Category Archives: AFFINITY
The public surely loved it, and it would be silly not to preserve such significant reunion for posterity, so as a historic document this CD is as good as it gets. ***
DME Music Site
A reunion concert for a group of musicians who last appeared on stage as the Baskervilles some 46 years ago. The Baskervilles morphed into Affinity, hence the band’s name on the CD. The night featured amongst others Mo Foster, Ray Russell, Brian Davis and Glyn James along with guest musicians including Linda Hoyle and Gary Husband.
Musically it is like a top draw covers band as they run through a series of 50′s and 60′s standards from amongst others the Beatles, the Byrds, the Stones and a moving version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound Of Silence’. Each song ends with polite applause which reminds you it is live but I am sure on the night the crowd had a good time.
By no means essential an interesting one for collectors and fans of the many and varied works from Mo Foster, Ray Russell and Gary Husband. ***
Jason Ritchie – Get Ready to ROCK!
Affinity, known as Jazz-Rock-Fusionists, came together from the bands Ice and Baskervilles.
In 2011 the singers John Carter, Glyn James and Linda Hoyle joined in with Session stars Mo Foster, Ray Russell and Gary Husband, the latter as guest on the piano.
They celebrated at the University Of Sussex – after 46 years of Baskervilles break – they played pop and rock music from the early days, starting with Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, then the Beatles, the Byrds and the Zombies.
Songs like the Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’ or the Ray-Charles-Stomper ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’ are very pleasantly presented focussing on the melody without the attempt to be overly wild.
It is an excellent choice of Evergreens, perfectly suitable for everybody to join in singing them.
Good Times – German magazine (October 2012)
Here then is the reunion of 7 buddies to play some good music the old way, without recourse to modern technology, and the result is a delight throughout…
…21 numbers played with conviction, good humour and without any pretention; good versions of Satisfaction, Yesterday and Mr. Tambourine Man, to name some of the better known.
Highlands magazine (December 2012)
…they were astonishingly accomplished…their repertoire was diverse enough to showcase their jazz, blues, surf and R & B unfluences.
Allmusic.com (July 2007)
..highly accomplished, energetically buouyant an immensely likable cover versions…
Russell Newmark, Beat Magazine (September 2007)
…The Baskervilles couldn’t go wrong with a repertoire of contemporary hits..and more than a fistful of the Fabs songs…A nice historic document
www.dmme.net (September 2007)
The quality of the first set, from a Christmas Ball 1965 at the University of Sussex, is superb both musically and sonically, betraying its ancient origins, but there is no original material as you’d perhaps expect given the nature of the gig.
Essentially it’s a covers collection that doesn’t even hint at the jazz rock route subsequently taken, but features the hits of the day including the Fab Four.
A selection of lower-fi tracks from various rehearsals in 1965 are for the completist rather than the curious, and three tracks from a Chemistry Society Christmas party in 1965 rounds things out.
If you’ve followed the Affinity reissue programme you will want to add this to your now happily expanded collection. ***/5
David Randall, www.getreadytorock.com (October 2007)
The sound quality, considering the source, is remarkably good and serves as a reminder of the talent already inherent in what would later emerge as Affinity.
Danny Moore, RocknReel (November 2007)
…a performance to love
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (November 2007)
The bulk of this packed 32 track album is taken up with a surprisingly good live recording…
Pipeline (Dec 2007)
Angel Air have done us all a great service by excavating the recorded history of this little jazz to rock band.
They’ve really dug deep here, because ‘Origins 65-67′ does exactly what it says on the tin. It discovers a nascent Affinity, gigging at Sussex University in the swinging sixties when they were known as US Jazz Trio.
Not surprisingly, the trio featured a set of jazz standards rather than original compositions. However, the recording made ‘in the debating chamber and various noisy bars’ is unintentionally atmospheric. With the clatter of student pint-pots in the background it gives classic Sloopy period Ramsey Lewis a run for his money. It’s the sort of stuff that Louis Balfour (of Fast Show fame) would have trembled over.
Indeed you can almost smell the hairy armpits and unshaven faces of the assembled multitude – and that’s not just the band we’re talking about. It is a superb period piece and adds a little to our understanding of this rather special jazz-rock band who strangely might achieve more notoriety now – thanks to Angel Air’s practised archaeology – than in the good old days.
The genial Mo Foster (to whom we have to thank for helping dust off the tape reels) plays drums whilst a bonus track features the great Linda Hoyle on vocals in 1980. Hey, Mo, how about a reunion?
David Randall, www.getreadytorock.com (May 2004)
…Dealing largely in jazz standards and sounding like a lo-fi Dudley Moore Trio, most of these recordings were made in the Sussex debating chamber or various bars…
Chas Chandler, Record Collector (August 2004)
This is delicate jazz, music to relax to; music to lose one in…
Feedback (September 2004)
For those who have enjoyed the previous reissues, this collection is closer in spirit to the debut album and actually consists of outtakes and demos for a projected album that never was because the band eventually imploded in 1972. The sound quality is superb, though. Bassist Mo Foster, guitarist Mike Jopp and drummer Grant Serpell went on to join Michael D’Abo on tour and Foster had a subsequent career rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest industry names as a much-in-demand sessioner.
All credit to Peter Purnell at Angel Air, and to Mo Foster, for unearthing this superb archive piece. Investigate, if only for that growling Hammond on a medley of Hendrix and Miles Davis and the sublime instrumental ‘Sarah’s Wardrobe’! Wonderful stuff.
David Randall, get ready to rock (August 2003)
Unreleased tracks from the band after they had undergone a major line-up change with new vocalist Vivienne McAuliffe and keyboard player Dave Watts, joining the existing line-up of guitarist Mike Jopp, bass player Mo Foster and drummer Grant Serpell. Of the nine tracks on here two are newly recorded instrumentals featuring Foster and Jopp, with a cover of Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’. Songwriter BA Robertson also wrote two tracks on here as well. The music is mainly folk in style, reminiscent of Pentagle and Steeleye Span, mainly in the vocals of McAuliffe (she sadly died back in 1998).
‘Moira’s Hand’ is an uptempo folk rocker with some neat Hammond organ playing. The mellow ‘Sunshower’ sees McAuliffe in fine vocal form and again the backing instrumentation is spot on from the keys to the subtle bass lines. Another highlight are the two instrumentals, both of which are mellow numbers and fit well with the older material on here. Fans of 70′s female fronted folk rock will enjoy this lovingly compiled album.
Jason Ritchie, Classic Rock Newswire (August 2003)
…a worthy addition to any 60s – 70s folk or psychedelic rock collection.
Jeff Beck website (September 2003)
It is good stuff…some excellent musicianship, and McAulliffe’s voice is clear cut and strong…an enjoyable listen
Bernard Law, Classic Rock Society (Nov/Dec 2003)
What is immediately apparent is that not only is this an enjoyable outing throughout, but that Vivienne had a wonderful voice…If you enjoy good strong songs and great female singing then this is worth seeking out.
Feedback (Nov 2003)
…anybody who remembers catching this late incarnation of this group in concert…will not be disappointed by this collection
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine(Oct 2003)
What I’ve always enjoyed about Affinity was their strong leaning towards jazz, and yet they gave a nod and a wink towards their ‘rock’ peers.
Dw, Modern Dance (August 2004)
…nine live tracks recorded in January 1969 and at a time when long sideburns and frizzy hair was de rigueur … and that was just the women! Some jazz standards expertly played and some less familiar, this is a real archive find. The music hasn’t dated at all.
There is some great Hammonding from Lynton Naiff and authoritative jazz rock chops from Mike Jopp. Bassist Mo Foster went on to work with Ray Fenwick in Fancy and Jeff Beck amongst others but this release captures a superb band and drips with cool soul jazz that is perhaps now best enjoyed with a good wine, and with the headphones on. Nice.
James Rutherford, get ready to ROCK! (January 2003)
While Mo Foster and Grant Serpell kept the rhythm section nailed it allowed guitarist Mike Jopp and organist Lynton Naiff to play melody or go off at a tangent as they desired. Given how powerful their arrangements are it is probably of little surprise to see that Lynton later worked as an arranger for bands as diverse as Gene, Gay Dad and Page/Plant!
Good sleeve notes and photos as well as powerful jazz make this an album that can easily be enjoyed.
Feedback, (February 2003)
…everything’s intelligently arranged and tastefully played…
John Sturdy, Record Collector (March 2003)
They are polished and classy and the sound qualiy is very good. I found it surprisingly accessible…Any aficionado of the Hammond/guitar relationship should add this CD to their collection
Alan Taylor, Pipeline (Spring 2003)
…serves as a reminder that the band were damn good.
Modern Dance, Issue 43 (March 2003)
In the late 1960′s, Affinity were on the crest of a new wave of progressive jazz-rock…this album charts the band’s brief instrumental period….However, the best is saved for last, as the final track was recorded at Sussex, during the 1965 Inter University Jazz federation competition.
Sussex University “In Touch”
Guitar and keyboard-led instrumentals that blend rock, blues and jazz into a mix that is heavy on melody yet still retains a free form feel….Colourful stuff
Peter French, Hartlepool Mail (April 2003)
A great sounding album is wrapped in a sleeve that hangs perfectly alongside the band’s own debut album
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine(Feb 2003)
Their sound is great, organ led progressive rock reminiscent of their Vertigo label mates Cressida but occasionally they do venture into Jazz Rock territory with the use of a brass section a la Chicago, Colosseum, etc etc.
In Linda Hoyle they had a wonderful vocalist with a powerful rock voice in the Maggie Bell mould and the combination of her vocals and the heavy organ driven sound makes for inspirational listening…
Of the originals ‘Night Flight’ and ‘Three Sisters’ are fine examples…but ‘Yes Man’ stands head and shoulders above everything else and is a wonderful piece of progressive rock which incorporates a fantastic instrumental section and complex tempo changes galore, and was written for a never to be released second album, hence it’s appearance here as a bonus track.
Steve Ward, Wondrous Stories (April 2002)
The reissue of Affinity’s only album (originally released in 1970) with an added eight bonus tracks is pure class. Jazzy progressive psychedelic rock propelled along by Lynton Naiff’s exquisite Hammond playing and Linda Hoyle’s stunning vocal work. Solid from start to finish and I can’t recommend it enough…Absolutely one of Angel Air’s very best releases.
Colin Bryce, Mohair Sweets (April 2002)
…provided an ideal vehicle fo the talents of stunning vocalist Linda Hoyle…with the addition of eight bonus tracks giving a whole new generation of record buyers the opportunity to revel in the prog Rock delights of cuts such as ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘I Wonder If I’ll Care As Much’.
Wexford Gazette (August 2002)
..a wonderful slice of late-sixties funky psychedelic-jazz pop. Groovy!
Tony Shevlin, East Anglian Daily Times (July 27 2002)
Vertigo label collectors unite! Of the bonus material, both sides of the band’s super-rare single (‘Eli’s Coming/United States of Mind) are included (yep, the Three Dog Night song) plus two songs cut for radio sessions and four more intended, in some form, for the band’s second album. Of course, that never happened, and Affinity remains this remarkable band’s sole legacy. It’s one to be proud of.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (August 2002)
…colourful 60′s rock…Swirling organ and a sumptuous horn section…
Hartlepool Mail, (November 2002)
…a lot of thought, heart and emotion went into the making of this record…Would make a nice gift for someone who enjoys today’s adult oriented rock.
Mike Reed Banzai (February 2003)
This collection demonstrates the group’s range on such cover songs as an organ-dominated “I Am The Walrus,” an expansive, 10-minute “All Along The Watchtower,” the jazz-folk “Coconut Grove” and “Eli’s Coming,” a mesmerizing, multi-layered vocal excursion by lead singer Linda Hoyle. It’s easy to understand why there was such a buzz about Hoyle at the time.
Joseph Tortelli, Goldmine (November 2006)