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Bozon | Cold Fusion

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Cold Fusion

by Bozon

Instrumental music so unique that it defies easy description. Instrumentation mostly electric, genre with roots in fusion and progressive rock. Each song through-composed, with areas set aside for improvisation. Lots of uncommon meter; very inventive!
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The King of the Plough and Stars
7:48 album only
2. A Canadian Overture
8:09 album only
3. A Protozoan Revenge
5:34 album only
4. Puget Sound
10:45 album only
5. Son of Chuck and Bob
5:10 album only
6. Ice Logic
7:24 album only
7. Veins in the Pavement
6:35 album only
8. Famous 'admen of the West
11:46 album only
9. Nomad Speaks
11:44 album only


Album Notes
The band heard on this CD was Bozon in its final incarnation. Bozon began in the late seventies forging a unique form of jazz-rock in a rehearsal studio (”the space”) behind the Dharma Submarine Shop near the nexus of Market and Van Ness streets in San Francisco. Countless long days and late nights were spent working on complex original compositions that often featured an anarchic sense of humor and “odd” time signatures (with no regard, indeed a disdain for the monotony of the four-four disco beat so prevalent at the time). The diversity of the players’ backgrounds brought a large palette of influences into the mix. Sometimes, this created an overly complicated gumbo of confusion (both for the players and listeners). However, when things did go right, the results could be surprising and sublime. Bozon played a modest succession of rather eccentric parties and gigs, but it was hard to duplicate their sound out of the space.

As disco gave way to punk, the handwriting was easy enough to read. The group disbanded in late 1980/early 1981.
The bulk of this CD was originally recorded in 1980 in the space on a couple of Teac 40-4 tape decks and the sound quality was pretty dismal. Almost three decades later this material was transferred into the digital realm (none too soon, as the tape was disintegrating) and, in a laborious process, cleaned up. Two of the pieces were originally recorded in 16 and 24 track analog studios and were also moved into Pro Tools for editing. The goal wasn’t to “re-do” the music, but to improve the sonic quality and present some lost work from an unknown band.

Bozon: Bruce Kaphan: Guitars, Drew Anderson: Piano & B3, Jeffrey Potter: Bass, Tim Vaughan: Drums & Percussion, Brian Schindele: Moog, Rhodes & Piano Guests: Ed Easton: Sax, George Marsh: Percussion, Skooter Fein: Percussion, Chuck Masten: Vocals, Bruce Bowers: Violin, Joel & Mazin: Vocals

The tunes:

1. The King of the Plough and Stars (Anderson/Bozon) 7:46 © 1980 Drew Anderson Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS Part of the synergy that allowed Bozon to work when it did was that Brian, Tim and myself all shared roots in the theater. As such we had been familiar with and inspired by actor/playwright Robert Shaw’s work for many years; long before he became forever associated with sharks we had been mutually mesmerized and inspired by his passionate performances in such films as The Hireling and Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. So on the day of his death a spontaneous wake was held by the three of us at the Plough and Stars Pub (San Francisco, CA) in which the concept for a tune honoring the legendary stage and film icon was hatched. Exactly what transpired after that remains a bit hazy but some many pints later as we tumbled out into the night I was elected to return to the studio to begin work on the piece and somewhere between that hour and the dawn "The King of the Plough and Stars” was born and yes, it is named for and dedicated with great affection and respect to the memory of the late, great actor/writer Robert Shaw. - da

2. A Canadian Overture (Schindele/Bozon) 8:06 Composed 1980 © 2010 Brian Schindele Bozon’s poltergeist - harmonica, “alright, alright” vocal Joel and Mazin from the corner liquor store - “Hoo! Wa!” chorus Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS
This was originally a bit of lied (yes, the tune has lyrics) and was, along with songs like "No Toes" (one of two songs I've written or co-written about industrial accidents) an early attempt to mix fusion with pop/Broadway sensibilities. While not entirely programmatic, The Hoo! Wa! Chorus could provoke an image of mushers on very bad acid fleeing from the tyranny of the Iditarod, Alaska and the U.S., heading toward the (relative) safety of Canada. Damn, I wish we could have had dog samples back then. The white noise tells you it's very cold (or does it? An earlier work of mine parodied liner notes from Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman, something along the lines of white noise being either the sound of the blue surf crashing against the white sands in Hawai’i or the wind rushing through the tall pines in Big Sky Country - this ambiguity is one of
the chances you take with the electronic music of today...) while the ending tango hints at happier times to come. - bs

3. A Protozoan Revenge (Kaphan/Bozon) 5:29 © 1980 Bruce Kaphan Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS In much the same spirit conveyed by The Black Knight in the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail, this piece was written as a challenge/tribute to one of our influences at the time, The Dixie Dregs. As a guitarist, I felt that Steve Morse could pretty much play circles around me. Quoting the ever over-confident Black Knight after his arms and legs had been severed in a sword fight with King Arthur: “Oh, I see, running away! You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off!” Hence, the title “A Protozoan Revenge”. - bk

4. Puget Sound (Schindele/Bozon) 10:42 Composed 1980 © 2010 Brian Schindele Brian Schindele – piano Bruce Bowers – violin Tim Vaughan – marimba
Skooter Fein - congas & additional percussion Recorded at Dragon Studios, Redwood City, CA and Niagara Falls, engineered by BK The other piece (along with “Ice Logic”) recorded in a real studio. This tune was brought in toward the end of Bozon and was recorded after the band broke up (therefore I’m on piano instead of Drew). Even with 24 tracks, we wound up combining tracks. There were a bazillion percussion overdubs. Heck, we probably could have made a full cd out of the rain stick tracks alone. Again, this could be something of a programmatic piece (which is odd, because I usually don't write that way). I suppose it's the ship's bell or something. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and still find it a very enjoyable place. I‘ve written two songs about the area: this one and “Port Townsend”, which was performed by the band The Brickmen. - bs

5. Son of Chuck and Bob (Schindele/Bozon) 5:06 Composed 1980 © 2010 Brian Schindele Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS For the record, there was no Chuck and Bob. This was intended as a brief little romp, with obvious nods to Joe Zawinul and Brand X. Except for the middle section, it's one of the happier tunes I wrote for the band, so I guess having two dads (for whatever reason) worked out OK for the fictional offspring. - bs

6. Ice Logic (Kaphan/Bozon) 7:21 © 1980 Bruce Kaphan George Marsh- congas, waterphone Ed Easton- soprano sax Brian Schindele- piano
Drew Anderson- orchestra bells Recorded at John Altman Studio, San Francisco, CA, Music Annex Studio C, Menlo Park, CA Rework done at Dragon Studios, Redwood City, CA and Niagara Falls Inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness and with a tip of the hat to one of my early guitar heroes Terje Rypdal, this was Bozon’s first foray into a real recording studio. In one of the band’s few successes, my piece “Nomad Speaks” won first place in the 1980 Seven Creative Days Festival’s composition competition. Our prizes included an opening slot for Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock and a handful of hours at John Altman Studio in San Francisco. Due to a chronic lack of money, we never actually finished this song while Bozon existed. Sadly we were never happy with the sound of the spinet piano Drew played in the original recording, so years later after the band had broken up and we had temporarily lost touch with Drew, and Brian and I were working together on other material, I asked Brian to replace the piano on a nicer instrument- the Baldwin Grand at Dragon Studios. At that point due to analog tape track count limitations the decision was made to erase Drew’s original piano. Although an earlier mix of the track exists with Drew’s piano on it, the mix was one of my earliest 16 or more track mixes and well, it sucked - sorry Drew! George Marsh and I overdubbed at Music Annex Studio C. After Bozon’s demise, I started working in the “Silver Circuit”, playing lounges in Nevada’s casinos. I met Ed Easton while playing at the then “Sahara Tahoe”. Ed was playing in one of the other lounges. I kidnapped him one day, we drove feverishly to a studio in Sacramento, recorded feverishly, then drove back feverishly to make our gigs that night. - bk

7. Veins in the Pavement (Vaughan/Schindele/Kaphan/Bozon) 6:32 Composed 1980 © 2010 Brian Schindele Brian Schindele & Bruce Kaphan - vocals Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS While the entire band had a large arrangement influence, the usual modus operandi was that the composer would bring in a tune pretty much charted out, then the band provided additional ideas on transitions, ways to expand sections, and the like. This tune was different because it was written by the three of us (Bruce, Tim and myself) in a collaborative fashion. Aside from the group improv at the top of the tune, I wrote the jazz fusion intro part (with the double speed line being Bruce's), Tim came up with the origin (the bass line in five and the driving chords), I came up with the B part (changing the bass line to 4/4 - horrors) and Bruce wrote the melody. The spooky middle section chords are mine and Bruce's solo shows the Terje
Rypdal influence. Tim pulls off a very cool solo before we head out. - bs

8. Famous ‘admen of the West (Anderson/Vaughan/Bozon) 11:44 © 1980 Drew Anderson Chuck Masten– vocals Drew Anderson– harmonica Recorded live at the Bozon rehearsal studio by Tom Meshishnek, additional engineering by BK & BS During our first sessions Tim asked me to write a riff around a West African rhythm that George Marsh had shown him. I created a lazy, harmonica-driven introduction I hoped might evoke a “storytelling around the campfire” mood followed by a rolling 5/4 bass line and a melody with a Mexicali flavor that would drive at a gallop toward what had by then come to be known affectionately as "the 12 1/2" (12 and 1/2 over 4 time signature). In early rehearsals percussionist Chuck Masten shouted out a vocal that seemed inspired by
the classic cattle drive scenes in John Ford/Howard Hawks films and we realized an homage to the great scores of epic Hollywood Westerns was taking shape; this was something I'd always wanted to do, so pursuant to that theme I suggested the title "Famous Badmen of the West" to which Brian quipped "'ad-men' of the West". Probably more than any other work on this CD “'admen” has been the beneficiary of the “Bozon Process”. It is presented here having been painstakingly re-engineered by Bruce from a live-in- the-studio performance. An epic? Oh hell yeah. The process of creating this piece certainly has been that. - da

9. Nomad Speaks (Kaphan/Bozon) 11:44 ©1980 Bruce Kaphan Drew Anderson - orchestra bells Recorded at the Bozon rehearsal studio by BK & BS Sonic Solutions No-Noise processing done by Ron Rigler at House of X, Novato, CA Inspired by the TV show Star Trek’s season 2, episode 37 show “The Changeling”. A damaged robot spaceship (Nomad) mistakenly thinks that James T. Kirk is its creator (its real creator was Jackson Roy Kirk). Nomad was originally built to explore the galaxy and seek out new life forms. Spock discovers that Nomad had been severely damaged in a collision with "Tan-Ru", an alien probe designed to obtain and sterilize soil samples. Some of
its memory was lost, its programming intermingled and perverted by Tan-Ru's directive, to the extent that the new Nomad thought its directive was to sterilize imperfections. Nomad, when confronted with imperfections recited the mantra “faulty, error, must sterilize”, then proceeded to destroy the imperfection. When it hears Uhura singing over the intercom, it seeks her out, questioning her as to what form of communication she was practicing. When she replies “music”, it erases her mind, calling her a mass of conflicting impulses. - bk



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