About 9 years after Oliver Nelson released his crtically acclaimed album ‘Blues And The Abstract Truth’, a band emerged in South Africa who lost the ‘Blues’ and the ‘And The’. Abstract Truth’s first album, ‘Totem’ was also critically acclaimed, but it was on their second album, ‘Silver Trees’ that we find ‘Pollution’, a track that opens the album.
It’s a mellow start to the album, with gentle strummed guitars and a flute which initially blends in with the vocals, but is soon given flight to flutter around at will. There is a Jethro Tull influence to this folk rock track which relies more on the band’s instrumental prowess than on the singing, as there are but a few lines sung at the start of the track which points out evils of pollution (yes, children, people did care about the planet even back then) and violence. After this, its all about the music which is bright and joyous, almost as if the band are trying to create a pollution free world through sound. It is the sound of fresh air and harmony that comes through in the track.
Then about two thirds of the way through, a saxophone breaks in and lures the bass and guitar to a 60’s African jazzy sound as a celebration of this clean and beautiful world which has just been exposed to us. This roots the track in the country of its birth despite the influences of British folk rock bands like Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention.
So its not Blues and the Abstract Truth rather it is African Folk Rock and the Abstract Truth, giving us a few actual and hardcore truths that are as relevant today as they were back then. ‘Pollution’ in far from rubbish.
Where to find it:
Silver Trees/Totum – Abstract Truth (2005), Fresh, freshcd146