Cambridge-based experimental group Contemporary Music Unit was formed in the late 1960s by the guitarist, author and visual artist, Ed Lee, with former student Terry Mortimer on guitar and keyboards. Lee recruited bassist Adrian Kendon, who brought drummer Roger Odell, the latter a powerful foil to Lee’s experimental visions. When Kendon left, Lee assumed bass duties and Odell’s wife Lorraine became a primary vocalist (after the departure of early member Sally Knox), along with teaching comerade, James Gordon.
Following eventful live performances at Leeds University, the Edinburgh Fringe festival and London’s esteemed Purcell Room, debut album Open Spaces was conceived as a musical accompaniment to an art installation by Peter Hibbard (an assistant to sculptor Henry Moore).
Drawing from various European folk elements, as well as blues, psychedelia, jazz, reggae and traditional African and Indian forms, Open Spaces is a unique slice of British art rock from one of the most intriguing and shortlived acts of the movement. Contains an unusual reading of Pharoah Sanders' Japan, along with eight multifaceted originals, including forlorn opener Henry, about a struggling artist’s fatal tribulations.