Although simply titled Kaleidoscope, this 1997 CD reissue actually contains the seven-track Incredible Kaleidoscope long-player originally released in 1969. The band followed its second effort, 1967's A Beacon from Mars, with slightly amended personnel. Replacing co-founders Chris Darrow and John Vidican are Stuart Brotman (bass, vocals) and Paul Lagos (percussion), who join ranks with David Lindley (guitar, banjo, violin, vocals), Solomon Feldthouse (guitar, oud, clarinet, saz, jumbus, vocals), and Chester Crill (harmonica, violin, organ, vocals). More than on their previous affairs, Kaleidoscope are influenced by the laid-back country-rock likes of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and even the path being concurrently taken by other psychedelic acts such as the Grateful Dead. One element conspicuously absent is Chris Darrow's songwriting. The material includes covers ranging from the seamy R&B rendering of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" to the Cajun-flavored "Petite Fleur," a selection initially made popular by saxophonist/clarinetist Sidney Bechet. All the bandmembers are credited on the affirmative opener "Lie to Me" and the stretched-out and nearly 12-minute jam "Seven-Ate Suite." Lindley's mastery of all things stringed becomes increasingly evident on his epic instrumental "Banjo" and the down-home "Let the Good Love Flow." Parties interested in collecting a comprehensive anthology featuring Kaleidoscope's Epic Records releases should note the three-CD Pulsating Dream anthology. It gathers B-sides and harder to locate cuts along with Side Trips (1967), A Beacon from Mars (1967), Incredible Kaleidoscope (1969), and Bernice (1970).
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