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1970 was a time for heady experimentation in popular music, but very few records—and even fewer on major labels—come close to matching the stylistic ground covered by William S. Fischer’s album Circles. African-American composer/arranger/keyboardist/saxophonist Fischer grew up woodshedding with the likes of Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Muddy Waters, and Percy Mayfield…and then took a sudden left turn by studying electronic music in Vienna during the mid-‘60s. There, he met Joe Zawinul, and ended up penning five of the six tunes on Zawinul’s groundbreaking 1968 album The Rise and Fall of the Third Stream. Fischer went on to arrange for Herbie Mann, who signed him to his Embryo imprint for Atlantic Records; Circles was Fischer’s one and only release for the label. And he didn’t waste the opportunity; an utterly mindblowing mix of Sly Stone funk, heavy Hendrix-y metal, Southern soul, jazz fusion, and Stockhausen-esque explorations on the Moog synthesizer, Circles enlisted the same band (bassist Ron Carter, guitarists Eric Weissberg and Hugh McCracken) that Fischer had worked with while acting as Musical Director on Eugene McDaniels’ underground classic Outlaw, complemented by drummer Billy Cobham and a five-piece cello section. With a line-up like that, it’s little wonder that the artistic reach of Circles is breathtaking, but it somehow manages to cohere according to its own internal, crazy logic; it remains one of the most adventuresome and collectible releases of its day. For this, its first-ever vinyl reissue, we’ve pressed 2000 copies in “black ice” vinyl, preserved the original “circle” cut-out stencil cover, and added liner notes by Peter Relic that feature quotes from Fischer himself. For the intrepid listener!
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.