Quintessence Biography

Although formed by virtue of advertisements in Melody Maker, this briefly popular act encapsulated the spiritual ambitions prevalent among sections of the UK 60s ‘underground’ movement. The original line-up - Raja Ram (Ron Rothfield, Melbourne, Australia; vocals/flute), Shiva Shankar (aka Shiva Jones; vocals/keyboards), Alan Mostert (lead guitar), Maha Dev (rhythm guitar), Sambhu Babaji (bass) and Jake Milton (drums) - was forged following rehearsals at London’s Notting Hill’s All Saints Hall and their ensuing debut, 1969’s In Blissful Company, captured the sextet’s rudimentary blend of jazz rock and Eastern philosophies. Mostert’s powerful guitar style endeared the band to the progressive audience, but a commitment to religious themes was maintained on Dive Deep and Self. The departures of Shankar and Maha Dev - the former resurfaced in the similarly styled Kala - robbed Quintessence of a sense of purpose and the band split up following the release of 1972’s Indweller. Raja Ram later formed TIP Records.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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