Tag Archives: Jimmy Hastings

Favourite Jimmy Hastings Solos!

Jimmy Hastings (brother of Pye) may be one of the most underrated musicians from the Canterbury scene. He was an “unofficial member” of several of our favourite bands – Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North, National Health – often credited, but generally not an official member. Although he’s contributed saxophone and clarinet, it is the wonderful addition of his flute which I personally enjoy the most. I just love the sound of the flute and Jimmy’s phrasing is always wonderful. What beautiful melodies!

So, I thought it’s time to celebrate this wonderful musician and so I would like to ask all you Canterbury fans out there. What is your favourite Jimmy Hastings recorded solo performance?

Join the discussion in our forum thread : What is your favourite performance by Jimmy Hastings?

Caravan – 1973 – For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night

For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night is the fifth album by Canterbury scene band Caravan and was released in 1973 on Decca’s Deram Records label.

Production

The album was recorded between April and August in 1973 at Decca TollingtonPark Studios and Chipping Norton Studios in London. Engineers were Kevin Fuller and Derek Varnals from Decca and David Grinstead from Chipping Norton. Producer was David Hitchcock. In a 2010 interview with Prog Sphere, frontman Pye Hastings had the following to say about the album.

 

Pye: Dave agreed to record “Plump in the Night” as a session player for a fee because he didn’t want to re-join the band at the time and needed some quick cash. We had previously recorded the album without keyboards with the intention of adding them later. Dave obliged but the recording lacked feeling and commitment. In the meantime we had a tour to do which again Dave agreed to do for a fee. Upon return we recorded the same numbers immediately, having ironed out all the bits that weren’t working, and got the backing tracks done in one take. Clearly this was the way forward. Great fun. I have never stopped writing and had this batch of songs ready as soon as Richard and Steve left the band. Something positive usually comes from a disruption, like line up change.

>> Source

 

Track listing

[cc_full_width_col background_color=”f1f1f1″ shadow_color=”888888″ radius=”6″]All songs written by Caravan except Backwards.

Side A

  1. Memory Lain, Hugh (4:54)
    • Pye Hastings
  2. Headloss (3:25)
    • Pye Hastings
  3. Hoedown (3:10)
    • Pye Hastings
  4. Surprise, Surprise (3:45)
    • Pye Hastings
  5. C’thlu Thlu (6:10)
    • Pye Hastings

Side B

  1. The Dog, the Dog, He’s at It Again (5:53)
    • Pye Hastings
  2. a. Be All Right/b. Chance of a Lifetime (6:38)
    • Pye Hastings
  3. a. L’Auberge Du Sanglier (1:00) / b. A Hunting We Shall Go (2:45) / c. Pengola (0:35) / d. Backwards (4:54) / e. A Hunting We Shall Go (Reprise) (0:32) [total: 9:46]
    • a. Pye Hastings / b. Pye Hastings / c. John G. Perry / d. Mike Ratledge / e. Pye Hastings

Note that later CD releases typically have bonus tracks in addition to the 7 tracks from the original release.

Personnel

[cc_half_col_left background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Guest Musicians

  • Rupert Hine
    • A. R. P. Synthesizer [tracks A1/A2/B2a] / Congas [B2b]
  • Frank Ricotti
    • Congas [A2/A3/B1]
  • Jill Pryor
    • Voice [A5]
  • Paul Buckmaster
    • Electric Cello [B2a]
  • Jimmy Hastings
    • Flute / brass Arrangement & conductor [A1]
  • Tony Coe
    • Clarinet / Tenor Sax [A1]
  • Tommy Whittle
    • Clarinet / Tenor Sax [A1]
  • Harry Klein
    • Clarinet / Baritone Sax [A1]
  • Pete King
    • Flute / Alto Sax [A1]
  • Barry Robinson
    • Flute / Piccolo Flute [A1]
  • Henry Lowther
    • Trumpet [A1]
  • Chris Pyne
    • Trombone [A1]

Orchestra arranged by John Bell and Martyn Ford and conducted by Martyn Ford[/cc_half_col_left]

[cc_half_col_right background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Caravan

  • Pye Hastings
    • Vocals / Acoustic Guitar / Electric Guitar
  • Geoff Richardson
    • Viola
  • David Sinclair
    • Organ [Tracks A1/A2/A5/B2b/B3] / Piano [B3d] / Electric Piano [A3-B1] / A. R. P Synthesizer [A2] / Davoli Synthesizer [B1/B2a/B3d]
  • John G Perry
    • Bass Guitar, Vocals [A3/A4/B2a] / Percussion
  • Richard Coughlan
    • Drums[/cc_half_col_right]

[cc_clear]

On-site Reviews

External links

 

Caravan – 1973 – For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night

Cover Album Art for For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night (1973)

After the release of Caravan’s Canterbury landmark album In the Land of Grey and Pink, creative differences in the group started pulling the band apart. First to leave was keyboardist David Sinclair to be replaced by Steve Miller. On the band’s fourth album from 1972, the band was basically split into two working pairs, Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller doing their more jazz inspired thing and Pye Hastings with Richard Coughlan writing more of the kind of rock tunes Caravan were known for. As a result, the band’s fourth album, Waterloo Lily, didn’t feel entirely cohesive and after it’s completion, Richard and Steve would leave Caravan and go on to other projects like Delivery and (for Richard) Hatfield and the North.

On For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, keyboardist David Sinclair was asked to participate and agreed to (re)join (after a short stint with Matching Mole) as a paid session player as he was in need of some cash. Also joining the ranks were John G. Perry on bass and shared vocal duty and multi-instrumentalist Peter Geoffrey “Geoff” Richardson on viola who has stayed with the band since. The man at the helm was, once again, singer and self-proclaimed chord basher Pye Hastings who wrote the vast majority of the music.

Album review

The result, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night from 1973, is a much more cohesive effort than their previous album, Waterloo Lily. With the jazzy experiments of Sinclair and Miller gone, the band adopted a rockier and more guitar dominated sound with various other noticeable instrumental differences such as the lovely addition of Geoff’s viola. The music they play is remarkably seductive and peppered throughout with feelgood sounds and lyrics on topics like love and sunshine. It may sound a bit wishy washy, but they managed to pull it off remarkably well and the whole album is full of hooks. A good example of the catchy feelgood music you’ll find on the album (and perhaps the song which is likely to first get stuck on a first time listener’s mind) is Caravan’s classic The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again, Pye’s tribute to sex – which I promise you is more charming than it sounds.

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeGbAz8Ri1U

I consider the last half of the album to be the strongest and, as we get close to the end, the band plays along with an orchestra for an epic finish; a medley of beautiful instrumental pieces including Soft Machine keyboardist Mike Ratledge’s wonderful composition Backwards. If only Caravan and the New Symphonia sounded this good!

Final words

Not every song reaches the same level of excellence, but there really isn’t a bad track on here. To me, the album has great replayability as I find myself returning to this more than any other in the band’s discography. I suspect some Canterbury enthusiasts well versed in the avantgarde may initially consider this batch of Caravan’s later rock sounds to not be experimental enough for their liking. For their sake, I hope not because they’d be missing out. Like John G. Perry said in his interview with Aymeric from Calyx, I consider this album to be almost on par with the band’s classic In the Land of Grey and Pink. Depending on my mood, it may even be my favourite!

[rating:5] (5/5)

In the Land of Grey and Pink – 40th Anniversary Edition

I’d waited so long for this album. When I checked the mail yesteday, I’d sort of given up hope, but there it was – finally! A neat little package from amazon containing this year’s most exciting release thus far, the 40th anniversary edition of Caravan’s classic album In the Land of Grey and Pink. In addition to a remaster of the original album, this deluxe edition has several extra bells and whistles including numerous bonus tracks (four of them previously unreleased), a couple of videos of the band performing for german television in 1971 including a version of Winter Wine which was never broadcast and some new mixes by Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson.

All this is a real treat to any Caravan fan and I got it cheap too (about 12 pounds I think) so it’s easily my best music buy so far this year. My only gripe with the release is that Steve Wilson’s two complete album mixes, the 5.1 surround mix and the new stereo mix, are both on disc 3 which is a DVD. I don’t listen to music on DVDs .. aside from the DVD rom on my computer, my only player is my xbox360. I like to digitize my music and listen to it on my computer and making MP3 copies of the material on the DVD disc is proving to be a real hassle. Why couldn’t they just release Wilson’s new mixes on CDs? Maybe someone else will be able to get those MP3s if I can’t ..

I’ve yet to really sit down and listen through the whole of the new stereo mix, but what I’ve heard sounds good and actually clearer than the “old” remaster featured on disc 1. I don’t have surround, so the 5.1 Surround mix will have to wait.

Some added trivia! Among the bonus tracks, there’s also a version of Nine Feet Underground in which Steven Wilson has stripped Richard Sinclair’s vocals from the track and replaced them with his own .. ballsy move, Wilson. Very ballsy! I’m still a bit confused on how I feel about that, but considering it’s only one of the five versions of the song from the release and considering the work he’s done for us all to enjoy with his mixes, I guess it’s alright, even if it’s not the sort of thing I would have done. If anyone’s curious about whether or not Wilson does a better job at it than Sinclair, I’d say he does not, but it still sounds alright.

So, conclusion : Get it! It’s well worth it and when it comes to the DVD related problems I and likely others are or will experience, maybe we can help eachother out.

Caravan – 1970 – If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You

If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You is the second album by Canterbury scene band Caravan and was released in 1970 by Decca. The album is generally regarded as a classic, both from Caravan’s discography and from the Canterbury scene in general.

Production

The album was recorded in Tangerine Studios in London between February and May 1970. Engineer was Robin Sylvester while production was credited to the band and their manager, Terry King. In an interview with the Marmelade Skies website, Richard Sinclair stated that “on the album it says the group and Terry King produced it but really it was Robin’s influence in there. He was the engineer, he did all of the recording. He was a musician and he had ears, so the album had a much more musicianly quality to it.”

Trivia

  • The cover picture, which shows the band posing by a chestnut tree, was taken in Holland Park in London.
  • The album’s title and title track (if I could do it all over again, I’d do it all over you) is a quote from comedian, actor, musician, poet and more, Spike Milligan.

Track listing

[cc_full_width_col background_color=”f1f1f1″ shadow_color=”888888″ radius=”6″]All songs written by Caravan.

Side A

  1. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You – 3:07
    • Pye Hastings
  2. a. And I Wish I Were Stoned / b. Don’t Worry – 8:20
    • Pye Hastings
  3. As I Feel I Die – 5:06
    • Pye Hastings
  4. a. With an Ear to the Ground You Can Make It / b. Martinian / c. Only Cox / d. Reprise – 9:54
    • Pye Hastings

Side B

  1. Hello Hello – 3:45
    • Pye Hastings, David Sinclair
  2. Asforteri – 1:21
    • Pye Hastings
  3. a. Can’t Be Long Now / b. Francoise / c. For Richard / d. Warlock – 14:21
    • a. David Sinclair / b. David Sinclair / c. David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair / d. David Sinclair
  4. Limits – 1:35
    • Pye Hastings

Personnel

[cc_half_col_left background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Caravan

  • David Sinclair
    • Hammond organ/piano [tracks A1/A2b/A4e/B1], harpsichord [track 4b]
  • Pye Hastings
    • 12 and 16 string electric guitars, vocals [tracks A1/A2b/A3/A4/B2-B4]
  • Richard Coughlan
    • Drums
  • Richard Sinclair
    • Bass guitar, vocals [tracks A2a/B1][/cc_half_col_left]

[cc_half_col_right background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Guest musicians

  • Jimmy Hastings
    • Tenor saxophone [track B3c], flute [tracks A4c/B3abc/B4][/cc_half_col_right]

On-site Reviews

External links

 

Caravan – 1969 – Caravan

Caravan is the eponymous debut album of the Canterbury scene band Caravan. It was first released on the label Verve in January 1969.

Production

The album was produced by Tony Cox and was recorded in Advision Studios in London in September and October in 1968.

Track listing

[cc_full_width_col background_color=”f1f1f1″ shadow_color=”888888″ radius=”6″]All songs were written by Caravan except where noted.

Side A

  1. Place of my own (4:01)
    • Pye Hastings
  2. Ride (3:42)
    • Pye Hastings
  3. Policeman (2:44)
    • Richard Sinclair
  4. Love song with flute (4:10)
    • Pye Hastings

Side B

  1. Cecil runs (4:07)
    • Pye Hastings
  2. Magic man (4:03)
    • Pye Hastings
  3. Grandma’s lawn (3:25)
    • Richard Sinclair
  4. Where but for Caravan would I be (9:01)
    • Pye Hastings, Brian Hopper

Personnel

[cc_half_col_left background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Caravan

  • David Sinclair
    • Organ, piano
  • Pye Hastings
    • Guitar, vocals
  • Richard Coughlan
    • Drums
  • Richard Sinclair
    • Bass, guitar, vocals[/cc_half_col_left]

[cc_half_col_right background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]Guest musicians

  • Jimmy Hastings
    • Flute [track A4][/cc_half_col_right]

On-site Reviews

External links

Caravan – 1970 – If I could do it again, I’d do it all over you

If I could do it all over again, I’d do it all over you

(Decca 1970)

  1. If I could do it all over again, I’d do it all over you
  2. And I wish I were stoned – Don’t worry
  3. As I feel I die
  4. With an ear to the ground you can make it / Martinian / Only cox / Reprise
  5. Hello Hello
  6. Asforteri 25
  7. Can’t be long now / Françoise / For Richard / Warlock
  8. Limits

Now we’re talking! Full frontal prog, with song lengths setting a standard that in 1970 was still to be assimilated by the prog community. Of course, song length is not a value in itself and if you can’t justify it with good melodies and/or intriguing instrumental passages then it’s just grating. Thankfully, Caravan at least partly succeeded in this respect from the very beginning although I feel that the closing suite consists too much of uninspired jamming and little actual songwriting, but up until then we’re sorted.

The overall atmosphere is somewhat lighter than on the debut, despite the even more bombastic approach with all the multi-part suites because basically every song on here is built upon melodies lighter than a feather. Kinda reflective of the forest grove on the cover with all the ‘foresty’ organs and flutes abound. This atmosphere is especially present on “And I wish I were stoned”, “As I feel I die” and “With an ear to the ground you can make it”. Well, there’s half the album already! However, it all begins with Caravan’s already established brand of quirky pop in “If I could do it all over again, I’d make the title even longer”, but I honestly don’t think that it’s very good. The looping melody with interweaving harmonies is inventive for sure, but I don’t really care for the actual song.

But then we’re going places, supposedly into that aforementioned forest. “And I wish I were stoned” is one of my favourite tracks on here, essentially just two oh-so-obvious pop ditties merged together with some tasteful organ-led passages and what is actually the first real guitar solo from Hastings. Then, still in the forest, we have “As I feel I die” beginning as a slow, almost unbearably quiet melody (that nonetheless rule) building up tension, only to suddenly shift gears and tipping its hat to their jazz-tinged legacy. Can’t you imagine the elves skipping around in the morning sun finding its way down through the green foilage? Or yourself, for that matter.

But then we are ever so slightly running into trouble. The, once again, multi-part “With an ear to the ground” begins on a similarily quiet note, then gradually picks up steam but its first part (reprised at the end) doesn’t really cut it. It gets better in the mid-section though, and as it slows down we are greeted with lush harmonies and a lovely flute solo so all in all it qualifies. “Hello hello” continues the line of the title track, although in a minor key this time and noticeably better. But then we have that closing suite which just seems to go nowhere. There are a few moments which approaches ‘decent’, like the reocurring organ theme that concludes the measures in the second part about four minutes in and onward, as well as after the sax/flute solos. I also like the part which follows, with that four-chord organ swirl adding at least some power to an otherwise lame exercise in pointless noodling. Why couldn’t they make a proper song out of these neat little ideas instead of trying to one-up the… oh wait! This piece is actually breaking some new ground. Like I said, the side-long prog suites were still to be taken up by contemporaries like Genesis, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Yes (who at the time hadn’t even released “The Yes album” which even there didn’t boast anything longer than ten minutes. “For Richard” is over fourteen).

So that somewhat ruins the experience since it takes up way too much of the overall running length. Too bad, since some of the other tracks manages to surpass the quality of the debut. Their best work was yet to come.

Caravan – 1968 – Caravan


Caravan

(Decca/Verve 1968)

  1. Place of my Own
  2. Ride
  3. Policeman
  4. Love Song with Flute
  5. Cecil Rons
  6. Magic Man
  7. Grandma’s Lawn
  8. Where but for Caravan Would I?

Somewhere around 1967 after the Wilde Flowers had withered, half of the crew proceeded to invent a soft machine in order to explore the depths of the London underground. When the other half heard about their venture they decided to scrap together yet another band and dub it Caravan, and listening to this debut sure makes you feel that the very name is sensed in the music. It’s nothing short of a caravan of massive sounds stately and steadily proceeding through your speakers and into your subconsciousness. That statement may seem somewhat exaggerated now but consider that this was 1968, before all the crimson kings and armadillo tanks and ready suppers and all that. The closest equivalent I can think of at this point is Procol Harum, but they were still sporting a more soulish brand of baroque-tinged rock whereas Caravan went down the majestic route as well as spicing it up with playful folk-jazz passages, like in “Love song with flute”, one of the best tracks on here.

You might as well already get adjusted to the weak singing voice of Pye Hastings (very weak actually, in places sounding like on the verge of cracking, carefully balancing on the right note) which would get better over the ensuing albums, but personally I don’t really mind (I’ve heard much worse, especially considering the swedish indie scene) as it suits the songs well. He’s occasionally assisted by Richard Sinclair who technically has got a better voice but there’s something about it that ever so slightly annoys me. It’s a bit meek and syrupy, but I’m not really complaining as it works as a good counterpart to Pye’s whiney falsetto.

The songs cook however, and it starts off with a true highlight in “Place on my own” where the aforementioned grandness, emphasized by the echoey production and the somewhat foreboding intro/verse parts and the organ-led interlude make for a great contrast with the uplifting chorus. “Love song” is, like I said, another favourite with its wonderfully sharp transition into the chorus, as well as the closing “Where but for Caravanwould I” showing the first signs of true prog dexterity, not least in its multi-part structure. “Magic man” is also a highlight, effectively working its way through three looping chords on which they weave several different melodies.

Out of the rest of the tracks I feel “Grandma’s lawn” and “Policeman” to be a bit iffy even if the latter sports an obvious nod to Beatles in its McCartneyesque melody. (And it’s always fun to bash the law enforcements every now and then). “Cecil Rons” is a lot of fun though, with a faux-scary organ arrangement underpinning a nursery rhyme not unlike The Who’s “Silas Stingy”. Finally there’s the conga-driven mantra “Ride” that surely conjures the feeling of a caravan making its way out from Canterbury to wherever they ended up. Or more figuratively, from the humble beginnings of artrock into the vast and yet unknown terrain of progressive rock. Groovy!