Sixty Nine — Circle of the Crayfish
(Germanofon 941018, 1972/1995, CD)
Sixty Nine — Live!
(Germanofon 941004, 1974/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-03-01
Sixty Nine were an unusual "group" being only a duo of keyboards and drums. For these limitations, Sixty Nine made a pretty big sound, a combination of influences that on the more mundane side sounds like Atomic Rooster and on the more progressive side the veritable Emerson Lake and Palmer. Circle of the Crayfish was their first album and only studio release. The music is dominated by the Hammond organ sound and there's one of those long suites. Without guitar, there's a thinness here that is to be expected, and during the length of the album, the overwhelming abundance of keyboards becomes a little wearing.
The live album, originally a double LP, is more of the same although shows that they could put out a pretty full sound for a duo live. The urgent drumming is varied stylistically and helps to keep the music interesting. Live! is split nearly down the middle between more blues rock, which is odd for a keyboard-led group and strengthens the Atomic Rooster comparisons, and a pretty ripping ELP like progressive rock. While neither album even comes close to classic status there is a lot of good music between the two here that fans of the above comparisons would be worth checking out. Check out Live! first, it's the better deal.
Related artist(s): Sixty Nine
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more