Jasper

Liberation

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Jasper's sole album is an odd, unbalanced affair that doesn't have enough ideas or songs to really merit a full-length release, even as it betrays sporadic hints of quirky imagination. There's John Mayall-styled blues-rock ("Ain't No Peace," "Confusion"), Colosseum-like jazz-blues-rock ("Baby Please Don't Go," "The Beard"), rambling morbid bluesy instrumental jamming (including a six-minute wordless version of "St. Louis Blues" with hauntingly sad harmonica), and a Baroque-psychedelic arrangement of Donovan's "Cuttin' Out." Weirdest of all is "Liberation," a repeated classical-sounding bolero that's actually rather catchy, but seems more suited for the soundtrack of a movie like To Sir With Love than a late-'60s underground blues-rocky LP. Weirder still, the "Liberation" motif is repeated four times in varying arrangements over the course of the album, twice in full-length versions, and twice as briefer interludes. It's not an offensively bad record by any means, but it's not noteworthy as either blues-rock or off-the-wall strangeness.

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