The rocky road of Music History is paved with potholes of right sound, wrong time -- performers whose music, for various reasons, was not appreciated in its time. But time's passage and changing/widening tastes have vindicated them -- these days, collectors pay big bucks for original copies of their records and hepcat critics and journalists have sparked interest and/or reassessment of their works. Gil Mellé and Burton Greene combined jazz and electronics; clarinetist Tony Scott, jazz and world music; Steve Marcus went for a fusion of bop, free jazz and rock & roll; Jimmy Giuffre went minimal/miniaturist when others were going out demonstratively -- alas, these efforts went straight into the bargain bins. It happened with rock music, as well: bands like Henry Cow, 50 Foot Hose, Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the Velvet Underground, with their amalgams of audacious rock, jazz improvisation and 20th century classical elements, couldn't get played on the radio to save their lives -- nowadays, these bands are legend. Which brings us, Dear Readers, to Kaleidoscope, an American band (there was a same-named UK band) from the mid-to-late 1960s whose specialty was a combination of psychedelic rock, folk-rock, blues, old-timey/jug band, Appalachian folk, 30s pop, bluegrass, R&B, jazz and Middle Eastern and Turkish folk music. (They were even the backing band for a single by the duo of Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Larry Williams.) Even for the 60s, these cats were too eclectic to make it big -- while some rockers dabbled with ethnic sounds, Kaleidoscope jumped in with both feet. And while some performers (then as now) might approach such excursions with stifling solemnity, the K-band had a jolly (though not frivolous) bent, switching genres and styles with the same alacrity (and ability) with which they switched instruments. The members of K-scope were/are all fine, experienced musicians -- no dilettantes, they. (Ace guitarist David Lindley would go on to play with artists diverse as Jackson Browne and Henry Kaiser, and Stu Brotman now plays in the klezmer band Brave Old World.) Their weak spot, perhaps, was the lack of truly distinctive vocal prowess -- at times, much of the vocals are a tad plain, ragged & flat (but charmingly, not-too-painfully so). With the ever-expanding phenom tagged "World Music," such ensembles (from all over the world) are a bit more common, but Kaleidoscope was there first. This wonderful collection (almost 80 min!) contains their first album Side Trips in its entirety and a cross-section (including some rarities) from their other albums, including the 13-minute trippy title track. The expansive, madly-eclectic types Among Us (you know who you are) owe it to their Inner Music Collector to hear K-scope, and soon.