Live at Lons Le Saulnier, 1974
2015 release. Monster Melodies present Live at Lons Le Saulnier, 1974 from Robert Wood & Woodlands. An exceptional recording, dating from September 1974, featuring a band that has never released an album up to now. Robert Wood, an English vibraphonist, guitarist and singer, is a veteran of the jazz scene, free jazz, jazz and experimental rock having played with Alan Silva, Don Cherry, Gong, Marc Bolan, Sam Gopal, Kent Carter, Bernard Vitet, Lard Free, Christian Vander, Fred Frith and Yannick Top. He spent the majority of his career in France. Woodlands was formed in 1973 with Olivier Didier (Herbe Rouge) on drums and Simon Wheatley on electric bass. Patrick Fontaine (Ame Son and Bananamoon Band) replaced Simon Wheatley a few months later and it is this second line-up that is featured on this album. In 1974, Robert Wood & Woodlands played more than forty concerts in France. The group's music is bursting with energy. Robert Wood plays his Deagan Electravibe and Premier Vibraphone in a manner which is both extremely personal and relentlessly perfectionist, producing a unique sound enveloped by the bass and the drums. Using a technique which includes as Robert himself explains: "My own choice of mallets, sticks, different types of pieces of wood, finger cymbals, the palms of my hands, the soft tips of my fingers and the harder attack of my finger nails. Each of these different types of attack engendered their own characteristic sound parameters which could naturally be played in a myriad of intermingling sound colors. I have always strived to open the range and flexibility of expression of the vibraphone as an instrument complete in itself and not simply an extension of the percussion family. I added a Cry Baby wah-wah from the '60s and a legendary amp, the Mike Matthews "Freedom Amp". The mutational frequencies of the wah to go even further into my 'improvisational madness' as certain people called it. On my Premier Vibraphone, I struck the key(s) at basically five different positions on each key, with a further four intermediate positions on each key which I would also strike for modelling the inherent harmonics. Applied to the Deagan Electravibe this technique literally exploded the conceived limitations of the vibraphone, and also created new soundscapes for my vocals, shooting us off into a cosmic voyage of time, sound and rhythm." - Extracts from an interview by Ron Kane.