Thursday, December 31, 2020

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Ars Nova" - Ars Nova (1968)

"Ars Nova"Ars Nova (1968)

I didn't dislike Ars Nova's debut album, but the wow factor was fairly low.  Nothing bad, but nothing stands out either.  There are a few Baroquish tracks that have occasional low-bottom brass and a Medieval presence that throws off a bit of a time-traveling vibe.  There are subtle hints of psych ghosts yet-to-come...but they never stay for very long.  I'm glad I picked it up, but I'm not sure how often I'll play it.

"Ars Nova" (back)

The band sometimes sound like they might've kicked some dirt wandering through the English countryside, but they are just good-ol' New York boys.  The guys look dark and foreboding on the front cover.  If only the album had more of that attitude.  Favorites are the opener "Pavan For My Lady."   The most psych-ish track..."And How Am I To Know" a grower that whips itself up into a nice, if short, fuzz-burner midway through the spin.  And the closing "March Of The Mad Duke's Circus" ends this Elektra square on an upswing.

This Ars Nova self-titled album is not an expensive album to own.  If you stumble upon one in the brush...and it falls near the $10 range...that may be compelling enough for you to add the album to your collection.  However, any more cabbage than that, and I recommend streaming it first.  The vinyl is on the Elektra tan label and the album cover is a gatefold-unipak with lyrics on the inside.  My copy came with the original record sleeve.  

"Ars Nova" (inside gatefold unipak)

Elektra sleeve

Elektra label

Cat #
EKS-74020-A  A1  C4X3X8
EKS-74020-B  AL  4X3X8

"And How Am I To Know" - Ars Nova / "Ars Nova" (1968) 

A1  "Pavan For My Lady" 2:45
A2  "General Clover Ends A War" 2:12
A3  "And How Am I To Know" 4:45
A4  "Album In Your Mind" 3:01
A5  "Zarathustra" 3:30
B1  "Fields Of People" 2:52
B2  "Automatic Love" 4:06
B3  "I Wrapped Her In Ribbons" 2:18
B4  "Song Of The City" 2:08
B5  "March Of The Mad Duke's Circus" 3:17

Jon Pierson – vocals, bass trombone
Bill Folwell – trumpet, b-vocals, double bass
Giovanni Papalia – lead guitar
Wyatt Day – guitar, b-vocals, piano, organ
Jonathan Raskin - bass, b-vocals, guitar
Maury Baker - drums, percussion, organ

Good stuff.


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