THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
803) Dreams — “New York”
The dream of nuclear fusion, achieved! This jazz-rock barn burner is hardly a love letter to NYC (where all the lonely, uptight people do come from). The band — filled with a Murderer’s Row of future fusion Hall of Famers. And the cacophony of what sound like blaring car horns at the end is a hoot.
“Dreams is a legendary pioneer jazz-rock group that included such young players as trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist John Abercrombie, drummer Billy Cobham and the 19-year old tenor Michael Brecker”. (Scott Yanow, https://www.allmusic.com/album/dreams-mw0000274057) “This is what happened in the 60s and 70s when you brought together jazz and rock musicians. They did not know they were playing ‘fusion’. The difference here is the vocals, unusual for such a powerful ensemble.” (Le West, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fusZWH7Q4M0)
John O’Regan says of the album that:
All [the] . . . tracks were original compositions . . . , highlight[ing a] talent for writing catchy jazz/pop/rock songs and the band’s . . . musical expertise. The album was recorded mostly live which added to the fresh spontaneous atmosphere of the recording. Dreams featured a mix of catchy songs with great horn licks and impassioned vocals from Edward Vernon . . . . Dreams deserve to be more than a footnote to beginning the careers of Billy Cobham, John Abercrombie and the Brecker Brothers among others. . . . their distinctive jazz/rock/funk crossovers encompassing commerciality and musical dexterity . . . .http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2018/05/dreams-dreams-imagine-my-surprise-1970.html
Slava (Snobb) tells us that:
Dreams . . . was founded in late sixties as [a] trio, but soon added [a] brass section and became the brass-rock band in a manner of Chicago or Blood Sweat and Tears. Even if they didn’t [achieve] popularity in their time, they became a great starting place for some well known fusion musicians . . . . Differently from other brass-rock bands of the time, their music was more improv based in New Orleans tradition. The band released just two studio albums and was disbanded, but many members became great musicians in [the] future.http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=5197
Dreams . . . became a popular live band in the New York and Chicago areas and headed to Los Angeles. There they played a battle of the bands [with the] J. Geils Band for a recording contract with Atlantic Records as the prize. The boisterous rhythm and blues-based J. Geils Band . . . was signed to Atlantic but Dreams made their own reputation. . . . [tearing] the place down . . . . [and] received a contract from CBS Records . . . .http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2018/05/dreams-dreams-imagine-my-surprise-1970.html
Michael Brecker reminisced that:
I couldn’t have picked a better time. I was in the first generation to be exposed equally to jazz and pop. We listened to Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, rhythm-and-blues, the Beatles, Hendrix. We developed a whole new approach and it gave us so much freedom. The rock context meant that you could play complex ideas and not be met by a bunch of puzzled or hostile faces.https://jazzfuel.com/michael-brecker-saxophone-career/
I’m full disclosure, Scott Yanow thought the band was more of a nightmare:
[Dreams’] music has dated very badly. This CD reissue finds solos being de-emphasized in favor of erratic and often unlistenable vocals. While trombonist Barry Rogers had a feeling for jazz, the remainder of the group . . . weighs down the recording with mundane pop sensibilities. Only a spirited “New York” and the 14-minute “Dream Suite” allow the horns a chance to blow a bit and even there the results are quite forgettable and disappointing.https://www.allmusic.com/album/dreams-mw0000274057
I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.
Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise
Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” — dictionary.com).
The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.
All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.
When subscribing, please send me an e-mail (GMFtma1@gmail.com) or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.
Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.