31 July 2014

Prog Icon Neal Morse To Release Eagerly Anticipated New Solo Album 'Songs From November'


Cross Plains, TN – Much to the excitement of Prog fans worldwide, Neal Morse will be releasing his eagerly anticipated new solo album 'Songs From November' on Aug. 19, 2014! Even a style as broad and accepting as Progressive Rock has its boundaries. Prog icon Neal Morse decided to break that mold and create a challenging new album. 'Songs From November' may be his bravest outing to date. Musically, creatively, and production-wise, it’s like nothing he’s ever done. Can you handle it?! It’s an album of “normal” songs! Songs even your friends might like!

Says Neal, “I listen to a lot of different kinds of music for various occasions…prog albums when I really want to focus on intricate music…sometimes jazz and classical. But many times I find myself attracted to 'feel good' singer-songwriter albums like a Jackson Browne or Graham Nash record. So one day I thought to myself…I'd like to make an album like that! 'Songs From November' is that album.”

Morse wrote most of the songs during a flood of ideas in November, 2013. He recalls, “They just kept pouring out that month…I don't really know why…but it was great!” After the epic Transatlantic world tour was completed in March 2014, Morse set out to make 'November' a reality. And he would craft it differently than anything before.

Says Neal, “I could've gotten together with a bunch of studio musicians in Nashville and banged this thing out, but I felt like the thing to do was to get together with this young drummer named Gabe Klein and work on it as a team. He is only 18 years old and amazing! We had a great time recording these songs and many more. We actually recorded twice as many songs as we needed and picked the best ones. It was the first time I've ever done that and it was very fruitful. I sent out 21 songs to a bunch of different people that I trust and chose from their lists. So that was also a totally new approach for me.”

The final 11 songs are among the best that Neal has ever composed – and the most surprising you will hear. In reinventing himself, he was ready to explore uncharted territory. Are you?

'Songs From November' is Produced by Neal Morse and Engineered and Mastered by Rich Mouser.

To purchase: www.Radiantrecords.com

For more information: http://nealmorse.com/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Veteran Cuban Musician Rey Cabrera Spices Up The Summer With A Brand New Album!


Los Angeles, CA - Cuban born vocalist and master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar, brings his finest latin jazz music to the North American audiences this coming August 5th. The extraordinary new album, Cabrera’s third full-length as Rey Cabrera y Sus Amigos, is entitled Controversia, and will be released on both CD and digitally by Goldenlane Records, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.

Born 1943 in the Oriente mountains that surround Santiago de Cuba, Cabrera inherited his love and passion for música campesina, Cuba’s oldest and most traditional music style, from both of his parents. His father taught him to play the tres, and before too long the young Cabrera moved to Santiago de Cuba where he met and performed with Eliades Ochoa, later of Buena Vista Social Club fame. From there, Cabrera went on to his own international acclaim as one of the last ambassadors of the Cuban musical style known as son cubano, a blend of Spanish canción and African rhythms. Cabrera has performed everywhere from the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz in South Africa, the UK, and Belgium. Now this seasoned veteran will bring his immense talent to US shores - so grab a mojito and let Cabrera’s band transport you through the rich history of his musical heritage!

1. Merci Beaucoup
2. Mi Niña Mari
3. Los Refrancitos
4. Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrión
5. Cuando Nace El Sol with René Baes
6. Me Voy A Recoger Café
7. Canto A Bruselas, 10 Años Después
8. Los Testigos
9. La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta
10. El Fuiki Fuiki with DJ Proceed

To order the CD on Amazon: http://geni.us/SPF

To order the digital version on iTunes: http://geni.us/2wLh

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

30 July 2014

Tribal Hybrid Concept CD Featuring Cyrille Verdeaux and Chief Raoni Along With Clearlight Back Catalogue Now Available on Gonzo MultiMedia


London, UK – Following the recent release of Clearlight's critically acclaimed 'The Impressionists Symphony' CD, comes another groundbreaking new album composed by Cyrille "Clearlight" Verdeaux titled 'Tribal Hybrid Concept' on Gonzo MultiMedia.

Clearlight is a French progressive rock band created by Cyrille in the 1970s, although their best known work was produced in England and released by a major British record company, Virgin Records. The band's large and continually changing lineup for 40 years featured a mix of French, American and British musicians around pianist and synthesist Cyrille Verdeaux who is also regarded as its producer.

While progressive rock is an overall genre for Cyrille, much of his work explores various other styles, including classical, due to his long classical formation in his youth, psychedelic, symphonic rock, space rock, jazz fusion, and new age music.

Clearlight's first album was 'Clearlight Symphony'. Gilbert Artman of Lard Free and Urban Sax (although he does not play saxophone here, Urban Sax didn't exist yet), french guitarist Christian Boule (RIP) and several members of GONG: Tim Blake, Steve Hillage and Didier Malherbe collaborated to this first opus.

Violinists Jorge Pinchevsky also of GONG, David Cross of King Crimson, Joel Dugrenot (Zao's bassist) and Didier Lockwood of Magma were also members at various times. The ensemble released several critically acclaimed albums in the 1970's including 'Clearlight Symphony', 'Forever Blowing Bubbles', 'Les Contes du Singe Fou' and 'Clearlight Visions'. Both 'Clearlight Symphony' and 'Clearlight Visions' made the list of all time best 100 progressive rock albums, according to the Billboard guide for progressive music.

Clearlight has/have continued to produce remarkable music ever since. But the 'Tribal Hybrid Concept' album is particularly poignant. Pascal Menetrey passed away accidentally in 2006. This album is dedicated to his memory. RIP, Pascal...

The music on this album is powerful, selected to illustrate the yang side of the first chakra, the one in charge of life and death energy. Samples of Inuits, Papoos, Tuvas, Ethiopian, Native American and Kurdish singers as well as samples of various wild animals facing extinction collected one per one by Pascal Menetrey between 1992 and 1999 are musically shaped by Cyrille Verdeaux to boogie for the pleasure of the ears and the heart. The aim of Tribal Hybrid Music is to help in the stopping of all these trails of tears, these massacres of innocents all around the globe.

But there's more. Cyrille says about it : "This CD also hosts the one and only song ever recorded by the Amazonian Chief Raoni, from the tribe Kayapo, former protégé of Sting in the 80's. The old chief is still struggling and still in trouble to keep his tribe alive in spite of the efforts of the Brazilian government to make them disappear once and for all in the name of 'ordem e progresso'. So the more CDs will be sold, the more royalties Raoni will get to help him to resist to his fatal fate.With the genuine voice of the great Chief of Amazonia, this song in genuine Kayapo language sang by Raoni himself is a moving and wise calling to spear the Amazonian territory, for this ecosystem is essential, not only for the survival of his tribe but also for all the earthlings present and future…"

Raoni's message:

"I'm back now, because my concern returned. I learned that you too are worried now. The winds came and destroyed your forest. You knew the fear that we know. I tell you, if man continues to destroy the earth, these winds will return with even more force ... not once ... but many times ... sooner or later. These winds will destroy us all. We all breathe one only air, we all drink one only water, we all live on one only earth. We must all protect it. Home invasions began again. Woodcutters and gold diggers do not respect the reserve. We do not have the means to protect this vast forest which we are guardians for all of you. I need your support. And I ask you before it's too late”.

“Raoni's Song” was composed and produced by Jean Michel Pinoteau. He explains, “I have deposed the song to the French Sacem on September 26, 2011, with the signature of Raoni for the text, and Jean Michel Pinoteau (me) as composer for the music. I have promised half part of the benefits of my production for Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, the famous explorer, who gave me the track (DAT) of the voice of Raoni. Jean-Pierre Dutilleux is a great friend of Raoni, together they made a world tour with Sting in 1989.”

http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15675


Along with Clearlight's latest release 'The Impressionists Symphony' and the 'Tribal Hybrid Concept' CD, Gonzo MultiMedia has reissued Clearlight's back catalogue!

Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles (CD)

'Forever Blowing Bubbles' is a progressive rock album by Clearlight, released in 1975 on Virgin Records in the UK. Clearlight's new line up picked up by Cyrille, with drummer Chris Stapinopoulos, bassist Joel Dugrenot, violinist David Cross, flutist-keyboardist Francois Jeanneau and Guitarist Jean Claude D'Agostini (RIP) returned to the Manor studio in England to record this second album for Virgin. It covers many contrasting genres including psychedelic, new age, folk, rock and jazz fusion jamming, and the closing track of abstract electronic music experimentation. Only two songs have vocals, and are sung in French.

Following the release of the album, Clearlight embarked on a UK tour supporting Gong, with an altered line-up comprising Verdeaux, Dugrenot, Jeanneau, D'Agostini, and new members Coco Roussel (drums, ex Heldon, and later in Happy The Man) and Jorge Pinchevsky (violin, later in Gong). CD includes bonus tracks: “Sweet Absinthe”, “Overture” and “Vibrato” recorded few years later

http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15656

Clearlight - Clearlight Symphony (CD)

This is one of those exquisite records that somehow slipped through the gaps of public consciousness at the time. But now it's back and you have the chance to revel in a warm bath of psychedelic weirdness. The album was recorded for Virgin Records in 1973 (and probably completed in 1974), after the label's first and highly successful release, Tubular Bells (1973) by Mike Oldfield, and was one of several subsequent Virgin albums that attempted to copy Tubular Bells' format of long pieces in a symphonic progressive rock style; in this case, exactly copying its structure of two pieces titled 'part one' and 'part two.' Since the title Tubular Bells was initially better known to the general public than the name of its artist, Virgin Records decided that Clearlight Symphony would be a one-off album project with just a title. Cyrille kept the name Clearlight as artist name for all his other albums.

Recording was initiated with a session in which Cyrille Verdeaux, alone, played two 20-minute piano solos, which became the basic tracks for the entire album. In later recording sessions at David Vorhaus's Kaleidophon studio and the Manor, Verdeaux and the other musicians overdubbed many instruments including 10 tracks of mellotrons onto the piano solo to create a complex and genuine symphonic arrangement.

http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15642/Clearlight-Clearlight_Symphony.html

Clearlight - Best Of Clearlight (CD)

To celebrate the release of 'The Best of Clearlight', Cyrille has been kind enough to go through the CD track by track:

1. Clearlight Symphony part 1 (1974)
In the original vinyl, Virgin decided to put on side A the original side B, for marketing reasons (original side B was the side where Hillage, Blake and Malherbe were playing). Now, the order is right and part 1 is the real beginning of the Symphony, with Christian Boule (guitar) and Gilbert Artman (Drums) .
2. Clearlight Symphony part 2
Recorded at the cult White Noise studios under Tim Blake's supervision, it was Cyrille's first experience of recording in a real multi-track studio and he said about it: "I appreciated it so much that I knew I would do that for the rest of my life.... A recording studio, even home numeric recording studio such as the one I used for my latest work on impressionism is a fantastic space for creativity and I will never be tired of it. I wish I could also work on soundtracks for movies, but my phone never rings for that, unfortunately."
3. Chanson (from Forever Blowing Bubbles, 1975)
This song is a music composed by both Joel Dugrenot (ex-bassist of Zao) and Cyrille Violinist David Cross (King Crimson) plays a great part on this tune and the Northettes (from Hatfield and the North) are doing back ground choirs. Guitarist Jean Claude d'Agostini (RIP) set the song in fire with his chorus and the Greek citizen Chris Stapinopoulos plays drums...A great example of European cooperation....
4. Without Words (from Forever Blowing Bubbles)
no need for words, as says the title...just for listening....
5. The Key (Les contes du singe fou, 1976)
6. Soliloque (Les contes du singe fou)
Originally, this album was the #3 scheduled to be released by Virgin by contract and Cyrille wanted this time to do a cosmic opera with a singer, to alternate styles. He says: "The problem is that Richard Branson decided to prematurely end my contract because of my impossibility to live permanently in London as he was requesting. My wife was 6 months pregnant at this time and didn't want to go to live in London, and that caused the end of my English adventure! Richard doesn't like it when people don't obey his wishes, obviously.... But I managed to find a small French label, Isadora, willing to pay for the recording and Joel Dugrenot helped me to record it in a little Parisian Studio. I wrote spiritual lyrics, wonderfully translated in English by Francis Mandin in order to try to be useful also on a philosophical level. The Beatles syndrome, probably".
7. Novanna (Delired Camaleon Family, 1976)
Cyrille : "This album is not specifically a Clearlight album but mostly 3 days of improvisations with a lot of friends living in Paris at this time.
EMI booked for us a recording studio with the pretext to make a soundtrack for Pierre Clementi's movie very 'psychedelic' with his friend guitarist Yvan Coiquette. I invited some friends to play on it, as I always do, Yvan also invited some of his friends and we ended with a packed recording studio, each recording a track on the spot...Totally 'here and now'. Unfortunately, we had only one day and one night to mix all these tracks together so it has a special charm, different from my other prods...."
8. Spirale D'amour (from Clearlight Visions, 1977)
Cyrille : "This album is the first that I have produced from A to Z, including the choice of the studio, the musicians, the musical compositions, etc. Didier Lockwood had just quit with Magma and I could hire him to play his violin. I asked to Didier Malherbe to come to play flute and sax, and I am proud to say that this very personal album has been selected among the all time 100 best prog albums according to the billboard guide for progressive music."
9. Trance Pire (Tribal Hybrid Concept, 1994)
Cyrille: "During the 15 years between 1980 to 1994 I went in India, studied yoga and made mostly new age music under my name. During these years the music evolved tremendously, came the computers, internet, the samples, etc, giving opportunity to poor independent musicians to continue to work at home even without a producer or a label to back them up financially. I had a friend, Pascal Menetrey (RIP) who had everything I needed in his house to make a new album based on hundreds of samples of natural sounds, ethnic chants or instruments and this is how Tribal Hybrid Concept is born...Probably a Guinness book record for the number of samples used in a single album...Several hundreds... So I call it a tribal progressive album, because this is exactly what it is."
10. Elf Dance, Solar Transfusion, 1998
Cyrille : "At this time, I had the luck to have a friend, Patrick Meynier, that loan me a 24-tracks that could fit in my bedroom and I could take all the time I needed to record all the keyboards and sample drums tracks of this Solar Transfusion album. When they have been recorded, Patrick booked a studio and we recorded his wife, Genevieve (violin) and some other live instruments on my tracks. I call it a House progressive album."
11. Renoir. Impressionist symphony, 2013)
Cyrille: "Originally, this album comes from the idea to compose a new music to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the Clearlight Symphony and I asked Steve Hillage, Didier Mallherbe and Tim Blake to redo the winning team of 1974. This track is just a preview of the future album and will be improved in its final version. For instance, other instrumentalists have been recorded since. This album has been released beginning of 2014."

http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15626/Clearlight-Best_Of_Clearlight.html

The Impressionists Symphony (CD)

Lastly, much to the excitement of progressive rock fans worldwide, legendary French prog ensemble Clearlight featuring Cyrille 'Clearlight' Verdeaux released their first new album in decades on March 24, 2014! 'The Impressionist Symphony' focuses on the artistic style of impressionism, painting and music as well with a Ravel, Satie and Debussy influence merged with Cyrille's progressive music experience and linked with the French impressionist school of painting. Featuring guest appearances by Steve Hillage (GONG), Tim Blake (GONG), Didier Malherbe (GONG), Paul Sears (The Muffins), Don Falcone (Spirits Burning), Linda Cushma (Oxygene8) Chris Kovax (newom) and others, Clearlight's 'The Impressionist Symphony' is clearly one of the most anticipated new releases of 2014! The special package includes a 12-page color booklet that captures Cyrille’s vision, as well as pictures from the sessions that produced these works.

http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15659/Clearlight-Impressionist_Symphony.html

Clearlight promotional video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vla5lngkmmQ

For more information: http://www.clearlight888music.com
cyrilleverdeaux@hotmail.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR. PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

29 July 2014

Russian Rock/Pop Duo MKRV Readies Their New Album 'W.A.Y.' For Worldwide Release on August 26, 2014


San Francisco, CA – Who cares about good music in Russia? Nobody, that’s who. Once upon a time in the little town of Moscow, Dima, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, composed simple songs and recorded them using the microphone from his gaming headphones. On one occasion his childhood friend Narek, who played piano and keyboards, decided to join him. Thus began the story of MKRV.

In 2011, MKRV recorded and released their first self-titled EP in Russia, featuring five original compositions. All of the songs were minimal in arrangement, without a typical rhythm section, but with interesting, creative melodies and a unique sound. One of the songs, Zeinabelle, was incredibly popular with its surprisingly retro feel, magnificent melody, and, unexpected for MKRV, a full string section.

With the release of their EP, MKRV realized that in Russia no such band had ever existed. Minimal instrumentation, immaculate English lyrics, a never-ending stream of beautiful melodies; these were all elements that at the time had been absent in pop-music in Russia. Shortly after, in 2012, the duo released a live EP comprised of covers of songs that they personally loved. From that moment MKRV’s musical roots were clear – the intelligence of Brian Eno and contemplative nature of Coldplay, mixed with the passion for music of City and Colour.

In 2014, Narek moved to California to attend Pyramind, a music production school located in the SOMA district of San Francisco. MKRV had also just recorded their full-length LP/CD titled W.A.Y. During this time Bob also joined the duo, adding his guitar skills as well as mixing and mastering the album. Suddenly it appeared that by including a classic array of instruments in their music they could reinvigorate their identity. Furthermore, they let the world know that they were not going to stagnate in one place. They are continually developing their unique style, making it interesting for fans to follow.

The album begins with the song All this Time, which is in the best traditions of Paul Simon. The song Warmth Around You contains references to U2, and the instrumental Couple of Sparrows submerges the listener into a mysterious world of wind, loneliness, and concentration. MKRV doesn’t speak much about themselves; the main thing worth our attention is their music. Why would we need anything else if all the answers to our questions can be found in the music itself? All you need to do is give them a listen.

MKRV produce their music to immerse the listener in an atmosphere of contemplation, warm memories, and reflective thoughts, which can sometimes be melancholic. These are the thoughts that make everyone a protagonist of the old movies, where the subject is love, friendship, and a path to find your real self.

MKRV’s CD W.A.Y. will be released worldwide both digitally and physically on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014.

Visit MKRV’s Website or Social Media pages for sound samples or more information about this release and future tour dates. www.mkrvmusic.com

Digital pre-order: http://mkrvrock.bandcamp.com/

For Physical Distribution Inquires please contact Steffen Franz or Ben Lang at Independent Distribution Collective at 415-292-7007 or via e-mail sales@independentdistro.com

For Digital Distribution Inquires contact Jerome Forney at IDCDigital at 415-292-7007 or via e-mail jerome@independentdistro.com

Press and Radio Inquires contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at 828-350-8158 glassonyonpr@gmail.com

27 July 2014

Rock Fusion Review: The Dave Matthews Band-Remember Two Things (Expanded)

Release Date: June 17, 2014
Label: Legacy

The Dave Matthews Band is one of those groups that simply cannot be compared to anyone else. Their unique blend of funk, jazz, and rock has been captivating audiences for over two decades. It all began with 1993’s independently released album Remember Two Things, which has been reissued to celebrate the debut that got the ball rolling for these legendary musicians.

The album kicks off with an early version of one of their most recognizable tunes, “Ants Marching.” Many of the songs you will find on this album are older versions of tracks found on their major label debut Under the Table and Dreaming (UTTAD), while others are staples of the set lists that you will find on their numerous live records, such as “Seek Up” and “The Song That Jane Likes.” Remember Two Things truly sets the stage for DMB’s future, with most of the songs being live recordings. And in trademark DMB fashion, this album is full of jams, funky breakdowns à la “Recently,”  with Carter Beauford’s frantic drumming, Boy Tinsley’s frantic violin sections, and LeRoi Moore’s groundbreaking saxophone playing.

After you think you’ve heard all the craziness the Dave Matthews Band has to offer, the album ends with two live acoustic tracks. “I’ll Back You Up” and “Christmas Song” (both featuring Tim Reynolds) show the versatility of Dave Matthews as a songwriter. This reissue also comes with two bonus tracks that anyone, especially the diehards, will appreciate – early versions of “Pay For What You Get” and “Typical Situation,” the latter which clocks in almost two minutes longer than the standard version found on UTTAD. 

Although the album stands alone as a fantastic release, I believe it is only a stepping stone into the DMB world. Hearing how tracks like “One Sweet World” and “Seek Up” sounded in their earliest renditions is breathtaking, considering how much the songs how evolved over years of playing them live. The included bonus songs are wonderful additions to the track listing also, which makes me wonder why they were even outtakes. For diehards, the reissue of Remember Two Things is a must have. For everyone else, it is a perfect introduction to the band, if you’ve waited this long to delve into their expansive catalog.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Recently, Seek Up, Christmas Song

Tracks: 
01. Ants Marching
02. Tripping Billies
03. Recently
04. Satellite
05. One Sweet World
06. The Song That Jane Likes
07. Minarets
08. Seek Up
09. I'll Back You Up
10. Christmas Song
11. Pay For What You Get
12. Typical Situation

Austin Hannaleck

July 27, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Audio Fidelity Hosts Disney's TRON OST Listening Party


Camarillo, CA - Audio Fidelity staff and label execs recently hosted a gathering of friends to preview the brilliant remastered recording of Disney's TRON motion picture soundtrack.  The soundtrack will be available from Audio Fidelity at the end of July. The event took place at Cohearent Audio, the Los Angeles studio where engineer Kevin Gray remastered the record.  The event was hosted by Marshall Blonstein, the president of Audio Fidelity. The guests included Michael Fremer of AnalogPlanet.com who, at the time, served as the film's original soundtrack supervisor.

L to R: Marshall Blonstein, Michael Fremer, Kevin Gray

The 1982 film score was composed, performed and produced by the pioneer electronic musician Wendy Carlos. The release will be packaged in a distinctive gatefold jacket and contain two 180g translucent blue vinyl records as well as colorful photos from the popular cult film along with generous and informative liner notes written by Ms. Carlos and additional jottings by Mr. Fremer.

Disney's video game crossover movie TRON was a notable landmark in the synthesis of electronic and traditional orchestral music. Wendy Carlos created a brilliant orchestral recording with symphonic backgrounds by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCLA Chorus which was later enhanced and upgraded with an electronic score. The result is an impressive soundscape that successfully and seamlessly fuses organic and electronic music.

The multi-Grammy award winning Wendy Carlos best-known for her popular “Switched on Bach,” series of albums also composed and performed on the soundtracks of two Stanley Kubrick cinema masterpieces, “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining.”

The TRON soundtrack has two additional tracks ("Only Solutions” and the rock guitar-driven instrumental, "1990's Theme") provided by Journey, one of America's best selling and most beloved bands.

Gatefold package includes colorful photos and extensive liner notes!

TRACKS:
SIDE 1
1-Creation Of TRON
2-Only Solutions - Journey
3-We've Got Company
4-Wormhole
5-Ring Game And Escape
6-Water, Music, And Tronaction

SIDE 2
1-TRON Scherzo
2-Miracle and Magician
3-Magic Landings
4-Theme From TRON
5-1990's Theme - Journey
6-Love Theme

SIDE 3
1-Tower Music - Let Us Pray
2-The Light Sailer
3-Sea Of Simulation

SIDE 4
1-A New TRON And The MCP
2-Anthem
3-Ending Titles

Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio

For more information: http://www.audiofidelity.net/content/tron-wendy-carlos

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

25 July 2014

Music Legends Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty Announce Formation of New Music Ensemble - The Anderson Ponty Band!


Los Angeles, CA - Music legends Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty announce the formation of a new ensemble - The Anderson Ponty Band! YES's original singer/songwriter for 35 years, Jon Anderson has had a successful solo career, which includes working with such notable music artists as Vangelis, Kitaro, and Milton Nascimento. International jazz superstar Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of violin in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music. Together these two music icons form a musical synergy that is unparalleled!

“A breakthrough feeling came as I sang with Jean-Luc's music, to be in a band again is very exciting on many levels, we will play and sing our way around the world and have fun, for music is pleasure, music is all that is, music is God” - Jon Anderson

The Anderson Ponty Band also includes Jamie Dunlap on guitars - well known as a film and television composer, most notably 'South Park'; Wally Minko on keyboards - virtuoso player and composer who has performed and recorded with many worldwide stars including Pink, Toni Braxton, Jean-Luc Ponty, Tom Jones and Barry Manilow; Baron Browne on bass who has played with Steve Smith, Billy Cobham and Jean-Luc Ponty; and Rayford Griffin on drums and percussion, who has played with Stanley Clarke Band, George Duke, Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Jackson. The band will visit the music created by Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty over the years with new arrangements, virtuosic performances and new energy, while creating new compositions as well.

The Anderson Ponty Band have been writing and arranging old favorites during the past three months. They will be in residence for three weeks in September at Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado rehearsing, recording and playing a public performance on Saturday September 20th. An album will be finished in Los Angeles and is scheduled for release in early 2015. Also, a videography documenting the making of the album will be released as well as videos and performances. A world tour beginning in March 2015 is in the planning stages.

The Anderson Ponty Band announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign today July 25th beginning at 2PM Eastern. The campaign will encourage fans and friends to become a stakeholder in the project. Numerous tiers of donations will be rewarded by album downloads, premium CD/DVD packages, VIP ticket access, merchandising, special one of a kind collectibles, special meet and greets with the band and much more.

Kickstarter campaign: http://bit.ly/apband2014

Anderson Ponty Band Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andersonpontyband

Jon Anderson official website: www.jonanderson.com
Jean-Luc Ponty official website: www.ponty.com

Manager: Jim Lewis, andersonpontyband@gmail.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com
Interview requests contact Billy James / Glass Onyon PR

Threshold Premiere Watchtower On The Moon

Art Rock Review: The Gabriel Construct-Interior City

Release Date: September 2013
Label:  Indie

As I have often commented upon previously, being a reviewer has allowed me to come into contact with artists that I may otherwise have overlooked. One such artist is The Gabriel Construct and the debut release, Interior City. The Gabriel Construct is the name given to the solo project of Gabriel Lucas Riccio, who hails from Salisbury Maryland. Newly graduated in music in 2011, this multi-instrumentalist has released what is best described as a “dark and atmospheric” album, which Gabriel has said is a “concept concerned with overcoming the mental programming which holds each of us back.”  This is a very powerful statement indeed, and the question that this reviewer will attempt to answer is, whether this release is indeed achieving these goals.

The musicians involved in The Gabriel Construct are Gabriel Lucas Riccio (vocals, keyboards, programming, rain stick and wood block), Thomas Murphy (bass), Davis Stivelman (electric and acoustic guitars), Travis Orbin (drums, additional screams), Sophia Uddin (violin), Soren Larson (saxophone) and Garrett Davis (additional laughs). The listing of band members for additional screams and additional laughs is certainly intriguing.

Interior Cityis a 10 track album with a running time of around 72 minutes. The shortest track on Interior City is track 5, “Retreat Underground” at 2:38 minutes and “Languishing in Lower Chakras,” the penultimate, and longest track, runs on for just over 11 minutes (11:09).

The opening track toInterior City, “Arrival In A Distant Land” (6:51) opens with a sound which seems familiar but, in effect, turns out to be the “strings” inside the piano being strummed, before there appears an audible bass sound and then some of the higher registers. Certainly, the start creates an interesting aural soundscape, but seemingly without any direction until a vocal appears around the 3:15 minute point. An almost spoken style of vocal carries the track along until a gentle piano motif appears briefly before the voice returns with increasing venom, which moved the track very close to discordant, with the repeated statement “I can’t get out.” Just as quickly as it built up, the track drops back into simple piano but retains that air of discordancy. As a constant advocate of the importance of opening tracks to the way a listener “hears” the rest of the album, the best description of “Arrival in a Distant Land” is uncomfortable, moving the listener out of their comfort zone. Such a feeling may, or may not, be a good thing within the context of the concept being laid out, moving on through the album will tell.

“Ranting Prophet” (4:50) has Gabriel’s voice appearing in a gentle piano based introduction, but within 50 seconds has rocketed into a full blooded band sound which seems designed to continue the feeling of unease generated by the opening track. The almost manic tone the voice reaches and the similar sounding violin which cuts across the track add to this feeling. To add to this reviewer’s feeling of discomfort, there is a little burst of the metronomic drumming that prevails in a large number of progressive metal outings. The feeling of bleakness within the concept is certainly to the fore on the two opening tracks. 

The shortest track, “Retreat Underground” (2:38), hits the ground running, with a mass of drums, piano and bass played at speeds thus far not achieved, together with harmonized multi-layered vocals (although sometimes a solo voice is heard), which is very impressive and segues into “Subway Dwellers” (5:32) which tones the speed back a little bit whilst maintaining the vocal style. At times the music and the vocals seem to be “slugging it out” to see who comes out ahead and this tends to distract from the initial appeal of the track.

“Languishing in Lower Chakras” (11:09), the longest track on Interior City is certainly sparse in its introduction, with some piano flitting in and out before a plethora of random sounds filters into the proceedings, including various voices, humming and clapping. This is certainly an atmospheric piece with the sounds slowly building and the piano continuing to underpin what is going on. The sound changes around the 7 minute point to a more energetic humming which supersedes the other sounds. The gentle undulations of the various sounds continue and the fadeout of the track sees a repeated “Get me out of here.” This track is an interesting soundscape making the track almost like an oasis of calm within a desert of discordancy.

At the outset, I described Interior City as dark and atmospheric, and I would still use those terms but can add some more details to the description. Gabriel Lucas Riccio is without doubt an amazing musician in that this album is a showcase for some amazing music, but I did find that while many albums produce a balance between the light and dark scenarios within the music, Gabriel shows an either/or approach. The music is either light, and tends towards the softer, piano based, single voiced sections, or it is dark, and becomes heavier, faster with multi tracked voices, “speed metal double bass drums” and quickly enters the world of the discordant. There is no graduation from one extreme to the other; the change is immediate, almost like flicking a switch.

Interior CityI found a difficult, and at times, uncomfortable listen, but persevered in the hope of understanding what it was all about. In effect, it reminded me of my son, many years ago, listening to a particular track (Aumgn) from the Tago Mago album by the German band, Can. He commented that he disliked the particular track intensely, but when I suggested he just switch it off, he said that he couldn’t, because although it made him feel uncomfortable, he felt he had to keep listening.

Give Interior Citya good few listens and make up your own mind about the album, but I feel that it is an album that I will be unlikely to revisit.

PRMT Rating: 3/5 Stars

Key Tracks:  Retreat Underground, Subway Dwellers, Languishing in Lower Chakras

Tracks:
Arrival In A Distant Land
Ranting Prophet
Fear Of Humanity
My Alien Father
Retreat Underground
Subway Dwellers
Defense Highway
Inner Sanctum
Languishing in Lower Chakras
Curing Somatization

 
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

July 25, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

23 July 2014

Guitar Hero Tommy Bolin's First Band Zephyr To See 1969 Debut Album Reissued On Both CD & Vinyl


Los Angeles, CA - Tommy Bolin fans, you are in for a treat! The 1969 recorded debut of the guitar great performing with his first major act, Zephyr, the blues and jazz influenced rock and roll steamroller fronted by powerhouse female vocalist, Candy Givens, will be reissued courtesy of Purple Pyramid Records starting August 5. With newly remixed and remastered audio created under the supervision of founding member David Givens, this gem of an album has truly been restored to the band’s original vision. As Givens says, “For the first time you can hear what we heard before everything went wrong. I’m happy with the results!”

Happier still will be Bolin fans everywhere as a treasure trove of unreleased live material and studio improvisations were also uncovered in the process of remixing the album. These include performances of the band at small clubs in their home state of Colorado as well as Reed’s Ranch where the band opened for The Grateful Dead. In addition, the studio rehearsals showcase Bolin’s adventurous playing on two free form jams as he lays down blistering solos and eerie atmospheres courtesy of his Echoplex effect.

A limited edition 2,000 unit pressing of the reissue in a 3CD deluxe box set was released in May and has already been sold out, but a single disc version is set to arrive August 5 and a special 180 gram colored vinyl pressing will follow later this year.

Get a glimpse into the early salad days of this inimitable virtuoso whose rise to fame occurred nearly as fast as his untimely exit. His music lives on!

1. Sail On
2. Sun’s A Risin’
3. Raindrops
4. Boom-Ba-Boom
5. Somebody Listen
6. Cross The River
7. St. James Infirmary
8. Huna Buna
9. Hard Chargin’ Woman

BONUS TRACKS (CD ONLY)
10. Guitar Solo / Cross The River (Reed’s Ranch, Colorado Springs, CO - July 3, 1969)
11. Jam (San Bernardino, CA 1971)
12. Uptown (To Harlem) [Boulder, CO 1971]
13. Sail On (Tulagi’s - Boulder, CO June 19, 1973)

To order the CD on Amazon: http://georiot.co/47xz

To order the digital version on iTunes: http://georiot.co/31hA

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

Johnny Winter: Tribute Slideshow



Progressive Rock Review: Darryl Way-Children of the Cosmos

Release Date:  3rd June 2014
Label:   Cherry Red Records

Darryl Way was formerly a member of the British Progressive rock band, Curved Air, but left the band after 3 albums and a hit single. (Interestingly, one of the latest reviews I submitted was the new Curved Air release, North Star.) Although sporadically returning to Curved Air when reformed at points, he has fronted his own bands, including Darryl Way’s Wolf and also released several solo works. His first solo album was released as far back as 1978, entitled Concerto for Electric Violin and I reviewed his 2013 released album, Ultra Violins, which was studio album number 8. On the table for review is the 9th album release from Darryl, called Children of the Cosmos.

The only musicians listed as being on Children of the Cosmos are Darryl Way (all instruments) and a female vocalist that is known only as Rosie, and she appears on only 1 track.

The album, Children of the Cosmos comprises 12 tracks with a playing time of around 56 minutes. The penultimate track, “An American Tale,” is the longest offering at 6:35 minutes, while “Don’t Look Back” at 3:38 minutes is the shortest on the album.

The opening, and title track of the album, “Children of the Cosmos” (5:18) starts with some synths and the characteristic violin appears almost immediately before Darryl’s voice enters with some excellent vocals. The whole feel of the track is that of the vastness of space with some superb synth passages and similar violin breaks. The mastery of Darryl Way on the violin shines through continuously on this track, designed to draw the listener in with memorable little themes which the mind quickly latches onto.” Children of the Cosmos” is a gentle introduction to this release and makes you look forward to what is about to be served up.  “Spooks” (4:02) is a more up-tempo, if darker sounding, track which again has little hooks within the music. Some majestic synth passages and a feel of Ultravox/Midge Ure style about it give the song a sort of retro hint without sounding dated. 

“The Best of Times” (5:00) continues the up-tempo style and also highlights the synth sweeps and the violin passages, “Nature’s Way” (3:52) certainly changes the sound with a more staccato style to it but continues the melodic vocals and there are some nice acoustic guitar moments and the strings add a little grandeur to the track with the sweeping violin adding the icing.

The sound of a sitar adds another dimension to “Summer of Love” (4:46) and the track motors along with the violin interjecting little riffs in the background. The change in tempo is an unexpected twist into almost spoken lyrics which then evolves back into the original theme.

“Don’t Look Back” (3:38) is a very differently set out track with an extremely catchy staccato start and excellent vocals before the track is taken over by layered strings/synths and there is a sensation that a change is in the air. This change duly arrives with the violin which interjects a majestic classical feel to the proceedings. There is a Celtic feel to “Lagan Love” (4:38), which certainly allows the mastery of the violin to be highlighted as the track effortlessly glides along. When the strings are layered in the background, the violin takes on a more insistent tone and I found this track one of the best on the album. It is a very different “take” on the same theme that the Irish Celtic rock band, Horslips, supplied on an album in the 70’s.

There then follows a trilogy of tales, namely, “A Winter’s Tale” (4:34), “A Modern Tale” (5:24) and “An American Tale” (6:35), which are all very well performed tracks, but by this time I was beginning to detect a little bit of déjà vu (of the aural variety). The closing track of the album “Children of the Cosmos,” is a nod to a classical composer “Sergey” (4:49) and is a superb chunk of classical violin.

My initial response to this album was very enthusiastic as the opening few tracks are all excellent, at least to my mind, but there was a point where the tracks seemed to lose their uniqueness and started to sound like earlier sections. Several listens has simply confirmed this feeling of “an album of two halves,” whereby, while the opening section remains exciting and excellent music, the excitement wanes towards the latter tracks.

Having reviewed Darryl’s last release, Ultra Violins, and given 3.5/5 stars, I certainly find this release, Children of the Cosmos a step above that, having thoroughly enjoyed part of the album. It is unfortunate that the superb level of the earlier tracks drop off a little towards the end. This is an album that I will dip into again and again as there is some amazing material on show.

As I always try to point out to readers of my reviews, it is a very personal view and I encourage people to get hold of the album in question and give it a fair hearing, as you might feel differently about it.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks:  Children of the Cosmos, Don’t Look Back, Lagan Love

Tracks: 
Children of the Cosmos
Spooks
The Best of Times
Nature’s Way
Summer of Love
Don’t Look Back
Fire with Fire
Lagan Love
A Winter’s Tale
A Modern Tale
An American Tale
Sergey


Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

July 23, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

21 July 2014

Progressive Metal Review: Distorted Harmony-Chain Reaction

Release Date: July 9, 2014
Label: Independent

I think that Progressive Metal is one of the strongest genres out there in music today, with no shortage of talented bands making amazing music that will still be listened to decades later.  Progressive bands are unafraid to take risks and push boundaries with their music.  Not caring about what mainstream sound is selling at the moment, they create music the way great writers or painters create new worlds.  Distorted Harmony is no exception, adding another pillar to this already sturdy genre.

Based out of Tel Aviv, Israel and founded in 2010, Distorted Harmony consists of Misha Soukhinin (vocals), Guy Landau (guitars), Yoav Efron (keyboards), Iggy Cohen (bass), and Yogev Gabay (drums).  Describing their sound as “a delicate combination of the complex progressive metal, the unique harmonies of modern Jazz and Classical music and some heavy shit,” Distorted Harmony established themselves as a leading progressive metal band in Israel with their 2012 debut album, Utopia.  Their sophomore album, Chain Reaction, seeks to build upon that foundation and launch Distorted Harmony toward global prominence.   

Their self-description is neither boasting nor is it facetious. “Every Time She Smiles” is the perfect introduction to the sound of Distorted Harmony.  The ambient opening gives way to a heavier sound in the beginning instrumental part for a perfect blend of harmonies.  Then Misha Soukhinin’s soothing voice chimes in to take the song to new heights.   “Children of Red” wastes no time by coming out heavy and unrelenting.  Its juicy riffs, funky bass, and catchy chorus make for one unforgettable song that will leave listeners hypnotized.  Songs such as “Hollow” are more traditional.  It is a straight-up hard rocking tune with an excellent guitar solo that stands out prominently.  

They also know how to let the music do all the taking with the instrumental “Nothing (But the rain).”  It is the type of song where the music is constantly rising, moving toward a cathartic conclusion.  Then there is the acoustic “As You Go.”  It is a beautiful sounding song, with thanks to those vocals that are so calm inducing.  Chain Reaction goes out with authority, as its final two songs are bewildering in their brilliance.  With its crunchy chords, crushing drums, and a sense of uncontrollable energy, “Natural Selection” is a progressive metal masterpiece.  “Methylene Blue” starts off slow and controlled, rising toward its eventual release half-way through the song.  The drums and guitar take over with the force of a conquering army.  It is off to the races with a cavalcade of sound before returning to the serenity of the beginning, which leads us out.

Chain Reaction is the sophomore album that every band dreams of recording.  The elegance, intricacy, and complexity of it has me thinking of some of my favorite progressive bands, such as Tool and Pain of Salvation.  This is no mistake, as these guys have proven that they belong with the best that the progressive metal world has to offer and Chain Reaction is the proof. 

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Every Time She Smiles, Children of Red, Natural Selection, Methylene Blue

Tracks:   
Every Time She Smiles
Children of Red
Misguided
Nothing (But the rain)
As One
Hollow
As You GoNatural Selection
Methylene Blue

Brian McKinnon

July 21, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Juan Oskar Releases New Album Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

Phoenix, Arizona-July 22, 2014-It has been four years since Juan Oskar has released an album. Stairway to Heavenwas his last installment and now he is back in full swing with Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. And there is no better time than now to release an album with that title since the Jersey Boys movie came out this summer reengaging audiences worldwide with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons story and music. 

Don’t let the title mislead you though, Oskar has offered an eclectic mix of standards. There is something for everyone on Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. The music is a variety of songs sung in English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese featuring covers as “Music To Watch Girls By,”  “Quando, Quando, Quando,” “Sabor a Mi,” “Volare,” and “Você Abusou.” All are done very well and Oskar makes everyone his own with his diverse vocal style.

Juan explains - “This is the music your parents and grandparents listened to reminiscent of the old days in a Las Vegas, or of the ‘cool and classy’ cocktail lounge in the big city. Where men would open a door and light a cigarette for a lady. This CD is for the seasoned music lover, a mix of oldies, boleros, lounge, and mob hits. Divertiti!”

Once listeners get their ears tuned in to this classic music they will forget that four years have passed since the last Juan Oskar release. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You is a time machine that takes you on trip around the world while presenting music that everyone understands. For some folks this will bring memories back quickly regardless of what language it is being presented in.

Viva! Juan Oskar! Welcome back to the world of music. It is nice to see that there are artists out there that respect the old classics and are able to translate them in several different languages. There are few vocalists that can accomplish such a feat.

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You is available for purchase on the Juan Oskar website, CD Baby and Amazon. A stream of the entire album can be enjoyed on Oskar’s Bandcamppage. You can also check out where Oskar is performing via the Jazz Near You listings.

Links:
CD Baby

Cleopatra Records Partners With Carmine Appice's Rocker Records to Release Rare Live and Studio Recordings By Cactus, Bogert & Appice and Travers & Appice!


Los Angeles, CA - Much to the excitement of music fans around the world, Cleopatra Records has joined forces with drum icon Carmine Appice's Rocker Records and will be releasing rare live and studio recordings by US rock legends Cactus, Tim Bogert & Carmine Appice and Pat Travers & Carmine Appice!

“I’m so excited that my label Rocker Records has partnered with Cleopatra Records to put out this collection of RARE and UNIQUE kick ass rock !!!” - Carmine Appice

CACTUS - AN EVENING IN TOKYO (CD)
Available Now!

The band referred to as America’s Led Zeppelin, Cactus, offer this stunning concert performance recorded in late 2012 at the Garden Shimokitazawa club in Tokyo! Features founding member and Vanilla Fudge/Ozzy Osbourne alum Carmine Appice plus Detroit blues legend Jim McCarty (formerly of Mitch Ryder’s backing band The Detroit Wheels), vocalist Jimmy Kunes (formerly of Savoy Brown), bassist Pete Bremy and harp player Randy Pratt!

Tracks:
1. Swim
2. One Way...Or Another
3. Bro. Bill
4. You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover
5. Alaska
6. Electric Blue
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Evil
9. Parchman Farm
10. Rock N’ Roll Children

CACTUS - LIVE IN THE U.S.A. (DBL CD)
Available August 5!

Drum legend Carmine Appice reunites with his fellow rock n’ roll superstars Tim Bogert & Jim McCarty for a very special Cactus reunion show at B.B. King’s in New York - June 2006! Includes powerful performances of Cactus’s live favorites “Parchman Farm,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Evil,” “Bro. Bill” and more! Like a fine double-barreled bourbon, this group has only grown stronger and better over the years!

Tracks:
DISC 1
1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Cactus Music
5. Bro. Bill
6. Muscle And Soul
7. Oleo (Bass Solo)

DISC 2
1. Part Of The Game
2. Evil
3. Cactus Boogie
4. Parchman Farm
5. Rock N’ Roll Children

CACTUS - TKO TOKYO - LIVE IN JAPAN (DBL CD/DVD)
Available September 2!

A blockbuster multi-media 2CD+DVD live set recorded in 2012 from the mighty Cactus! Features one single, mind blowing concert performance captured on both audio CD and crystal clear digital video, and includes some of the band’s finest versions of “Bro. Bill,” “Parchman Farm,” “Evil” and more! This show was recorded the night after Evening In Tokyo at the very same venue.

DISC 1
1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Bro. Bill
5. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover
6. Alaska
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Electric Blue

DISC 2
1. The Groover
2. Evil / Drum Solo
3. Big Mama Boogie
4. Parchman Farm
5. Randy’s Song
6. Rock N’ Roll Children
7. Part Of The Game

DVD
1. Long Tall Sally
2. Let Me Swim
3. One Way...Or Another
4. Bro. Bill
5. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover
6. Alaska
7. Muscle And Soul
8. Electric Blue
9. The Groover
10. Evil / Drum Solo
11. Big Mama Boogie
12. Parchman Farm
13. Randy’s Song
14. Rock N’ Roll Children
15. Part Of The Game

BOGERT & APPICE – FRIENDS (CD)
Available August 19!

Longtime partners in crime and one of the tightest rhythm sections in all of rock music, bassist Tim Bogert & drummer Carmine Appice, team up with musical friends and family for this special studio album! Features Vanilla Fudge alumni Bill Pascali, Teddy Rodinelli, and Vince Martell PLUS special guests T.M. Stevens (James Brown / The Pretenders) & Brian Auger (Rod Stewart)!

Tracks:
1. Bye Bye Love
2. Falling
3. Black Box
4. Eternity
5. The Star-Spangled Banner

BONUS TRACKS
6. Falling (with Brian Auger)

TRAVERS & APPICE - LIVE IN EUROPE (CD)
Available September 16!

Together again on this very special live album recorded in 2004, guitarist Pat Travers and drummer Carmine Appice, along with special guest bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm), bring the house down with some of the realest, rawest classic rock you’ve ever heard! Includes Travers’ biggest hits “Snortin’ Whiskey” and “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)” as well as a supercharged version of the mega hit Appice co-authored “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and lots more!

1. Taken
2. Better From A Distance
3. I Don’t Care
4. Crash And Burn
5. Livin’ Alone
6. Tony Solo
7. Gotta Have Ya
8. Keep On Rockin’
9. Snortin’ Whiskey
10. Can’t Escape The Fire
11. Evil
12. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
13. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)
14. Stand Up

To purchase:
Cactus - An Evening In Tokyo
http://georiot.co/2d2U

Cactus - Live In The U.S.A.
http://georiot.co/2WGk

Bogert & Appice - Friends
http://georiot.co/340n

For more information:
CARMINE APPICE
www.carmineappice.com
www.drumwars.com
www.cactusrocks.net
www.therodexperience.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

20 July 2014

Progressive Rock Review: Curved Air-North Star

Release Date: 25thMarch 2014
Label: Cherry Red Records

Curved Air, the British Prog Rock band, came into being in 1970, formed from musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds which included classical, folk and electronic. Recently I reviewed Airwaves (Live at the BBC) by the band, which was an album of live recordings made between 1970 and 1976, but what is on the table for review now, is a new studio album, North Star. The first Curved Air studio album was released in 1970, Air Conditioning, and was one of the first “picture disc” releases and North Star is the 7th studio album, released 38 years after Airborne, album number 6 from 1976.

Curved Air at present is a 6 piece band comprising Sonja Kristina Linwood (vocals), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), Kirby Gregory (guitars), Chris Harris (bass), Robert Norton (keyboards) and Paul Sax (violin). Sonja and Florian were original members back in 1970, Chris joined in 2008, Robert and Paul in 2009 and Kirby, who was briefly a member in 72/73, joined again in 2012.

North Staris a 14 track album which has a total running time of around 75 minutes. The penultimate track, “Young Mother” is the longest on the album, running on to 6:45 minutes, with the opening track, “Stay Human” the shortest at 3:50 minutes. The album comprises 7 new tracks, 3 from earlier Curved Air albums (1 from Air Conditioning in 1970 and 2 from Second Album from 1971), 1 track from a 1980 solo release by Sonja and 3 cover versions of songs by The Police, Snow Patrol and The Beatles.

The opening track on North Star, “Stay Human” (3:50) is an excellent introduction to the album. Chunky guitar, drums and electric violin followed by the characteristic voice of Sonja Kristina, make the track sound like vintage 70’s Curved Air. The track motors along perfectly dovetailing the old and new style of Curved Air and crams much more into under 4 minutes than would seem possible.

“Time Games” (6:24) is highlighted by a solid rhythm unit, great guitar and that soaring violin. Sonja’s voice floats above the music and there is an excellent section of interplay involving the guitar and violin. “Puppets” (5:20) follows and dates back to 1971, but due to the skill of the musicians involved, it doesn’t have the feel of an old song. Track 4, “Images and Signs” (4:39) is more of a slow burner with the guitar and violin again to the fore. “Interplay” (5:41) has a standout guitar section courtesy of Kirby Gregory which is superb and also has stunning violin and piano work.

The next track is an instrumental, “Spider” (4:39) which “reeks” of 70’s style allowing bass, guitar, violin and keyboards to dovetail superbly. “Magnetism” (6:32) is another differently styled track with a fairly standard drum/bass foundation, but with a more “whispered” double tracked vocal, leading into a short violin passage which then repeats. The time change around 2:45 minutes pits the keyboards against the violin, with the keyboard passages superb and again the opportunity arises for Kirby to show his mastery of the guitar in a longish passage.

“Colder than a Rose in Snow” (4:26) is a melancholic, emotive song from a Sonja Kristina solo album, followed by “Old Time News” (5:08) which is an up-tempo track featuring those chunky guitar passages and stunning violin sections. “Situations” (6:14) and “Young Mother” (6:45) are re-workings from earlier Curved Air albums, but both straddle the decades with ease. None of the “old” material on the album sounds dated and fits in seamlessly with the “new” tracks.

The only thing about this album I am unsure of is the need to have the three cover versions included. “Spirits in the Material World” (4:58), “Chasing Cars” (4:54) and “Across the Universe” (4:20) are all very competently performed, but I don’t feel that they add anything to the album. They are presented in a very different style to the rest of the album.

North Staris a superb new album from Curved Air with the new material and the selected oldies highlighting the classic Curved Air sound, a sound that has been missing for too long a time. North Star is certainly a hugely satisfying listen, with little hooks throughout, meaning that you latch onto tracks, even on only one hearing. Both stickers are adorning this release, “One to Buy” and “The Experience will last forever” and my advice is simply to go out and purchase it, swiftly.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks:  Stay Human, Puppets, Images and Signs

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

July 20, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

18 July 2014

Audio Fidelity To Release 5.1 Multichannel Hybrid SACD of Mike Bloomfield - Al Kooper - Steve Stills 'Super Session' Album Mixed By Legendary Al Kooper!


"...one of those albums that seems to get better with age...a super session indeed!"

Camarillo, CA – Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing a limited numbered edition 5.1 Multichannel Hybrid SACD of the legendary Mike Bloomfield - Al Kooper - Steve Stills 'Super Session' album! Al Kooper was an A&R executive with Columbia Records in the early 1960's after leaving the group Blood, Sweat & Tears. The Super Session album was conceived as a jam session with Kooper on keyboards and former Paul Butterfield Blues Band member Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar along with veteran studio musician and Wrecking Crew member "Fast" Eddie Hoh on drums and Barry Goldberg, also on keyboards. Bloomfield was available during the first day of recording for Side 1 of the LP (tracks 1-5). For the second day of recording, Kooper brought in former Buffalo Springfield guitarist Steven Stills to perform on the music that became Side 2 of the LP (tracks 6-9). Recorded on a shoestring budget over a 2-day period in Los Angeles, Super Session went on to become a rock classic and earned the trio a gold record for sales of over one million copies.

"I always wanted to mix this in 5.1. I finished it in 2006, and it's been sitting there until Audio Fidelity released it from captivity. It's the first album I ever mixed in 5.1 I hope everyone enjoys it. Surround Sound allows the listener to get up close to each musician and hear details you can't hear in stereo. Hope ya like details - I DO!" - Al Kooper

The package includes new liner notes written by Al Kooper that tells the story of the Super Session album and the new 5.1 Multichannel mix. The 5.1 mix by Al Kooper with mastering by Bob Ludwig was never released and yet it has acquired some fame from industry insiders familiar with the Multichannel mix with comments like "excellent" and "it deserves to be heard." The new mastering of the Stereo layer of tracks for new SACD Stereo and CD Stereo audio are by mastering engineer Steve Hoffman.

"...some truly spectacular, not to mention, historical rock'n'roll moments."

Tracks:
1. Albert's Shuffle
2. Stop
3. Man's Temptation
4. His Holy Modal Majesty
5. Really
6. It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry
7. Season of the Witch
8. You Don't Love Me
9. Harvey's Tune

Produced by Al Kooper
Stereo CD and SACD mastering: Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering
Multichannel SACD 5.1 mix: Al Kooper
Multichannel SACD 5.1 mastering: Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios

For more information: http://www.audiofidelity.net/content/bloomfield-kooper-stillssuper-session
Al Kooper official website: http://alkooper.com/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

The 2-Channel CD Stereo can be played on all standard CD players. The SACD Stereo requires a SACD player. SACD Surround Sound requires a Multichannel SACD player and system.