Ars nova



Cat Nº: LHC297


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Ars Nova was an American psychedelic/progressive rock band that performed and recorded from 1967 to 1969. They recorded two albums. The first was a 1968 self-titled album for the Elektra label, on which the personnel comprised Wyatt Day (guitar, vocals, piano, organ), John Pierson (vocal, trombone), Maury Baker (organ, percussion), Giovanni Papalia (lead guitar), Bill Folwell (trumpet, bass, vocals), and Jonathan Raskin (bass, guitar, vocals). The album was produced by Paul Rothchild and Arthur Gorson. On their first album Ars Nova write lovely tunes and the whole album does, surprisingly enough, not become as pretentious as it could have been, the name of the band notwithstanding. Two of the tracks even get covered (‘Fields Of People’ by The Move and ‘I Wrapped Her In Ribbons’ by Galliard, both U.K. bands!). Other highlights include ‘March Of The Mad Duke’s Circus,’ with vaguely renaissance- like harmonies and ‘General Clover End A War,’ a bitter and driven satire on military affairs. ‘Automatic Love’ contains a Dixieland part, while ‘I Wrapped Her In Ribbons’ begins with beautiful choral singing before it becomes a ballad underscored by baroque acoustic guitar. ‘Song To The City’ has a nice church organ intro. Besides that, there are many baroque elements, even to the point of counterpoint. Great, for example, the interplay of trumpet and acoustic guitar on ‘Pavan For My Lady,’ in quiet 6/8 time (which one can argue would later become the progressive rock beat par excellence). At that time a highlight was certainly the interesting adaptation of the beginning of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra,’ which is not simply replayed here, but becomes the occasion for own, partly very humorous, further developments of the theme in Beat sound of the late ’60s. Most tracks were penned by Wyatt Day sometimes helped by John Pierson. Certainly, one of the best early prog albums and an absolute gem! The album comes as an original reproduction of the US-cover (gatefold sleeve) with all lyrics, band story, rare photos in a 4 sided cover sized insert sheet. Remastered from a master copy out of the vaults of Warner Music. Brillant sounding! This is a real jewel of US psychedelic music. An absolute classic. Don’t miss it.