Thursday, 3 March 2011

Passport - Blue Tatoo ( 1981)

It's too bad that many of the 'prog snobs' tend to discount everything Passport released after 1976. In a way it's understandable - little has been actually progressive as the term is generally understood. But most of Passport's albums have been truly magnificent jazz fusion anyway, each one wholly deserving far wider recognition than they've received. 1981's "Blue Tattoo", in my opinion one of the finest Passport releases ever, has been particularly ignored by many fans. This would seem to be because on this album Klaus Doldinger relies far more on his keyboard skills than his sax brilliance.

The results, however, cannot be faulted; this is some of the very best contemporary jazz of it's time, with a variety of great melodies performed with complete dedication. Released the same year as the final Soft Machine album ("Land Of Cockayne"), Passport's "Blue Tattoo" is even better than the Softs classic.

While Doldinger and crew do not break new ground with this album, they prove that they have now perfected the new direction begun four years prior. And while this is far from the last great Passport album, it remains a landmark in their long career and certainly a testament to Doldinger's place in jazz history. Even though there's comparatively little sax on "Blue Tattoo", it's not really missed; the music flows with what it has, and when the sax does come, it's among the musician's most affecting work ever. And this album does not sound the slightest bit dated today.

Forget what reputation this cd has. It's a classic. PASSPORT Blue Tattoo music review by Burritobrother (Review from

One of my all time favourite Passport albums and couldn't agree more than with the review above.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Riding on a cloud (4:17)
2. Radiation (5:17)
3. Ragtag and bobtail (4:10)
4. Blue tattoo (4:05)
5. Piece for rock orchestra (5:46)
6. Rambling (4:08)
7. In a melancholy way (4:42)
8. Daybreak delight (4:45)

Total Time: 37:10
Line-up / Musicians - David Crigger / drums
- Klaus Doldinger / saxophones, Lyricon, keyboards, vocoder
- Kevin Mulligan / guitars
- Dieter Petereit / bass
- Hendrik Schaper / keyboards


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