30 November 2015

Progressive Rock Review: Asia-Axis XXX Live In San Francisco

Release Date: 22nd June 2015
Label:  Frontiers music

This is a recording produced by the original line-up of the band, Asia, when they toured in support of the album XXX, released back in 2012.The venue for the recording was the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco and the date was the 7th November 2012.

The four members of the band were John Wetton (bass, vocals), Carl Palmer (drums), Steve Howe (guitars) and Geoff Downes (keyboards).

This is the band’s 23rd live album, if the information to be gleaned from  progarchives.com is to be believed. Axis XXX Live In San Franscisco is a 2 disc release with a total playing time a few seconds over the 2 hour mark, (120:21), and comprises 19 tracks. Disc 1 has 12 tracks including the obligatory “Introduction” and has a running time of 62:50 minutes with the second disc, 7 tracks and a slightly shorter playing time of 57:31 minutes. The longest track on offer is found on disc 2, “ Holy War-Drum Solo” at 15:03 minutes and the shortest track is “Pyramidolog,” on disc 1 with a playing time of 3:26 minutes.

The recording concentrates on the earlier albums, although it was headlined as the Axis XXX tour, with 10 of the 19 tracks coming from the first album, Asia in 1982 (7 tracks) and second album, Alpha in 1983 (3 tracks). The only other album to be “plundered” in any way is XXX, from 2012, with 3 tracks. An odd inclusion to my mind is a track taken from the solo album release by Steve Howe in 2001, Natural Timbre.

After the fairly low-key introduction, which is simply the music prior to and during the band entering the stage, as evidenced by the clapping/cheering that starts up part way through. Once ready, the band burst into life with 2 classic tracks from the debut album, Asia, now 33 years old, “Only Time Will Tell” (5:22) and “Wildest Dreams” (6:02) and follow this duo with a track from the 2012, XXX album, “Face On The Bridge” (6:01). All four members of the band are excellent as you would expect from such seasoned musicians, and the power still present in the voice of John Wetton is amazing.

The band then run through a selection of material, which tends to form the bulk of their live shows, so there are no real surprises. “Pyramidology” (3:27) and “Golden Mean” (4:11) allow Steve Howe to highlight his acoustic guitar playing, which most people are well aware of, and then the band pull together for another track from the XXX album in the form of “I Know How You Feel” (5:50).
Whilst the album, Axis XXX is not going to “set the heather alight” and shift shedloads of copies, it is a very competent, satisfying release. If there is anything to flag up as a negative, it is simply the lack of the surprise factor, with the playlist being firmly planted in “safe” tracks, and a similarity to other live recordings by the band.

For Asia fans, this will be an essential purchase, but I am not convinced that this issue will add to the number of Asia fans. In the same manner as the album started with a “bang,” it concludes in a similar manner with the rousing pairing of “Sole Survivor” (7:24) and “Heat Of The Moment” (7:55).

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Only Time Will Tell, Tomorrow The World, Heat Of The Moment

Tracks:

Disc 1:

Introduction
Only Time Will Tell
Wildest Dreams
Face On The Bridge
Time Again
Tomorrow The world
Ride Easy
Pyramidology
Golden Mean
I Know How You Feel
Don’t Cry
Smile has left Your Eyes

Disc 2:
Cutting It Fine
Holy War-Drum Solo
Extraordinary Life
Here Comes The feeling
Open Your Eyes
Sole Survivor

Heat Of The Moment

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
November 30, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk


29 November 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Brian Kelly-Butterfly Rapture

Release Date: October 1, 2015
Label: Skylight Music

Brian Kelly is a composer and recording artist who began his musical career when he was a child. Butterfly Rapture is his third album done in the neoclassical tradition with influences ranging from Celtic, gospel and jazz. The album is a crisp solo piano experience, with sparkling composition and a resonance that sticks with you long after the last song plays. If you can stop listening. My play button is getting worn out on this one and what a joy that is.

“Lilac Horizon” is a tender and fluid piece, with layered piano work that evokes imagery of the poignant life moments that linger. Pensive and thoughtful, the winding nature of this track flows together like the never ending gears of time. Always moving forward, no matter what. The horizon is always just out of reach and we struggle to grasp that elusive glimpse of what is to be.

“Winter Aura” has a starkness about it that captures the essence of winter. Cold beauty claims the ruddy umber flavor of autumn and covers the land with delicate ice crystals and a blanket of soft white snow. The deep keystrokes and elemental playing delve deep into the introspective nature of this season of the year and bring forth the longing for home and hearth; of family and the familiar. At times playful and others more contemplative, this encapsulates all that winter has to offer, all from the masterful keystrokes of Kelly’s fingertips.

“Butterfly Rapture” is the title track and last piece on the album. Tumultuous like a butterfly beating its wings against the vast expanse of sky, it opens its wings and shines beauty down upon us all. Vibrant colors move within each well-crafted portion of the composition. The melodies twist and frolic like a meadow filled with small beating wings and the brilliant majesty brought with every nuance and flutter.

Butterfly Rapture is his first solo piano album and what a magnificent accomplishment it is. Solo piano can, in some instances, feel like a very long extension of the same song but not this album. Each track has its own flavor of music and takes the listener on a journey inside the mind of the artist. From snowy jaunts in “Winter Aura” to the first track “Piano Escapades” where we are first introduced to Kelly’s dazzling style, this album is a many faceted jewel any piano connoisseur will be thrilled to have in their collection.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Lilac Horizon, Winter Aura, Butterfly Rapture

Tracks: 
01. Piano Escapade
02. Room for Sky
03. Flowers at Her Feet
04. Lilac Horizon
05. Chasing a Breeze
06. Spiral Moon
07. Hills in Bloom
08. Niko's Delight    
09. Playing My Heart
10. View from the Swing
11. Winter Aura
12. Butterfly Rapture

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
November 29, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



28 November 2015

Unreleased Greg Lake & Geoff Downes Album "Ride The Tiger" Released - OUT NOW!


London, UK- Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, an unreleased album by legendary GREG LAKE & GEOFF DOWNES titled “RIDE THE TIGER” has finally seen the light of day! Greg Lake is the co-founder of KING CRIMSON and EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER (ELP), and wrote the hit “LUCKY MAN” and co-wrote “I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS”. Geoff Downes is the keyboardist in THE BUGGLES, ASIA and YES, and co-wrote the hits “VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR” and “HEAT OF THE MOMENT”.

“Ride the Tiger” contains six songs which the duo wrote together - one went on to became an ASIA song and two became ELP songs. Four of these tracks had been released on compilations before, but this is the FIRST TIME they have been collected together with TWO PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED tracks PLUS one alternate mix.

“To be honest I thought that these recordings had simply disappeared off the radar until one of my management team, Daniel Earnshaw, reminded me of their existence. My initial reaction was not entirely positive as I generally view many of these re-releases to be a bit tiresome, however, upon hearing these recordings again I immediately identified their value, both in terms of song writing and of musicianship and production. Geoff, of course, is a masterful musician with an instinctive ability to maximise the potential of any song both as a player and as an arranger. His contribution to these recordings is clear for all to see and for me it was a real pleasure to reflect upon our friendship together both personally and as musicians.” - Greg Lake

“One of the privileges of my career has been the opportunity to embrace a number of bespoke projects with some of the world’s greatest musicians. Greg Lake, of course was at the forefront of the progressive revolution, lead vocalist and bassist with both King Crimson and ELP, bands which literally changed the world, pushing boundaries of excellence and creativity, creating a brand new musical genre from London which would soon captivate the planet. This collection of songs represents a particularly creative period in my life.  I’m delighted that Greg and I have rekindled our friendship, and worked together again in order to share this collection with you.” – Geoff Downes

Track Listing:

1. MONEY TALKS
2. LOVE UNDER FIRE
3. AFFAIRS OF THE HEART
4. STREET WARS
5. CHECK IT OUT
6. BLUE LIGHT
7. LOVE UNDER FIRE (ALTERNATE MIX)

To order:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/1UEo
Amazon Digital: http://geni.us/34nB
Cherry Red: http://shop.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=5241

Greg Lake's official website: www.greglake.com ;

Geoff Downes official website: www.geoffdownes.com ;

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

24 November 2015

Keyboard Legend Patrick Moraz To Release Limited Edition 19-CD Box Collection Of Solo Catalogue


Los Angeles, CA - As the holiday season approaches, keyboard legend Patrick Moraz is proud to announce the release of his special BOX COLLECTION of 19 CDs! The special box collection also contains a uniquely different CARD that Patrick has specially conceived, designed and autographed.

Titles Included in the Box Collection:
Change of Space
Coexistence
Esp - Etudes, Sonatas, Preludes (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Future Memories I and II
Future Memories II (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Future Memories Live on TV
Human Interface
“i“ (a.k.a. “The Story of i”)  
Live at Abbey Road (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Mainhorse
Music for Piano and Drums - Live in Maryland - 2 Audio CDs
Out in the Sun
Patrick Moraz III
Patrick Moraz in Princeton (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Pianissimoraz
Resonance (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Time Code (AVAILABLE IN BOX COLLECTION ONLY)
Windows of Time

The CDs can also be purchased as single units directly from his websites and Facebook.

Swiss born Patrick Moraz is best known as an official member and keyboardist for the progressive rock bands “Yes” from 1974 to the end of 1976 and “The Moody Blues” from 1978 to 1991. He was classically trained at the Conservatory of Lausanne, but having a keen interest in jazz and world rhythms he decided early on to pursue composing and playing in these genres of music as well. This led to Patrick and his own trio and quartet, opening for major jazz artists and famous rock bands throughout Europe in the mid-sixties. He then formed the group “Mainhorse” with Jean Ristori in 1968 and released a self-titled album on Polydor. After a long tour of Japan and the Far-East as musical director of a Brazilian Ballet Company, he moved to England in the early Seventies to form “Refugee” with Lee Jackson and Brian Davison, both previously of  “The Nice”. They produced one album titled “Refugee” which to date is still revered as one of Prog-Rock’s monumental works known for Moraz’s highly inspired compositions and keyboard virtuosity.

Moraz rose to prominence in 1974 as a new member and keyboardist of “Yes”. He co-composed along withYes’s” band members and played on the album “Relayer”, which led to what was to be “Yes’s” most successful ever world tour, playing to crowds which numbered from 25,000 to 120,00 at JFK stadium during the bi-centennial year of 1976.  In 1975-1976 these particular members of “Yes” decided to compose, record and release their own solo albums. In the interim Moraz had moved to Brazil and composed the music for his own “i” (a.k.a. “The Story of i”) solo album, which incorporated 16 Brazilian percussionists, making it an important staple of “world music”. “i” was Moraz’s first solo album and in 1976 it was voted the #1 Album of the Year by “Keyboard Magazine”. After his departure from “Yes”Patrick recorded his second album “Out In The Sun” on the “famous” Charisma Record Label, and moved officially to Brazil.

In the last part of 1977 and the first part of 1978, Patrick devoted his time exclusively for composing and recording for the production of his 3rd solo album, simply titled “Patrick Moraz”; on this recording, he enlisted the services of the percussionists of Rio-de-Janeiro and Djalma Correa, whom several years later Patrick referred to Peter Gabriel for his album “SO”.

Moving back to Europe via an appearance at the famous “Montreux Jazz Festival” in Switzerland, and upon their request, Patrick began playing with ”The Moody Blues” on their “Octave” tour in 1978, replacing their former keyboardist Mike Pinder, and two world tours ending in 1979 were extremely successful!

In 1980, having played and recorded on the new album “Long Distance Voyager” he was asked to become a member of the band. Subsequently, in 1981, “Long Distance Voyager” reached #1 on the US charts (and a first for the “Moodies”!) and proved to be one of their highest grossing albums to date. He continued touring and recording with “The MoodyBlues” until 1991 and played on the four subsequent albums : “The Present”, “The Other Side of Life”, “Sur la Mer” and partially on “Keys of the Kingdom”. Moraz is also credited as composer and co-writer of the song “The Spirit”, which appeared on the 1986 album “The Other Side of Life”.

During recording and touring breaks with the “Moodies”, Patrick had continued to compose, play and record his solo albums “Future Memories 1” “Future Memories II”, (both “Live on TV”),  “Human Interface”, and “Timecode”. He also collaborated, (in 1979), with the renowned Romanian pan-pipe flutist, Simeon Stanciu, (a.k.a. Syrinx), for their album “Coexistence”.  From 1983 to 1985, Patrick Moraz and Bill Bruford, former member and drummer for Yes, decided to form a duet and tour under the name “Moraz-Bruford”. They recorded two albums, “Music For Piano and Drums” and “Flags” and managed to do three very successful worldwide Tours.

In 1991 having been with “The Moody Blues” for thirteen years, Moraz embarked on a solo career. To date he has composed and played acoustic piano on three solo CD’s, “Windows of Time”, (Quote from Keyboard Magazine : “If Beethoven had gigged with Yes, he might have wound up sounding like this“) as well as “Resonance” and “ESP”, all of which have been critically acclaimed and extremely well received.

In 1995, exactly 20 years ago, Patrick Moraz performed throughout the USA on his C.H.A.T. tour (Coming Home America Tour). The tour was unique in that it was one of the first, if not the very first to be booked entirely over the Internet! Moraz played solo on acoustic Grand Pianos to audiences that numbered as small as two people to hundreds of people, taking place in eclectic venues which ranged from single homes, to large estates, corporate headquarters, churches, theaters, concert halls and museums. One of the concerts was filmed and recorded for a DVD and CD in Princeton N.J. and is titled “P.M. in Princeton”. The C.H.A.T. tour proved to be a huge success and an experience that Moraz says he will always hold very dear to his heart.
In 2009 he released “Change of Space”, and in 2011 Moraz released the electronic keyboard CD “MorazLive/Abbey Road”  which features Patrick playing live electronic keyboards as well as a live acoustic piano improvisation. There  was also a piano-compilation CD titled “Pianissimoraz”, featuring a new and unreleased piece : The “one-&-only take” of the instant composition “Pure Love”.

In 2014, Patrick was invited to take part and perform 2 solo electronic concerts as well as an all-acoustic solo piano concert on the now famous “Cruise to the Edge“ (CTTE).

Most recently Patrick Moraz and drummer Greg Alban released their first album titled “MAP” in June 2015!

The album features amazing bass player John Avila, former member of “Oingo Bongo”, as well as other great players such as Lenny Castro on percussion, who has worked with such artists as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Eric Clapton and many others, renowned and awesome bass player, Matt Malley, founder and former member of  The Counting Crows, who expertly plays Indian Slide Guitar, Swiss virtuoso bass player, Patrick Perrier, and heavyweight multi-instrumentalist on tenor saxophone, Dave VanSuch.

To purchase Patrick Moraz's 19 CD Box Set (titles are also available individually):
https://patrickmoraz.neucart.com/
https://patrickmoraz.neucart.com/all-19-cds-box-set

To purchase Patrick Moraz & Greg Alban “MAP”: 
http://cdbaby.com/cd/themap1
www.themap.website

Patrick Moraz:
www.patrickmoraz.com
www.patrickmoraz.net
https://www.facebook.com/patrickmorazofficial

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

Classic Rock Review: Deep Purple Live (Three Albums)

Release Date: May 26, 2015, September 18, 2015
Label: earMusic

Once officially recognized as the loudest band in the world, Deep Purple are one of the towering figures of heavy metal from the 70s, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. With over one hundred million albums sold and a career spanning six decades, they are one of the most influential bands of all time. Formed in 1968, in Hertford, England, the band currently consists of Ian Gillian (vocals, harmonic, and percussion), Ian Paice (drums, percussion), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar), and Don Airey (organ, keyboards). 

Having released nineteen studio albums and dozens of live albums, they show no signs of slowing down.  This year has seen the release of three live albums, two of which are double albums. They are Long Beach 1971, …To The Rising Sun (In Tokyo) featuring Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord from the DP MK2 lineup and From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken)

The thing I like about “Speed King” is the way it captures the atmosphere of playing live. From the talking to the audience to the rawness of the music, it is easy to just close your eyes and imagine being there all those years ago. Clocking in at just over eleven minutes, “Speed King” is the first of four long jams, with this being the shortest, to make up the album.  Whereas “Speed King” acts as a bit of warm up for the band, “Strange Kind of Woman” finds them loose and comfortable in a kind of blues rock style reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. It starts of rocking and wild enough, and keeps getting better from there. The guitar parts are great, the drums consistently on point, and the vocals sparse yet effective. It is easy to tell that they are enjoying themselves. 

“Child in Time” is a truly epic song, clocking in at over twenty minutes in length. There is a great energy
running throughout the song, and a nice even pace to it all. The tempo changes are smooth and effortless. The guitar part in the beginning of the second half of the song is just a fantastic display of musicianship. “Mandrake Root” is a great hard rocking song. It starts out nice and heavy and gets very interesting when the keyboards take over. Not to be overshadowed by keyboards, the guitar takes over around the eight minute mark for one quality solo. It is the longest song at over twenty-seven minutes in length and it does drag a bit after the halfway point, but things do pick up for the last third of the song with some feedback that gets in the way. 

The other two lives albums are not only both double albums …To The Rising Sun (In Tokyo) and From The Setting Sun… (In Wacken), but they also share many of the same songs, so I would like to go over the songs that appear only once first. To The Rising Sun opens with the tone setting “Après Vous.”  The crowd is into it and there is a lively atmosphere that is infectious. “Uncommon Man” starts off slow and mellow, and rising nice and steadily before ending with a sweet instrumental part. The drums get things rolling on “The Mule” before completely taking over with a blistering solo that steals the show. It does not end there because the keyboards and guitar join in to make for one memorable song. On From The Setting Sun, “Highway Star” is a great hard rock song, with the right attitude and spirit, that is enhanced by the uncompromising and unrelenting music. “No One Came” is another song that is nothing short of fantastic. It comes out confident and full of momentum and it never loses it the whole way through. 

Most of the songs on …To The Rising Sun (In Tokyo) and From The Setting Sun… (In Wacken) are the same with little variation besides small differences in length, but that is about it. I like this because it shows how consistent they are in their live performances. “Hard Lovin’ Man” is a banging rock song on both albums that is hard not to move to, with a rhythm that practically calls out to be head banged to. The shorter versions of “Strange Kind of Woman” both dazzle again. In a tribute to the late actor, “Vincent Price” is very enjoyable with an appropriately haunting atmosphere and an eerie sound that is perfect for a horror movie. 

The instrumental “The Well-Dressed Guitar” is an impressive display all around. The song is just pulsating with electric energy that it never gets old.  “Above and Beyond” is a moving tribute to Jon Lord, an original member of the band who died in 2012. The sound of “Lazy” is anything but as the organ will certainly get you going, and things really get rocking once the guitar kicks in and things are off to the races from there. “Don Airey’s Solo” is a simple and beautiful song whose light and pleasant sound is a welcome change. “Space Truckin’” is a fun song with a carnival-like atmosphere. It would make a great party song. “Smoke on the Water” is simply an amazing song that could not be any more perfect. It is chilling when the crowd joins in the singing. It is definitely the type moment that calls out to be experienced live. “Black Night” is a rip-roaring tune that has probably the best guitar part of all the songs.

When it comes down to it, all three albums are high quality productions. If you are a die-hard collector or fan, then I would not hesitate to recommend all three. If you are not, then I would go with Long Beach 1971 and one of the others. Overall, I find it hard to pick a favorite between …To The Rising Sun (In Tokyo) and From The Setting Sun… (In Wacken). There are only a few songs that do not appear on both albums, so not much is being left out. You cannot really go wrong with either album, if you have to choose between the two. All in all, I would say that these three live albums do a fantastic job of making the listener want to be there.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Strange Kind of Woman, The Mule, Highway Star, Vincent Price, The Well-Dressed Guitar, Smoke on the Water, Black Night

Tracks:
Long Beach 1971
1. Speed King
2. Strange Kind of Woman
3. Child in Time
4. Mandrake Root

From The Setting Sun… (In Wacken)
Disc 1
1. Highway Star
2. Into The Fire
3. Hard Lovin’ Man
4. Vincent Price
5. Strange Kind of Woman
6. Contact Lost
7. The Well-Dressed Guitar
8. Hell to Pay
9. Lazy 

Disc 2
1. Above and Beyond
2. No One Came
3. Don Airey’s Solo
4. Perfect Strangers
5. Space Truckin’
6. Smoke on the Water
7. Green Onions / Hush
8. Black Night

…To The Rising Sun (In Tokyo)
Disc 1
1. Après Vous
2. Into the Fire
3. Hard Lovin’ Man
4. Strange Kind of Woman
5. Vincent Price
6. Contact Lost
7. Uncommon Man
8. The Well-Dressed Guitar
9. The Mule
10. Above and Beyond
11. Lazy

Disc 2 
1. Hell to Pay
2. Don Airey’s Solo
3. Perfect Strangers
4. Space Truckin’
5. Smoke on the Water
6. Green Onions / Hush
7. Black Night

Brian McKinnon - Write A Music Review Sr. Staff
November 24, 201
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

23 November 2015

New Age Instrumental/Classical Review: Rodney Wilson-For His Good Pleasure

Release Date: 2015
Label: Indie

Everyone gets a needed jolt at some point in their life that serves as a wakeup call. Rodney Wilson got one that saved his life. He was experiencing some physical issues and found out he needed bypass surgery. To say this album is about matters of the heart is an understatement to be sure.

For His Good Pleasure is an awakening from another source, God, a higher power or the voice from within that some folks refer to as the higher self. Whatever concept of a higher power that works for you is a fit for this album. For Rodney this approach worked and he recovered completely and decided to dedicate this album to that experience.

"Healing In His Wings" was my first focus track on the album and featured on the Rate The Tracks site. It brings a lot of those thoughts and feelings about centering your inner self and reaching out for help from another source and then coming to the realization that something saved you. Essentially, if you want to look at it from this perspective, it is an invitation to open the door to the healing powers of faith.

“Joy After The Storm” is overcoming a difficulty and rejoicing in the rebirth of your life. It is about getting to the other side of any difficulty and reaping the benefits of seeing it all through, believing in yourself and the process. This music holds all the joy for you and the title of the track says it all.

The artist draws influences from the likes of Ennio Morricone and the music in turn that is created is very cinematic. It came as a natural process for this listener to envision this music playing during a movie, or one’s own life story if you will flickering inside your mind. In this case it applies strongly to the creator of this very music.

“Springs of Living Water” is also very picturesque as the piano playing is like a waterfall of emotions and the added instrumentation makes it more impactful. With all the feeling and movement you could imagine in such a track it got my attention quickly and was another one that stood out. Water is life, and it is from whence we came and it serves as a reminder of the spring of life in a physical sense related to the earth. It is what we hold inside, the spark within. The powers of healing are available to us and are self-evident we just need to open our eyes.

For His Good Pleasure is an inspirational story set to a soundtrack regarding one man’s journey and the miracles of self-awareness and paying attention to the guide posts that come graciously and unconditionally to us in life. I for one am a grateful and appreciative listener so thank you Mr. Wilson for all of your talents and offering your story and making the music to capture the awakening.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Healing In His Wings, Joy After The Storm, Springs of Living Water

Tracks:
01. Healing in His Wings
02. Take Me Safely Home
03. Hannah's Song
04. Springs of Living Water
05. The Father's Love
06. Joy After the Storm
07. Where Honor Stood
08. Faithful to Save
09. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
10. To Dance for His Pleasure

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 23, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Guitar Virtuoso Micha Schellhaas To Release Full-Length Debut Album Featuring Supertramp's Carl Verheyen and Drum Legend Chad Wackerman


Los Angeles - Much to the excitement of guitarists worldwide, guitar virtuoso Micha Schellhaas will be releasing his full-length debut album “Double Take” on December 1st. The album features Supertramp guitar legend Carl Verheyen and drummer Chad Wakerman, who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdsworth.

Says Micha, “ 'Double Take', my first full length release, reflects my relationship with the US and my journey to come and in the end live here. After I was already established in Europe with steady gigs and my own recording studio, the artist in me was still not happy and I needed to go and check out the source and birthplaces of the music and 'sound' I was most inspired by: Jazz, Blues and Rock. My first trip was a 3 month driving loop starting and ending in NYC all the way through New Orleans, Austin, LA, San Francisco and back. Songs like 'Travel Song' and 'Texaleans' reflect that time. Later I lived in Austin/Texas for a while and you can hear that 'Stevie Ray' sound in my songs 'Ford F-150’ and ‘Your Turn’ that also features a blazing solo by Carl Verheyen. Now living in LA more fusion influences came back to my writing in compositions like 'Velocity' and '5&6'.”

“Micha Schellhaas has a unique touch on the guitar that sets him apart from everyone playing the instrument today. That feel, in combination with his beautiful composing is what makes him a joy to listen to.” - Carl Verheyen

Micha Schellhaas is an LA-based guitarist living his dream and fulfilling his mission to make music as a solo artist, accompanist and composer. In 2013, he released his first EP, “Wings of Fire”, recorded at the renowned Sunset Studios in Hollywood. “Wings of Fire” was produced by Carl Verheyen (Supertramp) who also performed on the tracks, and featuring several other industry veterans (Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa), Dave Marotta (Manhattan Transfer, Burt Bacharach), Jim Cox (Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford). The EP is an exciting prelude to the full-length album due for release in 2015.

Heavily influenced by classic rock, blues and jazz, Micha has been playing guitar since he was 9 years old. Born in Germany, his musical career began in Europe where he gained a Master's degree in jazz guitar from the prestigious Dutch ARTEZ conservatory, and produced music from his former recording studio, TRINIX Studio, in the Netherlands. Having performed and toured in numerous European countries, he took on the U.S. for the first time in 2008, to explore the home of original blues and rock 'n' roll music and the main inspiration for his artistic journey. Coast-to-coast travels included an extended stint in Austin, Texas, where he was actively involved in the local jazz and blues scene, and enjoyed the opportunity to perform at the renowned SXSWfestival with his improvised street band, the “Rebel Street Show”. Micha is keeping his bonds with Austin strong, visiting on a regular basis and constantly exchanging with Texan and local Austin artists.

Micha settled in California in 2013, where his musical career has gone from strength to strength, operating from his private recording studio in Venice Beach. With a top selection of classic vintage instruments, amplifiers and state of the art recording equipment, the MichaMusic Studio is a home base for recording guitars on his own projects, collaborations and hired recording work. Micha is recording instruction videos and gear demos from his studio as well, most notable is his recent work for the top class, southern California boutique guitar builder Ian A. Guitars and Electric Alchemist Pickups.

Says Micha, “Carl Verheyen produced the album. He is a guitar legend, and brought all his guitar wisdom and experience with him in the studio. He is also a vintage guitar expert and has countless hours of experience recording great guitar sounds with vintage gear. His own albums set standards in guitar music today.

“Chad Wackerman played the drums. He started his career when he was only 17 years old and played alongside Steve Vai in Frank Zappa's band. He is to this day one of the top drummers in the world. His organic playing is just as much supporting as it is exciting and really defined the sound of this album. Chad caught on the unique details of each tune and groove immediately, and really made everything shine. He was my number one drummer in the world for the record, since I knew he can play a swing, a texas blues, a tune with brushes and a heavy riff odd meter tune all on one record and make it fit together perfectly.

“Jim Cox played Hammond B-3, Grand Piano and Fender Rhodes. He is touring with Mark Knopfler and Robben Ford regularly. Jim has a fantastic way of playing that is colorful and strong, always supporting the song and never in the way of the guitars. He can pick up a solo in any style right away and plays great chords to support the melody. He is one of the finest Organ players around and we made sure we had a B3 at the studio.

“Dave Marotta played bass. He also played on several of Carl's albums and is well known for his work with Gino Vannelli and Burt Bacharach. He, Carl and Chad have been playing together for a long time and it was great to have a well working rhythm section for the recordings right from the start. Dave's super solid playing and quick communication with Chad solidified the vibe of a great band just having fun in the studio and recording a record full of interesting grooves and great arrangements.”

To work with Micha, experience his music and follow his numerous projects, sign up for his newsletter on MichaMusic.com. Subscribers can preview his upcoming album and enjoy other valuable content reserved especially for the MichaMusic community.

Micha Schellhaas “Double Take” will be available for digital and physical sale at www.michamusic.com

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

Progressive Rock Review: The Alea Dilemma-Within the Clamor of Voices

Release Date: November 1, 2015
Label: AleatoriK Records

I covered Danny Brymer’s solo album Twist Resolution in 2012. It was an impressive jazz-fusion outing. His talent was immediately obvious at the outset and now he is part of trio called The Alea Dilemma. Their recently released Within the Clamor of Voices is a progressive rock delight. You will hear some fusion and straight ahead rock as well to keep it all interesting.

The trio consists of Danny Brymer (Guitars, Vocals, Piano, Keyboards), Ryan Sloan (Bass) and Todd Crookston (Drums, Percussion.) Brymer also recorded and engineered the album while Ty Tabor (King’s X) provided the final mastering. There are many good moments for all the band members to shine brightly on this album. They are a cohesive and powerful trio and each instrument needs the other to complete each track and make it whole.


The first track I focused on was “The Machine.” It was our featured track on RateThe Tracks. The elements of rock, fusion and classical all meld into an explosiveness that goes on for over 10 minutes. It is pure progressive ear candy.

“Altars” is another excellent track featuring the cohesiveness of this powerful and versatile trio. Brymer leads the way with razor sharp and pinpoint licks from his electric guitar and the rhythm section makes the foundation solid and a great platform for the guitar work to shine.

“Down the Rabbit Hole” is an amazing instrumental workout befitting the genre of prog and jazz rock fusion. It is a complex and intricate weaving of sound and textures that shows off the prowess of this robust trio. If you did not think three men could make this much music and sound like a single entity, think again. They sound like more than three people when they put it all together. I have an extraordinary appreciation for instrumental music and what this band provides takes that feeling up yet another notch.

Brymer has a suitable voice for this type of music which is not easy to sing along to as one could imagine. With all the time changes, like shifting from first to fifth gear in a racing car, the pace changes quickly and accurately. This is why it’s “Progressive.” Although the genre has evolved and branched out over the years, this is a band that clearly defines the term on this recording.

“Beyond The Realm” combines the soft and hard edges that good rock music can explore. I was particularly appreciative of the overall musicianship and Brymer’s vocal style on this track. They find the time and space in a song to stretch it out and utilize all the talents at their disposal.

To encapsulate the entire album I would say that this is a clear cut triumph for The Alea Dilemma. The “dilemma” is where do they go from here and push the envelope further? Somehow I get the feeling that as stakes grow higher that this band would welcome the challenges presented and come up with something entirely entertaining and fresh for listeners.

There is a lot to look forward to in the future with this band but In the meantime we get to enjoy the excellence of Within the Clamor of Voices.

4.5/5 Stars

Tracks:
01. I.D.
02. Altars
03. Down the Rabbit Hole
04. Forsaken Pawns
05. Beyond the Realm
06. Betrayed Brilliance
07. The Catalyst
08. Evanescent
09. The Machine
10. Survive Another Mile

Key Tracks: The Machine, Altars, Down the Rabbit Hole

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk Founder
November 23, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk



21 November 2015

ASIA Guitarist Sam Coulson Releases Debut Album "Electric Classical" OUT NOW!


London, UK - Sam Coulson is the current guitarist in legendary rock band ASIA. Coulson also has a tremendous following online through his extensive Youtube tuition and performance videos. “Electric Classical” is his FIRST solo album and features guitar interpretations of famous classical works.

Says Sam, “I'm very proud of my first solo Album 'Electric Classical'. It's 10 of my favourite classical pieces played on a couple of Fender Stratocasters. I really enjoyed recording these tracks. I hope you enjoy listening to them!”

Sam Coulson made his debut on YouTube in 2007, sharing videos of himself playing songs on the electric guitar. His playing attracted the attention of guitarist Paul Gilbert, who invited him to be a guest instructor for the Great Guitar Escape he created in July 2012. This would eventually lead to Coulson joining the British rock band Asia. When Asia's guitarist Steve Howe departed from the band in January 2013 in order to pursue other projects, Coulson was selected as his replacement. Coulson has, so far, worked with Asia on their latest studio album, “Gravitas”, released in 2014

Watch Sam Coulson's new promotional video:


Sam Coulson's “Electric Classical” is OUT NOW!

Track Listing:

1. AVE MARIA
2. BWV 1007 PRELUDE
3. OP. 35 NO. 22
4. RECUERDOS DE LA ALHAMBRA
5. VALS VENEZOLANO NO. 2
6. OP. 6 NO. 11
7. MOONLIGHT SONATA BLUES
8. BWV ANH 114
9. OP. 35 NO. 17
10. ROMANCE

To purchase:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/2EAb
Amazon Digital: http://geni.us/Gcf
iTunes: http://geni.us/1KHt

www.samcoulson.com
www.youtube.com/coulsonsam87
www.facebook.com/samcoulsonguitar
www.twitter.com/samcoulson87

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

20 November 2015

Jon Anderson & Matt Malley's Single "Family Circle" Entered For Consideration For Grammy Nomination!


Los Angeles - Legendary YES singer/songwriter Jon Anderson and Counting Crows Matt Malley's recent critically acclaimed single for charity, “Family Circle”, has been entered for consideration for a Grammy nomination! The money received from the single has gone to the following charities: Flutie Foundation - www.flutiefoundation.org (Jon Anderson), Sahaja Yoga Meditation - www.sahajayoga.org (Matt Malley) and National Autistic Society - www.autism.org.uk (Rob Ayling, GONZO Multimedia president)

“ 'Family Circle' came together when Matt sent me the beautiful music earlier this year. I sang the song and lyric idea and sent it back to Matt, thanking him for the great energy. Eventually, Matt added some more sounds and the haunting guitar solo. We decided to have all sale proceeds go to our respective charities. It's a pleasure to release this around Thanksgiving time, reminding us of our connection with our families and how our children keep us together, bonding our love of life.” - Jon Anderson

“Not only am I a fan of Jon's voice but I’m a fan of his fearless spiritual outlook which appears in all of his music. A mutual friend said we should meet and got us in touch and after talking a little,Jon said, 'So send some music!' - so I had a cup of my best Darjeeling tea, went into my studio and came up with the instrumental arrangement that you hear on 'Family Circle'. I sent the file up to Jon and it came back with his marvelous voice, lyrics…everything that brought the song to becoming fully realized.” - Matt Malley

Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock as the original lead vocalist and creative force behind YES. Anderson was the author and a major creative influence behind the ground-breaking album 'Fragile' as well as the series of epic, complex pieces such as “Awaken”, “Gates of Delirium” and especially “Close to the Edge” which were central to the band's success. Additionally, Anderson co-authored the group's biggest hits, including “I've Seen All Good People”, “Roundabout”, and “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. In addition, Jon Anderson had great success with a series of albums he did with Vangelis, and most recently released the critically-acclaimed solo album entitled “Survival and Other Stories” (GONZO Multimedia). In the fall of 2014 Jon Anderson teamed up with jazz violin legend Jean-Luc Ponty to form the AndersonPonty Band. The ensemble is currently on tour promoting the newly released CD/DVD titled “Better Late Than Never”.

Matt Malley is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter who is best known for co-founding the multi-platinum selling rock band Counting Crows back in the early 90's. He appears as bassist on their biggest hit records and songs. In 2004 Matt retired from the band so he could work from his studio at home and be with his family. He is a student of the Indian Slide Guitar and a fan of Progressive Rock, Celtic Folk, World and Indian Music.

Listen to a sample of the track here:


To purchase Jon Anderson & Matt Malley's “Family Circle”: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/family-circle-single/id911786898

Jon Anderson's official website: www.JonAnderson.com

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

19 November 2015

Shuggie Otis Releases New 7" Single, Announces First Leg Of 2016 European Tour!


Los Angeles, CA - R&B guitar legend Shuggie Otis is preparing a massive comeback that is sure to make the music world sit up and listen. 2016 will see the release of a brand new solo album from this much revered singer-songwriter-guitarist, his first since the 1974 all-time classic Inspiration/Information. That’s right, fans have waited more than 40 years for a new Shuggie album, and this month they can get a taste of what awaits them by picking up the Ice Cream Party 7”, which will be released on November 27 as part of the Black Friday Record Store Day promotion. This spectacular new jam finds Shuggie exploring his psychedelic side while turning in an explosive, guitar-heavy performance. The 7” will be available in a limited edition gold vinyl pressing.

Shuggie is also pleased to announce the first leg of his European tour, which will kick off in Paris on February 17. Nobody brings as much soul, style, and swagger to a live performance as Shug with his signature red Gibson SG, and fans who have followed this multi-talented performer’s tumultuous career know that a Shuggie Otis concert is not an event to be missed. Whether it be the fabulous grooves of “Inspiration Information” or the funkdafied rhythm of the stone-cold classic “Strawberry Letter 23,” Shuggie’s songs have a magical sway over audiences, both young and old, guaranteed to get them on their feet and dancing in the aisles!

The son of renowned bandleader and musician Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis began his incredible career at the tender age of 15, playing as a session guitarist alongside Al Kooper before releasing his first solo album Here Comes Shuggie Otis in 1970. Already being hailed as a uniquely skillful guitarist, Shuggie proved his mettle as a songwriter the following year with the hit single “Strawberry Letter 23” from his second solo album. Now one of the most sampled songs in all of modern music, “Strawberry Letter 23” became an even bigger smash when The Brothers Johnson recorded their version in 1977 (produced by Quincy Jones). After the release of his third album Inspiration Information failed to meet outsized expectations, Shuggie seemed to retire permanently from music. But, thankfully, he reemerged in 2013 with a deluxe reissue of Inspiration Information as well as a live CD & DVD Live In Williamsburg. Now, Shuggie is about to embark on the comeback of a lifetime, and his adoring fans stand ready to re-embrace him!


Feb 17 Paris - New Morning
Feb 18 Dublin - Sugar Club
Feb 19 Manchester UK - Academy Club
Feb 20 Edinburgh - Liquid Room
Feb 21 London UK - Koko
Feb 25 Birmingham UK - O2 Institute
Feb 26 Brighton UK - Coalition
Feb 27 Bristol UK - Marble Factory

Visit http://www.shuggieotismusic.com for up to date tour information

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

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