Writing about vintage psychedelic rock records isn’t normally my bag (see what I did there) but The Dream’s lone release Get Dreamy is near the beginning of a very influential progressive jazz career for one of the giants of contemporary European jazz. In existence only from 1967 — the year the album came out — until 1969, the Norwegian organ/guitar/bass/drums combo The Dream was initiated by its guitarist, a twenty year old Terje Rypdal. This wasn’t even Rypdal’s first rodeo: he was a member of a popular instrumental rock band in Norway called The Vanguards (think The Ventures) for the prior five years. The Dream, though, represents perhaps the first stirrings of Terje as a leader, just before he took a fateful turn toward advanced jazz.
Over time, awareness of this short-lived Scandinavian sensation and availability of its lone release has waned. Norwegian reissue-label Round 2 Records seeks to rectify both with a reissue of Get Dreamy on March 3, 2017.
It’s a record that wears its influences proudly on its paisley sleeve: echoes of Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, Cream, Them, The Beach Boy and Jim Hendrix’s Are You Experienced? debut album are all heard, with the Hendrix fixation going a step further with a rewrite of “Hey Joe” titled “Hey Jimi.”
The album touches on practically every marker of the whole psychedelic movement: tape loops played backwards, creepy voice overs, the spacy and swirling electronic noise, the extended jams (“Ain’t No Use”, “Night of the Lonely Organist and His Mysterious Pals”), the baroque (“You’re Right About Me”), jangly pop (“Green Things (From Outer Space)”) and the soul-dripping rockers (“I’m Counting on You”). There’s even a hint of jazz in the swing sections of “Emptiness Gone.” Get Dreamy is virtually a perfect amalgamation of 1967 rock. The one thing that does point beyond that year is Rypdal’s guitar; yes, he’s very much immersed in Hendrix’s game-changing guitar attack, but that unique way Rypdal bends his notes is already present here.
Get Dreamy is a far cry from Rypdal’s defining ECM works from the following decade like Odyssey, Waves and Sart, but as a kid barely out of his teens emulating the hip music world around him, a wide-eyed Terje Rypdal and his bandmates didn’t come close to embarrassing themselves. Scarcely more than a curiosity for Rypdal freaks, perhaps, while fans of original psych-rock who hadn’t already discovered this obscure relic of its time will find much to trip over.
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