Boomkat Product Review:
Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness has done a cracking job exhuming this 1974 Strata-East LP from the vaults. This was the only album to feature drummer John Betsch as bandleader, having been best known for making notable appearances with sax legend Steve Lacy. More than a conventional jazz record, Earth Blossom is an album that dabbles in hippyish tendencies toward the kind of improv you'd hear from an acid-munching rock band of the era. After the bustle and poly-instrumental chaos of 'Ode To Ethiopia' the sextet settle into a more experimental groove for the album's title track, laying down vibe-heavy percussive sequences and clanking music box breakdowns. Frankly, it's all a bit like Sunburned Hand Of The Man, which is rather unexpected, but by no means unwelcome. The loosened up, jam band dynamic gets even more forthright as the A-side continues, with 'Open Pastures' and 'Song For An Untitled Lady' teetering on the brink of Grateful Dead-like psychedelia and guitar noodling. The B-side meanwhile is ushered in by 'Ra', which comes closer to anything else on the album to outright jazz freedom. The piece was penned by saxophonist Billy Puett, who wails cnvincingly throughout while Betsch keeps up his authoritative, nimble drumming. A special doff of the cap is due to keyboardist Bob Holmes who has a hand in the authorship of the first three tracks on the album, and illuminates much of the rest of it with his inventive, ornate phrasing.