Smash & Grab World  (Word  WST-8479-LP)  1969?

 

 

Let’s see – would that be the Tedd Smith who was Billy Graham’s piano man?  Apparently so.  I’d always figured his albums belonged in the same camp as all those lightweight teen musicals.  That was until I saw a copy of Smash & Grab World listed in a catalog at over a hundred bucks. Say whaaaaa!!!???  Sure enough this is a fascinating recording, an artsy conceptual work that encompassed a variety of styles, including some powerful psych guitar and drums on the title track.  ‘Jump For Joy’ and The Good I would Be’ open and close the album respectively, both carrying a rock edge that jumps from melodic and sprightly to hard rock and heavy.  Elsewhere the moods are more delicate – the gliding flower-power pop swirl of ‘Circles’; the classical-tinged ‘Games’ and ‘A Little Understanding’, both enveloped with mysterious strings and woodwinds.  ‘The Running Man’ is a lengthy track that features some impressive modern-sounding dissonant piano jamming (I assume it’s Tedd) backed by bongo percussion, incorporating the themes from ‘Love Is Blue’ and ‘I Know My Redeemer Lives’ along its 8-minute journey.  A couple of the songs open with a poetry reading.   Obviously there’s a band here but no credits are given on the cover save for “music and poetry written by Tedd Smith” and vocals by Joan Hettenhouser”.  I had never heard of her before but she certainly has the perfect voice and dramtic flair for this type of project.  How on earth did this thing sneak onto the Word label?    (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

 

 

This one was on the Electric Psalms blog.

Tracks:

01. Jump For Joy

02. Games

03. Smash And Grab World

04. A Little Understanding

05. Circles

06. The Runnin’ Man

07. Outside

08. The Good I Would Be

 

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