Wandering amongst the aisles and flicking through the vast array of album sleeves in Worship Metal’s prog vaults, a Kunio Hagio artistic masterpiece stood out that could only belong to 70’s prog band, Jade Warrior and their classic album Last Autumn’s Dream; time to give this cult item another spin!
The UK’s Jade Warrior were formed in 1970 in amongst the usual jumbled, toing and froing of band members and signings that engulfed the era. Drawing from many influences, the sounds and interpretations of Jade Warrior came from Africa, Latin America and Jazz that steadily evolved into something that made – and continues to make – Jade Warrior such an outstanding and unique band in prog rock history.
Two outstanding albums preceded Last Autumn’s Dream (their self-titled debut and its follow up Released) but in 1972, band members Jon Field (flutes and percussion), Tony Duhig (guitar) David Duhig (guitar) Glyn Havard (bass & vocals) and Allan Price (drums) created what should be considered their finest composition and one that reflects the contrasting nature of their previous works. A skilful and essential instrumental approach created mysterious-sounding, meditative instrumental tracks such as the ethereal “A Winter’s Tale” which were contrasted with the dynamic, more traditional, rock tracks such as the otherworldly fuzzy riffs of “Snake”, the blues-stomp of “Joanne” and the ubiquitous “The Demon Trucker”, a funky little number that had smash-hit stamped all over it!
For anybody yet to discover the wonders of this great band, Last Autumn’s Dream is truly their essential album and a perfect place to start. If you want to become a hard-core JW follower there can be no greater journey than tracking their evolution from this point all the way through to their 2008 album NOW and, hopefully, on to their forthcoming new release Haiku which – depending on Jon Fields’ perfectionism – will be announced very soon; that’s prog rock commitment right there!
Any album hand-picked from the vaults for re-discovery is worthy of a maximum score, so listen to this in a darkened room with half a dozen joss sticks on the go and hear why Last Autumn’s Dream can only be given a resounding….10/10!