J.K. & Co.
Band members Related acts
line-up 1 (1969)
- Jay Kaye (RIP
2015) -- vocals, guitar
- The Blues Davils
- The Jay Kaye Band
- The Javier Vargas Band
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Title: Suddenly One Summer
Company: White Whale
Catalog: WWS 7117
Country/State: Saint Louis, Missouri
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear; small name sticker on back cover
Catalog ID: 4275
I've sold thousands of albums over the years. Most made little impact on me - the sale was just a business transaction. That said, there are a couple of exceptions and one that I wish I'd held on to is the J.K. & Co. album.
Yup, this is a
weird one and it's up to you whether you want to believe the popular story
or not. Supposedly then-fifteen year old singer/guitarist Jay Kaye and his
girlfriend drove from Las Vegas, ending up to Vancouver, British Columbia where he recorded
one of the era's more obviously LSD influenced slices of pop. While the
album was essentially a Kaye solo effort, White Whale executives felt it
would sell better as a group effort, hence the "& Co."
recording the album Kaye relocated to Southern California where he recruited
a band (including his cousin John Kaye on bass and buddy Rick Dean on drums)
and hit the club circuit in a futile attempt to promote the album.
That seems to be validated by the appearance of a live album. I've
never heard it, but there's actually a live album out there (only available
as an MP3): "JK & Co. Live In San Francisco 1967".
I will point out the album title date doesn't make a lot of sense to me
given Kaye recorded the album in 1968.
And that's where most references stop. Kaye remained active in music over the next 35 years. Moving on from JK & Co. as a 17 year old he relocated to Los Angeles and formed The Rush Hour. The group was active on the club scene and opened up for national touring acts. That was followed by a project with former Elvis Presley bassist Fritz Carney in the L.A. band Shotgun. The mid-'70s found him recording an album with the power trio Champion ('Champion" Uranus catalog number 091010). Next was a stint with the band Masterplan who recorded a pair of mid-'70s singles for A&M, following by stints supporting The Imperials and Guns and Roses drummer Matt Sorum. By 1985 Kaye had moved to Wales. Two years later he was in Mallorca, Spain playing at local casinos. He also formed the hard rock trio The Jay Kaye Band, recording a series of four European CDs. He also found time to tour and record with The Blue Devils and The Javier Vargas Band.
Sadly Kaye died of brain cancer in February 2015.
"Suddenly One Summer" track listing:
1.) Break of Dawn (instrumental) (Jay Kaye) - 0:32 rating: ** stars
The brief opening instrumental 'Break of Dawn' was little more than a song fragment - Imagine listening to an oscilloscope, or waking up to the sound of someone's car siren blaring in the background. Why White Whale elected to tap it as a 32 second promotional 45 is a complete mystery to me and luckily things got better after this bizarre start.:
1968's 'Break of Dawn' b/w 'Break of Dawn' (White Whale catalog number WW
2.) Fly (Jay Kaye) - 4:41 rating: ***** stars
Geez, this may be one of the best lysergic-tinged songs of all time. Imagine 'Strawberry Fields Forever' soaked in an acid bath. With a floating, acid dripping melody, backward tapes and all sorts of production effects and Kaye's heavily treated vocals, 'Fly' was a stunning accomplishment. How does a fifteen year old come to sound like this? Put it on you stereo and feel your blood pressure drop ten points. It's the kind of song bands like Radiohead always wanted to write and record. In the UK the track was released as part of a three tune EP. Easy to see why top-40 radio wouldn't touch it.
1969's 'Fly' b/w 'Christine' and 'Magical Fingers of Minerva' (London
catalog number 10 191)
3.) Little Children (Jay Kaye) - 3:05 rating: **** stars
a bouncy, carefree melody and some lovely lyrics, 'Little Children' was probably the
album's most conventional and commercial performance. Besides, how many psych tunes have you
heard the incorporate the 'Frere Jacques' melody into their structure?
Once again I found myself wondering how a fifteen-year old could sound like
was another tune that was more pop than psych. Love
the un-credited drumming and bass lines on this one, as well as the subtle
horn arrangement ... Speculation, but I'm guessing this one was
dedicated to the girlfriend accompanying him
who let the crickets in the house?
Ball' was a mildly interesting surf-meets-psych twin guitar powered
instrumental. It felt slightly out of place on the album.
1.) Nobody (Jay Kaye) - 4:00 rating: **** stars
forget the George Harrison comparisons since the true inspiration seems to
have been the late Arthur Lee and Love. Hard to image a kid singing
lyrics as dark and frightening as 'Nobody'. Stunning.
album highlight, 'O.D.' had a heavy psych sheen, but also a blatantly
anti-drug lyric. Complete with acid-tinged horns, percussion and
treated vocals, this was great. Loved the guitar solos on this one.
it was the harpsichord, but the fragile
'Land of Sensations & Delights' has always reminded me of something off
one of The Left Banke albums. Glistening pop-psych, I'm a pushover for this
kid of stuff. My only complaint was the track was too short.
opening industrial sound effects were a dodge since the rest of 'The Times'
was the album's most blatantly pop-oriented tune. It wasn't a stretch to
image The Turtles recording this one. Certainly the track I would have
released had I been looking for radio airplay.
a raga flavored melody ' Magical Fingers of Minerva' just dripped '60s
zeitgeist. The mix of a sitar solo courtesy of Poppy Family band
member Craig McCaw), Kaye's ominous vocals, moody organ fills and trippy
'60s lyrics made
for a wonderful timepiece. This one would not have sounded out of
place on "Revolver".
Sporting a glistening folk-rock arrangement and attention grabbing lyrics, 'Dead' was a wild performance. It got wilder and wilder; particularly when the sound of gravediggers shoveling dirt on a grave kicked in. How many fifteen year have the maturity to grabble with a topic like this?
piece of related trivia. With Danny Zager and Rick Evans having
enjoyed a massive hit with the song 'In the Year 2525', White Whale
acquired rights to some of the duo's earlier material. The company
apparently didn't have enough material for a full album so they grabbed the
six songs on the first side of "Suddenly One Summer"
and slapped them on side two of the Zager and Evans album "The
Early Writings Of Zager & Evans (And Others)" (White Whale
catalog number WW 7123). Say what you will about music industry scruples,
but it's far cheaper to buy a copy of the Zager and Evans LP than the JK
& Co. album, though you'll only get half of the music ...
BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE
BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE
BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION