30 November 2017

Alternative Rock: mariaFausta -Million Faces

Release Date: November 12, 2017
Label: Independent


mariaFausta is a European alternative rock vocalist. Recently her album Million Faces became available. I knew that she would probably sing with an accent and she does. Here is the thing with that aspect of a recording artist, either you cannot get past it or you like it, there is no middle ground. After that process and you decide you like it, you realize it is part of the charisma and make up of what the artist is presenting. For my ears things landed on the positive side in all aspects.

Maria’s sound is a varied approach that works very well. It certainly is alternative rock and one of the most original and different albums I have heard in 2017. I hear a ton of instrumental music and sometimes find it difficult with redundancy regarding my words. That is something that all writers worry about. You are cognizant of that fact at all times. Well let me tell you, this music was a total joy to hear and then have the opportunity to provide my input.

The music itself is surely professional and Maria knows how to carry a tune just fine. Here accent is endearing. At times I thought of Kim Carnes, she has that rough edge yet it is sensual at the same time. She leaves you wondering what it would be like to sit down and talk to her.

“Look Over” is an excellent opener for the album and it sets you up nicely for what is to come. That is the definitive purpose of the opening track. It is the one that sets the tone and hopefully is strong enough to leave a lasting impression. It worked for me. In fact, I had to go take a look at the video (provided here) and listen again.

“Rare Woman” (feat. Olivier Ker Ourio) is another rising flame that adds to the fire of this recording. I can tell by looking at Maria and how she delivers a song that she definitely is a “Rare Woman.” She has an inner strength and drive that comes through her music, you can hear and feel it, almost touch it. It is real and original. These are factors that I greatly admire.

Million Faces tells a story, her story right from the heart. Well, if it isn’t her story she has me fooled! Or better yet her performance is so convincing that it is like an actor taking the lines from an emotive script and setting it all to music.

This is indie rock folks, European style with plenty of guts without any thought of the glory, just honesty and good music. I don’t think you could ask for more. If you are in the market for an entirely different type of music and vocal style this will satisfy that need but beware, you will be back for more, this could be addicting!

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

November 29, 2017

Founder of:

MuzikMan Productions






Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Tracks:
01. Look Over
02. The Last Train
03. Legend
04. Rare Woman (feat. Olivier Ker Ourio)
05. Loneliness (feat. Franco Mezzena)
06. Baby Shine
07. Love Song
08. Rememberin' Me
09. Inside Rememberin' Me
10. The First Day
11. In the Room (feat. Didier Del Aguila)

29 November 2017

Wishbone Ash's Twin Barrels Burning and Raw To The Bone Given First Official and Remastered Definitive Edition Re-release!



Each album is available on 2CD and Picture Disc LP with extensive bonus materials, just in time for Christmas!

These are the FIRST OFFICIAL re-releases of Twin Barrels Burning from 1982 and Raw to the Bone from 1985 in decades and DEFINITIVE EDITIONS with all new 2017 REMASTERS.

Both albums feature new liner notes by rock journalist Dave Ling, including new interviews with all the surviving members and archive quotes from the late Trevor Bolder.

Twin Barrels Burning - This smoking hot 21 TRACK 2CD set includes the American Remixes of the album on a second disc, which have NEVER BEEN ON CD BEFORE.

Raw To The Bone - This mammoth 23 TRACK 2CD set has bonus tracks including a HOLY GRAIL for Wishbone Ash fans – ALL FOUR UNRELEASED SONGS from the post-album 1986 SESSIONS. The bonus CD also includes The Friday Rock Show BBC Sessions, which are often described as better than the album versions, plus four live tracks from Hammersmith.

These re-issues are FULLY APPROVED by Steve Upton, Laurie Wisefield, Andy Powell, Merv Spence, and the estate of Trevor Bolder.

These 2CD sets and Picture Disc LPs are IN STOCK NOW with PledgeMusic orders being sent out in time for Christmas – ahead of being released by Cherry Red on 2nd February 2018.

The second disc of bonus tracks accompanying each CD will not be available with any other product or box set.

The editions are IN STOCK NOW and can be ordered from: http://pmusic.co/lvPp2D

Twin Barrels Burning 2CD Track List

DISC ONE:
1. Engine Overheat
2. Can’t Fight Love
3. Genevieve
4. Me and My Guitar
5. Hold On
6. Streets of Shame
7. No More Lonely Nights
8. Angels Have Mercy
9. Wind Up
Bonus Tracks:
10. Cat and Dog Fight
11. Go for the Gold
12. Night Hawker

DISC TWO – The American Remixes
1. Engine Overheat
2. Can’t Fight Love
3. No More Lonely Nights
4. Wind Up
5. Streets Of Shame
6. My Guitar
7. Hold On
8. Genevieve
9. Angels Have Mercy

Raw To The Bone 2CD Track List

DISC ONE:
1. Cell of Fame
2. People in Motion
3. Don’t Cry
4. Love in Blue
5. Long live the Night
6. Rocket in my Pocket
7. It’s Only Love
8. Don’t You Mess
9. Dreams (Searching for an Answer)
10. Perfect Timing
Bonus Tracks:
11. She’s Still Alive
The 1986 Sessions
12. Apocalypso
13. Valley of Tears
14. Nkomo
15. Talk To Me

DISC 2:
The Friday Rock Show
1. Long Live the Night
2. Cell of Fame
3. Love in Blue
4. People in Motion
Live at Hammersmith on BBC local radio
5. Living Proof
6. Cell of Fame
7. The King Will Come
8. Blowin’ Free

Available for order:
Twin Barrels Burning 2 CD
Raw To The Bone 2 CD
Twin Barrels Burning Picture Disc LP
Raw To The Bone Picture Disc LP
CD Bundle
Picture Disc Bundle
All Formats Bundle

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

27 November 2017

Mabel Greer's Toyshop To Release New Album The Secret Featuring Guitar Legend Peter Banks - December 8, 2017


London - Prog rock pioneers, Mabel Greer's Toyshop (for without Mabel Greer, there would be no YES), are to release a new album The Secret on December 8th.

On this album, Peter Banks (former YES & Flash guitarist) can be heard playing a guitar duo with Mabel Greer's founder, guitarist and vocalist, Clive Bayley for the first time in 50 years. Clive has written a new song around guitar parts recorded by Peter Banks, who passed away in 2013. This song is a tribute to Banks and Chris Squire who both joined the band in September 1967.

Bayley explains, “I was inspired to do this because Peter's passing in 2013 was the catalyst for meeting Bob Hagger (drummer with Mabel Greer's Toyshop) again and coming up with the crazy idea of re-forming Mabel Greer. The result is that we have produced two new albums since then, and released re-mastered BBC tapes from 1967 on the EP Images”.

The Secret is an album of 9 new songs, with Max Hunt on keyboards and Hugo Barré on bass joining Bayley and Hagger. With roots back to an era when music evolved like never before and now combined with musical maturity, this album is must have for all Prog fans everywhere.

Track Listing:

1. Big Brother, Little Brother
2. Love's Fire
3. Turning To The Light
4. Angel Sent
5. More & More
6. Swan
7. Image of Existence
8. You
9. The Secret (ft. Peter Banks)

Clive and Bob first met in 1966 - a time when the London underground music scene was an impressive force for future development of a different kind of rock music. Clive was only 16 years old but had already been playing in a band since the age of 13. He was writing his own compositions and knew what kind of music he wanted to perform. Bob had previously been for an audition with THE SYN whose bassist was Chris Squire and guitarist Peter Banks. Not long after, both Squire and Banks joined Bob and Clive in Mabel Greer's Toyshop and the seeds of YES were planted. In early 1968, Jon Anderson also joined the group, followed by Bill Bruford, who replaced Bob and Tony Kaye joined on keyboards. When Clive left the band in August that year they changed name to “YES”.

Fast forward to 2013, Clive met Bob again for the first time in 45 years! Both now in their sixties. The first thing Clive said to Bob was “let's get into the studio, see if we still have the old magic”. The result became the album New Way Of Life featuring Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye, released in 2015.

Watch the new video for the song “The Secret”: https://youtu.be/Fxqaq1T2Oro  ;

The Secret will be available on 8th December on CD and digital download from: https://mabelgreerstoyshop.bandcamp.com ;

Mabel Greer's Toyshop official website: www.mabelgreerstoyshop.com

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

Acoustic Instrumental/New Age Review: Camille Nelson-Lead Me Home

Release Date: August 18, 2017
Label: Stone Angel Music

Camille Nelson’s recent release is hard to put into a neat little box. Some music is actually like that and not very memorable. With Lead Me Home she plays the acoustic guitar and violin. She offers a multitude of colors and flavors for a perspective audience.

This music is atmospheric and something you may here as the soundtrack to Western type of movie. It does cover a lot of ground including spirituals, roots, blues, folk and new age. 

That kind of eclectic selection for one album holds a listener’s interest from start to finish. It certainly did the trick for me.

Camille and her many talents will keep you spellbound. This is a complete soundtrack, one that could fit into any listener’s lifestyle or musical preference. It is like getting in an easy chair and just letting your hair down for a while. Music such as this prompts this kind of feeling as the movie in your mind flickers away. Additionally, if you want to empty your mind this can be accomplished as well.

Some of the highlights for my ears was the outstanding picking on the acoustic guitar and the slide playing. The slide of course gave the tracks a definite blues and roots feeling to them. I could picture rustic scenery, or a cowboy riding into the sun setting off in the distance (like one of those old Clint Eastwood movies). That is what this music did for me. Everyone is different and for my tastes and interpretations that is the movie that I could see in my mind.

Camille Nelson is the kind of talent that could get noticed by more than one industry and I look forward to what she will create next. Lead Me Home should make plenty of ears perk up along the way before she decides to go back into the studio again.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 27, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

01. Amazing Grace
02. How Great Thou Art
03. Nearer My God to Thee
04. Be Thou My Vision (feat. Alex Sharpe)
05. Adelia
06. Be Still My Soul
07. Israel Israel God Is Calling
08. Come Come Ye Saints (feat. Steven Sharp Nelson)
09. Lead Me Home
10. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
11. Patterns of Light
12. Count Your Many Blessings




25 November 2017

Ambient Instrumental/New Age/Meditation Review: ANAAMALY-Urban Metta, Vol. 2

Release Date: December 8, 2017
Label: Heart Dance Recordings

The new ANNAAMALY (Phil Strickland) release Urban Metta, Vol. 2 is due out on December 8th.  It gives the perspective listener some great advice. I just had to take this off his site and share it to start of my review Also note the detailed information provided in the track listing.  This validates my belief that every track has meaning and a story to tell. If it is instrumental like this music, you have to listen very carefully. 

For maximum listening pleasure:

Dear Listener –

Please know that Urban Metta, Vol. 2 was specifically designed to be experienced with hi-fidelity stereo headphones and the SUBPAC S2 or M2 Tactile Bass Systems (visit www.SUBPAC.com to learn more). For the true immersive, vibrational full-body experience, I highly recommend that you use both when listening, if possible. Please contact me if you have questions before purchasing a SUBPAC or stereo headphones.

I sincerely hope you enjoy Urban Metta, Vol. 2 and thank you for listening!!
Peace & Blessings,
ANAAMALY

My introduction to this music was in April this year and I was swept away by the grace and vibrations that this one singular artist could create. On Urban Metta Vol. 1 I received further evidence of the healing powers of music

So now we continue this ambient, new age and meditation outing on Urban Metta, Vol. 2. At times music comes into a person’s life exactly when they need it. This applies to an awareness of that need or a totally random moment in time. The listening of music is spontaneous, it usually is not a planned event, with the exception of radio stations that do that with a preprogrammed computer.  That is a world that is quickly evaporating with the advent of streaming internet radio stations and phone apps. Uninterrupted bliss is what I call it. The point I am making here is that music such as this, is something everyone needs. For me today, I am just wrapping up working very hard for the last 5 days so I could have some time off to enjoy the Holiday. Here comes the deep breath, a sigh and then another exhale and some of the most beautiful ambient sounds to give me peace and some grounding to mother earth. For this listener this is definitely about decompressing, being around those I love and appreciate and reconnecting with my higher power. It is about being grateful and happy that I am still here.

So, what does all this have to do with this music, or any music for that matter? It is everything for me as I am sure it is for many others. In this new age community, we all seek the same thing. There is the healing power of music, the vibrations that can change our brain patterns and with that, our overall attitudes. It has been proven in scientific studies and there are professionals that administer music to patients requiring music therapy. I think it is our own personal slice of heaven and artist like ANNAAMALY are gracious enough to share their gifts of creativity through the music on Urban Metta, Vol. 2.

Make sure you check out Urban Metta, Vol. 2 for yourself and let the artist know what his music has done for you? Namaste.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 25, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:
 01: I Am Ready to Forgive (4:44) - soft reflective pads slowly drift, blending perfectly with an array of high vibrational sounds. Perfect for day-dreaming and being at peace with all that is. Release…

02: I Am Inspired by Possibility (6:35) - heavy rain, soft round bass merge with warm pads and bell like mallets, providing the perfect backdrop to your moment of full awareness. Imagine…

03: I Am a Co-Creator (5:55) - grounding bass, floating pads, rain, and electric circuitry combine to form a planetary and cosmic experience. Recharge your spiritual batteries. Receive...

04: I Am Light & Love (6:25) - peaceful and playful ambience that heals the spirit each time you hear it. Drift away with ocean waves, soft mallets, and chimes that breathe mindfulness into your present moment. Unwind…

05: I Am a Reflection of You (6:37) - angelic pads and strings sway over grounding bass and healing elements that steadily unfold. With each breath, you rise above the murkiness of your mind and allow your senses to become unaware of your surroundings. Accept...

06: I Am Fully Present (5:55) - peaceful and spacious palette of sounds that leave plenty of room for you to let your thoughts gather or disappear into the ether. Ocean waves and grounding synths create this calm abode. Smile…

07: I Remember My Purpose (6:09) - expansive, refreshing, and light. A heartfelt sonic oasis of soft rain, ocean waves, emotional pads and calls from the wild that communicate a message of truth and spiritual healing. Renew…

08: I Give My Truth (6:35) - an ambience of rain drops, Tibetan bowls, warm pads and bass create a slow healing vibe that anchors you into the energy of the earth, allowing your mind to calm and thoughts to dissipate. Ground…

09: I Affirm All That is Good (6:41) - distant vocals, warm and bright choir and angelic pads create nourishing energy while soft stereo rain and deep bass help to ground and heal you. No anticipation or expectations, just be and enjoy the moment. Awaken…

10: I Radiate Healing Energy (6:41) - a perfect ensemble of pads, grounding bass, chanting, and elements of nature that embody the sound and vibrations of compassion, healing, and love for all beings. Refresh…

11: I Have All That I Need (6:09) - elements of water and ocean life combine with emotive strings, piano, and grounding bas
s to create a peaceful floating oasis for deep self-introspection. Soar…

24 November 2017

King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018


King Crimson has announced the “Uncertain Times” European tour for 2018. The ensemble will visit Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, France and UK.

Pre-sale VIP tickets will go on sale on 23rd November from the band’s website www.dgmlive.com, where fans can also find recordings and photographs of recent shows. General tickets will go on sale on 1st December.

King Crimson 2018 European tour dates:

13th June Poznan, Poland Earth Hall
14th June Poznan, Poland Earth Hall
16th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall
17th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall
18th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall
20th June Essen, Germany Lichtburg
23rd June Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
24th June Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
26th June Prague, Czech Republic Forum Karlin
27th June Prague, Czech Republic Forum Karlin
1st July Berlin, Germany Admiralspalast
5th July Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
6th July Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
8th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
9th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
10th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
13th July Amsterdam, The Netherlands Concertgebouw
16th July Munich, Germany Philharmonie
19th July Pompeii, Italy Teatro Grande
20th July Pompeii, Italy Teatro Grande
22nd July Rome, Italy Auditorium Cavea
23rd July Rome, Italy Auditorium Cavea
25th July Lucca, Italy Piazza Napoleone
27th July Venice, Italy Teatro La Fenice
28th July Venice, Italy Teatro La Fenice
29th Oct Bournemouth, UK Pavilion Theatre
31st Oct Cardiff, UK St Davids
2nd Nov London, UK Palladium
6th Nov Birmingham, UK Symphony Hall
9th Nov Manchester, UK Bridgewater Hall
12th Nov Glasgow, UK Royal Concert Hall
15th Nov Paris, France L’Olympia
16th Nov Paris, France L’Olympia



With three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, as well as the return of multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin on keyboards, guitarist and original founding member, Robert Fripp states that this “double quartet formation” is likely to make more noise than ever before. Rounding out the eight piece line-up are guitarist and vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, long-time bassist Tony Levin, and saxophonist and flautist Mel Collins, who was a mainstay of Crim from 1970-1972. The band’s packed three-hour shows draw on material from all periods of their history, including six historic tracks that Crimson have never played live before, as well as new arrangements of Crimson classics – “the music is new whenever it was written” – and, of course, a healthy dose of new material, including the compositions for three drummers, which are a regular highlight.

Here's what the press have raved about King Crimson's summer 2017 North American tour:

“Jimi Hendrix saw them at the Marquee in 1969 and declared them to be the best band in the world. In many ways, almost half a century later, they still are.” - ERIC THIESSEN, All About Jazz.

“Fripp and his band offered an impeccable performance in two stages. No melodies, no flapping, only musicians at the top of their art.” - IAN BUSSIÈRES La Presse, Quebec

“The band finally reaps all that it has sown in its many transformations...the king is not dead, far from it, and they still rejoice.” - REJEAN BEAUCAGE, Voir.ca

“Crimson has never sounded more complete, or more joyous, on stage than it does now.” - JORDAN ZIVITZ, Montreal Gazette

“The uniqueness of seeing each of these seasoned musicians working is near indescribable and has to be experienced live to fully embrace their vision - think of eight master painters working in their own style, but on a common canvas, and you begin to get the idea of things.” - WE HEART MUSIC, Minneapolis

“On our final evening at the festival, we were witness to the concert that inevitably proved to be its highlight...The blend of mood, melody, ambiance and atmosphere dazzled the audience, which responded with frequent standing ovations.” - LEE ZIMMERMAN, Goldmine Magazine



For more information: www.dgmlive.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com
paintings by Francesca Sundsten
photographs by Dean Stocking and David Singleton

21 November 2017

Bill Nelson's "Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks From Echo Observatory" 3-Disc Boxed Set Available December 1, 2017!



Now available for pre-order

London - Esoteric Recordings' imprint Cocteau Discs, dedicated to the work of BILL NELSON, are proud to announce the release of a deluxe 3 disc clamshell boxed set limited edition collection titled “Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks from the Echo Observatory.” The set features three albums, all recorded at Bill Nelson's Yorkshire home studio, the Echo Observatory, in 1981 and 1982 - “Sounding the Ritual Echo” (originally issued as a limited edition bonus LP with Bill's 1981 album “Quit Dreaming and Get On the Beam”), “Das Kabinet” (a soundtrack to a production of “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari” by The Yorkshire Actors Company issued as an LP on Bill's Cocteau label in 1981) and “La Belle et La Bete” (a soundtrack to a stage production of Jean Cocteau's classic 1946 film “Beauty & the Beast,” first issued as a limited edition bonus LP with Bill's 1982 album “The Love That Whirls”).

All of the recordings featured in this set demonstrate Bill's creativity utilising primitive recording equipment by today's standards. As Bill has stated, “The music was recorded on a domestic four track machine. A high degree of self-discipline was in order.”

All of the recordings forming “Dreamy Screens” have now become highly regarded in the prolific discography of Bill Nelson.

Track Listings
Disc: 1
  1. Annunciation
  2. Sounding the Ritual Echo
  3. Sleep
  4. Near East
  5. Emak Bakia
  6. My Intricate Image
  7. Endless Orchids
  8. The Heat in the Room
  9. Another Willingly Opened Window
  10. Vanishing Parades
  11. Glass Fish (For the Final Aquarium)
  12. Cubical Domes
  13. Ashes of Roses
  14. The Shadow Garden
  15. Opium

Disc: 2
  1. The Asylum
  2. Waltz
  3. The Fairground
  4. Doctor Caligari
  5. Cesare the Somnambulist
  6. Murder
  7. The Funeral
  8. The Somnambulist and the Children
  9. Caligari Disciplines Cesare
  10. Caligari Feeds Cesare
  11. Caligari Opens the Cabinet
  12. Jane Discovers Cesare
  13. The Attempted Murder of Jane
  14. The Dream Dance of Jane and the Somnambulist
  15. Escape Over the Rooftops
  16. The Unmasking
  17. The Shot
  18. The Cabinet Closes

Disc: 3
  1. Overture
  2. The Family
  3. Sisters and Sedan Chairs
  4. In the Forest of Storms
  5. The Castle
  6. The Gates
  7. The Corridor
  8. The Great Hall
  9. Dreams (The Merchant Sleeps)
  10. Fear (The Merchant Wakes)
  11. The Rose and the Beast
  12. Magnificent (The White Horse)
  13. Beauty Enters the Castle
  14. The Door
  15. The Mirror
  16. Candelabra and Gargoyles
  17. Beauty and the Beast
  18. Transition No. 1
  19. Transition No. 2
  20. The Hunt
  21. The Gift
  22. The Garden
  23. Transition No. 3
  24. Transition No. 4
  25. The Tragedy
  26. Transition No. 5
  27. The Enchanted Glove
  28. Tears As Diamonds (The Gift Reverses)
  29. The Beast in Solitude
  30. The Return of the Magnificent
  31. Transition No. 6 (The Journey)
  32. The Pavilion of Diana
  33. Transformation No.1
  34. Transformation No. 2
  35. The Final Curtain

To pre-order Bill Nelson's “Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks From Echo Observatory” 3-Disc Boxed: 
Cherry Red webstore: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/dreamy-screens-soundtracks-from-the-echo-observatory/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dreamy-Screens-Soundtracks-Echo-Observatory/dp/B075TQS3F4

Bill Nelson's official website: www.billnelson.com

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

20 November 2017

EMPIRE FEATURING PETER BANKS & SYDNEY FOXX THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS - OUT NOW!


Featuring original YES & Flash Guitar Legend Peter Banks!


London - EMPIRE FEATURING PETER BANKS & SYDNEY FOXX – THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS is the first release by The Peter Banks Musical Estate (via Cherry Red) and is also fully endorsed by Sydney Jordan (Foxx). The set includes the songs from all three EMPIRE studio albums and The Mars Tapes together in one place. The 40 page booklet features six different sets of liner notes and extensive pictures from the personal archives of band members. The audio has received a 2017 remaster.

“Thank you to Daniel Earnshaw, QEDG Management, Cherry Red Records, Carl Glover and Mike Pietrini for the remastering, design and release of this wonderful, definitive collection of 'Empire' recordings. Peter has always said that 'Empire' and the music we created was where his heart was and that it was the closest he had come to his dream of creating another band like 'YES'.  With 'Empire' we achieved 90% of what we set out to. 10% was lost to pressure from the industry and the misfortune of being in L.A. during the 'Disco Era'. But the 90% that remains in this complete collection of 'Empire' recordings is timeless, magical and yet another valuable musical testament to one of the most innovative and greatest guitar players ever, who co-created one of the greatest bands ever!” - Sydney Foxx

Peter Banks passed away in 2013 but his musical legacy will live on with a series of official definitive album releases throughout 2018 and 2019. The Peter Banks Musical Estate is represented by Daniel Earnshaw.

Track List:

DISC ONE: THE BEST OF EMPIRE
1. OUT OF OUR HANDS
2. DESTINY
3. FARAWAY
4. FOUNDATION
5. SKY AT NIGHT (Featuring Phil Collins)
6. WHERE YES MEANS NO
7. OFF WITH THE KING’S HEAD
8. MORE THAN WORDS
9. SHOOTING STAR
PART 1 – FROM THE TOP
PART 2 – COMMON GROUND
PART 3 – ICELAND ON THE ROCKS
PART 4 – SHOOTING STAR
10. FOR A LIFETIME
11. DO WHAT YOU WANT

DISC TWO: THE MARS TAPES
1. OUT OF OUR HANDS
2. FOUNDATION/DESTINY/FARAWAY
3. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW BAR AND GRILL
4. DO WHAT YOU WANT
5. DANCING MAN
6. SOMETHING’S COMING
7. THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE
8. WHEN THE BANKS OVERFLOW
9. ASCENDING TO THE PLANET MARS
10. AS SILENCE PREVAILS

DISC THREE: THE REST OF EMPIRE
1. EVERYTHING CHANGES
2. SKY AT NIGHT (MARK II VERSION)
3. STILL OUT OF OUR HANDS
4. GOODBYE
5. DESTINY (MARK II VERSION)
6. SOMEONE WHO CARES
7. AIN’T THAT PECULIAR
8. DANCING MAN
9. HEAR MY VOICE ON THE RADIO
10. WHO (Featuring Ray Bennett)

To purchase EMPIRE FEATURING PETER BANKS & SYDNEY FOXX – THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS:
AMAZON CD: http://geni.us/PBME1
iTUNES: http://geni.us/PBME1dig

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/Remembering-Peter-Banks-165355266955155/

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

19 November 2017

DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION Release New Album Skyscraper Souls Feat. Guest Appearances By Andy Partridge (XTC), Marc Almond and Kate Pierson (B52s)! OUT NOW!


Front cover artwork is by Roger Dean! 

London - Super-duo Geoff Downes & Chris Braide, known as the Downes Braide Association (DBA), release their new album Skyscraper Souls on 17th November through their own label X2X Records via Cherry Red. This is their 3rd collaboration and follows their two previous critically-acclaimed releases Pictures of You (2012) and Suburban Ghosts (2015).

Both members have an immense body of work. Chris Braide is a British singer, songwriter and producer, now based in LA, who has written and produced songs for Beyonce, Lana del Rey, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, David Guetta, Sia, Afrojack & Marc Almond… to name a few. Geoff Downes is the prog legend who has played keyboards in The Buggles, Asia & Yes… he co-wrote the hits “Heat of the Moment” and “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

Skyscraper Souls is a more traditional progressive/classic rock/band album than their previous material, but retains a strong pop aesthetic and features many great guest contributions, including Marc Almond, Andy Partridge from XTC and Kate Pierson from the B52s. The front cover artwork is by Roger Dean.

Watch the new DBA video:


The idea for the album started as a series of sketches Geoff had been working on after a break from touring last year. By the time he returned from the road he directed the subsequent pent-up energy into composition and the ideas literally poured out. As a kid, Chris had always loved expansive pieces like “Close To The Edge” and “Tubular Bells.” While he is a huge pop fan and has written multitudes of pop hits for pop stars, his heart has a special place for those big studio epic productions.

On this album, Downes & Braide were joined by drummer Ash Soan (Trevor Horn, Squeeze, Faithless, Del Amitri, Adele, Cee Lo Green, Will Young, Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow and many more) and bassist Andy Hodge. Chris says, “Having such an amazing rhythm section really brought the songs to life. With previous albums we always used drum machines and samples. There is so much warmth and movement in these recordings. They breathe!”

The fact that their 'association' has always had to fit around their extensive commitments has never dulled their remarkable musical creativity. This album went a step further and was co-written remotely - at no time were the pair ever in the same room! Chris explains, “Geoff would send me folders full of stuff such as the magnificent piano pieces which turned into 'Glacier Girl' and 'Prelude.' As soon as I heard the chords I was writing lyrics like a mad man and before long the album started to materialize.” Geoff adds, “The ideas themselves were in a very rough format, but with the melodies & basic harmonies. Chris started playing around with these, and often, they came back with some radical changes, but Chris was always very conscious to retain my original idea.”

The pair feel Skyscraper Souls is their strongest album to date, which is no mean feat! This album contains constant motifs and themes that recur and flow throughout. Keeping strong melodies to the fore they have created a wonderfully interesting soundscape.

Track list as follows: 

1. Prelude (ft Andy Partridge - XTC)
2. Skyscraper Souls (ft Kate Pierson - B52s)
3. Glacier Girl (ft Andy Partridge)
4. Angel On Your Shoulder (ft Matthew Koma)
5. Tomorrow (ft David Longdon - Big Big Train)
6. Lighthouse (ft Tim Bowness)
7. Skin Deep (ft Marc Almond)
8. Darker Times (ft Andy Partridge)

Outside of DBA Downes and Braide remain in high demand.

Geoff has been pretty much flat out touring the world with Yes and Asia for the last few years. Any breaks have been filled up with other projects, including putting together some new Buggles ideas with Trevor (Horn). He is also writing film and library music.

Chris has been writing music for movies in LA, the most recent being a new animation called LEAP. He wrote “UNSTOPPABLE” for the Olympics with the artist SIA and has co-written and produced the new single for DJ Robin Schulz. He also wrote and produced a new Marc Almond album, due out next year as well as Marc's next single “Embers.” He produced a single for Elle King for a big ad campaign featuring Kendal Jenner, and is currently scoring a movie soundtrack at his studio in LA. He has written a song for Trevor Horn called “Sky Show” for an animation he was working on. With more new ventures, Chris has had no break this year, but wouldn't have it any other way.

To purchase:
CD: http://geni.us/DBA3
Digital:   http://geni.us/DBA3dig
LP: http://tinyurl.com/DBA3vinyl

For more information:
Official website: http://www.downesbraide.com/
Twitter: @TheRealDBAMusic

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

Concert Review: The New York Bee Gees Tribute Band In Concert

The New York Bee Gees Tribute Band In Concert
The Colonial Theater-Pittsfield, MA
November 17, 2017

The audience at the grand Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts stepped into a time machine on Friday night. The 70s came roaring back with the New York Bee Gees Tribute Band. For this music fan it was a complete joy to witness the show. Disco had its time like any other genre back in the day and the Bee Gees ruled the airwaves and album sales. It also happened to be to the day, November 17th, that the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack was released 40 years ago. 

I decided to put that CD on today and to compare to what I just heard in a live setting. I have to say it was about as good as it could possibly get for cover band. 

The core performers are: Peter Mazzeo (Barry), Tom Flyntz (Robin), Manny Focarazzo (Maurice, keyboards), Tammi Wolfe (Female Lead & Background Vocals), Peter Lazos (Drummer) and Mike Flyntz (Lead Guitar & Background Vocals).

The sound of the music was incredibly full and powerful and the lead singer Peter Mazzeo, can get so high that it compared to Barry Gibb in his prime. When he first did it I was in a bit of shock to be honest. The closest thing I have seen to that perform live with that kind of range was Freddie Mercury during the A Night of the Opera tour and Rob Halford consistently over the last 12 years. Part of that full sound was the incredibly talented keyboard playing of Manny Focarazzo (Maurice Gibb). He covered a lot of ground with his strong playing and multiple fills throughout the night. 

Every band member sang with the exception of the drummer. So, the vocals alone without the music could have stood on their own as one large instrument. Mike Flyntz looks like a rock guitarist and most certainly is, his other gig is in the band Riot. It was mentioned he was a member of the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame. You would think a musician like that would be out of his element however he fits right in and that is a tribute to his all-around talents.

The set list presented was like a string of Top 40 Gold records played in one sitting. They punched their ticket to stardom playing a full 2 hours and 25 songs. Some were surprises like “Islands In The Stream” (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton) and “Heartbreaker” (Dion Warwick). They seemed out of place in the set but where done very well and appreciated by all in attendance. Speaking of appreciation, the last concert I went to at the Colonial there was some dancing but this was something to behold. I felt like I was transported back into the 70s visiting the Carousel over in New York. That was the place to go for dancing and all the best Disco music of the day. Everyone just had a ball and it was like the secondary show of the evening. I am always the intent observer when covering shows and I frequently find my heart smiling at these events as I witness pure joy with many folks in attendance.

What I found fulfilling as one of the many long-time listeners of the Bee Gees was how they reached back to early days and covered some of the hits like “I Started a Joke,” “Words” and of course “Massachusetts.” It was like hearing Beatles songs, you knew every word. The one which was my favorite from The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack is not a Bee Gees song. It was Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” Something about that song stokes a fire in me, I get the chills and reach back in time. It is just one of those things that hits you right in the heart. It is hard to explain, but everyone has songs that bring about emotions, for me it was happiness and sadness all tied together.

To put in all perspective, the music not only serves as a time machine it injects you with youthful energy and you are “in the moment,” enjoying every second. This is why I am so passionate about attending these live shows. The only thing I am focused on is the performance, not any other outside activities, problems, things I need to do, or work. It’s a beautiful thing.

I did not hear one song that I did not recognize and it was the kind of entertainment that anyone could enjoy. I would see The New Bee Gees Tribute Band again in a heartbeat!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 18, 2017

Founder of:

Set List:

01.  Night Fever
02.  More Than A Woman
03.  How Deep Is Your Love
04.  Gotta Get A Message To You
05.  To Love Somebody (key of G)
06.  Massachusetts
07.  Lonely Days/Lonely Nights
08.  Love You Inside & Out
09.  I Started A Joke
10.  Guilty
11.  Emotion
12.  If I Can’t Have You
13.  Nights On Broadway
14.  Tragedy
15.  Jive Talkin’
16.  1941
17.  Words
18.  Mend A Broken Heart
19.  Grease
20.  Heartbreaker
21.  Island In The Stream
22.  I Just Want To Be Your Everything
23.  Shadow Dancing
24.  Stayin Alive
25.  You Should Be Dancin’


17 November 2017

John Wetton & Geoff Downes' iCon Zero Now Available on CD and Download!


iCon Zero is a revised presentation of the Wetton/Downes album and is a precursor to their iCon series of albums. It is essentially a collection of tracks mostly recorded in the late 1980s through the time of their brief reformation in 1990.

The original version of the album was released in 2002 and in retrospect seemed like an iCon album from a previous era, so both John and Geoff readily agreed to it being brought into the iCon family. John came up with the name Zero, and both John and Geoff approved the new front cover artwork.

The album has received a 2017 remaster and includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Geoff Downes reminisced about this time period in their joint career with these comments: Icon Zero brings back many fond memories of working with John back in the early-mid 80s. Despite being the principal writers for Asia, we both felt there was at least one other string to our bow. This manifested itself in later years as the Icon project, and this album is an insight into the inner workings of our early relationship, not just as members of Asia, but also as songwriters. These recordings were made largely at weekends when we rented demo studios to try out our ‘other’ ideas and simply - have some fun time away from the pressures of the music business. Most of these songs were put together in a few hours, and written on the fly. Then, they were recorded straight down that same day. One great aspect of this was, we always seemed came up with something new, and as the inspiration flowed it was captured there and then even in its embryonic form. 

Sadly John Wetton passed away in January 2017, but this release was already on the cards, with his Estate and Geoff Downes approving it going ahead as originally planned.

Geoff Downes had these further comments about his late bandmate: “John was a genius in every sense of the word, and I am most privileged to have been a big part of his career. The Icon project in itself stands alone as a complete cycle of our work together, and this album (Icon Zero) displays an important part of that development. The great John Wetton’s unique presence can be felt on every note and lyric of these songs. Please enjoy.”

iCon Zero will be followed by definitive edition re-releases of the subsequent three iCon albums, with bonus tracks, during 2018 with Geoff Downes’ personal approval.

To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/icon0
iTunes: http://geni.us/icon0dig

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

Progressive Rock Review: Alan Parsons Project-Eye In The Sky 35th Anniversary Box Set

Release Date: December 1, 2017
Label: Sony
Website



I think it is appropriate to kick off this review of the Alan Parson’s Project Eye In The Sky 35th Anniversary Box Set with an explanation of what encompasses this great tribute to this progressive rock classic.

A total of 3 CDs and a Blu Ray Disc:



CD1: Original Album Expanded + bonus tracks
 

CD2:Eric Woolfson's Songwriting Diaries
CD3: Previously Unreleased Bonus Material


Disc 4: 5.1 Surround Sound and Stereo HD version of the original album on Blu-ray.

Also included are 2 vinyl LPs of the original album recorded at half speed on four sides at 45rpm at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, a flexi-disc replica of an original 1982 promo (remember getting those in magazines long ago?), a 60-page hardcover book featuring newly-written essays, previously unreleased images recently discovered in Eric Woolfson’s personal archive and new interviews with many of the musicians who recorded the tracks on the album, an Eye in the Sky 1982 replica poster and postcard, a gold-foil Eye of Horus stamp on the front of the box and more.

Most people that walk this earth have heard” Sirius” one time or another. It was dubbed as the Michael Jordan era Chicago Bulls theme song and then started to find its way into many other sporting events all over the world. In fact, I just heard it recently on a commercial.  It is a superb instrumental curtain opener that melts into the lead off album track. The aesthetics are superb and the first thing that strikes you as “quality” is the gold stamped Eye of Horus on the outer sleeve of the box. 






Eye In The Sky was first released in 1982 and I remember it well. I had the cassette then eventually got the CD and now I possess the grandest version of them all. One thing to keep in mind, for the uninitiated, is that the Alan Parsons Project was very successful several years before this amazing album was released. It was part of the recordings that ushered in the digital revolution of recordings. At the time, that was a new wonder and now it’s just history. I think it is taken for granted by most of us, well those that can remember that far back or were even alive for that matter. Technology moves so fast today you don’t have time to really appreciate it before it is updated or completely changed.

There is so much to enjoy in this lavish box set. So, I had to break it down section by section to get the full-on effect of such a complex recording with all the new materials, pictures, artist notes, track developments and the several formats offered. The first thing that got my attention and great interest was the bonus track disc. What made it so interesting was how I could hear the beginnings of tracks. For instance, one track was with just acoustic guitar or Eric Woolfson humming. Although just a snippet it was a rare look into the very beginnings of a track. I got a few tastes of what it is like for an artist that starts from scratch with an album. I worked with a few folks, taking basic bare bones ideas and then gradually adding some meat.  It was an eye-opening experience, adding the instruments to get to the point where it stands as one solid piece of work. To be involved in that process is quite amazing and it gives you an appreciation and respect for the recording process that you never had. So, to take in the process of a musical genius like Alan Parsons and his main partner Eric Woolfson (who passed in 2009), really was quite a complete musical experience. CD2 Eric Woolfson’s Songwriting Diaries (Previously Unreleased) really gives a window into the beginnings of a song and Eric’s process.  This is also part of the accompanying book.

Then there is the pristine 180-gram LP’s that were remastered to play at 45 rpms to push the original tapes to their limit and produce the best possible sound on vinyl. I love vinyl but it seems like it ends much too soon, especially when you love an album like I do this one. I can’t seem to hear this music enough, I enjoy it that much and always have. When you hear the term “timeless” as a reference point, it is usually directly connected to artists like The Beatles and Elvis, however I have to give the nod to Alan Parsons on this particular release. This music sounds as fresh and invigorating as when I first heard it. In fact, it sounds better than ever listening to it remastered and on a 5.1 surround sound system.

The coffee table book is a nice addition to the set as well. It is jam packed with information from the people that recorded the music and remastered it. It is a great addition to read while listening. It brings a new picture into focus of what you are listening to like never before. It goes together like a hand in glove.



I have enjoyed many of the Parson’s releases over the years, in particular Turn of a Friendly Card and Tales of Mystery and Imagination. These were very different recordings however they are at the top of the list of my favorites from the Parson’s catalog coming right after Eye In The Sky. I think most music relates to different times of your life and for me it was one of the more exciting and transformational. I was discovering new music and traveling all over the world with the Navy. It is a time that matured me in ways I could have never imagined. Music was my best friend while out to sea for long periods of time. There was a peace and satisfaction I found on those open seas, and those feelings remain unmatched to this day. That is the joy I feel while reflecting upon my life listening to this amazing music.

If you don’t understand how this album came together after listening to all this music and reading the book then I suggest you do it more than once, you may have to anyway. My thought is, let’s give it another whirl, love it!

So, who knows what’s next from Mr. Parsons? Perhaps a world tour of this album presented on the stage fully backed by an orchestra with choreography and color? Or perhaps Cirque du Soleil performing with the music as their soundtrack? In the meantime, lets enjoy this great music presented in this box set.

5/5 Stars


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 17, 2017

Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk
Tracks:
 


CD1 Original Album & Expanded Bonus Tracks
(originally released 2007)


1. Sirius

2. Eye In The Sky

3. Children Of The Moon
4. Gemini

5. Silence And I

6. You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
7. Psychobabble

8. Mammagamma

9. Step By Step

10. Old And Wise
Bonus Tracks
11. Sirius (Demo)

12. Old And Wise (Eric Woolfson Vocal)
13. Any Other Day (Studio Demo)

14. Silence And I (Eric Woolfson Vocal)
15. The Naked Eye

16. Eye Pieces (Classical Naked Eye)

CD2 – Eric Woolfson’s Songwriting Diaries
(Previously Unreleased)

1.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
2.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
3.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)
4.    Eye in the Sky (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 4)
5.    Children of the Moon (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
6.    Children of the Moon (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
7.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
8.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
9.    Gemini (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)
10.  Gemini & Silence and I (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
11.  Silence and I (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
12.  Cooper’s Theme/ Silence and I chord beginnings (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
13.  Cooper’s Theme/ Silence and I beginnings (Eric’s Songwriting Diary)
14.  Silence and I/ Fly Away  (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
15.  Silence and I/ Fly Away (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
16.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 1)
17.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 2)
18.  Old and Wise (Eric’s Songwriting Diary 3)


CD3 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS MATERIAL & Single Edits

1.  Eye In The Sky (Ian 12-string Acoustic Guitar Out Take)
2.  Sirius and Eye In The Sky (Early Rough Mix)
3.  Eye In The Sky (Eric Demo Verses - No Lyrics)  
4.  Children Of The Moon (12-string Acoustic Guitar & Marching Band Snare Drum)
5.  Children Of The Moon (Early Rough Mix With Eric Demo Vocal)
6.  Gemini (Chris Rainbow Vocal Harmonies)
7.  Silence And I (Orchestral Take With Eric Demo Vocal)
8.  You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (Rough Mix Section - Different Guitar Solo)
9.  You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned (Rough Mix with Alan Demo Vocal - Few Lyrics)
10. Psychobabble (Orchestral Take)
11. Psychobabble (Rough Mix With Eric Demo Vocal)
12. Step By Step (12-string Acoustic Guitars)
13. Step By Step (Rough Mix Backing Track - Extended Intro)
14. Old and Wise (Chris Rainbow Beach Boys Experiment)
15. Old & Wise (Eric Piano Track)
16. Eye in the Sky (Single Edit)
17. Old and Wise (Single Edit)
18. Psychobabble (Single Edit)

DISC 4 (BLU-RAY)

5.1 Surround Sound Mix (2017) 
Stereo HD version (1982)

1. Sirius

2. Eye In The Sky

3. Children Of The Moon
4. Gemini

5. Silence And I

6. You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
7. Psychobabble

8. Mammagamma

9. Step By Step

10. Old And Wise


VINYL (at 45 rpm)

Vinyl 1 Side 1
Sirius

Eye In The Sky
Children Of The Moon

Vinyl 1 Side 2

Gemini

Silence And I

Vinyl 2 Side 1

You’re Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
Psychobabble

Vinyl 2 Side 2
Mammagamma
Step By Step
Old & Wise


FLEXIDISC

Excerpts from Eye in the Sky:
Sirius
Eye in the Sky
Psychobabble
Old and Wise

The Ed Palermo Big Band Releases The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren, a Dizzying and Ingenious Reinvention of Music by Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren!


Featuring Zappa Vocal Legend Napoleon Murphy Brock!

Ed Palermo may have gained an international following with his ingenious orchestral arrangements of Frank Zappa tunes, but he’s hardly a one-trick pony. Earlier in the year, the saxophonist released an uproarious double album The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2, a project celebrating an expansive roster of songs by successive waves of British invaders, from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck to King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull.

With his new big band project, slated for release on Cuneiform Records on October 6, 2017, Palermo is back on his home turf, but the landscape feels strange and uncanny. He’s reclaiming the Zappa songbook, filtering Frank through the emotionally charged lens of the polymathic musical wizard Todd Rundgren in a wild and wooly transmogrification, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren. Working with the same stellar cast of players, Palermo somehow captures the essence of these iconoclastic masters, making Zappa Zappier and Todd more Rundgrenian.

He sees the Zappa and Rundgren as embodying a ying and yang approach to life that played an essential role in helping him navigate the minefields of teenage angst in the 1960s. “For most of my high school days my favorite musicians were Zappa and Todd Rundgren,” Palermo says. “Rundgren had his songs about self-pity, which were exactly what I needed back then. I’d go out with a girl and whatever party I brought her to she’d go and hang out with another dude. Todd understood. At the same time, Zappa had these snarky songs like ‘Broken Hearts are for Assholes.’ It was tough love. You gotta broken heart? Deal with it. Todd Rundgren’s music was there to give you a hug. I wanted to contrast the hard-bitten Zappa followed by a bleeding heart Rundgren ballad.”

Though the title suggests a forced merger, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren doesn’t mashup the oeuvres of the two masters. Rather, the album mostly alternates between the composers, creating a deliciously dizzying whipsaw as the two diametrical stances sometimes blur or even switch. Zappa’s soaring fanfare “Peaches En Regalia” is more inspirational than smarmy, with a particularly eloquent alto sax solo by Cliff Lyons, while a brisk and forthright version of Rundgren’s “Influenza” showcases the muscular lyricism of violinist Katie Jacoby, one of the orchestra’s essential voices.

Palermo reaches deep into the Rundgren songbook for “Kiddie Boy,” a stinging blues from 1969’s Nazz Nazz, the seminal second release by his underappreciated band Nazz (an album which originally bore the Zappaesque title Fungo Bat). Drawing directly from the maestro’s original horn arrangement, Palermo displays some impressive guitar work on a vehicle for Bruce McDaniel’s blue-eye vocals. Napoleon Murphy Brock delivers a poker-faced rendition of Zappa’s surreal “Montana,” the tune that turned a generation on to the lucrative potential of floss farming, and McDaniel and Brock join forces on Rundgren’s deliriously silly “Emperor of the Highway,” an homage to Gilbert and Sullivan.

The contrasting sensibilities of the Zundgrens comes into sharp focus in the center of the album. While Palermo has recorded Zappa’s “Echidna’s Arf (Of You)” this time he replaces the horns with McDaniel’s intricately layered vocals via the miracle of multi-tracking. From Zappa’s playfully odd metered work out the big band saunters into Rundgren’s greatest ballad “Hello It's Me,” an arrangement for McDaniel’s most impassioned crooning based on the original version from 1968 album Nazz (not the hit from his solo Something/Anything? album).

Tenor saxophonist Bill Straub swaggers through Rundgren’s “Wailing Wall,” which is sandwiched between two slices of Zappa at his snarky best, “Big Swifty Coda” and “Florentine Pogen,” another superb feature for Brock. Palermo spotlights a dark and wondrous Zappa obscurity with “Janet's Big Dance Number,” a brief piece recovered from 200 Motels featuring Ben Kono’s noir tenor solo. From that unified hedgehogian arrangement Palermo unleashes the multifarious fox on Rundgren’s “Broke Down and Busted,” a portmanteau arrangement that touches on Rundgren’s “Boat on the Charles,” the Ramsey Lewis hit “The ‘In’ Crowd,” Zappa’s “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” and even traces of Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic.” It’s a tour de force that feels like stream of consciousness journey, though the id truly emerged on the closing hidden track. In what has become a Palermo tradition, he includes yet another version of an enduring lament about the difficulties of relationships, arranged this time in Nazzian style by McDaniel.

The seamless ease with which Palermo and his crack crew navigate between the Zappa and Rundgren shouldn’t come as a surprise. Over the years Zappa’s music has proven supremely pliable in Palermo’s capable hands, as evidenced further by a recent concert at Iridium that paired his songs with standards indelibly linked to Ol’ Blue Eyes (is there an album The Adventures of Zinatra in the future?). Everything he brings into the big band is a labor of love.

“Todd Rundgren holds a very special place in my heart,” Palermo says. “I realized I was in love with my girlfriend (now wife) listening to his album Something/Anything? It was about 2 years ago doing our regular hit at The Falcon that I decided to have Zodd Zundgren night. A lot of people who like the music of Zappa also like Rundgren and Steely Dan, but there are enough Steely Dan cover bands out there.”

Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, Palermo grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and credits his teenage obsession with Zappa to opening his ears to post-bop harmonies and improvisation.

Palermo caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderley, and Edgar Winter (the subject of an upcoming EPBB project). Before he graduated he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians he answered New York’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.

An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for larger ensembles, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette, “I got a lot of my questions answered and I’ll love them forever,” Palermo says. “Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”

Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners, and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for the Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddy Fischer, and Melissa Walker. Employed frequently by bass star Christian McBride for a disparate array of projects, Palermo has written arrangements for a James Brown concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a Frank Sinatra tribute featuring Kurt Elling, Seth McFarland, and John Pizzarelli, and a 20-minute medley of Wayne Shorter tunes for the New Jersey Ballet.

Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before his death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of 12 Zappa tunes. When the time came to debut the material at one of the band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd greeted the band.

He earned international attention with the ensemble’s 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records, which received a highly-prized 4-star review from DownBeat. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Dave Samuels, Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for the Zappa jazz concept. In 2006 he released another collection of Zappa arranged for his jazz big band, called Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, on Cuneiform, thus beginning an ongoing collaboration with that label. While Palermo has written more than 300 Zappa charts, he’s cast an increasingly wide net for material. Recent releases like 2014’s Oh No! Not Jazz!!, 2016’s One Child Left Behind and 2017’s The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2 - all on Cuneiform and all recipients of DownBeat’s coveted 4-star ratings - featured a bountiful selection of his original compositions and material by composers not named Frank Zappa.

Nothing demonstrates the ensemble’s ongoing vitality better than the stellar cast of players, with longtime collaborators such as violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, drummer Ray Marchica, and keyboardist Ted Kooshian. Many of these top-shelf musicians have been in the band for more than a decade, and they bring wide-ranging experience, expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music.

The band’s following continues to expand with its monthly residency at Iridium and bi-monthly gigs at The Falcon. In addition, performances (some headlining) at jazz festivals across the USA are winning new fans of all ages for the band. Palermo’s profile in the jazz press is also rising fast, with articles and feature stories appearing this past year in such publications as Jazz Times and Jazziz. Regarding recordings, albums by The Ed Palermo Big Band have been critically acclaimed and also embraced by the general public-jazz and rock fans alike. Palermo has already recorded dozens of new tracks for The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 3 & 4, and is hoping Zodd Zundgren helps introduce Rundgren’s ingenious, heartfelt music to a new generation.

To purchase Ed Palermo's The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren:
http://a.co/30Oggdq
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-adventures-of-zodd-zundgren/id1281745553
https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-adventures-of-zodd-zundgren
http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Products/Palermo-Ed-The-Adventures-Of-Zodd-Zundgren__Rune-spc-440.aspx

For more information on The Ed Palermo Big Band
http://www.palermobigband.comhttp://www.facebook.com/palermobigband - Twitter: @palermobigband
http://www.cuneiformrecords.com - Twitter: @cuneiformrecord

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