Beyond the striking photography of the cover artwork, a cursory glance at this LP may appear misleading. One could be forgiven in thinking that what they had discovered was of a more obvious British provenance, but on closer inspection the truth is revealed… London in fact refers to London, Canada, an artistic hotbed that famously spawned the highly influential insurgent noise ensemble, ‘The Nihilist Spam Band’. Less celebrated yet equally remarkable was the improvisational powerhouse ‘The London Experimental Jazz Quartet’, a short lived group led by the forward thinking saxophonist Eric Stach.
Their debut album, Invisible Roots is an overlooked jewel from the Canadian jazz scene. Inspired by the revolutionary artists from the New York free-jazz movement, (namely Ornette Coleman, Archie Sheep and Cecil Taylor), and fuelled by the exciting possibilities afforded by a completely free approach to music, Invisible Roots is an album of potent spontaneous composition, exhibiting both fiery unharnessed blowing alongside lyrical streams of consciousness. In recent years, the album has achieved notoriety in certain record collecting circles mainly due to the track Destroy The Nihilist Picnic, an infectious piece of vamping avant-funk. Despite the commanding presence of this track, it would be misguided to judge the merits of the album on this piece alone, for Invisible Roots is a much deeper and more complex musical statement. This is confirmed by the Iberian-jazz sketch, Spain Is For Old Ladies, the spiritual introspection of Jazz Widows Waltz or the ferocious yet soulful Eric’s Madness, a track which wouldn’t be out of place on an ESP-Disk or BYG Actuel album. Behold, a rare piece of fire music from the Canadian Free-Jazz underground.
For as long as I have listened to music, my truly favourite records have been the ones that seem to transcend all others by allowing listens to them to become emotionally involved events. You see, many records are just really solid pieces of music, catering perfectly to one's superficial sense of musical preference - they sound good. However, there are certain records that really get under your skin, not only eliciting what may feel like profound physiological responses, but when they're played, the sheer intensity of their compositions seems to make time itself stop. They absorb you entirely, every note a fragment of sonic brilliance rushing like a raging body of water unleashed by a dam's destruction into your ears. The only real concrete thought you have, if you're capable of appreciating music on this level, is you would do just about anything for these transient few moments not to end. Though I have many records, very few of them affect me to this extent. The London Experimental Jazz Quartet's "Invisible Roots" is one record I own that accomplishes this perfectly.
Eric Stach: soprano and alto sax, wood flute
Gerry Van de Kamp: electric bass
Gregg Dechert: piano, vocals; drums (on Ron Martin Special)
Erna Van Daele: cello, flute; vibes (on Sound of Next Year's Echo)
Ron Martin: alto sax (on Ron Martin Special)
Randy Coryell: drums; piano (on Ron Martin Special)
Peter Denny: vibes, bass sax
Michael Spearman: tape op
Produced by Peter Cracknell
Engineered by Nick Gurr
Album cover design and photography: Paul Chefurka
Recorded At – Creative Electronics Sound Studio
Manufactured By – SHOUT! Productions Co., Ltd.
Distributed By – SHOUT! Productions Co., Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Eric Stach Productions
Alto Saxophone – Eric Stach, Ron Martin (7) (tracks: 5)
Artwork By – Paul Chefurka (tracks: 1 to 9)
Bass Saxophone – Peter Denny (tracks: 1 to 9)
Cello – Erna Van Daele (tracks: 1 to 9)
Clavinet – Gregg Dechert (tracks: 10)
Drums – Gregg Dechert (tracks: 5), Randy Coryell (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 10)
Electric Bass – Gerry Van De Kamp
Engineer – Nick Gurr (tracks: 1 to 9)
Flute – Eric Stach, Erna Van Daele (tracks: 1 to 9)
Liner Notes – 尾川雄介*
Photography By – Paul Chefurka (tracks: 1 to 9)
Piano – Gregg Dechert (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 10), Randy Coryell (tracks: 5)
Producer – Peter Cracknell (tracks: 1 to 9)
Remastered By – Kenichiro Tsukasaki
Soprano Saxophone – Eric Stach
Tape Op – Michael Spearman (tracks: 1 to 9)
Vibraphone – Erna Van Daele (tracks: 9), Peter Denny (tracks: 1 to 9)
Vocals – Gregg Dechert (tracks: 1 to 9)
All compositions by members of the LEJQ.
Recorded April 23, 1974 at the Creative Electronics Sound Studio. Originally released by Scratch Records as SR-10, London, Ontario, Canada
Track 10 recorded April 10, 1975 at the Creative Electronics Sound Studio. Taken from the unreleased album "Fruit From Another Garden Volume 2"
Comes in mini LP replica with OBI & Japanese insert.
Re-issue produced by Yusuke Ogawa (universounds/Deep Jazz Reality)
Directed by Ken Tsukamoto (Return of Jazz Funk/Shout! Productions)
Art work by Takashi Kishino (PLUSS Design)
Digitally re-mastered by Kenichiro Tsukasaki (TEMAS Mastering Studio)
We would like to thank Mr. Eric Stach and Ms. Caroline Morrisey