Mother Gong

Tree In Fish

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This is one of Mother Gong's strongest and most representative efforts, albeit a little late in the group's classic period. The lineup includes Robert Calvert (saxes), Conrad Henderson (bass), and Robert George (drums and percussion), in addition to the nucleus of Gilli Smyth and Harry Williamson. Recorded in part during Mother Gong's 1991 tour of America and in part in an Australian studio, Tree in Fish offers a good balance of space poetry and groovy instrumentals. Smyth's effect-drenched voice takes center stage, but the musicians are left ample room to breathe. "Wilful Housewife" and "The House Is Not the Same" (the latter with brilliant lyrics by Henry Normal) remain among her best performances from that era. This album's strength resides in its free-flowing, spontaneous-sounding track list hiding carefully scored tunes. Tracks like "She Smiled" and "Cafe Reflections" keep things ethereal and improvised, framing more precise songs into a single album context -- a feature that is lacking on the group's other records.

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