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The Nice - The Swedish Radio Sessions (1967)

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The Nice - The Swedish Radio Sessions (1967)

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1 	She Belongs To Me	5:12
2 	Flower King Of Flies	4:11
3 	Sombrero Sam	7:17
4 	You Keep Me Hanging On	6:28
5 	The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack	2:51
6 	Rondo	12:13

Drums – Brian Davison
Guitar – David O'List
Organ – Keith Emerson
Vocals, Bass Guitar – Lee Jackson

 

The Nice were booked to play live on Swedish radio in the fall of 1967, prior to the release of their debut record while they were still a quartet. Organist Keith Emerson was not yet the dominate force he became following the departure of guitarist Davy O'List, who is quite prominent on this session. The music is a bit of a mishmash, with Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me" starting a bit erratically but finally coming together. Their own composition "Flower King of Flies" has a more subtle vocal by bassist Lee Jackson than the studio version they eventually released, though he has trouble staying in tune. The instrumental jam upon jazzman Charles Lloyd's "Sombrero Sam" seems a bit like filler, but the turkey of the evening is a forgettable cover of Vanilla Fudge's overwrought "You Keep Me Hanging On." A quick take of their own "The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack" is followed by the gem of the date: a 12-minute workout of "Rondo," better known as jazz pianist Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk" (though the Nice were initially credited with composing the piece by their own label, Castle gets it right). This version of "Rondo" easily eclipses all the other versions by the Nice (even though the rhythm is still very stiff compared to its composer's recordings) because of the interaction between the organist and the guitarist. Considering the vintage of this long overlooked music, the sound is quite good, so any fans of the Nice should consider this to be a lost treasure worth acquiring. ---Ken Dryden, AllMusic Review

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