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West Coast Workshop - The Wizard of Oz & Other Trans Love Trips (1967)


This instrumental album weaves jazzy sections in and out of themes from The Wizard Of Oz, with sitar, strings, flute, trumpet, bongos and classical and electric guitars... Good fun, and could only have been made when it was' - Endless Trip

A wonderful instrumental exploration along the lines of David Axelrod perhaps. Beautifully crafted and produced. Even though there are some references to various Oz melodies, there's nothing corny here. Instead it's a jazzy, arty, soundtrack feeling that's super cool. Highly recommended.
From RYM (spherule)

 The first record that I duped over to MP3 format was the one that pushed me over the edge into buying the USB turntable in the first place. Originally issued in 1967, The Wizard of Oz and Other Trans Love Trips by the West Coast Workshop (Capitol ST 2776) has been out of print pretty much ever since its first release, and when a small independent label named Relics finally reissued it on CD late last year, the sale price at Amazon tipped the scale at $20.

No matter how much I remembered enjoying that old record and wanted to listen to it once again, the Scrooge McDuck in me could not abide spending that kind of money to replace one LP that was sitting right up there in my closet, especially when the turntable that would allow me to convert it and all the rest of my LPs only cost $40 more. It was only natural then, that the first platter to hit the spinner was this one... and what a thrill I got setting the needle down and hearing the opening strains of this little gem once again, for the first time in probably a decade.


From the title and the release date, you’ve already guessed that this isn’t your traditional Wizard of Oz. Using just three of the classic Harold Arlen / “Yip” Harburg songs from the 1939 Oz as a jumping-off point, the Workshop -- a modern jazz ensemble conducted by someone with the impossible name of James E. Bond, Jr., who with producer Nick Venet also wrote all the new music -- takes off into a mostly fascinating and even charming series of riffs ranging in style from classical Baroque to acid jazz. Quoth the liner notes, “You’re off to see the Wizard, but you may find yourself looking through prisms and waterfalls along the way.”

As a child in the late ‘60s, I thought this record was weird, but in a fascinating way. As I grew into my teens, I kept coming back to it, and the sense of its weirdness gave way to a sense sense of wonderfulness. I never really stopped listening to this album, because whenever I came back to it, at whatever age, it rewarded the listening with what I only gradually came to realize was its sophistication. It’s still as fresh today as it was when it was first released, and that’s no mean feat... knowing as little as I do about jazz, I would still venture to say that this is a largely undiscovered and unknown classic of the genre. Now, in my fifties, it’s a gift to be able to stroll down its psychedelic brick road again, as often as I want, and to share it with others, which I am happy to do.

The album cover (pictured above) is kind of smashing. With its hand-colored stained glass motif framing the center image, it’s a classic ‘60s design, connected to the art neuveau twenties revival, psychedelia, and its combination of adult and childish sensibilities. The grown-up Dorothy very much in command of her jazz-trio, turned-on Oz friends is a smashing image, and the kind of vaginal frame that surrounds them delivers an intentionally subliminal message. Is that a black dude as the Tin Man? (source)


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