Mar 6, 2009
CURVED AIR - AIR CONDITIONING (WARNER BROS 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve (original artwork)
Curved Air was founded in 1969 by Francis Monkman (keyboards, guitar), Darryl Way (electric violin, vocals), Sonja Kristina Linwood (vocals), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), Rob Martin (bass). The group evolved from the band Sisyphus and was named by Monkman after the piece A Rainbow in Curved Air by contemporary composer Terry Riley.
The line-up experienced frequent changes, Ian Eyre taking over on bass for the second album and Mike Wedgwood for the third; later members included Eddie Jobson (later Roxy Music, Frank Zappa and Jethro Tull), Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Tony Reeves (ex-Greenslade, Colosseum, John Mayall). Only Sonja Kristina continuously remained as member. Monkman, member of Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, was later to play with John Williams in a group called Sky.
The musicians developed from quite different artistic backgrounds, classic, folk, and electronic sound, which resulted in a mixture of progressive rock, folk rock, and fusion with classical elements.
The band’s groundbreaking 1970 debut , Air Conditioning, reached no. 8 in the UK Albums Chart, and was the first ever picture disc. In 1976 the band recorded their last studio album and then eventually split . Intermittently since then, the group, particularly in its original line-up, has re-joined for periodic concerts, one of which in 1990 gave rise to another live album...[net]
"Air Conditioning" Curved Air's first record should be labeled a musical odyssey. The sheer brilliance of Francis Monkman's keyboards and guitar would be reason enough to procure the album. There are a myriad of mesmerizing events that further escalate the urgency in owning the recording. Sonja Kristina's vocals are captivating. Each word has a such a presence that the listener rids themselves of all internal distractions. Darryl Way's violin is played with the aggression of a guitar. It resonates in your mind long after the musical selection has ceased. While you often hear the band fall under the words progressive rock, they were influenced by avant-garde composer Terry Riley...[net]