A typical ECM one-off session project featuring an international cast of top musicians then involved with Embryo and Wolfgang Dauner's Et Cetera. An alternative version of "The Call" can be heard on Embryo's STEIG AUS and acts as a good indicator to the music here. With just one track per side, this is ever inventive, flowing fusion with rich keyboard textures and omnipresent soloing. The spirit of Krautrock fusion, yet only one musician is German!
Mal Waldron (electric piano), Jimmy Jackson (organ), Eberhard Weber (bass, cello), Fred Braceful (drums)
THE CALL (1/2/71) LP Japo 60001 (1971)
Formed in Mönchengladbach by classically trained art student Jürgen Dollase in autumn 1971 as Blitzkrieg, with an international cast of: American Bill Barone, Dutchman Jerry Berkers, and local friend Harald Grosskopf. After only a couple of concerts, they were quickly spotted and eagerly signed up by Pilz. But, there proved to be a problem, also touring Germany at the time was a British band called Blitzkrieg, so a change of name was needed. They decided on Wallenstein, a notorious character of the Thirty Years War.
Remarkable for a band that had only existed a month or so, Wallenstein's debut album BLITZKRIEG certainly lived up to its title, a power-drive of psychedelic classical rock, overloaded with energy. The opening track "Lunatic" has the energy of High Tide crossed with the complexity of the finest Italian classical rock. Not unlike Mythos' Stephan Kaske, Jürgen Dollase had a similarly strong accented Peter Hammill style of singing, which lead to Wallenstein often being quoted as a German classical twist on Van Der Graaf Generator, but there was more to Wallenstein than that! With MOTHER UNIVERSE, it was big mood-change time, as Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser attempted to mould Wallenstein as a folk band (a strange idea) and so Jerry Berkers took the reigns for much of the album. It added up to a weird concoction that drew in many styles, sometimes comparable to Dutch legend Supersister. An awkward album, and thus it takes a little effort to really appreciate it.
Without Berkers, Wallenstein again returned to the control of Dollase, with a return to classical rock, but not heavy as on BLITZKRIEG, as Kaiser now wanted them to play cosmic music! You see, Jürgen Dollase and Harald Grosskopf had been jamming with Klaus Schulze and Manuel Göttsching for what became The Cosmic Jokers series. The influence of this obviously rubbed off, and so, Wallenstein becoming cosmic, meant a shift to Pink Floyd stylisms. Mix this with the symphonic blend of Jürgen's keyboards and newcomer Joachim Reiser's violin, and a new Wallenstein sound resulted. COSMIC CENTURY was quite a remarkable album, and it set the trend for STORIES, SONGS & SYMPHONIES, credited to "The Symphonic Rock Orchestra Wallenstein" which developed this style on a lighter footing. Away from Kaiser's guidance however, Wallenstein soon started to pale, not least so, because the only member to continue on with Dollase was the new bassist Jürgen Pluta. NO MORE LOVE offered a heavier rock style, still with some uniquely Wallenstein touches, but lacking the creativity that made the earlier albums special. Being with RCA obviously wasn't such a bright move either, as a Sting styled vocalist was drafted in and subsequent albums were basically pop music.
Bill Barone (guitars, vocals), Harald Grosskopf (drums, percussion), Jürgen Dollase (keyboards, vocals), Jerry Berkers (bass, vocals)
COSMIC CENTURY (9/73) LP Kosmische Musik KM 58.006 (1973)
STORIES, SONGS & SYMPHONIES (1974) LP Kosmische Musik KM 58.014 (1975)
NO MORE LOVE LP RCA PL 30010 (1977)
CHARLINE LP RCA PL 30045 (1978)
BLUE EYED BOYS (1979) LP RCA PL 30061 (1979)
FRÄULEINS (1/80) LP Harvest 1C 064-45 932 (1980)
SSSSS...TOP LP Harvest 1C 064-46 307 (1981)
Strongly inspired by the likes of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, etc., the Berlin band Walpurgis hit blues rock and West Coast American styles against space music reasonably successfully. On their sole album QUEEN OF SABA, they opened with the aptly titled "Disappointment". But, from thereon, despite a cranky vocalist, it gets better and better, and the guest appearance of Jürgen Dollase (of Wallenstein) fills the sound out nicely, later taking the music on to Ash Ra Tempel and Agitation Free realms.
Ryszard Kalemba (guitar), George Früchtenicht (bass), Jan Sundermeyer (congas, flute), Jerzy Sokolowski (guitar, vocals), Manfred Stadelmann (drums, vocals), + Jürgen Dollase (keyboards)