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Thread: Sahdowfax-Watercourse Way 1976 lp

  1. #1

    Sahdowfax-Watercourse Way 1976 lp

    Labelled crossover prog ,This album is amazing.
    Has signs of Jazz fusion, Folk you name it ,This record has everything.
    I not heard there 80s work ,So I no idea if there sound changed after this record.

    My fave track off this record is 3rd one ,Titled -Petite Aubade
    The Classical guitar,Piano and flutes are majestic
    Anyone else heard ,Or own this nice gem i picked up?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by vis4victor View Post
    Labelled crossover prog ,This album is amazing.
    Has signs of Jazz fusion, Folk you name it ,This record has everything.
    I not heard there 80s work ,So I no idea if there sound changed after this record.

    My fave track off this record is 3rd one ,Titled -Petite Aubade
    The Classical guitar,Piano and flutes are majestic
    Anyone else heard ,Or own this nice gem i picked up?
    It's a good one alright - 40% Mahavishnu, 20% Genesis, 20% Oregon, 20% je ne sais quoi. But yes their sound did change after this, they were signed to New Age label Windham Hill so you can guess the direction they went in.

    Of note, their guitarist G.E. Stinson has continued his musical journey in the direction of modern creative jazz / improv as part of the fruitful LA scene and features on some excellent (if you like that kind of thing...) albums on labels like the late lamented Cryptogramophone and Nine Winds.
    Last edited by Mascodagama; 1 Week Ago at 05:42 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mascodagama View Post
    It's a good one alright - 40% Mahavishnu, 20% Genesis, 20% Oregon, 20% je ne sais quoi. But yes their sound did change after this, they were signed to New Age label Windham Hill so you can guess the direction they went in.
    They were signed to Windham Hill, then they did I think one or two albums for Capitol, then I think went back to another smaller label after their flirtation with "the big time" didn't pan out (they did get a Grammy out of the deal, though I think GE Stinson said it was the weakest record of the two or three they got nominated for).

    I'm Facebook friends with GE and their bassist Phil Magini, and every once in awhile something about Shadowfax comes up that either one of them will post. One thing I found interesting was, in their early days, in Chicago, GE and Phil apparently worked wiht a lot of the blues legends associated with that city, including Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by vis4victor View Post
    Labelled crossover prog
    Yes, although that "genre" somehow doesn't exist anywhere else whatsoever. Not that it matters what it's labelled to begin with.

    It's a good piece of work; the only Shadowfax I've kept - which is also the "classic" argument I hear among progressive rock fans when it comes to this band. Their later output veered a bit too far into new-agey world fusion to my tastes, albeit with some status amongst that crowd.

    I should revisit, as I haven't really spun the album in at least a decade.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #5
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    It should also ne noted that the LP differs from the later CD Version.

    The recording for the CD was rerecorded in parts. So some parts are new, some older parts are missing and so on.
    In generall the CD recording sounds better, but that maybe a matter of taste.

  6. #6
    Member FrippWire's Avatar
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    It's a stunner of an album and definitely stands out as the "one of these is not like the others" in their catalog. I first became a fan because of their more pastoral world music new age albums and discovered Watercourse Way later on. Was I ever in for a (pleasant) surprise! I like this album so much I have the Windham Hill CD and vinyl as well as the original vinyl on Passport Records. The Mahavishnu aspect of this recording is what really grabs me; at times some really furious guitar playing and excellent drumming.
    Last edited by FrippWire; 1 Week Ago at 02:01 AM.

  7. #7
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    Great album! WW is so expensive to buy used so I have only listened on Youtube. But I have really enjoyed it. Time for a re-issue!

    I bought Shadowdance as a kid and played that one to the death. The first two Windham Hill releases (s/t and Shadowdance) by the group are IMHO as good as "new age" gets. Pastoral, dark, minimalist. Highly evocative. They then got on the "world music" bandwagon and subsequent records sounded way too cutesy and contrived for my tastes.

  8. #8
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    I love Shadowfax. Even the Windham Hill stuff is great!!!
    Prog's Not Dead

  9. #9
    Their best. The 1982 second LP is still OK; from then they went ...meh.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  10. #10
    I think all their albums were pretty good. I think actually actually after they dropped a lot of the direct Mahavishu-isms after the first albums they developed a more original sound.

  11. #11
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    This is why I like this place!
    I thought I had all of their work but didn't know about this, their first. From what you all say, I am in for a treat.
    I ordered the vinyl.

    Thank you for this thread!

  12. #12
    God is this record so good,Went into another city record shop.
    I asked guy ,I was in mood for something Mahavishnu Orchestra.
    He mentioned you ever heard this band ,He put cd on.
    Within the first 5 bars ,I'm like I want cd now and bought it.
    He mentioned it was quite rare oddity also ,Buy or Die Motto!

  13. #13
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Thanks for turning me onto this one. I've always shied away from this band because of their more new-agey reputation, but this album sounds great. Anybody else get a bit of a Happy the Man vibe, especially in the guitar? And of course when they break into the Gentle Giant-ish folky bits.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  14. #14
    Love this album especially the closing A Song For My Brother:



    I bought the LP in 1981 and was surprised to see Larry Fast (Synergy) had something to do with it too.

    The last couple of years I started collecting all there other works on CD and although it has little to do with the original WW I like a lot of those albums too.
    Would be nice if the live-video gets a release on DVD.

    There's a fine book/memoir on the band and its founding member, the late Chuck Greenberg, written by his wife Joy Greenberg: A Pause In The Rain.

  15. #15
    Psst. Greg Walker has the original album on CD, together with a couple of raw live recordings:

    SHADOWFAX
    WATERCOURSE WAY (JAPANESE TACHIKA MINI LP SLEEVE) $20 -- Original recording of this great prog album from 1975.
    LIVE AT WISE FOOL'S PUB 1978 (LIVE AT WISE FOOL'S CLUB, CHICAGO, IL 1978) (2 CD) (JAPANESE TACHIKA MINI LP SLEEVE) $25
    LIVE AT TROY MUSIC HALL (LIVE AT TROY MUSIC HALL, TROY, NY 12/3/84) (JAPANESE TACHIKA MINI LP SLEEVE) $20
    LIVE AT HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY (LIVE AT HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY, HEMPSTEAD, NY 1/3/85) (JAPANESE TACHIKA MINI LP SLEEVE) $20

  16. #16
    Tachika is "grey goods"... if we're being generous

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    Tachika is "grey goods"... if we're being generous
    True enough, though in this case it seems at least some of the surviving band members are chill with it:

    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...The-Lost-Years

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    Tachika is "grey goods"... if we're being generous
    Plus they are professionally printed CD-Rs, not CDs.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  19. #19
    Member Boceephus's Avatar
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    The song New Electric India is all you need.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    I love this album along with most of their New Age albums. Very relaxing. Complex, but not overly intense.

  21. #21
    Chuck Greenberg's solo-album From A Blue Planet is also worth listening to:



    And personally I hear some Happy The Man-like stuff on Shadowfax The Odd Get Even:



    Finally also check out Along The Amazon, the solo-album by Shadowfax-violin-player Charlie Bisharat featuring Jon Anderson:


  22. #22
    Here are some live-shots from the 80s, which reminds me of the work of Jerry Goodman in those days:





    And here's one from 1995:


  23. #23
    I remember an earlier thread here about the LP vs. CD. Some were saying that the Windham Hill CD's re-recorded parts ruined the album. I have both versions. The differences are there but not a deal-breaker, and I rarely feel like pulling any Shadowfax out (I have three albums) these days anyway.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    I remember an earlier thread here about the LP vs. CD. Some were saying that the Windham Hill CD's re-recorded parts ruined the album. I have both versions. The differences are there but not a deal-breaker, and I rarely feel like pulling any Shadowfax out (I have three albums) these days anyway.
    rcarlberg of this forum wrote what I think is the definitive track-by-track analysis of the differences in this thread:

    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...atercourse-Way

    The changes aren't really that substantial. Obviously it's up to the individual listener which version is preferred, but worth noting that this wasn't Windham Hill castrating the album as some have implied, but the band themselves - now more experienced in recording and with more resources - correcting technical errors and making what they viewed as improvements on the original version.

  25. #25
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I love Shadowfax. Even the Windham Hill stuff is great!!!
    yes, they softened their sound greatly on the 2nd album and onward but the creativity is still evident
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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