24 July 2007

J.K. And Co - 1969 - Suddenly One Summer

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

I'm going to be totally honest here- as a musician I am completely jealous of Mr. J.K. (aka Jay Kaye). This Canadian feller was all of 15 years old at the time of recording and managed to score a crack team of session players and produce this masterpiece of orchestral psych-rock. Let's add to that the fact that the completely pretensious concept of man's life from birth to death was tacked on to the record and still doesn't managed to derail the thing (take that, Tarkus!)

Suddenly On Summer trapses all over the map of genres, but doesn't managed to take any serious missteps; especially if you completely ignore the concept as I did. There is a fine mix of songs and production at work here. There's plenty of pop power here, although I suppose the strange yet amazing twists of production are what have relegated this into the realm of obscurity.

After a short intro, "Christine" shines out as one of those should-have-been singing with some experienced-beyond-his-years from out titular star and some very groovy horn charts. Following a brief blast of acid rock and another good sound, we find the even better "Fly," wrapping the listener up in warm, pulsing feedback waves and what might be a marimba.

The album continues through some strong tracks like the raga-rock of "Magical Fingers Of Minerva" and the organ drenched freak-folk of "Nobody." Bringing us back to the surface of more recognizable is the almost bubblegum-like "The Times." J.K.'s voice has a resonance that keeps the songs from getting to syrupy, with the one exception of "Little Children," which always makes me skip ahead.

This is a brief album, with only nine proper tracks. It's a strong 27 minutes of psych (I'm docking the three minutes of "Little Children"), which I consider a lot more valuable than a 80 minute complation of oh, let's say Vanilla Fudge.

Buy Me:
J.K. And Co - 1969 - Suddenly One Summer

10 comments:

ryan said...

This is definitely one of my favorite albums ever!

I found out that J.K. is still playing music, but unfortunately in Vegas doing some lame show. Kinda sad. But at least he's probably not as messed up as he was when he made this album.

Such a good record!!!

Anonymous said...

One of the finest examples of it's type! A personal favourite, along with D.R. Hooker & C.A. Quintet.
Cheers!! - SCM

ryan said...

i'm from minneapolis and i don't even like c.a. quintet... j.k. is WAY better!

Anonymous said...

thanks for showing us this gem :-)

dAg

Synthetic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synthetic said...

He is now headquartered in Mallorca, Spain and has a MySpace profile at
http://profile.myspace.com/
index.cfm?fuseaction=user.
viewprofile&friendid=85934052

mad4music said...

Wow! This album is excellent. I've never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!

If you dig Sixties psych-rock, check out my series of podcasts at:

http://sonicdaydream.blogspot.com/

If you get a chance to listen, let me know what you think...

The Overlords said...

I'm John Kaye, Jay Kaye's cousin and bass player from that era. Jay never played any lame Vegas shows. He left for California in the early 70's never to return to Vegas other than few exceptions. He moved on to Wales and then Spain where he resides today. He is now known as the "Blue Messiah Of Spain" playing in resorts with his power trio www.JayKayeBand.com
It was the summer of '67 when that album was recorded. Jay left Vegas and went to Canada to record it with Robin Spurgin, then a guru with White Whale records who housed the Turtles at that time.
Upon Jay's return I was moved to L.A. I remember it vividly when my Aunt "Mary Kaye" Jay's mother (www.MaryKayeTrio.com) picked me up from LAX and we drove up Sunset Blvd and around that area where Wally Hieders Music City was on the corner of Vine & either Sunset or Hollywood Blvd. and every window was covered with JK & Co's album from top to bottom in all the visible windows. "Fly" was playing on the radio as we drove up to LaCienega and Sunset where the largest billboard facing the Sunset Strip was the JK & Co album cover for sale at WH Music City ad bigger than life.
We enlisted Rick Dean as our drummer and rehearsed our butts of to play around the San Fernando Valley during that time.
Music began to do a paradigm shift with the event of Hendrix, Cream, John Mayall, later Led Zepplin, and the continues barrage of heavy rock entering our path, we began to abandon the psychedelic route and began playing heavier rock and split up after a short while.
Jay continued to create several genres of music as did I. He moved on to be a full time blues master and I continued to rock harder and heavier. Jay is successfully pursuing his passion for blues and I for rock. Jay & I were recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Vegas with the JK & Co band. May 1st 2011 is the induction performance in Vegas. My band is www.TheOverlords.com I also have a blues band www.SoulPatchLtd.com and my acoustic project is www.JohnKaye.com I just can't seem to make up my mind. I like it all.
I can be reached at John@JohnKaye.com I also run an entertainment magazine in L.A. called CREATIVE INDEPENDENT ARTISTS "We Promote People's Passion's" www.CiaArtists.com

Dr. Schluss said...

Thanks for all the information, John! Glad to hear that J.K. isn't living the 'washed up in Vegas' dream.

Anonymous said...

Been a fan of J.K. since 69/70. What a time it was to experience the cultural explosion of the hippie lifestyle, including psychedelia music and art.It was mankind's second attempt at recognizing the Sacred Geometry of all Creation. It still holds up if you haven't been jaded by the industry's attempt to dumb down individuals to the level of a chimpanzee.