Welcome Aliens: Party Music for the First Authenticated Landing
Inner City IC 1070 (1980)
Recorded April 1979 in Eugene, Oregon
produced by Campbell Newton, David Leslie, Mark Isham, and Pat O’Hearn
This starts off with a mildly unique take on jazz fusion, but gets more inventive and enjoyable as the side progresses and Cam’s guitar playing takes the spotlight.
Side two has a somewhat similar progression, starts off with relatively straightforward jazz before moving into the folk/jazz sound we’d heard on the second half of the first side. Cam sounds like he was influenced by many of the masters of the guitar who had blended jazz and folk in the late 1960s and 1970s, Jansch, Abercrombie, Coryell, Kottke, Fahey, and Towner (many who like Newton had connections with the Pacific Northwest), as well as some who had passed the baton on to those folks, but Newton offers a style with its own feel. He seems primarily inspired by the emotions inside and the world around him, from responses to current events such as the Jonestown genocide and especially from the elemental forces of nature.
While some might enjoy the entire set, most will likely enjoy the highlights. At its best this is hypnotic and lyrical, both enjoyable and interesting. (Just don’t let the title mislead you into thinking this is space-age party music.)