Jody Grind – In Concert For John Peel’s Sunday Concerts – January 10, 1971 – BBC Radio 1 –
Jody Grind for a Saturday night. Unless you ran across by accident at the time, or unearthed them in a bargain bin years later, chances are very good the name rings no bells (aside from being the namesake of a Horace Silver song). By all accounts they should have gotten at least a toehold in Progrock circles, but that wouldn’t happen until an early personnel shakeup sent some of the founding members off to other more recognizable bands, and subsequently better fortunes.
But Jody Grind had a couple things going against them. First, their label Transatlantic was primarily Folk and really was out of their league with Progrock. They could do wonders with Bert Jansch but Jody Grind, not so much.
Second, they were convicted in the press of being not-all-that-original and subjected to gargantuan exercises in noodling and extended jams – by 1971 the novelty of the endless solo wore thin and audiences were suitably non-plussed.
Finally, their debut album One Step On suffered from one of the ugliest covers in recent memory. Even stalwarts who would listen to just about anything blanched at the thought of opening the gatefold cover bathed in a ghastly day-glo and rather anemic band members covered in phosphorescent paint. Not destined to be a big seller, that one.
But – with all that going against them, there was talent to be had and they did have chops and they knew a thing or two about prog as well as Jazz and probably would have benefitted greatly with someone visionary on their side.
But not every band that gets together to make music succeeds, and in Jody Grind’s case that was certainly the case. That said, Jody Grind have actually never broken up. There is a version of Jody Grind floating around (I believe with Bernie Holland as the closest thing to a founding member still heading up the band) and they’ve had subsequent releases, the latest being in 2009 as well as a reissue package of the first three albums is currently available. So maybe it’s time for some reassessment – can’t hurt.
In any event, here is one of their rare broadcast appearances via John Peel’s Sunday concert series from January 10, 1971 – might change a few minds.
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