Jade was an English folk-rock trio that released the album Fly On Strangewings on DJM in 1970.
Members: Marian Segal [Marianne Segal] (vocals, guitar, percussion), Dave Waite (guitar, bass, vocals), Rod Edwards (keyboards, bass, vocals)
Jade formed in Westminster in 1970 when singing guitarists Marianne Segal and Dave Waite, a folk duo since the mid-1960s, teamed with bassist and keyboardist Rod Edwards, one-half of the pop duo Edwards Hand (formerly Picadilly Line).
They signed with Dick James Music (DJM), a UK independent label with a small but diverse roster of acts: Elton John, Cilla Black, Deep Feeling, Phillip Goodhand-Tait.
Fly On Strangewings
Jade released Fly On Strangewings in August 1970 on DJM. It contains 12 Segal originals, including “Five of Us,” “Reflection On a Harbour Wall,” “Mrs Adams,” and “Raven.”
Fly On Strangewings was recorded at Trident Studios during March 1970 with producer Jon Miller, who also produced the concurrent Edwards Hand release Stranded. The album was engineered by Robin Geoffrey Cable, a technical hand on recent recordings by the Idle Race, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Magna Carta (Seasons), and Van der Graaf Generator (The Aerosol Grey Machine).
Musician Pete Sears (Les Fleur de Lys, Steamhammer) played bass on all tracks. His work on the album immediately followed his role on Gasoline Alley, the breakthrough second solo album by Rod Stewart.
Drum duties were split between Pentangle‘s Terry Cox (four tracks) and Jeff Beck/Trinity percussionist Mick Waller, who drummed on five tracks, played timpani on “Alan’s Song,” and split honors with sessionist Clem Cattini (Rumplestiltskin, Hungry Wolf) on the album’s title song.
Arranger Phil Dennys (Hardin & York, Colin Blunstone) conducted strings on “Mayfly,” “Alan’s Song,” “Fly Me to the North,” and the title track. Peter York adds percussion on “Bad Magic” and “Clippership.”
Fly On Strangewings also features Mogul Thrash guitarist James Litherland on “Amongst Anenomies,” “Five of Us,” and “Reflections On a Harbour Wall.” With Thrash bandmate Micheal Rosen as a fellow guest on acoustic guitar, Litherland played lead electric on “Bad Magic” and “Away From the Family.”
The UK DJM release of Fly On Strangewings shows the trio standing still on an uphill dirt path to a forest. Segal, dressed in modest hippie attire, is flanked by a casual Waite (left) and a Regency styled Edwards (right). The inner-spread has the lyrics printed in white over a green-tinted collage of group pics. Photographer Barrie Wentzell captured these images; he also notched photographic credits on 1970 titles by Trapeze, Jody Grind (Far Canal), Elton John (Tumbleweed Connection), and Yes (the Howe-lineup shot on the US version of Time and a Word).
In the US, the trio was billed as Marianne Segal and Silver Jade; possibly to avoid confusion with the Cincinnati psych-pop band Jade, which released the album Faces of Jade on General American Records in 1970.
“Alan’s Song” was issued as a single on DJM (UK, US), Supreme Records (Belgium), and Hansa International (Germany), backed with “Amongst Anenomies.”
Jade disbanded in late 1971 after two further rounds of demos, including 1971 covers of Joni Mitchell (“Big Yellow Taxi”) and James Taylor (“Carolina In My Mind”), recorded with then-Mogul Thrash bassist John Wetton.
Edwards played on albums by the American singer-songwriters Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill. In 1972, he joined rustic rockers Ashman Reynolds, led by guitarist Bob Weston (Ashkan, Fleetwood Mac). Edwards and Roger Hand later partnered with Miller in Triumvirate Production, which handled late ’70s albums by Gordon Giltrap and Christian folksters Nutshell and the Alwyn Wall Band.
Segal and Waite are among a host of names on Songfall, the 1972 third solo album by Phillip Goodhand-Tait. In 1980, Segal resurfaced as Marianne Chase with the dance single “Love Amnesia” (b/w “Ghosts of Love“) on Double D Records. Both sides were written and produced by Eugene Moule, who also worked with Rikki Sylvan, Jon Anderson (Animation, 1982), and Zed.
In 1990, Segal issued the cassette album November with backing by journeyman folk drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Dr. Strangely Strange, Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, Spirogyra, Shelagh McDonald). She returned in 2007 with The Gathering, a collaboration with 21st century acid-folksters Circulus, having guested on their 2005 disc The Lick On the Tip of an Envelope Yet to Be Sent.
Reissues, Archival Discs
Fly On Strangewings made its first CD appearance in 2003 on the UK folk-psych specialty label Lightning Tree, which also reissued albums by Edwards Hand, Andwellas Dream, and Mighty Baby. This reissue includes the Wetton demos as bonus tracks.
To honor the rediscovery of their music, Jade regrouped for a one-off performance in November 2004. That same year, Lightning Tree released Paper Flowers, a 22-track CD of Segal/Waite demos (pre-Jade) recorded circa 1967–69.
In 2017, UK archivists Cherry Tree compiled Fly On Strangewings, Paper Flowers, and the 1970/71 demos onto a three-CD set with Kiss of the Buddha, comprised of 19 unreleased demo and master solo recordings by Segal, 15 of them dating from the ’70s.
- Fly On Strangewings (1970)
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