There are, at least, three bands named Quintessence: 1) A 60s/70s British psychedelic rock band. 2) A Finnish nu-soul / jazz / funk band. 3) A French black metal band.
1) A 60s/70s British 'psychedelic rock' (aka The Quintessence), formed in 1969, by flautist Raja Ram. Quintessence were an indo-prog/raga rock group from Notting Hill, London. They played a mixture of Indian ragas, progressive rock and jazz, with mystical overtones. After signing to Island Records, they released three lavishly packaged LPs: In Blissful Company (1969), Quintessence (1970), and Dive Deep (1971). They then signed with RCA for a further two: Self and Indweller (both 1972).Quintessence (2) They were well known on the festival circuit in the late 60's/early 70's, appearing at the first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1971 (and appearing in the subsequent film of the event).
An article from Gandalf's Garden magazine describing the work of Quintessence (1969):http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pardos/GGQuintessence.html
2) A Finnish nu-soul / jazz / funk band, which started as a trio, in a Helsinki, Finland basement-studio. Aki Haarala (guitars), Jouni Helminen (aka DharmaOne - turntables / programming) & Emma Salokoski (vocals). In 2001, they released their début EP, White Light (on Dorado - soon played regularly by the likes of Gilles Peterson & Trevor Nelson).
When live, the band grew to a sextet, adding: Mikko Kaakkuriniemi (drums), Heikki Laine (bass), Verneri Pohjola (trumpet) & Tuomo Prättälä (keyboards). Later, to further developent of a growing 'organic' sound, Helminen took a 'back seat'. In Nov 2002, they released their début album Talk Less Listen More (on Texicalli).
Their unique mixture of nu-soul, jazz, funk and Scandinavian cool found its way into the hearts, ears and record collections of music lovers and critics alike. Through extensive touring, their fan base has grown even stronger, as Quintessence is now known as one of Finland's coolest, yet grooviest live bands. In addition to clubs they have performed at numerous rock and jazz festivals. Also, they opened for The Roots on the main stage of Finland's biggest jazz festival, Pori Jazz, in 2003.
September 2004 Quintessence came out in Finland with their second album 5 AM. This instant classic takes the Quintessence-formula to a new level of deepness, adding sweet soul sounds of the seventies and echoes of pulsating afrobeat.
3) A French Black Metal band that began in 2007.