Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Jefferson Airplane.

American rock group. It was formed in San Francisco in 1965 by Marty Balin (Martyn Jerel Buchwald;b Cincinnati, 30 Jan 1943; vocals) and Paul Kantner (b San Francisco, 12 March 1941; guitar and vocals) and was among the most important rock groups to emerge from the Haight-Ashbury psychedelic scene of 1966–9. The band’s second album, Surrealistic Pillow (RCA, 1967), contained two hit singles, ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit’, and featured Balin, Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen (b Washington DC, 23 Dec 1940; guitar), Jack Casady (b Washington DC, 13 April 1944; bass), Spencer Dryden (b New York, 7 April 1943; drums) and the charismatic Grace Slick (Grace Barnett Wing b Chicago, 30 Oct 1939; vocals). This line-up subsequently recorded a series of successful and often innovative albums, including After Bathing at Baxter’s (RCA, 1967), Crown of Creation (RCA, 1968) and the politically inspired Volunteers (RCA, 1969), all of which became staples of late 1960s progressive FM radio. The group’s early influences were primarily American folk and blues, but elements of modal jazz and Indian music can be found throughout their music, especially in the sometimes extended instrumental solos. After the band’s last studio album, Long John Silver (RCA, 1972), Slick and Kantner reformed the group into Jefferson Starship which, while much less adventurous musically, enjoyed tremendous commercial success in the 1970s and 80s with nine hit singles, including Miracles (1975, featuring Balin) and Jane (1979), and nine hit albums. The late-1960s line-up (without Dryden) reunited briefly in 1989, releasing Jefferson Airplane.

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