CD In the Midst of Chaos (CD 1324827),
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In the Midst of Chaos

  • 1. Golden Falcons
    2. Om Shanti
    3. Liquid Nature Of, The
    4. And Then She Disappeared in the Midst of Chaos
    5. Peace
    6. Release From
    7. Sad Joy
    8. Broccoli
    9. Jamel Voice, The
    10. Sunset Beyond the Safety
    11. Subway Over the Rainbow
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 76064

  • Credits

    Personnel: Bob Laramie (electric bass); Danny Flaherty (bongos).
    Audio Mixer: Marty Fegy.
    Recording information: Snooderbunk Recording Studio (08/29/1976-09/01/1977).
    Self-released in 1978, in a pressing limited to 200 copies, Orange's sole LP In the Midst of Chaos originally went by unnoticed. It was reissued 30 years later by the small imprint De Stijl. Why? In the interim, one of the group's members has become a strong voice in the world of American free improvisation of the ecstatic variety (or hardcore freeform, if you prefer that tag): saxman Paul Flaherty. And this was his first-ever recording session and release. Are fans going to hear him in a strikingly different context? Maybe doing a little mainstream jazz? Not at all. Orange was a group resolutely ahead of its time, and this early LP already features Flaherty's sound-over-note approach, albeit less raw or primal than it became a couple decades later (yet, "Sad Joy" comes surprisingly close). In the Midst of Chaos features 11 tracks, most of them under five minutes. The instrumentation consists of sax, electric guitar, bass, and drums, with extra percussion on a few pieces and guitarist Barry Greika occasionally playing trumpet. The music is entirely improvised, but quite varied, a result of the stylistic disagreements that seemed to have ruled (and, even before this recording was completed, torn apart) the band, according to Flaherty's liner notes. From dirges to all-out free jazz, psychedelic atmospheric tracks and percussion freak-outs, this LP has a little of everything. It also has a lot of guts for 1978. Greika was a fine guitarist, with a jazzier leaning but still very capable of engaging into genre-pushing improvising, as "The Liquid Nature Of" and "Broccoli" testify. Sound quality on the reissue is decent, but one soon notices that it was lifted from an LP (however, it is legit). It still provides a fine listen, and a rare look into whatever was happening in some Connecticut basements in the late '70s. ~ Franois Couture

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