Cash Box magazine, August 16, 1969

Article reformatted by Orpheus Reborn


MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK Thursday night, July 31, as part of their summer festival of jazz concerts, the Museum of Modern Art presented Orpheus. The setting, as for all museum summer concerts, was the lovely sculpture garden where art meets nature (and man) with harmony and concord. And there was Orpheus, fresh, charming, original, with music light and airy, sweet, gentle, tender. Orpheus remains one of the few simply pleasant groups in the business. Certainly, their music isn't going to overwhelm anyone; they aren't going to tear down the museum brick by brick, Picasso by Picasso, but on the other hand, they are not sleepy, or sickly, or sugary, as are so many of the softer groups working today. Orpheus has found a way to touch without tearing.

The show was a very lively set in which the group quickly won its audience's hearts (and tapping feet). Moving through a series of their hit singles, Brown Arms In Houston, and the current Can't Find The Time To Tell You, Orpheus filled the air with a sound rich and tuneful, laughing with melody and rhythm. One of their original tunes (most of their material is written by lead guitarist Bruce Arnold and bassist Eric Gulliksen), is a sprightly bouncer called Congress Alley, which really worked for the group. Also highly successful for them was a brilliant rendition of the Beatles' classic Good Day Sunshine and a bright, witty version of an old Jim Kweskin jug band tune called Bayou Bay (sic., the song was actually called Borneo). The real standout, however, was a 15-minute improvisation in which the four man team showcased an incredible drum solo by percussionist Harry Sandler.

Orpheus are a marvelous group to watch, because they have found a way to work hard and still have fun. The benefits of their work and of their enjoyment of it are for the audience.