British progressive rock band Jody Grind issued two obscure albums combining hard rock, jazz, blues, and classical influences with lineups emphasizing Hammond organ, guitar, and drums. Prone to long instrumental riffing and rather ponderous, stern original material, they were similar to other very early organ-oriented U.K. progressive rock acts. But they did not possess the originality, or songwriting or vocal talent, to match well-known exponents of the style such as the various groups in which organists Keith Emerson, Vincent Crane, and Brian Auger played.The mainstay of Jody Grind was Hammond organist Tim Hinkley, who'd played in the Bo Street Runners (who for a time also included drummer Mick Fleetwood) and the Chicago Line Blues Band. Hinkley then formed a band to back British singer Elkie Brooks, but though they never ended up backing the vocalist, he and the two other musicians, guitarist Ivan Zagni and drummer Martin Harriman, decided to form a group of their own at the end of 1968. Initially called Nova, they changed their name to Jody Grind (after a song by jazzman Horace Silver). By the time they signed to Transatlantic in April 1969, Barry Wilson had replaced Harriman on drums. Renaissance bassist Louis Cennamo (previously in the Chicago Line Blues Band and later in Armageddon) was not a member, but helped out on their 1969 debut album, One Step On, which also included brass arrangements.Shortly after its release, the band's personnel overturned with the departure of Zagni and Wilson. Hinkley kept the band going with new guitarist/singer Bernie Holland and drummer Pete Gavin, opting for a somewhat more eclectic and hard rock-oriented (and less jazz-influenced) approach on 1970's Far Canal. Neither album made a commercial impact, however, and they broke up around the time Far Canal was released. Hinkley later played in Vinegar Joe (who also included Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer) before becoming a session musician.
1 We've Had It 2 Bath Sister 3 Jump Bed Jed 4 O Paradiso 5 Plastic Shit 6 Vegetable Oblivion 7 Red Worms & Lice 8 Ballad for Bridget 9 Paint It Black [Single Version] 10 Rock'n' Roll Man [Single Version]
Jody Grind's personnel changed substantially between the recording of their first album, 1969's One Step On, and their second and final one, 1970s Far Canal. Tim Hinkley was still on keyboards, but there was a new guitarist, Bernie Holland (who also did some singing), as well as a new drummer to complete the trio, Pete Gavin. As expected, the sound of the group, while still in the early British serious progressive rock bag, changed as well — sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse. The jazzy inclinations of the debut were mostly gone, save the atypically tasteful instrumental "Ballad for Bridget." On "We've Had It" and parts of "Vegetable Oblivion," there was a classical melodic influence that was more accessible than anything on the first album, as well as somewhat more in line with what groups such as Yes were doing, though Jody Grind were far less cheerful. "Bath Sister," however, could have been the work of an entirely different band, sounding as if they were trying to imitate Cream with an organ-guitar-drums lineup — and not doing so very well. And so it went for the rest of this very erratic record, where the quite accomplished chops of the players were totally overwhelmed by the mediocrity of the material, as well as their willingness to spin off into overlong instrumental sections with tedious riffs. They really didn't have enough in the way of songs to justify an LP, but that didn't keep them from filling up space with heavy, somber organ-guitar interplay. And while the presence of three consecutive tracks titled "Plastic Shit," "Vegetable Oblivion," and "Red Worms and Lice" might lead you to expect something Frank Zappaesque, in fact these in the main are pretty boring, insubstantial period progressive hard rock pieces, "Plastic Shit" descending into some shameless (deliberately ironic, one can only hope?) sub-Robert Plant vocalizing.