The Next Morning


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1971)

- Earl Arthur -- keyboards

- Bert Bailey -- lead guitar

- Herbert Bailey -- drums, percussion

- Lou Phillips -- vocals

- Scipio Sargeant (RIP 2009) -- bass, guitar 

 

 

 

- Jambalasie (Scipio Sargeant)

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **^* (4 stars)

Title:  The Next Morning

Company: Calla

Catalog: SC-2002

Year: 1971

Country/State: Brooklyn, New York/Trinidad

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4712

Price: $200.00

Paid: $78.11

 

I'll be the first to admit a fascination with black 1960s/1970s hard rock/psychedelic bands such as Black Merda, Ernie Joseph, and Purple Image.  With the exception of Jimi Hendrix, these outfits were caught in an impossible Catch 22 situation whereby their music was simply too white for black audiences and too black for white audiences.  How do you get out of that no win situation?  You don't.  That said, here's another little known outfit to add to the list.  

 

The late-1960s found guitarist Scipio Sargeant having left his native Trinidad for New York City.  Living in Brooklyn his lightening quick guitar began attracting attention, including that of  fellow Trinidadian guitarist Bert Bailey.  Discovering a shared interest in hard rock, the pair decided to form a band, quickly recruiting keyboardist Earl Arthur, brother/drummer Herb Bailey, and singer Lou Phillips.  With Scipio switching to bass the quintet began attracting attention on the city's club circuit.  Almost signed by Columbia, the group ended up with a recording contract on the Roulette Records affiliated Calla label.  Recorded at New York's Electric Lady Studios (one of Hendrix's stomping grounds), their 1971 debut "The Next Morning" was produced by Dick Jacobs and clearly drew inspiration from Hendrix.  Propelled by Arthur's insane keyboards and Bert Bailey's wicked fuzz drenched guitar, self-penned material such as 'Changes of the Mind', 'Life Is Love', and 'Back To the Stone Age' offered up impressive slices of Hendrix-styled heavy rock.  The comparison was further underscored by the fact that on numbers such as the growling title track Lou Phillips' vocals bore at least a modest resemblance to Hendrix.  Admittedly there wasn't anything particularly original here, but the overall performances were quite attractive, making for a first-rate set that should appeal to all guitar rock lovers.   (Dock it half a star for the butt ugly cover art - courtesy of Rubert Bonardy Jr.)

 

"The Next Morning" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) The Next Morning   (Lou Phillips - Scipio Sargeant - Bert Bailey) - 4:53

The title track started out as an unexpectedly jazzy number (maybe a touch of Allman Brothers),  before switching gears into a Hendrix-meets-Buddy Miles-styled rocker.   Derivative, but still quite enjoyable with vocalist Phillips in fine form and Bert Bailey showing off his first rate chops.  Excellent jam and a great way to kick the album off.    rating: **** stars

2.) Life   (Lou Phillips - Bert Bailey) - 2:50

Heavy pop ?  One of the album's lesser tunes.   rating: *** stars

3.) Changes of the Mind   (Lou Phillips - Scipio Sargeant - Bert Bailey) - 5:54

The rocker 'Changes of the Mind' opened up as a showcase for Bailey's blazing fuzz guitar.  Shame Lou Phillips' I wannabe-Jim-Morrison vocals were so shrill and irritating on this one.  It was one of the tunes where his Caribbean accent stood out to poor effect.  Still, the tune got progressively better when Phillips quit singing and the tune morphed into a jam tune.   rating: *** stars

4.) Life Is Love   (Lou Phillips - Earl Arthur) - 5:22

Earl Arthur's jazzy, slightly discordant B-3 opening wasn't very promising, but about a minute in the song took off in a heavy metal jam mode.   Phillips sounded pretty stoned.  Actually the whole band sounded pretty stoned on this one.  Bailey contributed lots of wah wah and fuzz on this rocker.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Back To the Stone Age   (Lou Phillips - Scipio Sargeant - Bert Bailey) - 5:15

Wow !   More Hendrix-styled rock and I guarantee  Bailey's blazing fuzz guitar will make your speakers buzz.  rating: **** stars

2.) Adelane   (Lou Phillips - Bert Bailey) - 2:51

If I had to pick a song that had a "heavy" '70s aura, 'Adelane' would certainly be in the running.  Best way to describe this one ?   Molten ballad ...   beats me, though Bailey turned in one of his prettiest solos.  I can't imagine them playing this in a small club.  They would have literally collapsed the place.   rating: **** stars

3.) Faces Are Smiling!   (Lou Phillips - Bert Bailey) - 4:35

'Faces Are Smiling!' found Sargeant and company going mellow ...  well the first three minutes were mellow in an acid soaked and echo drenched fashion.  Kicked along by some powerhouse Herbert Bailey drumming, this was one of my favorite tunes on the album.  The second half of the tune found the band heading off in patented Hendirix-styled jam mode.  rating: **** stars

4.) A Jam of Love   (Lou Phillips - Scipio Sargeant - Herbert Bailey - Bert Bailey - Earl Arthur) - 6:18

The lone group collaboration,  'A Jam of Love' was seemingly their attempt at a ballad ...  well at least the first half of the tune.   The melody wasn't bad and Bailey got to add a bit of jazzy inflection to his lead guitar, but even with a heavy echo effect slapped on his vocals, Phillips simply didn't have the kind of voice to pull it off.  Ballads were clearly not their forte.   rating: ** stars.

 

 

1999 saw Sundazed reissue the album in CD format (catalog number SC 6150).  

 

Prior to his death April 2009 death Sargeant also recorded as a solo act and is on the web at: beldukes15@aol.com

 

 

http://www.panonthenet.com/spotlight/2003/sarge.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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