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The Curved Air Rarities Series Volume 3: The Second British Rock Meeting 1972

Curved Air

CRVE 2019

Review by David Bowling

 

Cured Air was, and still is, a progressive rock band. They formed in 1970 and combined electronics with some classical and folk influences. They had a unique approach as they used a violin as a lead instrument. They released six studio albums during their first incarnations. They were far more popular and influential in the home country of Great Britain and Europe, than in the United States, where they were more of a cult band.

The Curved Air Rarities Volume 3: The Second British Rock Meeting 1972 the best of the three releases of rarities. It presents possibly the earliest live performance of the band in existence. In addition, the sound is extraordinary for an early 1970’s concert recording.

The album consists of their set performed at The Second British Rock Meeting Festival, Germersheim, Germany, May 22, 1972. They were a band that was much better live than in the studio as they could improvise at will. The best example of their prowess as an improvisational band is a 31 plus minute jam of “Vivaldi,” that highlights the convergence of violin, synthesizer, and guitar.

The six song set presents about an hour of music that is different from much of what was being produced at the time. Lead singer Sonja Kristina vocals float in and out. She was and remains unique as a female front woman for a progressive rock band.

Curved air travelled a different road in creating their sound. The concert remains an interesting intergration of various sounds that creates a number of textures and layers. In some ways it is a product of its era and the early development of progressive music, but it also points to the future.

Rating: ***1/2

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