This was supposed to be a review of Blue Cheer's 'Oh! Pleasant Hope', that being the record I am most excited about at the moment but I can't find it so this will have to do.
So what happens when an insurance salesman from Wisconsin drags his pals away from the bi-weekly 'Lodge of the Hectic Moose' meeting and convinces them to pick up and play a host of Indian instruments?
I know nothing about Bill Plumber, his imaginary background is being pulled 'Usual Suspects' style from the sleeve, and what a beautiful sleeve it is. If it weren't for the minute tea stain on the inside of the gatefold this gorgeous piece of glossy card could have been printed yesterday.
The opener, is I imagine the kind of thing that gets 'beatnuts' spunking in their dry clean only jeans. A guy proto-rapping over a drum loop and a host of sitar, tamburas and vibes. Yes it sounds like an insurance salesman reading from a script but there's the charm.
Right let's find out about Bill. According to Wikipedia he was a catcher for the Cubs, Reds and Mariners...nope, not him. Let's try again... A-ha, paydirt:
Cosmic Brotherhood is an album by jazz musician Bill Plummer, released in 1968 on Impulse! Records.
...And that's all she wrote. Yeah, cheers for that world famous on-line encyclopedia, truly informative. RYM comes up dry as well although somebody quite rightly points out that Bill looks like an undertaker.
Their cover of 'The Look of Love' is great. A bit Indian restaurant but really great.
Oh bingo! a beautiful looking site called 'Techwebsound.com' tells me he is actually from Boulder Colorado, so slightly further West than I had him pegged. Oh, and it looks like Ravi Shankar taught him how to play the sitar... But not how to dress for the occasion it would seem. Doesn't mention insurance sales and it looks like this was his only album.
Well I like it. Side two goes off the boil slightly with the jolly 'Lady Friend' being sandwiched with two exercises in Ravi Shankar style keeping it real... Quite why he couldn't have been the 'whore' his brother was I don't know. Anyway, touch too 'lounge' in places but well worth investigating if only for the opener 'Journey to the East' and 'The Look of Love'.
Wait, I spoke too soon. The final track 'Antares' is very interesting. Sounds a lot like what Bill Might have got up to when the beer ran out and they returned to the lodge. 'Antares' is nice, a Stockhausen type sound sketch, hastily scribbled as the the studio lights flashed their five minute warning it may have been, but it's well worth a listen non the less.