have been listening to "one two free" a bit recently though...which also has krasinski. seems like a pretty decent (sensitive) drummer.

he and kloss were housemates i guess around that time so they must have practiced together a bunch.

will anyone ever reboot a muse reissue program?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron Krasinski (drummer, apparently a buddy of Kloss' who apparently "went to California to pursue his musical career". Hope that went ok...)

does this count as ok? :rfr

Ron Krasinski has been part of the West Coast music scene since 1972. He has performed as a drummer for many pop acts, such as Larry Carlton, Beep Birtles, Colin Raye, Barry Manilow, Seals and Croft, Sheena Easton, and Olivia Newton-John. He can be heard on records with many of those pop acts and 70's teen acts like Shaun Cassidy, and Leif Garret, and also Dr. Dre's early work (NWA, EZ, Michelle Le).

As a composer, Ron draws from his playing experiences in TV and movies, including shows such as Murphy Brown, Family Ties, Sid and Marty Kroft shows and Marvel Cartoons. His knowledge of ethnic music rounds out his pallet. He has written dozens of jingles for such mega corporations as Toyota, Budweiser, IBM, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, and has music on Telemudo, MSNBC, and A&E.

He has also worked as an actor in Blue Valley Songbird starring Dolly Parton and is currently slated to appear in the Broadway production of Ring Of Fire.

http://www.pearldrum.com/r_krasinski.asp

WHOA!

But no mention of Eric Kloss...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bunch of thoughts here:

1 - I've always liked the album. The track that sticks with me is the great "Love Will Take You There". I was a big fan of Peterson in this era, and he burns here.

2 - I talked to Ron Thomas about 10 years ago when he shared a stage with our friend Ruth Naomi Floyd, and he said he was still in contact with Kloss, and that Kloss was married, had a family, and was still playing very well. So life seemed to turn out well for him, even if his recording career seemed to die off. By the way, Thomas played beautifully on the night I heard him, and he told me how his life had also gone in wonderful directions. He had greatly grown as both a musician and a human being since his recordings with Kloss and Pat Martino on Muse in the 70's.

3 - It seems like musicians sometimes put the most commercially viable names on their resumes rather than the most musically rewarding ones. Tyrone Brown gave me his resume one time when he was playing in Ruth's group, and it didn't mention Catalyst at all, and to me that was (along with his time with Max Roach) an artistic peak of his career. But they were never commercially viable. I have no sense of how well they were known outside of here in Philly, since they were local to us. But they recorded four albums for Muse, three of which are pretty wonderful, and consisted of heavyweight musicians (Odean Pope, Eddie Green, Sherman Ferguson, and Brown). I tried to encourage Brown on how proud he should be of his work in Catalyst, and that I'd love to see it on his resume. BTW, he is an amazing bass player to see live, a commanding physical presence and a gifted musician.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest donald petersen

felzoisse, which catalyst album don't you like? the first one where there are a few different bassists?

ron thomas-he seems like a weird guy from "one two free". more of an experimental kind of player. he sits out the most commercial tune which i imagine is because he wasn't into playing it or couldn't really play a carol king song the way kloss wanted it done.

but otherwise he's playing very interesting sort of pattern-based stuff.

you mention kloss' career went well but i think there was a benefit a few years back because he was having some hard times...i wondered about that because his dad is a doctor and because i am a weirdo i always assume if someone is a doctor they have some chedda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest donald petersen

i do not care for the albums with the "rhythm section" but i really like this muse album as well as "one two free" which has dave holland on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kinda like all Kloss' albums about the same, because they are all about the same. He seemed like he was sincerely "keeping up with the times", not to be "hip", but because he was still a young guy still learning. So whereas the earlier albums w/"the rhythm section" reflect the late 60s Miles bag as adapted to his thing, so does this one reflect what might be referred to as the "Strata-East" bag, that generalized offspring of Members Don't Get Weary that gave Hard Bop somewhere new to go for a little while.

Kloss plays well, put Peterson & the rhythm section play really well, if you understand what I'm getting at...

If this had been a Peterson album w/Gary Bartz on board (or vice-versa), and all that comes with that, it probably would have achieved cult status by now.

But oh yeah, one more thing - Kloss plays tenor on Side One, not alto. Maybe it's just me and my tenor-centric position in god's great universe, but I think he sounds more convincing, more authoritative, and less a "follower" on tenor than he does on alto. (and I mean no disrespect to Kloss whatsoever, although I'm aware that the lanuage I'm using might seem to imply it. The cat was a fine player, just not a "leader" when it came to musical direction. Which is perfectly ok, possible "assumed implications" to the contrary)

And AFAIK, no, it's never been on CD. But I bet the LP can be had failrly cheaply if/when it can be found.

Edited by JSngry
Link to comment
Share on other sites

felzoisse, which catalyst album don't you like? the first one where there are a few different bassists?

ron thomas-he seems like a weird guy from "one two free". more of an experimental kind of player. he sits out the most commercial tune which i imagine is because he wasn't into playing it or couldn't really play a carol king song the way kloss wanted it done.

but otherwise he's playing very interesting sort of pattern-based stuff.

you mention kloss' career went well but i think there was a benefit a few years back because he was having some hard times...i wondered about that because his dad is a doctor and because i am a weirdo i always assume if someone is a doctor they have some chedda.

I don't like the last Catalyst album, 'A Smile and a Tear' which had commercial influences of the time. What I heard of Ron Thomas's playing in the 70's (only heard the Muse albums) didn't do anything for me. When I heard him in the 90's, he had a totally different conception, and a gorgeous, Bill Evans-like touch. 'Essence' has never been on CD, at least in the USA. I would have grabbed it immediately if it had been. In the Muse catalog, I most miss it and the best Carlos Garnett albums ('Journey to Enlightenment', 'Let This Melody Ring On') not being on CD.

Edited by felser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest donald petersen

yeah i just relistened to the first catalyst album...better than i remembered. and i relistened to a tear and a smile...worse than i remembered. sort of a hodgepodge of trends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...
  • 11 months later...

A good day yesterday at various used record stores yeild Kloss' "Sky Shadows" from 1968 with Martino, Byard, Cranshaw, DeJohnette. Don't know the progression of the earlier LPs that well, but this certainly feels as Kloss was turning a corner -- all his originals (one by Martino), one in 9, one in 7, one in 6 -- harmony opening up, lots of interaction with the rhythm section, some anchored freedom, some eccentricity but not excessive (is there any more of a wildcard in jazz than Jaki Byard?) and a lot of stuff in the arrangements and solos that really sounds improvised in the studio. Kloss sounds good on alto and tenor -- right in there.

Edited by Mark Stryker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RE: Sky Shadows..

AMG: "This 1968 release from saxophonist Eric Kloss has many fine points and a couple of puzzling technical lapses. Kloss, heard on alto and tenor, is definitely one of the strengths. Only 19 at the time of this session, the young sax player is well up to the challenge of playing with his more seasoned bandmates. The set reunites Kloss with guitarist Pat Martino, who was with Kloss for the saxophonist's recording debut at the age of 16. The date features four excellent advanced hard bop/post-bop pieces by Kloss and one from Martino. On guitar, Martino is consistently marvelous, both as a simpatico accompanist and as a soloist. Drummer Jack DeJohnette is also superb, and his playing is captured with tremendous clarity and balance. Unfortunately, bassist Bob Cranshaw is mixed so low he is often inaudible. Also odd, pianist Jaki Byard, while bringing his renowned power and versatility to the session, sometimes sounds separated from the rest of the band. Recording imbalances aside, this is a worthwhile set, particularly for the opportunity to hear Kloss in collaboration with Martino again. This music can now be found on the CD compilation Sky Shadows/In the Land of the Giants, which also includes Kloss' 1969 release, In the Land of the Giants."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...