Title - ‘Heaven Bound: The Lost Album’ (Purple Pyramid)
Artist - The Flock
The Flock was an American, Chicago-based jazz-rock band, that only released two records on Columbia records in 1969 (The Flock) and 1970 (Dinosaur Swamps) and then after Jerry Goodman left reformed and released Inside Out (1975) on Mercury Records. Well, that’s everybody thought up until this year when a recently-discovered set of vintage 70’s recordings finally came to light!
In truth, The Flock did not achieve the commercial success of other Columbia jazz-rock groups of the era such as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, but were most notable for their inclusion of a prominent violin in their recordings. Indeed, violinist Jerry Goodman, went on to become a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra and a solo artist.
Heaven Bound: The Lost Album is a true gem of an album, truly! Sure it helps if you like jazz-rock, but even if you don’t the immediate flashback to the 70’s era of that musical taste is enough to put a smile on your face. These 15 never-before-released recordings feature founding Flock members Fred Glickstein (vocals, guitar), Ron Karpman (drums), and Jerry Smith (bass).
Their first album on Columbia was produced by John McClure with liner notes written in the audience at Whiskey A Go Go by blues legend John Mayall, on July 9, 1969. The band then went back into the studio and recorded their second album Dinosaur Swamps featuring the hit ‘Big Bird,’ but the funny story is that as the band began work on a third studio album, Columbia Records' Clive Davis stole Goodman out from under their noses for the Mahavishnu Orchestra project!
So, founding Flock members Fred Glickstein and Ron Karpman continued to write and record together, with Jerry Smith popping in occasionally for drum work. But the work they strived to complete was never picked up by a record label, the tapes shelved and simply never released - until now!
Keeping The Flock alive, the album kicks-off with the title track, ‘Heaven Bound,’ before flowing beautifully into ‘The Bells,’ ‘Reason,’ ‘Crying Out / The Voice,’ and then both ‘Don’t You Know (Who I Am)’ and ‘Makes It All Worthwhile.’
In 2004 a CD was released of a 1973 live concert called Live in Europe, which features Michael Zydowsky on violin in place of Goodman and includes original members Fred Glickstein, Jerry Smith, and Ron Karpman. This “new” record encapsulates all that live vibe feel also, especially on tracks such as ‘Noise Boys,’ ‘Mama,’ ‘Rolling With The Clones,’ and both ‘Love Away’ and ‘C’mon Let’s Walk.’
And the rich harmonies and unmistakable vintage 70’s guitar fuzz continues to please on the remaining tracks: ‘Be Strong and Survive,’ ‘The Christos Jig,’ and finally both ‘The Test’ and ‘Outroducton.’
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk