310:- (SHM-CD Limited Remaster Edition, utgåva på endast 500 exemplar. Superb progressiv rock, tro mig!)
Criminally misconstrued by he music industry, and therefore, kept from a posible audience that might as well give them the break that they deserved, the fact is that Yezda Urfa is one of the best names in the history of USA's seventies prog. Their first recording "Boris" was actually a demo, and so we can have this catalogue comprising a selection of ideas that are still to find a final expression in their self-financed album, but also other tracks that only appear here. All of them are damn great in their own extravagant manner. The repertoire is a combination of Yessian melodicism and Gentle Giant-like elegant management of counterpoint and dissonance, all of it properly seasoned with touches of jazz-rock, circus music, folk-pop and country. You can notice slight similarities with the earliest Happy the Man ("Beginnings" and "Death's Crown"). This band sure loves to gamble with contrasts all the time, yet they do it naturally, never letting the inventiveness lead to forcefulness nor making their inherent pretentiousness a room for self-indulgent seriousness.
The aware listener will quickly recogniza the humour, unhidden by the exhibition of skill and the abundant dynamics in the transitions between sections. The first track includes what would be two separate tracks in the "Sacred Baboon" album, but once you get familiar with this version, you will notice that the yfit perfectly despite their mutual differences. There is an extra last section, an acoustic ballad built on a very moving melody: it would have fitted perfectly as an Air Supply song had it been arranged differently, but then again, the beauty would have been taken to corny places. So,because this is a prog band with a solid humorous vibe, what we get is a clever rearrangement with a combination of extravagant flavors and symphonic pomp. keeping enough fluidity as not to spoil the motif's delicate beauty, yet giving it a sort of low-weigth Zappaesque twist. The brief instrumental 'Texas Armadillo' is based on the dialogue between mandolin and banjo over a catchy, evers-peeding rhythm pattern that sets a partying mood. '3, 3, Almost 6 Yea' and 'Tota in the Moya' are two YU banners: besides two thirds of the opening track, these are the first versions of numbers that will reappear soon after in the "Sacred Baboon" delivery.
Here, the sound is rougher in the rockier passages, which leads to a more pronounced contrast against the calmer moments: these first versions are as good as the intended definitive ones, but not for the same reasons. '3 Tons of Fresh Thyroid Glands' starts in a very serene manner, gradually getting into familiar Yes-meets-GG territory. The flute (played by Kimbrough, a multi-instrumentalist preferentially focused on keyboards) turns out to be a very prominent instrument here in some crucial passages. Finally, 'The Bases of Dubenglazy', a leftover from the "Baboon" album, is a hint to the increased stylish sophistication that the band gained after this demo's release. All in all, "Boris" is a slightly more adventurous prog effort than the subsequent "Sacred Baboon", so I enjoy it more. I genuinely love the "Baboon", but to me "Boris" is the real Yezda Urfa masterpiece - what's more, a masterpiece in itself, a gem that only recently has come to be properly appreciated by a section of the worldwide prog community. Hopefully, more and more people will dare enter the Yezda Urfa world and discover the sonic magic that lies within.
01. Boris And His 3 Verses, including Flow Guides Aren't My Bag (11:00)
02. Texas Armadillo (1:48)
03. 3, Almost 4, 6 Yea (8:46)
04. Tuta In The Moya & Tyreczimmage (10:50)
05. Three Tons Of Fresh Thyroid Glands (10:20)