New Stars On The Horizon: The Devil’s Anvil, The 5th Dimension, Leonard Cohen

THE DEVIL’S ANVIL

FOUR YEARS ago, four musicians got tired of playing the same traditional Middle-Eastern music over and over again every night in the Feenjohn, a Greenwich Village, cafe. They formed a group, the Devil’s Anvil, to experiment with a more modern sound, with the emphasis on a hard rocking beat.

They found work in an Israeli cafe, the Havaft Nigilah on Broadway in Manhattan. But as their super sound developed they found themselves too far out for the Middle Eastern music cafes, the Greenwich Village folk dubs and the discotheques.

Felix Pappalardi, a versatile recording session musician, started working with the group. David Rubinson, a record producer with Columbia Records, liked their sound and got the Anvil a recording contract.

The Devil’s Anvil are: Kareem Issaq, an Arab, on electric Oud. He does most of the vocals. Jerry Sapir, from Brooklyn, plays guitar. He used to be in the folk music trio, the Tradewinds; he has a degree in classical music and he’s played Middle Eastern music for a long time. The other guitar player, Steve Knight, an amazing technician and a rhythm guitarist supreme, also plays bouzoki and bass. Eliezer Adoram, an Israeli, plays accordion with the group. But it’s not the accordion sound most people are used to hearing. It’s used for color and it often sounds tike an organ. Felix plays bass and guitar with them and arranges the music.

Other musicians added for their first album include Bobby Gregg and Herb Lovelle on conventional drums, Felix and album producer David Rubinson on various percussion instruments and Mike Mohel playing durbeki or dum-beg, depending on what country you’re in. It’s an Israeli or Turkish drum, made of earthenware or metal, with a deep, hollow sound.

Their first single was sung entirely in Arabic. The hippies dug it and the Devil’s Anvil got an underground reputation, but the record didn’t sell.

The next step was an album, available now on Columbia titled, The Devil’s Anvil — Hard Rock From The Middle East. All the songs are sung in Arabic, Turkish or Greek except ‘Misirlou’, done in English, which is their second single.

“The single can be appreciated by anybody,” says Felix, who now produces the Youngbloods. “But the audience for the album, from all indications, will be working rock and roll musicians.”

The Anvil’s LP may never make the best-seller charts, but as an underground album it should give young musicians a lot of new ideas about complex rhythms, colorful instrumentation and exotic sound. Something influenced by it could very easily explode into the top ten.

One group that’s been especially influenced by the Devil’s Anvil are the Youngbloods. Since Felix works with both groups, the Youngbloods have been hearing the Anvil since September 1966. When they first heard the tapes they all wanted copies for themselves.

Jesse Colin Young digs it for pure enjoyment. Banana feels very heavily influenced and feels the music has had an effect on the Youngbloods’ tunes and arrangements. Joe Bauer feels influenced as a drummer, particularly in his ensemble playing. Jerry Corbitt, lead guitarist, has been most influenced by the Devil’s Anvil. He says, “The way they play makes me feel stupid as a musician. I love them.”

The album and the Anvil exist for a reason the music business is unwilling to accept at this point. It’s a test tube. The album won’t be a big moneymaker. There aren’t many clubs that will accept the group as they are. But they’re all fantastic musicians, experimenting with new sounds for the sake of music alone.

Although the Anvil was intended to be a non-commercial group, appealing primarily to musicians, Felix says, “When you do something that’s good, you want it to be as widely accepted as possible.”

If you have an ear for unconventional, exotic and exciting music, buy the Devil’s Anvil album. You’ll like it.

THE 5TH DIMENSION

THE 5TH DIMENSION offers a new dimension in sound — and their sound is happening all over. It’s the new sound, the complete and total sound, a convergence of all the musical influences of the 60’s embodied in a highly unique and talented group. Inspired by the modern harmony of the Mama’s & Papa’s, Hi-Lo’s and Four Freshmen, combined with the soulful rhythm of contemporary blues singers such as Ray Charles, this group of two girls and three boys has succeeded in thoroughly exciting fans and D.J.’s alike.

Discovered by Soul City General Manager Marc Gordon while the group was on a Ray Charles tour, he was so impressed by their modernistic approach to pop music that he signed them immediately. Working hand-in-hand with Soul City founder Johnny Rivers, their enthusiasm was only exceeded by their eagerness to get them on wax and on the market.

Their first release on the Soul City label, ‘I’ll Be Lovin’ You. Forever’, began to climb; but before it achieved momentum, Rivers and Gordon decided to rush out ‘Go Where You Wanna Go’, a production so exciting they just couldn’t contain it. Written by John Phillips of the Mama’s and Papa’s, the song exploded to the top of the charts and catapulted the 5th Dimension into public acclaim. D.J.’s on both R&B and pop stations jumped on the bandwagon, attesting to the versatility of their musical “bag.”

The individuals who comprise THE 5TH DIMENSION are as interesting and dynamic as the group itself.

MARILYN, a native of New Jersey, won the “Miss Bronze Grand Talent Award” in 1962. A natural beauty with a personality to match, she is a graduate of UCLA in Business Administration. She is keenly interested in world affairs and hopes to be the president and chairman of the board of her own music corporation some day. Her greatest musical inspiration comes from Ray Charles and James Brown, and her favorite group is the Supremes.

FLORENCE was winner of the “Miss Bronze Grand Talent Award” in 1963. She also is a college graduate and holds a teaching credential from Cal State at Los Angeles. At one time a school teacher, she now is enthusiastic and overjoyed with the success of her group and really digs show business. Her sense of humor is quick and her vitality is continually stimulating the group. She has been a student of voice most of her life and is also an excellent violinist. She loves all types of music from jazz to classical. Both Florence and Marilyn are single.

RON has been associated with choirs and spiritual groups since the age of six. A native of St. Louis, he appeared with the Chorus of the Municipal Opera of St. Louis and has been a member of the famed Wings Over Jordan Gospel group. He is most proud, however, of having toured with Nat Cole and Dorothy Dandridge, and the small part he played in the film version of Porgy and Bess. He admires Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole as great song stylists and places the Four Freshmen high atop his list of favorite vocal groups.

LAMONT is also from St. Louis and attended Sumner High School with Billy, the fifth member of the group. He originally aspired to a professional baseball career, but became quite interested in music while serving in the Army. He was a member of the U.S. Army Drum and Bugle Corp and participated in many U.S.O. variety shows. He is the “cool” and quiet member of the group, but his good judgment and taste are an important influence upon his fellow members.

BILLY is the youngest and impetuous member of the 5th Dimension. He loves practical jokes and is constantly coming up with new ideas and exciting plans for the future. A fine vocalist, in the tradition of Otis Redding, when Billy sings his solos, people are immediately “turned on.” Also an excellent guitarist, he formed a band while in the Army which soon became one of the big attractions in Nuremburg, Germany.

The 5th Dimension has already appeared on several major pop TV shows (Boss CityWhere The Action IsAmerican Bandstand and Shebang) and on stage across the country from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to Carnegie Hall in New York.

Their act is an example of showmanship at its best, with custom-made “Mod” costumes and expert choreography. Their repertoire runs the gamut of songs from soul to pop, all of which are done in their unique “five dimensional” style. There is no doubt that the 5th Dimension is a happening group — and they’re happening NOW.

LEONARD COHEN

“WHO IS Leonard Cohen?” was the big question when Judy Collins released her In My Life album on Elektra. “Most important, the album contains two songs by a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen,” reported Hi-Fi/Stereo Review. “On the basis of these two songs alone — which are the only ones of Cohen’s I have heard, and which I am told are the only ones so far recorded — he seems to me to have the potential to be a kind of new-folk Bart Howard and of becoming the most important composer in this genre since Dylan. ‘Suzanne’ is a gentle, mystical love song; ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’ is the most chilling recitation of total defeat I have ever heard, more frightening in its way than even ‘Gloomy Sunday’. I eagerly await more from Leonard Cohen and from the newly triumphant Judy Collins.”

Canadian-born Leonard Cohen, an acclaimed author and poet of more than passing interest, has emerged as one of the most exciting songwriter-performers of today. A sensitive, ruggedly handsome and unapologetically tough-tender young man of our time, Leonard explores and gently teaches ideology of love in his lyrical and universally poignant songs.

Critical hosannas fell at his feet after an appearance on a Canadian TV show last fall, which prompted subsequent concerts at six major colleges and universities. His performances are compelling, as are his compositions which have been sung and recorded by such influentials as Judy Collins and the Stormy Clovers, a Canadian group presently generating raves on the pop-rock scene.

Ladies And Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen is the title of a film shot by the National Film Board which followed Leonard from campus to quad while he toured colleges, singing and giving readings. The film ran as an Easter special on the CBC where it, and Leonard, won resounding accolades.

He received many offers to write film scores for Canada’s growing movie industry.

Having just signed with Columbia Records, Leonard continues to produce more songs but now with the thought of his own single release in mind. He recently participated in a reading with Norman Mailer at the University of Buffalo, N.Y., and he looks forward to a summer concert with Judy Collins in New York’s Central Park, the Newport Folk Festival, and a one-man show at Town Hall this autumn. His warm way of offering his songs and poems recently won him the fealty of critical teenagers in Los Angeles.

Leonard’s two novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, are published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Viking Press in the U.S. Also published are four volumes of poetry: Spice Box of EarthLet Us Compare MythologiesFlowers For Hitler, and Parasites of HeavenSpice Box was a runaway best-seller. Beautiful Losers was paperbacked in March by Bantam as their lead title of the month. The initial edition was 250,000 copies, and a meticulous plan to promote the novel promises to cause a second edition soon.

Leonard maintains a home on the Greek isle of Hydra but frequently returns to Montreal to renew his “neurotic affiliations.” He has lately been noticed prowling about New York, L.A. and Montreal folk and roll houses for a taste of the new sounds. His admirers grow as an ever-increasing retinue of fans of the new awareness frequent his readings and concerts. He is warmed to see them walk with his books.

Young, immensely intelligent, Leonard Cohen is a rarity: a very good popular poet, songwriter and performer. You’ll like him.

© uncredited writerHit Parader, September 1967

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