Ardo Dombec - Ardo Dombec

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Garden Of Delights
Catalog Number: CD 066
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:52:00

As with every Garden of Delights release, this one has an extensive booklet with the band's history, photos, lyrics, well as a history of the Pilz label including label discography. Ardo Dombec were a Hamburg based quartet of Helmut Hachmann on sax and flute, Harald Gleu on guitar and vocals, Wolfgang Spillner on drums and vocals, and Michael Ufer on bass. Their style of progressive rock was very much of the jazz variety, where Hachmann's sax figures prominently in nearly all the band's pieces, often matched by Gleu's guitar. Recorded in August 1971 (and released by Pilz (2021095-2)), the album featured 8 tracks; this reissue adds four bonus tracks, two from a compilation album called Heavy Christmas that "was meant to make fun of the idiotic Christmas mania," the other two recorded for a never released 7" single. By the end of 1972, beginning of 1973, however, the band had split amicably.

The arrangements are upbeat and bright, even if lyrically the pieces are dark or cynical and metaphorical. "Supper Time," for example, concern a weakened animal being attacked by jackals, his remains being picked over by a vulture. The guitar work in "Spectaculum" reminded me of the rolling guitar sound in "Secret Agent Man." "Clean Up Sunday" has at its beginning a happily trilling flute giving this piece a lighter texture, an almost sappy-happy feel. That is until Hachmann lets his flute rip, shred, and slash across the solid rhythmic foundation from Spillner and Ufer, though it does so in soft tones. "108," is a light and airy flute trilling to the accompaniment of a plucked and strummed acoustic guitar; this is the sparsest and mellowest track on the album. The energetic and groovy "Unchangeable Things" brings the fat bass of Ufer up in the mix. "Open The Door, Open Your Mind" has a jumping, happy rhythm, and honking jazz comes by way of "Young And Strong," where both sax and guitar seem doubled. Though the flute elements will recall (ahem) Jethro Tull, the main arrangement however, reminds me more of early Moody Blues.

It is in the instrumental sections that Ardo Dombec truly shine, especially Gleu guitar and Hachmann's sax, all aiding complex arrangements. Well worth checking out.

Spectaculum (4:02) / Supper Time (3:19) / A Bit Near the Knuckle (4:32) / Clean-Up Sunday (6:50) / Downtown Paradise Lost (5:52) Oh, Sorry (0:08) / 108 (4:36) / Unchangable Things?! (5:58) Bonus tracks: Heavenly Rose (3:54) / Open The Door, Open Your Mind (2:11) / Young And Strong (3:15) / Riverside (4:15)

Helmut Hachmann ? sax, flute
Harald Gleu ? guitar and vocals
Wolfgang Spillner ? drums and vocals
Michael Ufer ? bass

Ardo Dombec (1971/2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: May 18th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 1837
Language: english


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