The Chester Keele Heptet | Obtuse Vertigo #33

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Easy Listening: Background Music Jazz: Jazz-Rock Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Obtuse Vertigo #33

by The Chester Keele Heptet

A chill groove featuring a pulsing bass and bubbling electric keyboard lines intermingled with subtle organ chords.
Genre: Easy Listening: Background Music
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1. Obtuse Vertigo #33
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Album Notes
Chester Keele was a drop-out jazz guitarist living in Montreal in the 1960s when he met six like-minded musicians: Ilse von Islington (keyboards), Karem Moss Bessarion (bass), Phoebe Lawrence (flute), Glen Cairn (drums), "Old" Mills Burdemeyer (euphonium), Graydon James (2nd euphonium). Despite the disparate age range of the musicians -- "Old" Mills Burdemeyer was 58 when the group formed; Graydon James was 12 -- they managed to release two albums before they broke up in late 1971. Leader Chester Keele went on to release one more solo album in 1981, although he still used the band name "The Chester Keele Heptet".

Their musical style was an infusion of Serge Gainsbourg through a wry Montrealer's lens and a jazz-rock fusion sound that featured a semi-steady rhythm section and a bunch of noodling lead players piling arrangements on top. Chester Keele's final, solo, album was largely acoustic featuring some finger-style guitar work and delicate piano songs that meandered through a half-dozen key changes for no particular reason.

Still they received some critical attention and were moderately influential in the Montreal music scene, even though they recorded all their albums in San Luis Obispo, CA for some reason. Leonard Cohen, when asked about The Chester Keele Heptet, once remarked, "Well, I guess they're a band of...what? Seven people or something?"

What Have You (1969)
Done For (1971)
Me, Lately (1981)



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