Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1969-70)

- Paul Cohn -- flute, clarinet, sax

- Marvin Krout (RIP 2017) -- keyboards

- John Mahoney -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Neal Rosner -- vocals, bass

- Dennis Stoney Philips -- vocals, guitar

- David Wright -- vocals, trumpet, slide whistle


  line up 1  (1969-71)

- Paul Cohn -- flute, clarinet, sax

NEW - Tom "Tojza" Laney -- vocals, keyboards (replaced 

  Marvin Krout)

- John Mahoney -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Neal Rosner -- vocals, bass

- Dennis Stoney Philips -- vocals, guitar

- David Wright -- vocals, trumpet, slide whistle


  supporting musicians:

- Bobby Christian -- timpani, xyklophoe, chimes

- Michael Linn -- drums


  line up 2  (2019)

- Paul Cohn -- flute, clarinet, sax

NEW - Bart Coyle -- trumpet

NEW - Chuck Harling -- drums, percussion

- Tom "Tojza" Laney -- vocals, keyboards

- John Mahoney -- vocals, drums, percussion

NEW - Mitch Marcus -- 

- Neal Rosner -- vocals, bass

NEW - Ted Spaniak -- guitar





- none known



Genre: progressive/horn-rock

Rating: **** 4 stars

Title:  Anomaly

Company: Brunswick

Catalog:  BL 754177

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed; cut corner; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 30001

Price: $100.00

These guys met in the late-'60s while attending the University of Illinois, Chicago campus.  That background makes perfect sense given the band name was inspired by philosopher Marshall McLuhan.  It also made sense when you listen to their 1972 album "Anomaly".  


Take this with a grain of salt, but here's a description of the band's vision: "The idea was to try different things in performance including special sound effects such as baby's crying, various weird instruments, background sounds, playing old movies during their performance ("Monster Bride" was actually Bride of Frankenstein and in live performance they would turn on the movie at the point where the 20th Century Fox theme is played.)  The medium was the message - not the content.  Label's didn't matter.

The group featured multi-instrumentalist Paul Cohn, keyboardist Tom "Tojza" Laney (replacing Marvin Krout), drummer John Mahoney, bassist Neal Rosner, guitarist Dennis Stoney Philips and singer/trumpet player David Wright .  Regular dates at Chicago's The Wise-Fools Pub attracted a small, but loyal following and eventually attracted the attention of producer/A&R man Carl Davis.  At the time Davis was interested in expanding Brunswick Records predominantly soul audience to white record buyers.  Hence his interest in signing a white rock band - Motown had already moved in that direction with the signing of Rare Earth and other rock acts for their Rare Earth subsidiary.  


Produced by Bruce Swedian over a two day recording session, "Anomaly" is a tough album to categorize.  Music major Wright was the mastermind behind the band and apparently envisioned the at least a portion of the album as a concept piece tracking the development of mankind (check out the multi-section closing suite 'A Brief Message from You Local Media').   Besides coming up with the band's multimedia presentation, he wrote the majority of material, sang and played trumpet.  That everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach to music was perfectly captured by the ten minute plus opener 'The Monster Bride'.  In that ten minutes the band managed to touch on everything from BS&T-styled horn rock to porn flick soundtrack with short pauses for "B" flick horror film narrative, hardcore jazz and cartoon soundtrack.  Not everything on the album was as challenging. Written by original keyboardist Marvin Krout, 'Spiders (In Neals Basement)' was almost funky.  'The Garden' was a pretty ballad (with heavy lyrics), while 'Witches Theme and Dance' sounded a bit like The Association trying on a progressive sheen.   It was certainly a different sound that was likely to leave  lots of listeners confused, or simply frustrated.  But for a small group of the curious and daring, it'll be an endearing listening experience - progressive music without rules or boundaries, but not discordant, or irritating the way musique concrete, or some symphonic pieces can be.

"Anomaly" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Monster Bride  (David Wright) - 10:36   rating: *** stars

By turns, 'The Monster Bride' sounded like Chicago's horn section on acid, the soundtrack for a '70s television detective series, something from a children's cartoon, a bunch of hardcore jazz geeks who'd had one too many rounds of cheap whiskey, the narrative from a B grade horror flick, a '60s jam band, and a band supporting a stripper.  Oh, throw in a nod to the 20th Century Fox theme.  Yeah, it was kind of an aural mess, but it was also highly entertaining.  Not for everyone ...  Wright described the song as: "A series of effects more like a film score than a song, it mixes elements of terror, comedy and beauty. Science marches on."

2.) Spiders (In Neals Basement)  () - 5:58   rating: **** stars

Written by original keyboardist Marvin Krout, 'Spiders (In Neals Basement)' opened up with a unexpectedly funky groove, adding in some enigmatic lyrics that would have made Steely Dan smile - "Businessmen in ranch house cages; they're mindless prisoners of routine; Rotting alcohol dulled senses; Frightened adjuncts to machines ..."   For a guy who doesn't really like horn rock, this was a killer performance and served as the album's closest brush with a commercial tune.  Okay, the tune went off the rails for a while when Paul Cohn's strip club clarinet segment kicked in, but it came back to the core melody before ending.  The odd title came from the rehearsal space they used in a neighbor's home.  Wright's description of the song: "This piece combines a bizarre Latin feel with American Dixieland."


(side 2)

1.) Witches Theme and Dance  (David Wright) - 9:47  rating: *** stars

Ever wondered what The Association would have sounded like if they'd tried to record a progressive tune?  Well, 'Witches Theme and Dance' might give you an idea.  I'm constantly surprised by the band's sweet harmonies on this one.  Add in some tasty cheesy '70s synthesizers from Tom Laney and a ripping Dennis Stoney Philips guitar solo and it had the makings of the album's strongest performance, but then the band went off on an extended  jazzy instrumental tear, before coming back to The Association vocals..

2.) A Brief Message from You Local Media  (David Wright) - 9:59   rating: *** stars

It opened up sounding like a segment from a PBS documentary.

a.) The Garden  (David Wright) -   rating: *** stars

'The Garden' was a pretty and relatively straight forward ballad - probably the album's most commercial melody though the lyric seemingly about the invention of the printing press wasn't going to get you shakin' your booty on the dance floor.

b.) The Assembly Line  (David Wright) -    rating: *** stars

Geez, did I just walk into a history class?  Well, the jittery melody certainly fit the introductory spoken word segment on Henry Ford's production line.  

c.) Electric Man  (David Wright) -    rating: **** stars

'Electric Man' was another one of the band's unexpected brushes with a commercial sound ...  Quite enjoyable.

d.) Question (instrumental) (David Wright) -    rating: ** stars

The instrumental 'Question' sounded like something associated with a amusement park carousel.



And that was it for the band.  Well, until Paul Cohn, John Mahoney and Neal Rosner staged a one shot reunion  2017.  That was followed by a bigger reunion in 2019 featuring Cohn, Mahoney, Rosner along with keyboardist Tom Laney, Bart Coyle (trumpet) and Mitch Marcus (guitar).  Front man Wright was missing in action.  Band members have not been able to track him down.


Cohn has a small website at:


There's not much there at the moment, but there is a band website at: