CULT CLASSIC: LARRY ROSE BAND-THE JUPITER EFFECT.
Cult Classic: Larry Rose Band–The Jupiter Effect.
Usually, at this time of the year, dedicated crate-digging DJs and discerning record collectors spend much of their spare time searching for oft-overlooked albums and long lost hidden gems in back-street record shops, thrift stores and dusty warehouses. This is the natural habitat of the real life vinyl detective. It’s where what’s akin to a treasure hunt takes place as they scour the bargain bins for rarities hoping to strike vinyl gold. Sadly, with so many other vinyl detectives pounding the same beat, striking gold gets more difficult with each passing week.
As the vinyl detective returns home, they log onto to their computers and spend evenings continuing their search for vinyl gold. Some are specialists who spent their time searching for free jazz, psychedelia or seventies progressive rock. However, others are just looking for anything that looks unusual, esoteric or interesting, and will even take a chance on an album cover. Each vinyl detective has their own approach to online crate-digging. Sometimes this pays off and they strike vinyl gold and discover a hidden gem that failed to find an audience when it was first released.
During the last few years a few crate-digging record collectors and DJs unearthed copies of The Larry Rose Band’s 1978 rare jazz fusion album The Jupiter Effect. It was recorded in Amsterdam by American multi-instrumentalist Larry Rose.
He was born in Indiana, but his parents moved to the Windy City of Chicago, and he was brought up in Waukegan. However, when the Rose family moved to Oakland, in California Larry discovered and embraced music.
Soon, Larry Rose was listening to an eclectic selection of music which included everything from The Beach Boys to John Coltrane. However, when he heard Mose Allison’s piano playing that was a game-changer. Suddenly, Larry Rose wasn’t content to listen to music and wanted to be able to play the piano.
By the time Larry Rose began taking music lessons he was in his early teens. He started off learning to play the piano but when he was in junior high school, like many teenagers, he decided to switch to guitar. Not longer after this, he had joined his first band, The Cheques.
While the nascent band played mostly cover versions of songs from the late-sixties, already the members of The Cheques were already writing their own songs. These they played during their sets. However, for Larry Rose being a member of The Cheques was a only a stepping stone.
When he left the Cheques he joined The Liquid Blues Band, which featured two up-and-coming musicians, bassist Lex Silva who would later join John Lee Hooker’s band, while Hammond organist Clay Cotton would play in Charlie Musslewhite’s group. That was all in the future.
With such a talented lineup, it was no surprise that The Liquid Blues Band were soon regarded as rising stars locally. They were soon familiar faces on the local live scene, and after serving their musical apprenticeship, played at The Fillmore West, in San Francisco. Alas, this was as good as it got for the band who never released an album. However, Larry Rose’s next band would.
Music was now the most important thing in Larry Rose’s life. More so than his college course. After graduating high school, Larry Rose had enrolled at UC Berkeley, and was studying psychology. He was in his senior year when he decided to drop out, and go travelling.
When his parents heard Larry Rose’s plans they were hugely disappointed, as their son was so close to graduating from one of America’s most prestigious universities. Instead, he had bought a oneway ticket to Europe, and was planning to travel and explore the continent and maybe even, play some music along the way.
With his oneway ticket Larry Rose left America and travelled to Europe, where his money and luck ran out in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.
He wasn’t the first American musician this happened to. The same thing happened to singer-songwriter Mike Tingley in 1968, and he had recorded and released his cult classic in Amsterdam. Maybe history would repeat itself a decade later?
Down on his luck, Larry Rose moved into one of the many condemned houses in Amsterdam. They were known as cracked houses, and in the mid-seventies, if a Dutch citizen was living in one, they were obliged to provide electricity and water. This became home for Larry Rose who studied the Dutch language and gave guitar lessons to pay the rent. It must have seemed like a long way from UC Berkeley.
Not long after arriving in Amsterdam, Larry Rose was in a club in Zaandam where he met fellow countryman Chuck Pyle. He soon became friends with the singer-songwriter and Zen Cowboy. Soon, Larry Rose had convinced his friend to let him join him when he played live, and he played the piano and sang backing vocals.
This was the start of an adventure for the pair who toured Holland. Larry Rose also played keyboards, organ and piano on Chuck Pyle’s eponymous debut album. It was released later in 1976on Bubble a Dutch record label, but unfortunately the track listing was wrong. Despite that, it was the start of a long and successful career for Chuck Pyle, and marked the recording debut of Larry Rose.
By then, a new chapter had begun for Larry Rose. In late 1975, he met American songwriter and bassist Stanley Davis and the pair decided to form a band together. It became The Larry Rose Band, and the earliest lineup featured drummer Theo Wanders and guitarist and vocalist Look Schrivers. The new band initially toured Holland and Germany playing rock ’n’ roll covers. However, this was just another stepping stone for Larry Rose.
In 1977, Larry Rose and Stanley Davis decided to create a breakaway group, and they were joined by drummer and percussionist Toon Janssen and saxophonist Theo van Halen. This was the new lineup of The Larry Rose Band who wanted to make a very different type of music.
Larry Rose said: “We wanted to go in a much more jazz, funk and world-beat direction.” This was a far cry from playing covers of old rock ’n’ roll songs with the first lineup of The Larry Rose Band. It was the start of a new chapter.
So was the arrival of vocalist Paul Pinto, a friend of Larry Rose’s from Oakland. He had originally traveled to Amsterdam to visit his friend, but was then invited to join The Larry Rose Band in the studio when they recorded their debut album, The Jupiter Effect.
It featured eight tracks, including the Larry Rose composition Lucina, and Who Conned The Lady which he wrote with Stanley Davis. He also contributed Papa, Blues Are Dyin’, Looking, Oregon and The Sand. New vocalist Paul Pinto penned Nana, and these tracks were recorded in March 1978.
Joining The Larry Rose Band who had decided to produce their debut album at at Crossroads Studios was engineer Wim Pulles, and were four of their musical friends. This included trombonist Rinie Plant, trumpeter Victor Bonkent, tenor saxophonist Guus Tongelder and accordionist Ellen Boeren who augmented the band on The Jupiter Effect. This they hoped would help them achieve sound they envisaged and wanted on The Jupiter Effect. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
Larry Rose wasn’t happy with the album and phoned British producer Robin Freeman who was a friend. They decide to book studio time at Relight Studios and rerecorded some of the vocal tracks and remixed the album. This time, Larry Rose was happy with The Jupiter Effect which was released later in 1978.
Opening The Jupiter Effect is Papa, which starts off as a soulful slice of jazz before heading in the direction of fusion as the tempo rises and The Larry Rose Band showcase their versatility and skill. It’s all change on The Blues Are Dyin’, which is a wistful bluesy ballad that features a soul-baring vocal from Paul Pinto. Then Nana features a heartachingly beautiful saxophone solo that’s sure to tug at the heartstrings. Looking is closes side one and like Papa, the lyrics tell a story. A bluesy guitar and percussion combine on this folk-tinged song where Paul Pinto delivers an emotive vocal and sounds as if he’s been inspired by James Taylor.
Who Conned The Lady opened side two and is an uptempo track. Paul Pinto’s vocal plays an important role before the rest of The Larry Rose Band enjoy the opportunity to stretch their legs and combine jazz-funk, fusion and Latin. Playing a starring role is Paul Pinto’s guitar before the horns before drummer and percussionist Toon Janssen unleashes a stunning solo as The Larry Rose Band showcases their considerable talents. A chiming guitar and jangling piano usher in an impassioned vocal, which is accompanied by soaring harmonies another beautiful ballad. A lone jazzy piano plays and pounds before being joined by cymbals as Lucina unfolds and melancholy horns are added. Sadly, all too soon this memorable instrumental is over leaving just a memory of two ruminative minutes. The Larry Rose Band save one of the best until last on The Jupiter Effect. Sand is a beautiful sultry sounding song that meanders melodically along and leaving the listener wanting to hear more from The Larry Rose Band.
The Jupiter Effect was the only album that The Larry Rose Band released during the four years that they were together. The band spilt-up in 1979 after four years together, and by then, they had played in venues all over Holland. There was no acrimony, it was a case of needs must.
Larry Rose’s parents were getting older and he was an only child, and headed home to be nearer them. He had enjoyed his European adventure and made music along the way and led The Larry Rose Band when they recorded The Jupiter Effect which showcases a talented, versatile and youthful group as they switch between and fuse disparate musical genres on this long-lost hidden gem of an album that is a prized possession amongst discerning record collectors and DJs.
Nowadays, original copies of The Jupiter Effect are almost impossible to find. It’s an album that that’s on many a crate digger’s wants list and is likely to remain there unless they’re incredibly lucky and find a copy in the bargain bin of a second hand record shop or in a box of old vinyl in the corner of thrift store. That would be like striking vinyl gold, and is every crate-digger’s dream.
Sadly, that is unlikely nowadays as record shops and thrift stores check the prices of albums before putting them out on the racks. If they see a rarity they tend to price accordingly. A copy of The Jupiter Effect would likely to be priced between £120 to £175 and will be beyond the budget of all but a few record collectors.
If you’re lucky enough to find an original copy of the album in a bargain bin this will be an opportunity to discover the delights of The Larry Rose Band’s debut album The Jupiter Effect, which features a group at the peak of their powers as they seamlessly switch between uptempo tracks and beautiful ballads.
Cult Classic: Larry Rose Band–The Jupiter Effect.
- Posted in: Funk ♦ Jazz ♦ Jazz Funk ♦ Jazz Fusion ♦ Latin ♦ Rock ♦ Soul
- Tagged: Chuck Pyle, Larry Rose, Larry Rose Band, Paul Pinto, Stanley Davis, The Cheques, The Jupiter Effect, The Liquid Blues Band, Toon Janssen