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The Nice – Live And Unleashed... Fillmore East 1969

 

 The Nice - Live And Unleashed...Fillmore East 1969
Record Label: Virgin UK / EMI
Album release: 2009
Contains these products:
01.) Rondo (Live At Fillmore East)   7:00
02.) Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Live At Fillmore East)   13:48
03.) Little Arabella (Live At Fillmore East)   6:24
04.) She Belongs To Me (Live At Fillmore East)   13:18
05.) Country Pie (Live At Fillmore East)   6:14
06.) Five Bridges Suite (Live At Fillmore East)   13:53
07.) Hang On To A Dream (Live At Fillmore East)   7:30
08.) Intermezzo: Karelia Suite (Live At Fillmore East)
09.) America (Live At Fillmore East)   7:51
10.) War And Peace (Live At Fillmore East)   5:20
Total Time: 93:46
Album Credits:
Performance Credits: 
The Nice  Primary Artist
Brian Davison  Percussion, Drums, Group Member
Keith Emerson  Organ, Piano, Vocals, Group Member
Lee Jackson  Bass Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits: 
Leonard Bernstein  Composer
Stephen Sondheim  Composer
Tim Hardin  Composer
Bob Dylan  Composer
Brian Davison  Arranger, Composer, Whistle
Keith Emerson  Arranger, Composer
Eddie Kramer  Location Recording
Davy O'List  Composer
Joseph Eger  Arranger
Mark Powell  Mastering, Tape Research, Sleeve Notes
Paschal Byrne  Mastering
Lee Jackson  Arranger, Composer
Ben Wiseman  Mastering
Johan Julius Christian Sibelius  Composer
Product Details:
Format: CD
Release Date: 08/11/2009
Label: EMD INT'L
Catalog No.: 6931432
UPC: 5099969314322  

¶  Out of all of EMI's new reissues of The Nice's Charisma label back catalogue, this two-disc set totaling over 90 minutes is likely to be of most interest to fans of The Nice.
¶  Whilst a couple of tracks from this gig have been previously bulked up albums such as The Nice (1969) and Elegy (1971), this is the first time the complete concert at New York's legendary Fillmore East has been released.
¶  Whilst the studio albums were often a little too variable for their own good, hearing the set flow from start to finish gives us a greater appreciation of how powerful and cohesive a unit The Nice were in concert.
¶  Whilst Keith Emerson's off-the-cuff quotes of Bach and other popular classics may sound a touch arch by today's standards, it's easy to forget how hard-edged and radical this was to audiences largely fed on a diet of bluesy guitar jams.
This, coupled with his theatrical mauling of the Hammond organ, added not only an arresting visual dimension but the resulting ear-bleeding atonality of such pre-meditated destruction gave the group something of an avant-garde frisson as well.
Though Lee Jackson's sandpaper-rasp of a voice suited the rockier repertoire, his limitations are spotlighted in the quieter parts such as their imaginative reading of Tim Hardin's sublime Hang On To A Dream.
¶  Nevertheless, Jackson's bass playing was entirely dependable and together with drummer Brian Davison's always elegant but always robust sense of swing, the pair provided an unswerving rhythm section that was in effect the safety net to Emerson's high-wire act and what made the band such an exciting proposition.
¶  When this show was recorded The Nice were only weeks away from breaking up. Yet the risk-taking that went from Dylan to Dvorak remains exhilarating, edgy and largely underrated.
Fortaken: Sid Smith
¶  I’m a freelance writer from North East England living in Whitley Bay. As well as writing sleevenotes for independent and major record labels, web content management, and contributions to both regional and national press, I’m the author of a critically acclaimed rock biography, In The Court of King Crimson (2001), and Northstars (2005), Granada TV’s Royal Television Award-winning series profiling musicians from the North East region. I’ve been blogging since 1999, commenting on music in particular and the arts in general, as well as whatever takes my fancy.
http://sidsmith.blogspot.com/2009/07/nice-fillmore-east-1969.html
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All Music Guide:
¶  Up until the middle of 2009, the core of the recorded history of the Nice lay rooted in the three albums they cut for Immediate Records between late 1967 and early 1969, augmented by Five Bridges, released during the period following Immediate's bankruptcy, and all of it appended by the posthumous collection Elegy and Autumn 1967/Spring 1968. This double-CD set moves the center of gravity of that legacy forward, toward the group's 15-month post-Immediate history -- their manager, Tony Stratton-Smith, wisely recorded a good deal of their live work during this period, and an amazingly high percentage of it has proved worthwhile listening, including these tapes from two shows at the Fillmore East from December 19 and 20, 1969 (shows on which they were billed alongside the Byrds, the Sons of Champlin, and Dion). And what makes the tapes even more astonishing is that these performances date from a period after Keith Emerson had made the decision to abandon the group -- but there's no sign of less than 100 percent effort or total cohesion in what is heard on this set. These tapes also demonstrate just how far the group had come since its spring 1969 U.S. tour -- whereas the best of the work from their earlier Fillmore shows (released on the group's third Immediate album) shows a band starting to seriously redefine conventional song structures, on this set of performances the Nice are opening out much of their material even further, and scratching it out wide enough to drive a tank through musically -- and at times, that's what they come close to doing. Not all of what they attempt works -- the more expansive rendition of Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me" included here was probably great to see as a performance, but it doesn't hold up as well as the more concise interpretation that it received in the spring 1969 show, and ultimately it's a slight disappointment when compared to that earlier version. Even that track is worth hearing, however, and is different enough so that completists need not feel cheated or abused by having to buy it here.
¶  As for the rest, the trio roars through "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" (complete with a two-plus-minute drum solo from Brian Davison), sandwiched between bracing performances of "Rondo" and "Little Arabella," which is done pretty straight. It was their rendition of Dylan's "Country Pie" from these performances that would eventually find release on the Five Bridges album, but otherwise Stratton-Smith shelved the rest of this body of tapes in favor of Fillmore performances from a year later, on the trio's final U.S. tour, for use on the Elegy collection. Here, listeners get an odd yet worthwhile rendition of "Hang on to a Dream" done on a Hammond organ rather than a piano -- the piano version works better, but hearing this rendition will disappoint no one who likes Keith Emerson or the band. There's a riveting performance of "The Five Bridges Suite" as a piece for trio (the work is most familiar from the Newcastle live recording, done with orchestra), plus a romping and playful version of "Intermezzo: Karelia Suite" that leads into a pounding and fierce performance of "America," complete with an interpolation of "The Star Spangled Banner" (plus what sounds like Emerson's attempt to graft part of Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War," from "The Planets," into the piece -- and could that have been his political comment at the time about the United States and Vietnam?). And, as a finale, the trio gives listeners an improved updating of the early Nice composition "War and Peace." This set will obviously be a must-own release for fans of Emerson or the band, and the producers have spared little to make it worthwhile in terms of packaging -- the fidelity throughout ranges from very good to excellent, and the annotation is extremely thorough as well.  ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
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BBC Review:
Keith Emerson's first prog trio in full live action.
¶  Sid Smith 2009-07-31
¶  Out of all of EMI's new reissues of The Nice's Charisma label back catalogue, this two-disc set totaling over 90 minutes is likely to be of most interest to fans of The Nice.
¶  Whilst the song titles will be familiar this is the first time this concert at New York's legendary Fillmore East has been released.
¶  Where the studio albums were often a little too variable for their own good, hearing the set flow from start to finish gives us a greater appreciation of how powerful and cohesive a unit The Nice were in concert.
¶  Whilst Keith Emerson's off-the-cuff quotes of Bach and other popular classics may sound a touch arch by today's standards, it's easy to forget how hard-edged and radical this was to audiences largely fed on a diet of bluesy guitar jams.
¶  This, coupled with his theatrical mauling of the Hammond organ, added not only an arresting visual dimension but the resulting ear-bleeding atonality of such pre-meditated destruction gave the group something of an avant-garde frisson as well.
Though Lee Jackson's sandpaper-rasp of a voice suited the rockier repertoire, his limitations are spotlighted in the quieter parts such as their imaginative reading of Tim Hardin's sublime Hang On To A Dream.
¶  Nevertheless, Jackson's bass playing was entirely dependable and together with drummer Brian Davison's always elegant but robust swing, the pair provided an unswerving rhythm section that was in effect the safety net to Emerson's high-wire act.
¶  When this show was recorded The Nice were only weeks away from breaking up. Yet the risk-taking that went from Dylan to Dvorak remains exhilarating, edgy and largely underrated. Notes: Davison died on 15 April 2008 in Horns Cross, Devon from a brain tumour. He was 65 years old.

Review of Live at the Fillmore East December 1969  

FILLMORE EAST:
The entrance to the Fillmore is now a bank branch
Location: 105 Second Avenue at East 6th Street, Manhattan, New York City
Type: concert hall
Genre(s): rock
Opened: March 8, 1968
Closed: June 27, 1971
Former name(s): Commodore Theater / Village Theater
Capacity: 2,639

The Nice – Live And Unleashed... Fillmore East 1969

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