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(Translated from my old Italian page by Paul O'Brien)



Embryo, formed by ex-Amon Duul II member Christian Burchard, consisted of Edgar Hofmann (sax, violin), Ralph Fisher (bass, organ), John Kelly (guitar). Their first album, Opal (Ohr, 1970), showed Embryo to be influenced by the mystic free-jazz of John Coltrane and the 'Canterbury sound' (People From Out the Space). The group's characterist ic jazz-rock took shape in Embryo's Rache (UA, 1971), followed by Father Son and Holy Ghosts (UA, 1972).

From the same period came Steig Aus (Brain, 1972), which contained the epic Radio Marrakesch/Orient Express, with Mal Wa ldron on piano and another erstwhile Amon Duul member Jimmy Jackson on mellot ron, and Rocksession (Brain, 1973), which contained four even more experimental jams from the same sessions – for example Entranc es, Warm Canto and Dirge – recordings which came to be consi dered by the band as too experimental and thus too far from the Embryo ethic.

With the addition of jazz saxophonist Charlie Maria no, the band (which at this point consisted of Burchard, Roman Bunka on guitar and sax, and Dieter Miekautsch on piano) recorded We Keep On (BASF, 197 3), with further standout epics in No Place To Go (at 12 minutes) and Ticket to India (15 minutes).

The following two albums Surfin! (Buk, 1975) and Bad Heads and Bad Cats (April, 1976), had lost much of the early creative spirit, despite Dance of Some Broken Glasses (on the first) and < I>Human Contact (on the second). The leader left Mariano to his fate, spent a time in India, and returned refreshed and with a new style first presented in Apo-calypso (April, 1977).

With further trips to Asia, the group put together a series of world music albums, of which Emb= ryo's Reise (1979) is probably the best; others included Cello CelloLife (1980) and another double album, La Blama Sparozzi (1982). When they at last came home, Embr yo recorded their first studio album in seven years, Zack Gluck (1 984), but then set off again on their travels, this time to Africa, an ex perience which gave them the material for Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra (1985) and Africa (1985 ).

Since abandoning the scene, Burchard has continued to record further albums of jazz-influenced and ethnic music: Turn Peace (19 89), Ibn Battuta (1994), Ni Hau (1996), Istanbul-Casablanca (1999). Anthology 1970-1979 (Schneeball, 1980) and the live double Invisible Documents (Disconforme, 1998) have to some extent shown a rekindling of their early fire.

Message From Era Ora (Sound Of Cobra, 2013) contains live recordings of 1976.

Aalst 2010 documents two live jams.

Christian Burchard died in 2018.

Gli Embryo vennero formati da Christian Burchard a Monaco, che si contorno` di Edgar Hofmann (sax, violino), Ralph Fisher (basso, organo), John Kelly (chitarra). Sul primo album, Opal (Ohr, 1970), gli Embryo sono influenzati dal free-jazz mistico di John Coltrane e dal sound di Canterbury (People From Out the Space). Il caratteristico jazz-rock del gruppo prende forma soprattutto a partire da Embryo's Rache (UA, 1971), di cui Father Son and Holy Ghosts (UA, 1972) fu il contraltare commerciale.

Dello stesso periodo sono Steig Aus (Brain, 1972), con Mal Waldron al piano e Jimmy Jackson al mellotron (contenente l'epica Radio Marrakesch/Orient Express), e Rocksession (Brain, 1973), tratto dalle stesse session (e contenente quattro jam ancor piu` sperimentali, fra cui Entrances, Warm Canto e Dirge), dischi che vennero rifiutati dall'etichetta degli Embryo in quanto troppo sperimentali.

Con l'aggiunta del sassofonista jazz Charlie Mariano, il gruppo (che a questo punto era Burchard, Roman Bunka alla chitarra e al saz, e Dieter Miekautsch al piano) registro` We Keep On (BASF, 1973), i cui cavalli di battaglia sono No Place To Go (12 minuti) e Ticket to India (15 minuti).

I due album successivi, Surfin! (Buk, 1975) e Bad Heads and Bad Cats (April, 1976), avevano perso gran parte dell'estro creativo, nonostante le lunghe Dance of Some Broken Glasses (sul primo) e Human Contact (sul secondo). Il leader, abbandonato Mariano al suo destino, soggiorno` in India, e al ritorno cambio` di nuovo stile con Apo-calypso (April, 1977). Continuando il viaggio in Asia, il gruppo pennello` album di world-music come il doppio Embryo's Reise (1979), forse il migliore di questa stagione (Cello CelloLife (1980) e un altro doppio, La Blama Sparozzi (1982). Tornati finalmente a casa, gli Embryo registrarono il primo album in studio degli ultimi sette anni, Zack Gluck (1984), ma poi si rimisero in viaggio, questa volta verso l'Africa, esperienza da cui trassero il materiale per Yoruba Dun Dun Orchestra (1985) e Africa (1985).

Lungi dall'abbandonare le scene, Burchard continuo` a rimescolare il gruppo e a registrare album di quella sua musica etnica e jazzata: Turn Peace (1989), Ibn Battuta (1994), Ni Hau (1996), Istanbul-Casablanca (1999). Anthology 1970-1979 (Schneeball, 1980) e il doppio dal vivo Invisible Documents (Disconforme, 1998) riassumono la loro vicenda.

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