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Album Review

By 1972, the magical aura that once surrounded Quintessence had long since dissipated, just as the band itself had shed much of the evocative panache that characterized their greatest moments. One more album on the unfamiliar pastures of RCA was not going to correct their decline, but Self emerged a delight regardless, chiefly courtesy of the live second side that caught the band in full flight at Exeter University. Despite being just two songs long (""Freedom"" and ""Water Goddess""), the performance rolls back the years so effectively that the faintly workaday weight of side one is barely even relevant to the album's glory. There, of course, the band's customary blending of Indian mantra and jazzy heartbeats is as eclectic as ever, and the only downside is that the group has not really moved on from its original vision.

Biography

Formed: Finland

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Quintessence was among the first true progressive rock outfits signed by Island Records. Led by Australian-born Shiva Shankar Jones (keyboards, vocals) and Raja Ram (flute, violin, percussion), the group also included Alan Mostert (lead guitar), Sambhu Babaji (bass), Maha Dev (guitar), and Jake Milton (drums), all of whom, in addition to a common interest in Indian music, also shared the Hindu faith. The group's roots lay in the hippie community in the Notting Hill area, which was to London roughly...
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Self, Quintessence
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