Association P.C.: Erna Morena – Jazz fusion/prog/avant garde Canterbury oriented sound

Get a load of THIS brilliant album!

Jazz meets chic in this mish-mash of electronic cool.

Association P.C. was founded in 1969 by Dutch keyboarder Jasper van’t Hof along with the Dutch drummer Pierre Courbois and the German guitarist Toto Blanke. The bassist was sometimes the Dutchman Peter Krijnen, sometimes the German Sigi Busch. Association P.C released their first record “Sun Rotation” in 1971. The band produced a synthesis of jazz, rock and avantgarde music reminding sometimes Soft Machine and was highly acclaimed at the Berlin Jazztage of 1971.”Eighty percent of Association P.C. was electronics”, Jasper recalls.

In 1972 the band released their second record “Erna Morena”, the last with Jasper van’t Hof who left the band to form Pork Pie with Charlie Mariano and Philip Catherine.On the 1973 release “Rock Around The Clock”he was replaced by German pianist Joachim Kühn. The record moved away from the Canterbury oriented sound and integrated free-jazz elements. Their last record “Mama Kuku” (1974) contained live recordings from 1973, on which the band was joined by American flute player Jeremy Steig. Association P.C. continued to tour until 1975.

Erna Morna just exudes cool – the kinda cool that gives me a buzz anyway.  track two with the electronic pips and thrusts usually reserved for the brassy / reedy wind section the combination of electronic with the substantial grounding of the jazz breathes a fresh new life into a cruizy classic sound.  While its true that the postman was never likely to be whistling one of Association P.C. tunes as he did his rounds, the place music like this reaches inside is the place that life is forged. This music will change you, and change you for the better. Their aim was to: “transcend the boundaries of traditional forms” of music. This they did with considerable accomplishment, involving the talents at various times of some of Europe’s best new jazz musicians:

drummer Pierre Courbois

bassists Siggi Busch and Peter Krijnen

guitarist Toto Blanke

keyboard players Joachim Kühn and Jasper van ‘t Hof

saxmen Karl-Heinz Wiberny and Lol Coxhill

flautist Jeremy Steig

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  Anything that Lol Coxhill is willing to get involved in will rip you out and start you over.

Check out this brilliant blog post on the album from Mutant Sounds with a download link:

“Erna Morena” is one of the two live recordings released by the band, and that was very much in keeping with what they were doing. I was fortunate enough to catch them at a gig at Brighton College of Art on England’s south coast. My memory tells me that this would have been around the time when “Erna Morena” was recorded in Freiburg – April 25, 1972. Unfortunately for what it says about my memory, they were joined on the occasion of my attendance by a young flute player, Jeremy Steig, who was already building a reputation as one of his generation’s shining stars and has since become a leading and widely- recorded jazz improviser. Officially, Steig and the band came together rather later than that, so this period is still a little hazy for me. I know, that’s what they all say…
From the liner notes: “The term “free””, in the context of “freeform music”, “after being used in the 60s mainly to mean “beyond tonality, melody and metre”…now stands for an entirely new quality of musical freedom in the music of Association P.C….it signifies really sovereign mastery over all musical areas.” Judging by what I saw, I have no grounds to dispute that statement.
Toto Blanke (guitar)
Jasper van ‘t Hof (electric piano, organ)
Siggi Busch (bass, electric bass)
Pierre Courbois (drums)
Karl-Heinz Wiberny (guest) (alto clarinet, alto and tenor saxophones)

get it here: