Jack Crossan ‎– Bach Behind Bars - Jack Crossan's Keyboard Kaleidoscope, Vol. 2 Recorded Live At Chino State Prison

ABC Westminster Gold ‎– WGS-8255
Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress, Stereo, Pink/Orange Circles Label

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Written-By – J. Lennon / P. McCartney*
A2 Sonata In C Major, K. 545, First Movement
Written-By – W. A. Mozart*
A3 Prelude In G Major, Op. 28, No. 22
Written-By – F. Chopin*
A4 Yesterday
Written-By – J. Lennon / P. McCartney*
A5 Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
Written-By – J. S. Bach*
A6 Raindrops Are Fallin' On My Head
Written-By – B. Bacharach*
A7 Espana Cani
Written-By – P. Marquina*
A8 Tango In D
Written-By – I. Albeniz*
A9 Ode To Joy (Ninth Symphony)
Written-By – Crossan*, L. Van Beethoven*
B1 Dream & Variation
Written-By – Howard Rhines
B2 I Got Rhythm
Written-By – G. Gershwin*
B3 Pavanne
Written-By – M. Gould*
B4 Sophisticated Lady
Written-By – E. Ellington*
B5 Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum
Written-By – C. Debussy*
B6 Speak Softly (Theme From "The Godfather")
Written-By – N. Rota*
B7 Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy (From "The Nutcracker")
Written-By – P. Tchaikovsky*
B8 The Man I Love
Written-By – G. Gershwin*
B9 If I Ruled The World
Written-By – C. Ornadel*
B10 Fugue In C Minor, WTC I
Written-By – J. S. Bach*

Companies, etc.



Mid/Late 1970's repress with 'abc Westminster Gold' pink & orange circles label.

First released in 1973.

Sleeve states the album was: Recorded LIVE at the California Institution for Men at Chino, California - and alternately as Chino State Prision.

Title on spine is: Jack Crossan - Keyboard Kaleidoscope, Vol. 2 - Live At Chino State Prison - Bach Behind Bars
Title on cover is: Jack Crossan's Keyboard Kaleidoscope, Vol. 2 Recorded Live At Chino State Prison Bach And Friends Behind Bars

Liner Notes:
The twang of Jack Crossan's harpsichord reverberated against the hard walls of the gym at Chino penitentiary, as the audience of entertainment-starved prisoners listened with amazement and the alert guards standing along the walls eyed their charges. Crossan was playing the Lennon-McCartney "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", undoubtedly the first man in creation to grace (or disgrace?) the ancient instrument with such fare. It was also probably the first time anybody had conceived of entertaining a group of modern felons with such unlikely relics of the baroque as a harpsichord and clavichord, combined with celeste and piano.

Crossan has been rapidly building a successful concert career based n his unorthodox approach to music. His programs consist of an outlandish musical melange concocted to shatter the neat traditions that have restricted classical music to overheated salons and drafty concert halls. The trip to Chino was meant to emphasize his break with tradition and to bring classical music, as well as pop music performed in a classical style to people who might want to hear it, wherever they may unfortunately be.

To preclude incidents at the minimum-security prison, outside entertainment has been severely restricted. Crossan and his small entourage were required to submit their names well in advance of the concert so that the authorities could make certain that none of them had criminal records or were otherwise unacceptable. The jailers' sensitivity to the mounting criticism of prison administration in the state was evident from the difficulty Crossan had in getting recording equipment through the gate, even though he had previously obtained permission from the warden to record.

The turnout for the concert was not as large as the number who had gone to hear rock and country =western musician. It was apparent from the chatter during the first numbers that many of those who did come were there just to hear some live music, or perhaps to have some direct association with the outside world. Crossan had to work hard to win the men over.

Appearing on the stage in a red velveteen dinner jacket, pink ruffled shirt, and large bow tie-an appropriately neo-baroque costume, which elicited appreciative whistles, Crossan opened the program with the Lennon-McCartney piece. It was received with polite applause, much to his relief, since the prisoners had been known to hoot down uncongenial performers. Still, it was hardly the response he had hoped for. The humor and paradox of the unholy rendition were obviously lost on the men. Gradually the audience warmed up, as Crossan passed from Mozart, appropriately rendered on the harpsichord, to Bartok's "Allegro Barbaro" on the piano. As one Chicano prisoner commented, Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" on the clavichord and celeste became nostalgic and romantic; the audience was wistfully silent.

Strange as it may seem, his arrangements were remarkably fetching. He created new sounds, new concepts, new interpretations. The harpsichord brought out the implicit classicality, the piano the lyricism of the Beatles' music. "Espana Cani" played on a clavichord, (with a microphone stuck in it's guts to amplify the otherwise inaudible sounds), the bullfight theme "Espana Cani" acquired a dramatic guitar-like quality, and an incredible arrangement made by him of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was extracted in turn fro m the clavichord, then harpsichord, finally piano, Crossan agily bouncing from one to the other and varying the theme on his way. The odd and unusual were indeed appropriate to the milieu.

By the time the evening was over, the prisoners were applauding enthusiastically and shouting requests for more classics, which Crossan could not grant because of the strict nine o' clock curfew. Afterwards a group crowded around him, asking questions about the music and the instruments and begging him to return with a promise that word of his program would be spread around the "yard" and the next time the gym would be literally packed. The guards indulgently let the men stay extra time to enjoy one night's respite in the monotony of years.

The success of the concert was perhaps due to the fact that the entertainment was live and that a breach had bee made in the cultural wall enclosing the prisoners as effectively as the high fences. Chino's associate recreation director, Henry Ornelas, remarked more than once about the scarcity of live entertainment in the prisons, especially since the imposition of rigid security restrictions. One prisoner spoke about how famished he and others like him were for classical music. Judging from the passing comments of some of the men, particularly a few who had been serving long terms, classical music represented the society from which they were excluded and indeed had been alienated at the time they committed their crimes. Crossan's concert assumed the importance of an expression of society's willingness to receive them. This, in fact, was how he intended it.

Additional Liner Notes:
DREAM AND VARIATION, a brand new composition, is by Howard Rhines of KFAC AM and FM, Los Angeles' highly regarded classical radio stations, where he serves as Program Host. (At The Music Stations, they don't refer to them as Disc Jockeys.)
"In composing this short instrumental piece," says Howard, "I have attempted to synthesize the popular song form with classical elements. The melodic theme is in A-B-A-C pattern, embellished with a single variation in the reprise."
"I'm pleased and excited about Jack Crossan's interpretation on celeste and clavichord. It is sensitive and thoughtful and typical of his remarkable insight into a composer's intent."
This is the first recorded performance of "DREAM AND VARIATION."