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Showing posts from June, 2017

Spain's Progressive Rock Legends Kotebel To Release Highly Anticipated New CD "Cosmology"

Spanish prog legends Kotebel have released their 7th studio album titled “Cosmology.” It is their first studio album since the release in 2012 of their acclaimed “Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble” (in the list of 100 All-time best symphonic albums in Progarchives and “Best Instrumental Album” in the 12th edition of the Independent Music Awards).

The band's new album features, among other tracks, the “Cosmology Suite”; An ambitious work comprised of four pieces that represent different conceptions of the Cosmos.

“Cosmology” marks the return of the flute into their soundscape, by the masterful hands of virtuoso Omar Acosta. It also presents the debut of Adriana Plaza as a composer for Kotebel.

To watch a visual taste of “Cosmology”:


Here's what the press has said about Kotebel:

“This is simply a stunning tour-de-force of impeccable musicianship, clever arrangements, and well-composed instrumental progressive rock” (Piano Concerto – ProgArchives)

“This is an instant classic …

Instrumental New Age/Contemporary Review: Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic-Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries

Release Date: 2016 Label: Gentle Rain Music Website
Robert Thies (piano) and Damjan Krajacic (flute) form a duo that is in total sync spiritually and emotionally. That one factor to me equals a great listening experience.
Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries was formed through inspiration from renowned classical composers such as Debussy and Ravel. The sessions that were recorded were improvisatory, which make the music that much more incredible and inspiring. This album is a continuation and expansion of the first volume. I was not fortunate enough to hear that first session, but I am sure it was quite good.
The thought of these two men coming together and creating such beauty without a carefully mapped musical plan just amazes me. Some albums are done that way, and that is the norm. Regardless of how it was done, it remains totally intuitive for the listener. I found this to be an engaging journey for my mind, body and spirit. Yes, the triangle of life connects for me nearly instantly when …

Music Legend Frank Zappa's Brother Bob Zappa To Release Second Book “Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story”

NYC - Following his critically acclaimed book “Frankie & Bobby: Growing Up Zappa,” music legend Frank Zappa's younger brother Charles Robert “Bob” Zappa is releasing a second book titled “Frankie & Bobby: The Rest of Our Story.”

Bob's first book, “Frankie & Bobby: Growing Up Zappa,” is poignant and insightful perspective on the life of one of the twentieth century's most provocative and intriguing musicians. This “coming of age” memoir provided readers with never before told stories about events that helped shape Frank's political, social, intellectual and creative development. The book begins with the brother's time in Maryland from the late 1940's until the summer of 1967 in New York City before Frank and the Mothers went on their first of many European tours. This fascinating account describes how the two brothers lived through, and handled, a series of events ranging from amusing to life threatening. It is a must-read for anybody interested in …

A Symphonic Journey With Renaissance - Music Legends Renaissance Featuring Annie Haslam To Play Selected Dates With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra!

Renaissance Fall 2017 US Tour!
Following their successful South American tour, Renaissance featuring Annie Haslam will be back in the US Northeast in October and November 2017 debuting their “Symphonic Journey” tour. This tour will include four very special concerts featuring a “10-piece Chamber Orchestra” (a handpicked assemblage of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion); October 26th at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield CT, October 27th at the Keswick Theater in Glenside PA, Town Hall in New York City October 28th and The Egg in Albany NY on October 29th. These performances will be the first time in 40 years that Renaissance will perform on stage with a “live” orchestra and, in addition, 2017 marks the 48th year since the band's formation and its ninth consecutive year of touring since their reactivation in 2009.

Plans are currently being made for the group to film the October 27th Keswick Theatre show for an upcoming DVD release, which will follow the success of their …

New Age Instrumental Review: Fiona Joy - Into The Mist (Audiophile Edition-SACD)

Release Date: June 2, 2017 Label: Blue Coast Records Website
Fiona Joy brings her magnificent solo piano work to the world once again. On her recent release and 10th studio recording, Into The Mist, she reaffirms the status gained over the years. Fiona and her piano create some of the more prolific music an instrumental artist of her leanings could possible produce year after year.

This is a difference this time however, this is an SACD and special audiophile edition. It was recorded live to Direct Stream Digital 256 Quad DSD. Using the 1885 Steinway Piano, Fiona brings the listener closer to the live off the floor experience. It is referred to as a nearly holographic experience in the liner notes. I must agree with that assessment. It is a rarity to hear a new age instrumental album in this format and it certainly was an indulgence.

The thing about this recording is that the flow is seamless and seemingly effortless. Of course, anyone that truly appreciates how difficult it is to be a pro…

Classic Rock Legends Spirit's Self-Titled Debut Album To Be Released On Limited Edition Hybrid SACD!

Includes 4 BONUS Tracks!
Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing Spirit's Spirit on limited edition hybrid SACD, which includes 4 bonus tracks! Spirit's 1968 debut album spent more than six months on the Billboard album charts and received heavy airplay on underground FM radio. Their music was part of the core, essence, and heartbeat of  the hippie, psychedelic, counter culture movement. The album is timeless, as fresh today as when it first appeared.

The band could play more styles than almost any other group. On Spirit they unveiled a mélange of rock, jazz, blues, folk-rock, and even a bit of classical and Indian music. The music is experimental. The vocals flow as easily as the instrumentals. Spirit struck a careful balance between disciplined studio chops, jazz improvisation, and driving rock and roll. Guitar prodigy Randy California is a clear standout, but the other band members are superb as well; John Locke's shimmering keyboards, Mark Andes' …

Jazz-Rock Review: Project Grand Slam-The PGS Experience

Release Date: June 30, 2017 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
Project Grand Slam, who will be referred to as PGS from this point forward, has a new album coming out just before we celebrate the independence of our nation.

The PGS Experience is their latest installment of jazz-rock-pop fusion. I have always enjoyed their recordings and the all colors they paint with their sounds.

What you get with PGS is precision musicianship and a taste of the diverse array of music they can deliver. They even cut it lose on live cuts like “Gorilla,” which is appropriately titled. It is like a full-bodied cup of coffee that holds its taste to the last drop. Man, they just kill it live. As a matter of fact, I could take an entire album of live cuts like that, however you get four in total with five in the studio.So pretty much an equal measure of both presentations. They have instrumental tracks, two with Ms. Mindi Abair on sax, and several with some outstanding vocals. They keep it going by jumping from one…

Legendary Violinist Darryl Way To Release New Concept Album/Rock Opera Called "Underworld"

London - Much to the excitement of prog music fans worldwide, legendary Curved Air violinist Darryl Way is releasing a new Concept Album/Rock Opera called “Underworld” on June 21st. “Underworld” is released in 2 versions: “Underworld Rock Opera Complete” which is the whole show with dialogue and narration and “Underworld Rock Opera the Songs” which just contains the songs.

Says Darryl, “Having touched on Greek mythology in my last album, 'Myths, Legends and Tales' I became fascinated with the idea of writing a major work based on one of these myths. Originally I was going to set Shelley's epic poem 'Prometheus Unbound' to music, but on further investigation it became clear that it was a little too 'epic' and too big a mouthful to bite off. Then the thought struck me of updating or re-imagining the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and setting it in a period and environment that I was totally familiar with - the world of rock music and the 1970s. However, I felt…

World-New Age Reviews: Elise Lebec-Origin – One World Turning

Release Date: July 21, 2017 Label: Bay Area Film Company Inc. Website

Elise Lebec will be releasing a very ambitious album on July 21, 2017. Origin – One World Turning may very well be one of the most interesting and diverse world-new age recordings you will hear this year. This is a year of evolving world change and we desperately need healing. We all should be getting on the same wavelength as this woman is.
Typically, the music I hear for review is piano based instrumental, which is wonderful however it can begin to sound the same after a while. Any genre can. What Elise gave me was breath of fresh air, a recording so different and unique that I felt engaged and energized after listening. The difficulty in arranging and producing a project like this on a scale from 1-10 is without question a 10.
Her goal was to merge the male and female energies together with synergistic music that combines an Egyptian Middle Eastern base with a new age conceptual vision. And there a few songs that have…

Experimental Guitarist Rex Shepherd To Release New Album "Never Buy My Self Volume III"

Guitarist and composer Rex Shepherd will be releasing the third installment of the “Never Buy My Self” series digitally on June 29th. The first two volumes, released in 2014, featured Shepherd playing solo and in various duets, and volume three continues the series with a new set of all solo music consisting of both improvised and composed pieces. The new release features four new compositions and ten more improvised tunes that demonstrate Shepherd's musical range from thoughtfully written jazz ballads to fuzzed out guitar mayhem including one piece in which Shepherd again uses the Theremin for self accompaniment.

Says Rex, “I released a solo set in 2016 called 'Meditations,' and doing a new solo thing runs the risk of repetition but 'Meditations' was done in just a few sessions and was textural and harmonically focused and the new stuff returns to my tendency to play and write in a linear melodic way and the music on 'Never Buy My Self, Volume III' reflec…

Original Genesis Guitarist Anthony Phillips "Slow Dance" Re-mastered & Expanded 3-Disc Edition Now Available on Esoteric Recordings!

Genesis founding member and guitarist!
London - Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a newly re-mixed and expanded deluxe 3-disc edition of the classic 1990 instrumental album by Genesis founding member and guitarist Anthony Phillips, “Slow Dance.” Regarded by aficionados of Anthony's music as one of his finest releases, “Slow Dance” is a two part orchestral rock suite which showcases Anthony's music at his most expansive and imaginative.

This new 3-disc(2 CD / 1 DVD) digipak Deluxe Edition of the album features a newly re-mastered original stereo mix and a 5.1 Surround sound mix by Simon Heyworth (on an NSTC / Region Free DVD), along with a CD of previously unreleased “Slow Dance Vignettes.” It includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Jon Dann.

Says Ant, “ 'Slow Dance' was an important album to me because it represented the first time that was I able to do a full-scale album …

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-The Road Home

Release Date: July 1. 2017 Label: PCM Website
If you have a proclivity for instrumental music of the new age flavor, I have just heard a recording you will love. 

Peter Calandra is ready to unveil The Road Home. Itwill be released just before the July 4th Holiday. There aren’t a lot of fireworks going off on this album, it is more like a compilation of tracks meant for those of us that require an outlet to release tensions. An interval from all the thoughts, responsibilities and pressures of daily life.

The peace that Peter brings you is mainly through the keyboards however there are other instruments that successfully populate the compositions. Peter is a multi-hued professional adding percussion, acoustic guitars, synthesizers and melodica.The melodica gives the music a distinct European color and atmosphere. On “The Cat’s Eye” it creates a picturesque scene like you are floating down a river in Vienna. You can see the scene developing in your mind’s eye as the music plays.

Great music ha…

Wetton/Downes' iCon Announces the Mainstream Release of "Urban Psalm" on 2CD/1DVD – OUT NOW!

London, UK – The collaboration of the ASIA co-founders, John Wetton and Geoff Downes' iCon, has led to the formation of Epicon Records (via Cherry Red) and its first release of “Urban Psalm” as a 2CD/1DVD set. The release was planned before John Wetton's death in January 2017 and is fully approved by Geoff Downes and the Wetton Estate.

The concert was filmed at the iconic St Mary-le-Bow church in London and features a unique set including iCon songs, heritage tracks and the greatest hits of ASIA. This release of “Urban Psalm” is the first in a series of definitive re-releases of the iCon catalogue.

The “Urban Psalm” recording also features Dave Kilminster (Roger Waters, Keith Emerson) on guitars, Pete Riley (whom John called “the best drummer in the world” and played with Keith Emerson alongside Dave), Panic Room's Anne-Marie Helder on vocals and ELO's Hugh McDowell played cello.

Of the release Geoff Downes said: “ 'Urban Psalm' emerged out of a very special o…

The Elements Of King Crimson 2017 Tour Box Available For Pre-Order!

A companion to the successful 2014, 2015 and 2016 Tour Boxes
As with previous releases in the “Elements” series, the full variety of King Crimson's music is presented over 2 CDs! Featuring extracts from rehearsals, new live recordings, elements from studio recordings, full tracks, alternate takes and finished recordings from 1969-2016, many of which make their first appearance on CD.

Every line-up is featured across the double CD set. Of particular interest on the new set is the inclusion on disc 2 of every part of “Larks' Tongues in Aspic” (some studio, some live) from “Part I” to “Level 5” – interspersed with elements taken from the original studio sessions and rehearsals.

Packaged in a DVD-sized fold out digipak style book case with a 24 page booklet including sleeve notes by co-compiler Sid Smith, photos of memorabilia, full info about the 2016 tour and a number of band and individual photos of the current band line-up.

Disc 1
1 Wind (extract)
2 *21st Century Schizoid Man …