Review

The John Betsch Society

Earth Blossom

Heavenly Sweetness • 1974

The Heavenly Sweetness label is once again releasing a limited special edition of the spiritual jazz classic »Earth Blossom«, just in time for the 15th anniversary of its reissue. The original dates from 1974 and was largely recorded by jazz percussionist John Betsch. The New York label Strata-East (known for numerous productions by Gil-Scott Heron) released the LP at the time. Musically, the seven petal songs on »Earth Blossom« transform into free jazz with plenty of percussion rainmakers and appropriately atmospheric saxophone interludes, sometimes warm to serene, sometimes cool and stormy. The strong roots of sonic spirituality, familiar to us from musicians such as Alice Coltrane or Sun Ra, carry the whole work securely through all kinds of weather. For the current re-release, great emphasis was placed on delivering as a faithful recreation of the original as possible, the transfer was largely analogue and, for example, a Neumann VMS70 tape machine was used for transferring the master tapes. The original cover was also rescanned in order to reproduce it as faithfully as possible, and a paperboard was chosen to better match the feel.