July 25, 2013

Zoot Money - Soma (1968)

Born George Bruno Money on July 17, 1942, this vocalist and keyboardist comes from Bournemouth, England where his earliest musical beginnings saw him playing the French horn and singing in a choir. During the mid-1950s, Money was exposed to Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, took up the keyboard, and never looked back. In the early ‘60s, Money switched from the keyboard to the Hammond organ and started the Big Roll Band in 1961. Interestingly, one of Money’s bandmates in the Big Roll Band was Andy Summers, a future member of the ‘80s band The Police. Around this time, Money began calling himself “Zoot,” after the jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims, who had left an impression on Money after he saw him in concert. In 1967, the Big Roll Band had changed their name to Dantalian’s Chariot and began to get gigs opening for bands such as Pink Floyd, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and the Soft Machine. Unfortunately by April 1968, the band split up and Money went forward with solo work, television appearances, and film acting.

After the dissolution of Dantalian’s Chariot, Money released a solo album, Transition, in 1968. The album attempted to transition Money from his usual jazz and R&B sound into a more modern psychedelic sound. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out very well. Not having been familiar with chart success anyhow, this album didn’t make much of an impression. The only notable track, I believe, was the song heard below. Written by future Police-member Andy Summers, this instrumental track was inspired by the South Asian Indian themes popular in the ‘60s by featuring a sitar and raga motif.

album art

Zoot Money - Soma (1968)

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