Monday, March 19

The Aquarians - Jungle Grass

The Aquarians
What Do You Mean, What Do I Mean?
Excuses, Excuses

The Head
Jungle Grass
Mucho Soul

Produced by Mark Slotkin & Bill Rinehart for Creative Complex and UNI
Recorded in Hollywood in 1969.

With :
Vladimir Vassilieff (p.)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)
Lynn Blessing (vibes)
Carl Lott (d.)
Stan Gilbert (b.)
Al MacKibbon (b.)
Joe Roccisano (fl., sax)
Joe Pass (g.)
Francisco Aquabella (perc.)
The Gemini Twins (voc.)
David MacKay (voc.)
Vicki Hamilton (voc.)

Here is an amazing recording by pianist Vladimir Vassilieff, between 60s hippies melodies (it was recorded on west coast in 69), latin boogaloo and brasillian funky jazz.
Bayu-Bayu is in a "Marcos Valle" mood and Joe Pass' guitar sounds like Wes Montgomery : just beautiful!!
The Gemini Twins appear only on the Aquarians ; however they make this track very "lovely"!!

Audio Sample


Thomas said...

Very nice...I'm a fan of David MacKay & Vicki Hamilton.
Thanks for the introduction to Vassilieff.
Any chance of providing the writing credits?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am the producer of the Aquarians. The master has long since disappeared, any chance of buying the album.

Anonymous said...

Btw, the album was recoreded on ONE session. Vladimir V. wrote the entire music score written for each part.

Anonymous said...

I produced this album. Vladimir V wrote all the songs, arranged the music and conducted it besides playing the piano. Basically, not much else to do except get the balance and the sound right.

adri3n said...

"Hutherson and Lynn Blessing played Vibes. Bobby played the ones that had a black feeling to it, Lynn, more of the jazz part.
Jungle Grass was a semi-hit and was used all over the easy listening stations as their theme.
The concept was an updated, much hipper Brazil '66. Vladimir came to me with this idea and I financed the whole thing. All tunes were original, he arranged each instrument with charts, and he played piano and conducted. I got the "sound" and the mix right. I also provided the Gemini Twins as they were under contract to me.
I came up with the Jungle Grass title. Both for the song and naturally the album. Uni dropped the ball on this album, wasn't there thing, but 38 years later, still sounds good.
There was a couple of rehersals and then the whole album was done in one 10 hour session!. I don't know what has become of
VV, but he is brilliant" Mark Slotkin, by mail.

Silverspurr (Mark Sanders) said...

I played in Vladimirs band in New Orleans from 1976-1978.
He died a few years after that of a heart attack
I was the Conguero.

There are several photos of us/the band taken at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. in the book "A guide to Jazz in New Orleans" by "Rhodes Spedale Jr." (ISBN 0-940594-08-0)

"The Aquarians - Jungle Grass" only rarely turns up on Ebay... selling for a few hundred dollars.
His "New Sound In Latin Jazz" LP is not hard to find on CD.

I still have some great live gigs transfered to CD from the New Orleans days.

He was really something else... and I can speak first hand.

Anonymous said...

I played bass with Vladimir when he was on the road with Tommy Wills after he'd gotten off the ships and moved to Indianapolis with his wife--that's where she's originally from I think. I didn't hear about a heart attack--he had cancer of the esophagus. A bunch of us played a benefit to cover some of his medical expenses after he'd passed away. He was a great guy to hang with on the road.

Anonymous said...

oops-forgot this would come up as "Anonymous". I have a self-made recording of one gig with Vladimir in the Tommy Wills band from Columbus, Ohio in 1983. He excels on "Harlem Nocturne" and on "Flamingo" he displays a clear reverence for Ellington. I hope he is long remembered.
-Steve Johnson