"Jade Warrior was the term used in Japan to describe Samurai who expected to be artists and poets as well as deadly killers. It was chosen by Jon Field and the late Tony Duhig to describe the contrasting and apparently conflicting musical styles they wished to blend." (Red Hot Records press release)
Jade Warrior, circa 1973 or thereabouts.
Glyn Havard, Tony Duhig, Jon Field, Alan Price, and David Duhig.
Welcome! In some way, you've managed to find, encounter, or otherwise stumble across the informal World Wide Web home page set up for those interested in the British musical group Jade Warrior. If you're already a fan of Jade Warrior, I hope you'll find some material here which will bring up some fond memories and [re]encourage your interest in this group and their past and current work. If you're new to Jade Warrior, you're in for a treat!
The official Jade Warrior web-site and store
Jade Warrior discography
The History of Jade Warror
The Friends of Jade Warrior mailing list
Album cover artwork and LP jacket-liners
The concert at The Astoria: a review
Interviews with members of Jade Warrior
Interviews with members of Jade Warrior
Also, I had a nice chat-by-phone with Jon Field this last weekend. He assures me that the Haiku album is almost completed... "but then, it's been almost finished at least five time." No news yet on when or how it will actually be released, but Jon does want to get it out to the fans!
It's currently available for purchase on Amazon. It's not yet showing up on Repertoire's own web site, but this is reportedly due to an oversight which should be sorted out within the next few days.
I've checked with Glyn Havard, and it appears that this LP is a bootleg. Tapestry Records does not have a license to this album... the only label currently licensed to issue any of the first three Jade Warrior albums is Repertoire Records in Germany, and Repertoire isn't issuing LPs.
Tapestry Records is (by one account) headquartered in Lichtenstein(!) and seems to have little if any Web or business presence, other than through a few specialized LP/CD retailers.
I have no information about the heritage of the music on this LP... Glyn tells me that Tapestry does not (as far as he knows) have any legitimate access to the album's master tapes. It's quite possibly that they've simply made a pressing based on Repertoire's CD issue of Released, or perhaps an even earlier version (Background, or (yetch) the early LINE CD).
In the interest of supporting Jade Warrior and its legitimate licensee(s), please do not buy the Tapestry LP!
6 March 2012 - Daniel Crommie wrote today to say that his new CD "Aquarius in Retrograde" is in the final stages of production, will be available soon, and includes excellent contributions from four Jade Warrior alumni.
I have mastered the disc and the artwork is being finalized as I write - I should have the whole package sent off for production sometime next week. The release date is set: March 27th. Amazon should have it available for pre-order any day now and the CD will have 2 tracks exclusive to the physical product - as opposed to those pesky MP3's that will be available for download at all the usual places: iTunes, Amazon, Napster, etc. I have been blessed with the presence of not only Glyn Havard who wrote three of the songs and played bass on a couple of others, but David Duhig played on 5 pieces, Colin Henson played on 4 pieces (one a co-write with me) and Allan Price played tablas on one song. Several other outstanding musicians contributed to the project including a few who played on "Between the Darkness and the Dawn". The album in general is more rock-oriented but there are a few quieter instrumental bits as well. I am very excited at how well it turned out - I think it's pretty dynamic! Here is the track listing:
01/ Can You Feel the Change? 7.04 02/ Kick Off 6.35 03/ Disbelief 4.31 04/ An August Elegy 4.11 05/ Burn the Town Red 4.56 06/ All Souls Day 5.05 07/ Another Midnight in America 5.28 08/ Primitive Future 10.14 09/ Default 4.26 10/ Green 5.25 11/ Is it the Stars? 3.45 12/ The Butcher Shop 6.01 Bonus Tracks: 13/ It Takes a Hurricane 5.19 14/ Up is Down is Up (Space Jazz) 4.22
I am offering a special deal to anyone who'd like to get the disc straight from the artists - I could use the boost since the production costs are an issue. $14 for a CD or $25 for two. This includes postage & packaging anywhere in the U.S. I can't offer this deal outside the U.S. at this time. I must say the package will be rather nice: a six-panel Digipak with lyrics and individual track credits and photos of some of the key participants. I will accept checks and cash to: Daniel Crommie / 2745 NW Pettygrove #5 / Portland, Oregon 97210 USA.
P.S. All of the tracks can be previewed in their entirety at: http://soundcloud.com/daniel-crommie
Those who pre-order the CD, either from Amazon or from me directly, will get an additional bonus - a card which will allow downloading of "Between the Darkness and the Dawn" from CD Baby.
I definitely enjoyed Daniel's first collaboration album with Glyn Havard, "Between the Darkness and the Dawn" and am really looking forward to the new one!
September 2012 - update - Daniel sent me a copy of the new album, and it's a good one! A mix of entrancing and power tracks - it spent several weeks as my "drive to work and home again" CD, with much enjoyment resulting!
10 October 2011 - Some time ago I spent a few hours playing around with my flat-bed scanner and the GNU Image Manipulation Program ("GIMP"), and put together a Jade Warrior desktop background image I liked. Perhaps you might, as well.
It's a two-layered montage, consisting of the classic Eckford/Stimpson samurai figure (scanned from the cover of Floating World) overlaid on a portion of one of Hokusai's famous woodblock prints of Mount Fuji.
Click on the image below to download a 1024-by-1024-pixel PNG version of the image.
22 August 2011 - Sorry to be so long in updating the site, folks - there hasn't been all that much to report lately. Jon Field tells me that work on the Haiku album is progressing, but has been slower than he likes due to the press of some other professional tasks and the fact that "The Romanians have kidnapped my kitchen" in recent months. Stay tuned!
15 November 2010 - a rather belated collection of snippits of information to relay.
Last month, Classic Rock magazine in the UK published a special edition on Prog Rock. In this edition, there's a two-page article on Jade Warrior, with some very positive reviews of the band's most recent album NOW and of their classic Island album Floating World (recently reissued on the Esoteric Recordings label).
To coincide with NOW being re-issued recently by Repertoire Records, the band has put Dave Sturt's 3 part podcast on the making of NOW up on their website for those who missed it the first time. Go to the website's main page, and click on the Music tab.
Jon Field is now on Twitter! You can follow his tweets as "jadewarriorJon" as he works towards bringing the upcoming Haiku album to completion! Work-in-progress samples from Haiku should appear on the Music page in the not-too-distant future.
Between the Darkness and the Dawn
7 September 2010 (updated) - On June 15th New Weave released Between the Darkness and the Dawn - the first collaborative venture by Daniel Crommie (Group Du Jour, Saturnalia Trio) with Glyn Havard (Jade Warrior). Ten compositions, including three written by Glyn, two Crommie/Havard songs and a three-part instrumental suite - nearly an hour of eclectic music. The album is digitally available from all the usual online vendors including iTunes, Amazon and Napster. The CD (which contains one bonus track) is available in the United States from Amazon, and also from CD Baby (click here to order). Daniel Crommie sang and played flutes, keyboards, electric & acoustic dulcimers while Glyn sang and played bass and electric guitar.
You can find Daniel Crommie with Glyn Havard on Face Book.
www.newweave.net / firstname.lastname@example.org
I've found this new album to be quite enjoyable. Its style is distinct from that of Jade Warrior, and isn't any easier to describe in simple terms - complex, engaging, atmospheric, with a bit of trippy psychedelia in the mix. Glyn's thoughtful lyrics and mellow, expressive voice come through nicely. I definitely recommend it to Jade Warrior fans, and I hope to hear some further collaborations between these fine musicians -- Dave Platt
10 August 2010 (updated) - Repertoire Records has reissued Jade Warrior's 2008 album NOW. The album has been digitally remastered by Eroc, and is being issued in the Digipak format. Here's a link to the information and ordering page for the NOW album.
This brings to six the number of digitally-remastered Jade Warrior albums currently in print by Repertoire. Way to go, Repertoire!
In equally big news: the "Island Albums" have now been reissued! Jade Warrior's four utterly essential instrumental albums Floating World, Waves, Kites, and Way of the Sun were reissued in digitally-remastered form in 2006 on the Eclectic Discs label, with excellent sound quality and a new set of liner notes (written by yours truly). Unfortunately, Eclectic Discs went bankrupt shortly thereafter, and these albums went out of print and were unavailable by early 2007. The principals of Eclectic Discs formed a new label, Esoteric Recordings, which is part of the Cherry Red Records family.
Esoteric indicated back in 2008 that they planned to reissue many of the Eclectic CDs. I've just learned that the four Jade Warrior albums have reached the top of the pile. It took a couple of years longer than Esoteric had originally suggested it might... but they're finally arriving!
All four albums have now been reissued: Kites and Way of the Sun became available in late May, and Floating World and Waves were issued in late July.
As far as I know, the Esoteric versions of the CDs are (or will be) sonically identical to the Eclectic versions. The packaging is similar to the Eclectic versions, including all of the original LP album artwork, and a new set of liner notes written by Marco Rossi.
For more information, go to the Esoteric Recordings home page. Albums available for ordering are available via the All Releases link, or via the Jade Warrior link.
8 August 2010 - Radio station KUSF, at the University of San Francisco, ran a two-hour Jade Warrior show last night. Tracks included albums all the way from July's first, to the recent NOW album. The show also included a recorded interview with Jon Field, and a podcast by Glyn Havard.
The show is available on the station's web site, as a pair of two-hour-long Flash streams. Go here to access the show.
It's a great show, and a fine introduction to Jade Warrior's music. My complements to Bryan Chandler and DJ Stereo Steve for putting together such an excellent special!
16 April 2009 - Repertoire Records is now shipping its deluxe collectors'-edition packages of Jade Warrior's two long-lost albums Eclipse and Fifth Element. Originally recorded during the last days of Jade Warrior's association with Vertigo Records, and shelved after Vertigo cancelled their contract and the original band lineup dissolved, these two albums were unavailable until finally issued by Acme Records and Background/Hi-Note Music (respectively) in 1998.
Out of print for some years, they have now been digitally re-mastered for release by Repertoire Records (whose wizard Eroc did an excellent job of remastering the band's three Vertigo albums several years ago).
The new Repertoire issues include all of the tracks from the albums, exclusive new interviews with Jon Field and Glyn Havard, track-by-track anecdotes about the writing of the albums, and new cover artwork designed by Jon Field.
Further information can be found, and direct orders can be placed at Repertoire's web site: Eclipse is here and Fifth Element is here.
10 February 2009 - Dave Sturt just wrote to say that there's a new Jade Warrior video up on YouTube: Click here to see it.
It's a promo for the NOW album, put together by Barry (their web site and media guru). It's about five minutes long, and contains a medley of excerpts from NOW. The visuals include a pan over the cover artwork (with zooms on interesting bits), and some clips of the band members playing at the New Astoria 2 gig back in late October.
31 October 2008 - Wow. That was a magical night indeed!
Jade Warrior's first live concert in 35 years took place on Thursday, October 23 2008, at The Astoria 2 in London. It was a fine show... not perfect, a few rough edges... but an excellent return to live performance. I'm really glad I was there.
Follow this link to a review of the concert, and an album of photos I took during the pre-show sound check and during the concert itself.
What's to come? One bit of good news is that the band has authorized the Repertoire label to reissue the band's two "lost" albums, Eclipse and Fifth Element. There's some fine music on these albums, with "English Morning" and "House of Dreams" being long-time favorites of mine.
The really good news is that further live gigs, and additional Jade Warrior albums, will probably be happening in the months to come. Jon, Glyn, and Dave seem to agree that a lot of work went into getting Jade Warrior back to the point of live performance, that much of this would be wasted if they don't continue to play live gigs, and that it's important for the band's future that they do so. Jon doesn't want Jade Warrior to be "just a front-room band" over the next few years. They're already discussing possibilities for locations (although not dates, so far) and are considering the possibility of playing some of the progressive-music festivals in Europe. If you missed this concert (or even if you didn't!) it appears likely that you'll have further opportunities in the future.
Jon would like to be able to perform some of the Island material in a live setting, but he's having difficulty seeing how to arrange to do so in a way which would do justice to the material. It would require a lot of people and equipment to do it properly. That's why this gig focused on NOW and the Vertigo albums - they're more compatible with a practical rock-band performance arrangement.
As for additional albums - they're talking about two. One would be a sort of followup to NOW - another "song album" with quite a few vocal tracks. The other would be more along the lines of the Island albums - primarily instrumental. It's a "musical haiku" - instrumental pieces which portray, or are inspired by a collection of modern haiku poems.
Jon would like to have the band work on both albums at the same time, so that both the rocking/songwriting and instrumental aspects of Jade Warrior's nature can be exercised at the same time. He feels very good about the band's decision to put up early versions of the NOW tracks on the band's web site, and to allow the band's fans to download them and observe how the songs were evolving and maturing over time as the band worked on them. We can probably expect to be given access to some of the music from the new albums in the months to come.
Jon played me some bits of his compositions for the haiku album - I think that fans of the Island albums will really like 'em.
31 August 2008 - Dave Sturt of Jade Warrior informs me that the band has recently learned that the Akarma label is issuing an unauthorized LP edition of the band's first album Jade Warrior.
Akarma has not licensed this album for a legitimate release. Their LP issue of this album is a bootleg, and the band receives no financial return from any purchases of this LP.
Jade Warrior specifically requests that its fans not purchase the Akarma bootleg edition of the Jade Warrior album.
9 July 2008 - A new and informative podcast has appeared on the official Jade Warrior web-site. This one features Dave Sturt, who plays the first three tracks of the new album NOW and provides a voice-over discussion of how these tracks were created and shaped as the album was developed.
To hear it, enter the band's web site and click on "Bulletins". The podcast link is at the bottom of the resulting screen.
1 July 2008 - NOW album released
It's real, folks. NOW is done – conceived, written, recorded, mixed, mastered, manufactured, officially released, and shipping. I received a copy last night.
It doesn't take much listening to the new album to realize two things: Jade Warrior is back, and has reinvented itself once again. The music is recognizably that of Jade Warrior – the flutes of Jon Field, the keyboards and fretless bass of Dave Sturt, and the lyrics and voice of Glyn Havard are all familiar elements &ndash but there's an entirely new chemistry developing here. NOW is not simply a recap or reprise of earlier Jade Warrior albums, and has a flavor all of its own.
NOW isn't overtly a "concept album" in the sense of most of the Jade Warrior albums of the Island-and-later eras &ndash the songs stand more by themselves, as was the case back in the Vertigo days. An underlying theme does show through, though, as most of the songs have to do with topics such as love, relationships, growth, and change.
Taken as a whole, I think this is an album which rewards &ndash and, indeed, demands &ndash repeated listening. There's a lot going on here. I think much of it isn't necessarily accessible on the first instant of hearing... but it's an album which has the potential to really get its claws into people on longer exposure.
It's all Jade Warrior – but it's not our grandfathers' Jade Warrior! The old-but-new band lineup brings together elements of several phases of the band's history, and adds a depth and expressiveness which is both striking and novel. This is the most emotional – and I think the most mature and most deeply human – album Jade Warrior has ever created.
Now, as to the sound: I like! I'm glad to say that this is one of the cleanest-sounding CDs it has been my pleasure to hear in quite some time. The recording and mix are really well done. The individual instruments are delightfully clear... the string bass isn't boomy, or flabby, or weak, or distorted, or amplified-sounding ... it's as if it's right there in the listening room... the acoustic guitar at the beginning of "Journey" is wonderful. Even when things get very complex (e.g. the latter part of "True Love"), the sound doesn't become congested. NOW sounds good on headphones, and it sounds great on a really good stereo!
Fortunately, the band has decided to ignore the current trend of Loudness Means Everything (by which I mean "compress and clip it until you've got only 1 dB of dynamic range in the whole sorry mush"). This surely isn't a surprise to anyone who knows Jon's long-time fascination with honest musical dynamics, but it's very pleasant to hear it nevertheless.
Welcome back, guys. You've been gone too long!
I encourage all fans of the band to order a copy immediately &ndash it's available exclusively through the band's own Windweaver Music label, at the link below (or click the cover photograph above).
For those who haven't heard Jade Warrior's music yet &ndash go to the band's official web site at the link below, and then click on the Listen tab at the left side of the page. You can hear excerpt from all of the tracks on the new album.
24 January 2008 - I've gotten some mostly-encouraging news in the last few days.
As you may remember, gentle readers, the excellent Eclectic Discs remasters of Jade Warrior's four Island albums were in print for less than a year. They were released at the end of August 2006, and Eclectic went down in flames in the spring of 2007 - Eclectic ceased shipping product and filed for bankruptcy. The remaining stock of the JW albums in the distribution pipeline pretty much dried up by midsummer of last year. At this point they're almost impossible to purchase (The Artist Shop still may have a few copies of one or more of the albums - email Gary to enquire.)
The principals of Eclectic then announced that they were forming a new label, Esoteric Recordings, as part of the Cherry Red Records family of labels. This label launched early last autumn, with releases by Rare Bird, Egg, Daevid Allen, and others. They now have more than two dozen albums listed on their web site.
According to a reliable anonymous source, Esoteric has just announced that they plan to re-issue some of the more popular (i.e. better-selling, I suppose) albums which had originally come out on the Eclectic label, "as part of an arrangement with Universal Music". Albums scheduled for February 2008 include two by Bill Fay, and four by Egg.
Additional reissues of Eclectic CDs are planned for later this year... including two by High Tide, and the four Jade Warrior remasters.
Esoteric says that their reissues of the Eclectic CDs will be identical, except for logos and barcoding - no changes to the tracks or artwork are planned.
Let's keep our fingers crossed.
13 May 2007 - After a lot of work, and prolonged delay (Jon Field first mentioned the idea back to me in the 1990s), Jade Warrior's own official Web site is now on-line!
The new site will be the primary place to get new, up-to-date information about Jade Warrior's upcoming album - excerpts from a number of tracks are now available. There's also new biographical information about the band members, and lots of other stuff to explore.
The new site is Flash-based (you'll need a fairly recent Flash viewer to navigate it) and media-content-rich. So, browse to the new site and dig in:
The new site Jade Warrior web site is in addition to this Friends of Jade Warrior site you're visiting, rather than a replacement. This site will continue to exist in its present form, and will continue to be updated with news and with whatever other historical information comes to light over the days to come.
The official site, being run directly by the band, will be a richer and more current source of the latest up-to-date information, and I suggest you to visit it frequently!
I'd like to encourage all interested fans to sign up for the mailing list which is accessible via the "Contacts" link on the new site. This will enable you to receive some "freebies", including podcasts by band members in which they'll describe some of their thoughts about past, present, and future Jade Warrior recordings.
27 March 2007 - Ashley Franklin has written up a nice article on Jade Warrior, to be printed in his column in the Classic Rock Society magazine.
Ashley has kindly given me permission to post the column here, and you can get to it via this link.
27 March 2007 - Jade Warrior's third album Last Autumn's Dream is due to be reissued shortly by Repertoire, completing this label's cycle of reissues of the band's first three albums. Like the earlier two reissues, Last Autumn's Dream is being digitally remastered by Eroc and will be released in a mini-LP Digipak format.
I've had the pleasure of hearing a pre-release copy of this remastered edition, courtesy of Eroc himself. Folks, I think it's really, really good! Eroc has applied some very sophisticated digital remastering tools (and a lot of smarts and good sense as well) to recover the original detail and ambience within this album's music. The newly-remastered album simply sounds clearer, cleaner, and more precise than before. I eagerly await my official copy (Gary at The Artist Shop is taking pre-orders now).
Further information about this project can be found at this link.
The premiere presentation of this project will take place at the end of this month (29 October) in Nottingham.
Further information about Cipher, and about the Elemental Forces project, can be found at the official Cipher home page.
24 September 2006 - Eclectic Discs has started shipping copies of its newly-remastered versions of Jade Warrior's four albums originally released on Island Records. Promotional copies are in the hands of reviewers and radio stations, and should be available through retailers (and, in the United States, importers) soon.
This is a fully authorized release, legitimately licensed from Universal.
The new versions of these albums include all of the artwork and commentary from the original LPs, fully restored. They also include new liner notes with a history of the band and a commentary on each individual album (written by yours truly), and some extra artwork from the archives. It's a European/UK release, with copies available in the U.S. via importers.
I've had the chance to play all four CDs. My initial impression of the sound quality is very favorable - Eclectic seems to have done an excellent job of remastering these albums for CD.
To sum it up: I think that these four albums have finally been released on CD as they truly deserved. It's been a long time coming, friends, but it has finally happened!
Work continues on the new album. Jon Field, Glyn Havard, and Dave Sturt are working with guitarist Tim Stone on new material, more guitar-oriented than in the group's past few albums. Keep your eye on the page that Dave Sturt has set up - he'll be putting clips from some of the new tracks up on the page in the weeks to come.
Jade Warrior's first three albums have been remastered and reissued by a Japanese label, Air Mail Archive. These new editions are in the popular Japanese "mini-LP" format, accurately reproducing all of the original cover artwork and liner notes. The discs themselves are in plastic sleeves, with new liner notes (in Japanese) and with a stamped-paper sleeve printed with a reproduction of the original Vertigo label's "swirl" logo. There's one bonus track on Jade Warrior (an alternate mix of The Traveller, and one on Released (the 45 RPM edit of Barazinbar). No bonus track on Last Autumn's Dream, alas.
The sound quality is excellent (to my ears, at least). As seems to be usual for Japanese remasters, they're expensive but deliver a value consonant with their price - they may prove to be the definitive CD versions of the first three albums. They're available through The Artist Shop and no doubt through other online sources as well. I've seen them described as "limited editions" so if you want 'em I'd suggest grabbing copies quickly.
Repertoire Records (Germany) has also issued a remastered edition of Released in mini-LP Digipak format, with the same bonus track as is present in the Air Mail Archive edition. I'm told that they may be planning to reissue Last Autumn's Dream in this format in the months to come. Information about the Repertoire releases has been hard to come by - the company doesn't seem to have had a functional web site for several years - but I'm told that this may change in the not-too-distant future.
I've updated the online discography to reflect these reissues.
I have no information yet as to the album's theme, length, expected release date, label, cover artwork, label, distribution, or anything like that. I'll pass it along when I do.
If you have any access to old Jade Warrior press clippings, album release advertisements, promotional material, etc., please contact me!. Dave Sturt has requested scanned copy of any such material, for possible inclusion in an album booklet or for posting on the Web when the album is eventually released.
In 2003, an unhealthy trend continues - Jade Warrior's music continues to be the subject of commercial piracy, as happened during 2002.
The band requests that its fans not purchase this double-LP set, until such time as the issuing label acquires the legal right to issue it.
It's entirely possible that Won-Sin is not Korean (as its name would appear to imply), but is based in Europe. The CDs are labeled as being made in Germany, most distribution of Won-Sin discs is reported to be in Europe, and another Korean prog enthusiast reports that the Korean text on the CDs reads like a very poor translation from another language rather than anything written by a native speaker of Korean.
Several years ago, Jade Warrior's Eclipse album was pirated. The pirated copies can be identified by the text "Ars Nova selection 500 copies" printed on the artwork.
Ars Nova is, apparently, an illegal operation located in Russia. They've been releasing pirated/counterfeit copies of albums by a number of bands, including Can and (now) Jade Warrior. The copies occasionally show up on eBay, and have a reputation for poor sound quality and lousy cover-artwork scans. This is not the band named Ars Nova, or the music-software company Ars Nova - it's a different outfit entirely.
There's a new page on this site which summarizes the background and history of .
I've made a significant set of revisions to the History of Jade Warrior writeup in the archives. I've added additional information about the bands in which the group's members appeared prior to the formation of Jade Warrior, added information about Assagai, clarified (or perhaps un-clarified) the origin of the band's name, and added links to a photograph from Jade Warrior's one United States Tour and also to photographs from Glastonbury where Tony Duhig had his Jade Warrior Studios during the 1980s.
I've received some interesting bits of artwork from Jon Field, and have put scans of them on-line for your viewing pleasure. The first is a Way of the Sun poster, issued by Island Records when this album was first released on LP back in 1978. The original poster is roughly 13" by 24" in size. It seems to be quite a rarity - Jon tells me that he never saw any copy of it other than the one he gave me, and I'd never heard of it until he mentioned it. The link above goes to a copy of a moderate size and resolution, for viewing in a browser. If you want a higher-resolution version for printing, tell your browser to save this file to disk and you'll get a high-quality JPEG made from the 150 pixel/inch scan of the poster... the JPEG is about 6 megabytes in size. (Jon has given his permission for fans of the band to print a copy for their own pleasure).
Another is a sketch done on parchment in color pencil by Jon Field. It looks to me as if it's an early "ideas and themes" draft of what eventually became the cover of the Breathing the Storm album.
An interview with Tony Duhig recorded in 1984 and originally published by the Inkeys magazine-on-cassette, is now available on-line.
The interview with Glyn Havard recorded in April 2000 is now online, as is Glyn's autobiography.
The Hi-Note / Background reissues of the first three Jade Warrior albums are shipping - and to me they sound mighty good!
Lots of news about upcoming reissues of Jade Warrior albums, and some dismaying news about corrosion of Jade Warrior CDs manufactured a decade ago!
I've added the transcript of an interview with David Duhig, recorded in November of 1999.
In addition to this Web site, fans of Jade Warrior have access to an email discussion list. New and updated information about Jade Warrior music, albums, and related topics usually appears on the mailing list some time before this Web site is updated - so, if you want to stay current on news about Jade Warrior, join the list!
Click on this link for information about the mailing list, and instructions on how to subscribe.
About the music of Jade Warrior
The history of Jade Warrior
A Jade Warrior discography
Samples of the music of Jade Warrior
Interviews with members of Jade Warrior
The Jade Warrior information archive
Where to find Jade Warrior's albums
News from/about Jade Warrior as of 15 August 2002
Keyword search engine
The music of Jade Warrior is somewhat difficult to describe. It doesn't fit conveniently into any one of the categories into which people tend to pigeonhole music... or into any two or three categories, really. That's one of the little difficulties of being a Jade Warrior fan - it's hard to explain to people just why the group's music is so fascinating. That's probably also part of why they've gotten so little airplay or recognition - they just don't "fit" in a music industry dedicated to turning out more and more "product".
Among the influences you'll hear in various aspects of Jade Warrior's music are rock, jazz, Latin, Japanese, African, ambient, and the kitchen sink (almost literally - there are spoons and an empty whiskey bottle in there somewhere!) It's often melodically simple, and rhythmically complex... or vice versa. It tends to have a characteristic sound... which changes to something completely different at the drop of a hat. It's subtle, quiet, lurking around back where you can just barely hear it... and then it leaps forward and stomps flaming circles around you. It's layered, complex, involved, inter-woven... and as pellucidly clear as a calm ocean lagoon. It originated in the heads of two guys who wanted to express their own private sense of music, not thinking that anyone else would ever be interested in it... and it's fascinated fans of the group for decades.
Sounds intriguing? I hope so. They've been making music like this for over 20 years. They've broken a lot of ground, and lead the way for much of the "world music" that's become popular in the past few years. They've made albums which are critically acknowledged as being years ahead of their time. Almost nobody has ever heard of them.
You're now among the people who have heard of them. Check 'em out - they're well worth your time.
Words don't ever do justice to music, I think, and no written description of Jade Warrior's music can really convey what it sounds like.
Jade Warrior's music doesn't get much airplay, and you aren't likely to get your first taste through the airwaves. You can, however, get that taste by going to a page with some excerpts from several of Jade Warrior's albums. Go ahead, give 'em a listen!
|Jon Field||An autobiography written by Jon Field in 1994, shortly after the release of Distant Echoes. Many thanks to Aymeric Leroy for providing this, and the JPEG image of the band!|
|Jon Field and Tony Duhig on BBC "Bedrock"||MP3 (2:13:56)||
A special Jade Warrior special programme on Dick Godfrey's "Bedrock" show, broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle from 7.15 - 11.00pm on Monday 14th February 1977, with Tony Duhig and Jon Field discussing the evolution of Jade Warrior through the Vertigo era and up through the release of "Kites" on Island Records.
"For reasons unknown a small portion near the start of the interview is missing."
The original broadcast contained complete versions of the "Floating World" and "Kites" albums, and a large chunk of "Waves". I have edited these out of this version for several reasons - space, streaming bandwidth, and to respect the copyright held by Island Records and its licensee Esoteric/Cherry Red.
|MP3 (22:28)||A Jade Warrior special program on "Totally Wired" from 1986|
|Jon Field||An interview with Jon Field, based on questions submitted by members of the Jade Warrior mailing list, recorded in June of 1996.|
|Jon Field and David Sturt||A transcript of a Jade Warrior special programme on Ashley Franklin's SoundScapes radio show, broadcast in December '95 on BBC Radio Derby. Jon Field and David Sturt are guests on the program, and discuss the past, present, and future of Jade Warrior and its music.|
|Tony Duhig||MP3 (20:32)||An interview with Tony Duhig, originally recorded in 1984 and published in issue #8 of the Inkeys magazine-on-cassette-tape. My thanks to Jeanette and Dennis Emsley, and Andy Garibaldi for permission to reprint, and to Loren Nerell for sending me the tape!|
|Tony Duhig||MP3 (35:46)||In conversation with Christian Webb 16th April 1983. Tony Duhig improvising to 'May Queen' as well as memories of 'Sun Ra' and his ideas for 'the epic' (Horizen). Also contains an unreleased sketch.|
|Glyn Havard||An autobiography written by Jade Warrior's bassist/vocalist Glyn Havard in the spring of 2000.|
|Glyn Havard||An interview with Glyn Havard, recorded in April of 2000.|
|David Duhig||An interview with guitarist David Duhig, recorded in November of 1999.|
This page is in an early state of development - there isn't much in the way of whizzy multimedia stuff available here yet. Perhaps, some day, there will be.
What you can get to, for the moment, includes the following:
There are a number of Jade Warrior albums currently in print on compact disc. Probably the best starting place for a new listener is Elements: The Island Anthology, a double CD which collects all four of Jade Warrior's mid-1970s Island Records releases. Elements was released by Polygram in 1995, and was deleted from their catalog during the first quarter of 1998, and was reissued by Island UK in February 2001. Unfortunately, the stock of both the US and UK pressings appears to have been exhausted - you'll have to look for a used copy of this collection.
Jade Warrior's first three albums Jade Warrior, Released, and Last Autumn's Dream have recently been reissued on CD on the Background label. These editions have been completely remastered from the original U.S. master tapes, and are sonically very much superior to the out-of-print versions done by LINE in 1988. These new versions are now available through reputable progressive-music dealers/importers.
Jade Warrior's two most recent releases, Breathing the Storm (1992) and Distant Echoes (1993), are no longer available from their original label Red Hot Records. The band's contract with Red Hot ran out last year, and the rights for these two albums were acquired by the Voiceprint group of companies. Both of these albums have just been reissued by Voiceprint, with updated artwork and apparently with some amount of remastering. The new issues are in the process of being shipped to distributors at this time, and should be available through mail-order sources very soon. These are both worthy discs, and quite a number of people feel that Distant Echoes is perhaps Jade Warrior's best album ever.
If you can't find these albums locally, I can suggest the following companies as possible sources. I've purchased CDs from many of these companies directly myself, with good results (and have no business relationship with any of them except as a satisfied customer). Prices and availability may vary - shop around.
Compact Disc Services 40/42 Brantwood Avenue Dundee DD3 6EW England Phone +44 1382 776595 FAX +44 1382 736702 http://www.cd-services.com/ email@example.comThese folks were the only source for the original issue of the At Peace album, during the years when everybody else on the planet had run out of stock.
I've recently been in communication with Andy Garibaldi, the guy who runs Compact Disc Services. He's a fan of Jade Warrior, and tells me he wants to continue to carry every Jade Warrior album in print (at good prices, too!). Jade Warrior fans in the U.K. might want to drop Compact Disc Services a line to check on price and availability of whichever album you're looking for. It sounds as if they have a lot of rare and obscure albums in their warehouse - if you're looking for something hard to find, ask 'em about it.
Newsflashes posted at the top of the page: Island Masters CDs reissued by a Korean label; Dave Sturt's band Cipher releases its second album; Glyn Havard and David Duhig join forces in a new band whose first album will be issued by Hi-Note Music later this year.
Wow. Talk about an intense couple of weeks. Within the past ten days or so, four different Jade Warrior albums have come back into print. If you've read down this far you've seen the news, and what details I have at this point.
I hope to update this page with additional information, and updated copies of the artwork for the albums as soon as I receive it from the various labels.
According to several independent sources, Island UK is going to be re-issuing the Elements anthology in early February. There is not yet any information concerning this on Island's own Web site, but the album is listed as scheduled for release on 9 February 2001 on the web site of Phantom (a U.S. wholesaler) and at Amazon UK.
Gary Davis at The Artist Shop is now listing the album on his Jade Warrior page, and is taking pre-orders.
This two-CD set was originally issued by Island/Polygram in the U.S. in 1995, and went out of print in early 1998.
I received some very interesting news today, in a phone conversation with Andy Garibaldi of Compact Disc Services.
I reported a few months ago that a project was underway by the Voiceprint label to issue Jade Warrior's long-out-of-print album Horizen on CD for the first time. It now appears that there are actually two distinct, unrelated projects underway to release this album on CD, and that one of the releases may occur within a couple of weeks!
This newly-announced release is by Earthsounds, the label which originally released the At Peace CD back in 1989. Earthsounds is a sister label to Pulse, the label which released Horizen on LP in 1984 - both labels are owned and operated by Dave Lawrence.
Here are the preliminary details I was given on the Earthsounds release:
I've posted a more complete review of the three Hi-Note CD issues here.
I received copies of the Hi-Note / Background reissues of the first three Jade Warrior albums last night. They sound very, very good to me! I'll post a more complete review shortly.
There's lots of news to report about Jade Warrior reissues.
The most recent news is that the Hi-Note reissue project (reported in the 20 April and 30 May news) is close to completion. Graham Brook at Hi-Note Music wrote today, to say that Jade Warrior, Released, and Last Autumn's Dream should be ready by the end of August. The albums have been completely re-mastered by David Burrows, from the original (U.S.-edition) master tapes.
The booklet artwork has been completed - it's based on the sleeves from the original U.K. release of the albums, and accurately reproduces the format used in the LP issues (except for size, of course).
The Released CD comes with one bonus track. The original master tapes contained two different versions of "Minnamoto's Dream" - one with an abrupt ending and the other with a gradual fade-out - and the CD will include both versions.
There's some additional news on the reissue front. The original licensing for Jade Warrior's two most recent albums Breathing The Storm and Distant Echoes has run out, and the band has chosen not to renew the license with Red Hot Records. Instead, the Voiceprint label will be taking over production and distribution of these two albums.
Voiceprint is also planning to reissue two long-out-of-print Jade Warrior albums: At Peace (originally released on the Earthsounds label) and Horizen (released on LP by Pulse, and never before available on CD)! The schedule and other details for these reissues have not yet been finalized - I'll post information here when it's available.
I've also received a report that Universal Island is considering reissuing the Elements anthology. It might actually be the case that every Jade Warrior album ever produced would be in print at the same time!
There's some unfortunate news to report as well, I'm afraid. It turns out that several Jade Warrior CDs were manufactured by Philips Dupont (PDO), and are subject to the notorious "bronzing" problem. This is a manufacturing defect (bad lacquer) which causes affected CDs to develop a brownish discoloration over time - it's an irreversable corrosion of the aluminum reflection layer, which can cause the CDs to become noisy, difficult to track, and eventually unplayable.
The Island Masters editions of Floating World and Way of the Sun are at risk, as may be the two Red Hot Records releases Breathing the Storm and Distant Echoes. Check the inner rim of the CD - if it says "Manufactured in UK by PDO", it may be at risk of corrosion. Not all copies of these albums were manufactured by PDO - copies manufactured outside of the UK are probably not affected. As far as anyone knows, the Elements anthology is not affected by this problem.
Unfortunately, PDO has ceased making replacements for the defective discs. If you have the facilities (a good CD-R burner) you might want to make a CD-R copy of your album, as insurance against their eventual deterioration.
I received a phone call today from Graham Brook at Hi-Note Music. He tells me that the project to reissue the first three Jade Warrior albums is proceeding well. The label has the master tapes to the albums, will begin the remastering process shortly, and hopes to have the albums completed in not much more than a month from now!
These CDs will not be knock-offs of the rather poor-quality CDs that LINE issued back in the 1980s - they're a completely new project, and should also have much-improved sound quality thanks to the availability of the original master tapes.
There have been rumors of a possible reissue of these albums for the last four or five years, and I know of at least two other reissue labels which had expressed some degree of interest in doing so... but those projects fell through for one reason or another. Now, finally, it really sounds as if Hi-Note Music is planning to do the job right and to give these albums the sort of CD release they truly deserve.
I'm seriously jazzed about this, folks.
I've also heard rumors from a couple of sources that Horizen might actually be coming out on CD this summer. No confirmation on this yet, though.
There's some really excellent news to report this week! Jade Warrior's first three albums are going to be re-issued on CD, by a company which seems to want to do it right this time!
When I spoke to Jon Field a couple of weeks ago, he told me that he was in negotiation for a deal with Hi-Note Music, the company which issued Fifth Element back in 1998. He asked me to hold off on the CD-R release project I'd discussed with him in February (discussed below) in order to avoid any possible interference with the official re-release, and of course I agreed.
I just received word from Hi-Note that they have confirmed a deal with Jon to issue these albums on CD. The reissue will very probably be based on the master tapes which the band reclaimed from Vertigo a couple of years ago - as I understand it, these are the same masters used to issue the original U.S. pressings of the LPs.
The schedule for the reissue has not yet been set - a good deal of planning and work needs to be done. With luck, we may see the albums arrive by sometime this summer (that's just a guess on my part).
Anybody have a shotgun handy? I may finally get a chance to fulfill a long-standing wish. I want to take the LINE CDs of these albums out into a field somewhere, load them into a skeet-launcher, fire them into the air, and blow them into little fragments of plastic.
It's been rather a while since I sat down to update this news area. Sorry about that - I've been busy, and there hasn't actually been all that much news to report.
The availability of Jade Warrior albums on CD remains pretty much what it has been for the past year or so. The two albums on the Red Hot label, Breathing the Storm and Distant Echoes, are in print and available from the usual sources. I'm told that Eclipse is temporarily out of print but that Acme is keen to do another pressing soon. Fifth Element in in print as far as I know. At Peace is reportedly still available through Compact Disc Services although I have no idea how they manage to keep finding it!
The Elements anthology is out of print, and the normal distribution channels have long since run out of copies. A number of copies of Elements have been auctioned on the EBay web site over the past few months - used copies seem to be selling for around $25 and mint/unopened copies for around $50.
When I spoke with Jon Field recently, he told me he has a number of copies of Elements left over from the batch that Polygram gave him when the anthology was released in 1995. He's offered me his excess supply, and I've accepted with pleasure. If and when I do get my hands on these, I plan to sell them via the Web site and mailing list, with the proceeds going back to Jon.
The first three Jade Warrior albums are currently not available. The LPs have, of course, been out of print for a couple of decades and are collectors' items. The CDs released by LINE in the 1980s are likewise out of print, and many people have reported dissatisfaction with the sound quality on these CDs. As reported below, we learned some time ago that two of the three CDs were manufactured with their channels out of phase, and the frequency balance seems to be rather "off" as well.
I determined a few weeks ago that this isn't the only problem. The CD of the first album Jade Warrior was definitely not made from the same stereo mixdown as the LP! The stereo positioning of the instruments is different, the left and right channels are reversed (I think), and there's a guitar part missing from the mix in the first song! It seems likely that this CD was recorded from a preliminary or rough-mix tape rather than from the final mixdown.
There has been some discussion about the possibility of having these albums reissued, based on the original master tapes (which the band has recovered, fortunately). However, it's far from certain that this will take place. Several labels have expressed interest, but so far nobody has actually followed through.
As an interim solution, I've asked Jon Field for permission to issue copies of these three albums on CD-R - and he's given me permission to do so. I've also received the go-ahead from Camilla Duhig (Tony Duhig's widow). The CD-R versions will be mastered from my own copies of the LPs (cleaned up and declicked as best as I can manage).
I haven't made a final decision about the format. I'm favoring the idea of releasing the three albums in a single two-CD package, in order to minimize the cost and effort. Most of the profits from the sale of the CD-R set will go back to the band members.
I'll post details here when I get set up to start taking orders.
The big news for this week is that the Eclipse album has been released on CD, and Fifth Element will reportedly be available very soon.
Eclipse was recorded in 1972 or 1973, by the original Jade Warrior lineup (Jon Field, Tony Duhig, and Glyn Havard). It was planned to be their fourth album on the Vertigo label (following Last Autumn's Dream). Vertigo cancelled the band's contract before the album was released.
Eclipse has been released on the Acme Records label - a scan of the cover art is now available in the archive. A limited vinyl pressing (500 copies, 180-gram DMM vinyl) arrived in early July. A CD release hit the distribution channel this week. The LP and CD releases have identical content:
This set of tracks includes the three previously available only on the Reflections collection, two available only on the U.S. and European versions of the Vertigo Records Suck It And See samplers, and two never before released. Interestingly, the track listed on Eclipse as "Maenga Sketch" was named "Mwenga Sketch" on the Suck It And See sampler - I'm not sure which name was intended to be the canonical one.
An additional Jade Warrior release is underway! The album Fifth Element was recorded for a further Vertigo album after Eclipse was finished. It's been sitting "in the can" ever since - as far as I know, none of the tracks on Fifth Element have ever been released in any form. I don't have the track list yet, or any news about retail sources or other distribution channels, but expect to have the information shortly. The artwork is a landscape, with strange beasts wandering around on it.
We'd expected Fifth Element to be released by Acme Records, as a follow-up to Eclipse. This weeks's surprise is that it isn't happening that way. Acme has licensed the album to Hi-Note Music, a small company whose four labels specializing in progressive rock, psych, folk/folk-rock, and innovative new groups. Interestingly, Hi-Note's psych label Aftermath is the label which released the CD version of the self-titled album by July - an early band headed up by Tom Newman which included both Jon Field and Tony Duhig.
Concerning Elements - Polygram has deleted it from their catalog, allowing it to go out of print. I'm not sure just when this happened, but it seems to have been sometime in March 1998. It appears that whatever stock remained in the hands of distributors and retailers has either been sold, or returned and scrapped... as far as I can tell this album is no longer available for purchase. I'm really sorry to see this happen, but it doesn't surprise me all that much - Elements das been in print and available since the latter half of 1995, and I doubt it was a terribly big seller for Polygram.
Vertigo Records has released a 2-CD sampler Still Dizzy After All These Years which includes one Jade Warrior track, "Mwenga Sketch". There is apparently some controversy about this... it seems that Vertigo's license on the old Jade Warrior material expired some years ago, and the label did not get the band's permission to re-issue this track on the sampler. Tsk, tsk...
Speaking of Vertigo... thanks to the sharp ears of an astute Jade Warrior fan (hi, Kok!) we now understand one of the reasons that the LINE CD reissues of the Vertigo-era Jade Warrior albums don't sound very good. Would you believe, that two of these three CDs were released with the left and right channels out of phase?! Yup, it's true... the left and right channel signals are 180 degrees out of phase with one another on the LINE CD versions of Jade Warrior and Last Autumn's Dream (but not, oddly enough, on Released). This production bug causes the stereo image to be blurry and indistinct, causes much of the low bass to cancel out, and in general is a major quality-control error.
We don't know yet just how this polarity-inversion bug happened... whether it was present on the tapes that LINE was given to work with (these were apparently backup copies from Tony Duhig's studio) or whether some piece of equipment in the LINE studio inverted the polarity of one channel. In any case, it's a glitch which really should have been caught and corrected before the CDs were pressed.
If you have copies of these two CDs, you may want to try listening to them after switching the + and - connections on one of your two loudspeakers (but not both). This will correct for the phasing problem and will allow you to hear the music as it was originally recorded in the studio.
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