National Health - Playtime

SKU Rune 145
"A more stretched-out, jam-oriented affair than the original studio recordings, Playtime picks up on some of the furious, frenetic energy of the early fusion movement, when bands like Tony Williams Lifetime and the original lineups of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever were going straight for the jugular with raw burn, tempered with intelligent writing, strict ensemble playing and audacious, chops-oriented playing. This is first rate, risk-taking jazz rock created in a bygone era by a greatly under-recognized band." - JazzTimes

"The playing is stellar and the music is very complex, always on the border between progressive rock and fusion jazz. There are flaws on the tape of the French show, but the U.S. show is crisp with wide dynamics. The intensity reaches a peak on the title track, which alone could have justified the whole project. Canterbury-prog fans will find Playtime a must-have..." – AllMusic


Happily once again available physically. Many of you already have this; some of you don't; ALL of you should!

Playtime marks the first time that this, the final line-up of this classic Canterbury group (Alan Gowen, John Greaves, Phil Miller, Pip Pyle) has been documented on record. This edition of National Health strove towards a more stretched-out, free-er approach. As Phil remembers it, "Basically, we did less writing and more playing." Indeed, this version of the band did more gigging that any other lineup of the band, but they never released any recordings until now.

Recorded at two different shows in 1979 - including one show that features the addition of guest guitarist Alain Eckert (Art Zoyd) - the majority of the compositions on Playtime cannot be found on any other National Health recording.

It includes a 16 page booklet with liner notes by Aymeric Leroy, which tells the story of this last period of the band. Illustrated with rare photos, interviews and comments with all surviving members of the band, this is a fantastic and unexpected document 20 years after it was recorded, of a much loved band.
  • LabelCuneiform
  • UPC045775014524
Your Price $15.00
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