terça-feira, 22 de agosto de 2017

TEMPUS FUGIT Symphonic Prog • Brazil

When the century was dying, Andre Mello (Keyboard, vocals) and drummer Marcio de Almeyda (Former Visagem) joined to form a new band, almost immediately they recruited their two friends Bernard (bass) and guitarist Henrique Henrique Simões, but after a couple weeks Bernard decided to pursue his designing career and left the band, being replaced by Henrique's cousin Rolando Simões (later replaced by André Luiz). 

This lineup recorded their first two songs that later became part of their debut "Tales from a Forgotten World" which was released in 1997 with Ary Moura who took Marcio's place as drummer of TEMPUS FUGIT. 

From the start it was obvious that the band decided to keep alive the spirit of the 70's, with a relatively strong YES, CAMEL and MARILLIOJN influence, but a unique touch that only Brazilian bands can provide, the album was well received in the States but became really accepted in Continental Europe and specially in Japan, where they became some sort of minor icons.

With the same formation plus two guests (Marco Aurêh - flute on "O Dom de Voar" and Fernando Sierpe - vocals on "Discover"), the band releases their second album called "The Dawn After the Storm" (1997), and this time they hit the nail right in the head. If their debut was solid, this time they surpassed the expectations and gave us one of the best Brazilian albums full of lush keyboards and fresh ideas.

The next years live was like a roller coaster, they had tours and were invited to the most important festivals because everybody liked their style that combined nostalgia for the fiorst golden Symphonic era, with a modern twist. But as in any normal roller coaster they had their downs, like when they couldn't go to Baja Prog, because they were not able to get the money for the tickets (The eternal problem of Latin America bands), but on the other hand, they were able to play in Buenos Aires with Anekdoten, Nexus and many prestigious local bands.

In the dawn of the new century, TEMPUS FUGIT started to work in their third record, which only saw the light in 2008 only one change in the band (Andre Mello instead of Andre Luiz) and the name "Chessboard", an album that places them in the border that divides Symphonic from Neo Prog with a clear IQ, early GENESIS and KYRIE ELEISON influence, in other words, they demonstrated us during their career a great versatility and the capacity of combining different genres, styles and moods with special dexterity.

Today, only their website survives, but I've seen some movement around TEMPUS FUGIT sites that gives me hopes for a new reunion.

Iván Melgar Morey :::: Perú

Thanks Magal

segunda-feira, 21 de agosto de 2017

TOUCHSTONE Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

TOUCHSTONE are a five piece UK Progressive Rock band formed by Rob COTTINGHAM and Adam HODGSON. The band has developed in many ways since the early days, and morphed into the present line up with Andre P (Moo) MOORGHEN on Bass Guitar, Alasdair MELVILLE on drums and vocalist, Kim SEVIOUR. The debut album and follow up to their 'Mad Hatters' EP, 'Discordant Dreams' was recorded at Outhouse Studios in June 2007, and released on 10th September 2007. 

Mixing the complexities of progressive rock, with soaring keyboards and power-chords of melodic rock TOUCHSTONE form part of the growing UK scene of female-fronted bands that follow on from bands such as MOSTLY AUTUMN, MAGENTA and KARNATAKA, but with a harder, rock edge to them.

Thanks Magal

Jackson Conti - Latin Jazz

Sujinho is a latin jazz collaboration album between Otis Jackson Jr., an American hip hop producer and MC known as Madlib, and Ivan Conti, drummer for the Brazilian funk band Azymuth. This album features Brazilian samba music heavily and features one of Madlib's interests in Latin Jazz. So far this album has been released twice, once in the Netherlands on Kindred Spirits in 2x vinyl and in the US on Mochilla Records in CD format. 

The liner notes to Jackson Conti’s Sujinho introduce the album with a simple but intriguing declarative: “Madlib loves Brasilian music.”

First things first. The “Jackson” in “Jackson Conti” is Otis Jackson, Jr., known in music circles as Madlib. Yep, the same “Madlib” who, according to the liner notes, loves Brasilian music. The same Madlib who is quite possibly one of, if not the, hardest working hip-hop artists today. Even if you don’t know his name, chances are good you’ve been exposed to Madlib’s skills on the production tip. Madlib has been the man behind the boards for artists such as Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, De La Soul, Percee P., and Mos Def. 

THE GIFT Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom

THE GIFT are a Symphonic Prog band from, London, formed after Mike Morton (vocals, 6/12 string acoustic guitar, piano and string arrangements) and Leroy James (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals, samples, effects and programming, piano and string arrangements) came up with the idea of creating a band and making a concept album at the same time. 

The concept was devised by Mike Morton and was initially meant to be just one piece.
They brought in other musicians to help with the recording, viz. Jim Thomas (bass), Rod Haverhill (keyboards) and David Storey (drums) and THE GIFT was born.

The band made some initial demos and pressed on with the idea. They sent the demos out to various places and general opinion was positive. So positive in fact, that the Cyclops label (responsible for bands such as Mostly Autumn, Pineapple Thief, Saens and Tr3nity) gave them a deal.

THE GIFT had the desire and conviction to record the album itself. The idea initially was to record one multi-themed piece (a suite called Awake and Dreaming), about "savagery and war and the final triumph of piece" (as their MySpace biography notes), but Cyclops felt it need to be longer and asked them to record a slightly extended finish. This ended up as another suite (of 30 minutes in length), called Fountains of Ash about "domestic violence, again seeking solace in the human spirit" (from their MySpace bio).

Their sound is quite varied, but takes on a definite symphonic rock air to it. They have hard rocking sections, pastoral songs, and "complex time signatures, wild key changes and ambitious concepts." 

Their progressive rock influences include Pink Floyd, Genesis (Gabriel era), Yes, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Rush and Dream Theater. They also take influence from non-prog bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, The Who, Beatles, Massive Attack, U2, Sex Pistols and Prince.

Their debut album (a double CD) Awake and Dreaming, was released on October 9, 2006, by Cyclops.

James R. Yeowell

Thanks Magal

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - Soul-Jazz, Afrobeat, Funk (Finland)

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - 4th Dimension Finland's Jimi Tenor, a musician, composer and arranger known to constantly reinvent himself, has finished work on his latest album 4th Dimension, which is set for release in early 2009. On 4th Dimension, Jimi Tenor continues his exploration of Afrobeat music. The album also sees him reunite with Kabu Kabu, a group of West African musicians based in Germany, who debuted on Tenor's 2007 album Joystone. 4th Dimension's Afrobeat is highlighted with Tenor's jazzy, bohemian touches and ability to write irresistible tunes. Tenor's catchy-yet-challenging arrangements are reminiscent of the legendary Fela Kuti, and perhaps one can also sense the influence of the likes of Lalo Schifrin, Charlie Mingus and Sun Ra. Tenor's trademark high-pitched vocals are heard less this time around as the maestro concentrates on tooting his tenor sax, playing the flute and synth. The album's first single Mystery Spot is uplifting and uptempo Afrobeat. Global Party starts out moody but builds into a frenzied Disco groove. Grind! and Me I Say Yes are perhaps the album's most traditional Afro-inspired songs with their loping basslines and heavy percussion. Mogadishu Ave. is a surprise number of Goblin-esque psychedelic prog rock. Mega Roots and Fast Legs are lo-fi percussion jams similar to the African field recordings released by legendary labels Folkways and Ocora. 4th Dimension is yet another superb album by Jimi Tenor.

James Taylor - Folk Rock (USA)

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first No. 1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over a million copies. His chart performance had a resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

He is notable for his popular covers of other peoples' songs, such as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and the aforementioned "You've Got A Friend", as well as originals such as "Fire and Rain".

Thanks Magal

sábado, 19 de agosto de 2017

TISARIS Symphonic Prog • Brazil

TISARIS, which means the bridge to quintessence is a progressive rock quintet (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums) from Brazil. Superb Progressive productions in the spirit of the Seventies, alterning long suites structured in several parts ("What's Beyond"), instrumental tracks and some short pieces in concept albums taken from an opera. Expressive vocals, inventive guitar and keyboards solos and rich and cast spelling compositions compose these excellent releases.

CD "The Power of Myth", inspired on the book by Joseph Campbell, finishes the trilogy of concept albums. "An inevitable reference in the international progressive rock scene " (Harmonie Magazine - France), "... inspiration superbly materialized" (SRM - Germany), "... elegant, ambitious, daring." (Paperlate - Italy) are just a few reviews from the specialized press!

Thanks Magal

John Stubblefield - Jazz & Funk (USA)

John Stubblefield (February 4, 1945 – July 4, 2005) was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist, and oboist. Stubblefield was an adaptable musician; he was stationed with the World Saxophone Quartet (´86-´88), Reggie Workman (´89-´93), McCoy Tyner (´84 Clark), Freddie Hubbard (´85), and George Russell (´85).

On the surface, John Stubblefield and his compatriots offered a number of approaches (funk-fusion, Latin, calypso, swing) creatively rendered. But careful listening revealed an all-too-telling commercial underbelly that put subtle though damaging constraints on the music. So while the leader had a passionate tenor outing (shades of the Pharoah Sanders of yesteryear) on the Trane-influenced "East," and played some sinewy soprano on the Weather Report-like title cut and "Things," and keyboardist Geri Allen spotlighted her adept skills at imaginatively convoluting phrases over and around stated and implied bar lines (to say nothing of her solid chops overall), and the whole band illustrated solid facility as a group as well as individuals, overall, the album didn't reach the heights to which it aspired.

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THE DEAR HUNTER Crossover Prog • United States

THE DEAR HUNTER was originally a side project by guitarist and vocalist Casey CRESCENZO of post-hardcore band THE RECEIVING END OF SIRENS. On leaving that band, CRESCENZO worked on THE DEAR HUNTER fulltime, producing 'Act 1: The Lake South, The River North' as the first part of a six-album concept concerning the life of a boy at the turn of the 20th Century. After its release CRESCENZO recruited Luke DENT (Keyboards), Erick SEMA (Guitar), Sam DENT (drums) and Josh RHEAULT (bass) to record the second part of the hexology 'Act 2: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading' and toured extensively to promote its release. During this time RHEAULT and the DENT brothers left the band, leaving only CRESCENZO and SEMA.

Having recently announced that they are also working on a nine album concept based upon the seven colours of the rainbow and the two tones, black and white, indicates that THE DEAR HUNTER are not light on ambition, the next step is to see if they can deliver against such bold claims.

Falling somewhere between THE MARS VOLTA and COHEED AND CAMBRIA, THE DEER HUNTER may appeal to some fans of either band.

Thanks Magal

sexta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2017

JADIS Neo-Prog • United Kingdom

JADIS was formed by guitarist / vocalist Gary Chandler, and drummer Stephen Christey in the late 1980s. They quickly achieved notoriety by opening for IQ, and then Marillion on the "Clutching at Straws" tour. Steve Rothery was impressed enough to produce some demos tapes, which became very popular. As often happens during a band's beginnings, members move on before the big break happens. Nick May became the new bass player, and Martin Orford shared some of his spare time from IQ to help out on keyboards. This lineup proved even more popular, and JADIS became headliners. Nick didn't last very long, and they went to the IQ pool again to recruit John Jowitt.

Having established themselves as a prime live act over the course of several years, they felt it was finally time to record an album. 1992's "More than Meets the Eye" became not only the band's first release, but it was also the debut for Martin Orford's new GEP label. The album was met with much acclaim, and even got some radio play. SI Magazine voted it 'Album of the Year.' Many still maintain that this is JADIS' finest work. 

They spent the next year concentrating more on a follow up than live work. Striking while the iron was hot was important, but they also had a reputation to protect. While working on the new album, they also wanted to keep interest alive. So, a mini CD called "Once Upon a Time" was offered. It was originally intended to start a series of discs dedicated to new recordings of the band's early work. The second album, "Across the Water" was released in May 1994, and sold out the first pressing in ten days. Once again the critics were also on board. Classic Rock Society voted JADIS 'Best Band,' and "Across the Water" got 'Album of the Year.'

By 1995, it was time for the "unofficial" members of the band to move on. The funny thing is, they didn't leave just because of their commitment to IQ. John and Martin joined John Wetton's band for his tour. Martin did stick around long enough to appear on one track from the 1996 EP "Once or Twice," but Mike Torr was brought in as the new keyboardist. Steve Hunt came in to fill the bass slot. This lineup stayed intact for 1997's "Somersault." This album was also an opportunity for the band to go independent. They had a friendly split with GEP, and did "Somersault" on their own. It was distributed by Steve Rothery's label, Dorian Music. This is also the point where the critical accolades start to fade. "Somersault" did not generate the type of enthusiasm the first albums had enjoyed. However, the live shows were still going strong. To capitalize on that, "As Daylight Fades" was released in 1998.

Shortly after the release of the live album, it was time for another lineup change. As luck would have it, Martin Orford was able to take his old spot back. By the time they were ready to get back to the studio, John Jowitt had also returned to complete the 'classic' JADIS lineup. In 2000, "Understand" was released. The IQ faction would never leave the ranks again.

JADIS released a box set in 2001 (largely made up of re-mastered versions of the previous EP tracks), another live disc, a third EP, a DVD, and continued to record studio albums. Comparisons to IQ are obvious, but the music tends to be more upbeat, and guitar driven. The fact that they are busy with other projects, and no longer are the critics' darlings does not seem to deter them. The band appears to be going as strong as ever. 

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

Thanks Magal

Ju-Par Universal Orchestra - Soul-Jazz, Funk (USA)

In 1976, John "Juney" Garrett and Richard Parker launched Ju-Par Records in Detroit and immediately arranged for distribution to be handled by the giant Motown empire, an association that lasted through 3 albums before ceasing the arrangement. One of those albums was the one you see here converted to CD format with the same title - Mooves & Grooves - by an aggregation assembled by Garret and Parker they named The Ju-Par Universal Orchestra.

This assembly consisted of guitarist Phil Upchurch (who had a 1961 # 29 Billboard Pop Hot 100 hit with You Can't Sit Down, Part 2 as The Philip Upchurch Combo for the small Boyd label), trumpeters Art Hayle and Murray Watson, tenor/baritone saxophonist Ken Soderdlom, flutist Rich Rudoll, trombonist Ralph Craig, bassist Lou Satterfield, keyboardist (and producer-arranger) Dick Boyell, percussionist Derf Walker, drummer Quinton Joseph, and vocalists Kitty and Vivian Haywood and Bonnie Herman.

As a vinyl LP the contents were: A1. Funky Music (3:15); A2. Beauty And The Beast (3:00); A3. Time (3:08); A4. Chicago Calypso (3:22); B1. Mocha Velvet (4:18); B2. Is Anyone Listening? (3:12); B3. Flute Salad (4:47); B4. Gotta Get-A-Way (3:52). As a CD converted by Traffic Entertainment Group the same order runs 1 to 8. Sleeve notes are by John Edwards, WJLB Detroit radio host of "Jazz on A.M."

In June-July 1977 as single from the album saw Funky Music go to # 32 R&B and # 101 Hot 100 Bubble Under as Ju-Par 8002 b/w Time. That appears to be the only single released by the group, and since both sides are part of the CD, that will certainly please completist hits collectors. Short on lyrics, it most definitely is funky, but personally, I think if the Djs had flipped it over now and then, the B-side, Time, would have become a much bigger hit for the group. Beauty And The Beast and Flute Salad would have made another great paring as a single.

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