20 June 2017: Roger Waters and The Beatles Sgt. Pepper Remix

Is This the Life We Really Want? (stylised as is this the life we really want?) is the fifth studio album by English rock musician and former Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, released on 2 June 2017[2][3][4] by Columbia Records. It is his first studio album in nearly 25 years since Amused to Death (1992), as well as his first solo album in 12 years since Ça Ira (2005). On 20 April, the single "Smell the Roses" was released.

Track listing

The official track listing was revealed on 20 April.[17] Though previously confirmed by Waters, the track "Crystal Clear Brooks" does not appear.
No. Title Length
1. "When We Were Young" 1:38
2. "Déjà Vu" 4:27
3. "The Last Refugee" 4:12
4. "Picture That" 6:47
5. "Broken Bones" 4:57
6. "Is This the Life We Really Want?" 5:55
7. "Bird in a Gale" 5:31
8. "The Most Beautiful Girl" 6:09
9. "Smell the Roses" 5:15
10. "Wait for Her" 4:56
11. "Oceans Apart" 1:07
12. "Part of Me Died" 3:12
Total length: 54:06


From a review by The Audiophiliac:

"I make no bones about it, I love the Beatles, from "Meet the Beatles" to "Abbey Road" -- every album is extraordinary. I'm hardly alone in my praise. Every fan has their own story arc and mine is deep and long. Speaking of long, the Beatles iconic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album is now celebrating its 50th anniversary with a brand new stereo mix. The spiffed up version sounds very different from the original 1967 mix, so much so it takes some getting used to. It sounds like a different album.


The difference in clarity is the first thing you notice, Ringo Starr's drums are so much more present, Paul McCartney's incredible bass playing is positively vivid. George Harrison and John Lennon's guitars are likewise more alive. Vocals are clearer than ever."

Read the entire review here.

26 April 2017: Wednesday Night Jazz


 I'll be hosting the Wednesday Night Jazz show from 9-11 pm this evening.  The playlist includes Pat Metheny Group, Djam Karet, Duke Ellington, Camel, Caravan, King Crimson, and Gong featuring Pierre Moerlein and Alan Holdsworth.

25 April 2017: New Releases from Ian Boddy & Markus Reuter and Steve Hackett

There is a strong theme (the historical plight of refugees and the hope for a more unified world), there is an orchestra, there is a choir, there is (most of) Hackett’s amazing band, there is Flamenco guitar, there is flute and mandolin, there is Prog, there is Rock, there is a mixture of styles, and yes, there is world music. And yet, there is always Hackett’s unmistakable electric guitar.
“Behind the Smoke” starts the album gently with a flamenco-style intro but soon turns into a massive grinding riff that suddenly, mid-song, reveals Hackett’s intention to expose his world music proclivities, with an eastern-sounding interlude. Soon enough, though, the massive wailing Hackett electric guitar that we know and love, returns to end the song.  The second track, “Martian Sea”, is a quick-paced, pop ditty that relies on Gary O’Toole’s cheerful and up-beat drumming. It has a catchy hook and a nice Hackett solo. Again the international influence is to be found in the sitar and violin interludes, which sound more Eastern and Middle-Eastern than Martian.
“Fifty Miles From the North Pole” is a slow and solid track with a James Bond-themed guitar sound. 007’s presence notwithstanding, the song conjures images of icy, arctic travel undergone by our poor protagonist, without the resources of “M”, nor indeed anyone else, behind him. The solo is typical Hackett. The icy vocals are almost spoken rather than sung, and the Eastern influences are insistently present in the strings parts. One is just beginning to feel that the song could have been edited to be half the length, when Hackett stamps his authority with a great solo that could have been found on an early Genesis record.
Tabla-like percussion (perhaps played on an acoustic guitar) hints that “Anything but Love” might end up being pure world music, but inexplicably, a typical Hackett acoustic guitar solo then gives way to a pure and simple pop song that could be a top ten hit with the hook “But you’ll never get away with anything but love”. It even has a harmonica solo, and definitely sounds like BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. It’s not GTR, but it’s a great pop song.
“Inca Terra” starts as a slow and gentle ode with mythical lyrics sung in pastoral harmony. It is the heart of the album, and given its theme, one expects a Proggy direction, and that expectation is fulfilled later in the song. At times it sounds almost like a Greek traditional hymn (is that a bouzouki?), but then Hackett shows his roots with an acoustic guitar flourish that leads into a complex and fast-paced arrangement, climaxing in a huge Hackett solo that any Progger will appreciate. Hints of classic Genesis in full flight appear towards the end. A very good Prog arrangement indeed.
“In the Skeleton Gallery” has been performed live quite a few times by now, While it is not an obvious “single” (does such a thing exist in Prog anyway?), it seems at the start to be one of the more accessible songs, but don’t be fooled. Slow and intense, it has a pleasing initial melody, but expect a dark, eastern-sounding woodwind interlude, and a quirky change of direction led by keyboardist Roger King. It then leads into a heavy Prog instrumental arrangement built around that quirky keyboard riff that also comprises the ending. King’s influence is strong on this one.
“West to East” is another story of international alienation and the need for the world to unite. While the instrumentation is suitably precise and excellent, up to the standards expected of a musician like Hackett, this song is all about the message. If you are opposed the exit of Great Britain from the Union, or certain immigration policies recently implemented by the US, expect to identify with these lyrics.  “The Gift” is a short instrumental closer that will please fans of Hackett’s traditional guitar achievements. It is sad, lonely and reflective and ends the album with due pensiveness.
Although not as immediately accessible as his most recent releases times, due to the many directions taken, as well as the many world music influences introduced, ‘The Night Siren’ is still a Steve Hackett album, and it is one worth investing in. ‘The Night Siren’ is an album with substance and an urgent message.  Expect to be transported to the East (or Middle East) from time to time, but expect your Prog hunger to be satiated as well. Perhaps Steve Hackett’s darkest work, it still has many great moments and reminds us we simply cannot ignore the fact that Steve Hackett is indeed a living legend.
CD:
1. Behind the Smoke (6:59)
2. Martian Sea (4:40)
3. Fifty Miles from the North Pole (7:08)
4. El Niño (3:52)
5. Other Side of the Wall (4:01)
6. Anything but Love (5:56)
7. Inca Terra (5:54)
8. In Another Life (6:07)
9. In the Skeleton Gallery (5:09)
10. West to East (5:14)
11. The Gift (2:45)
Line-Up:
Steve Hackett – electric & acoustic guitars, oud,
charango, sitar guitar, harmonica, vocals (1 – 11)
Roger King – keyboards and programming (1 – 10)
Amanda Lehmann – vocals (1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10)
Christine Townsend – violin, viola (3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10)
Rob Townsend – baritone & soprano sax, flute, flageolet,
quena, duduk, bass clarinet (1, 4, 7, 9)
Gary O’Toole – drums (3, 4, 10)
Nick D’Virgilio – drums (2)
Gulli Briem – drums, cajon, percussion (7,9)
Mira Awad – vocals (10)
Leslie-Miriam Bennett – keyboards (11)
Troy Donockley – Uilleann pipes (8)
Dick Driver – Double bass (3,4,5,7)
Nad Sylvan – vocals (7)
Kobi Farhi – vocals (10)
Benedict Fenner – keyboards and programming (11)
Jo Hackett – vocals (10)
John Hackett – flute (2,10)
Ferenc Kovács – trumpet (3)
Sara Kovács – didgeridoo (3)
Malik Mansurov – tar (1)

“Memento” (DiN52) is the fifth DiN CD collaboration between label boss Ian Boddy & renowned composer and touch guitarist Markus Reuter. They were there at the birth of DiN in 1999 with their inaugural release Distant Rituals (DiN2) and this latest work not only affectionately looks back to that album but forges ahead into new musical territory.
The album opens with the powerful tour de force of “Gyroscope” with its ever evolving guitar arpeggios and thunderous percussion. The following track “Spindrift” has a mysterious harmonic feel highlighted by Reuter’s beautiful guitar playing & Boddy’s ambient production. “Linger” & “Stay” form a pair of soundscapes where Reuter’s guitar loop ambiences are intermingled with extraordinary analogue textures from Boddy’s Serge modular synthesiser. The former provides a breathing space within the album after the two opening tracks whereas the latter brings the CD to a gentle, drifting close. The title track hearkens back to the duos first collaborative album with it’s pulsing cut up treatment of a Reuter guitar loop soundscape and perhaps informs the listener as to the nature of this “Memento”. Although Boddy often keeps in the background in terms of lead solo work when working with Reuter the track “Deadlock” features an Ondes Martenot style synth line that soars above this dark emotionally laden piece.
Once again Reuter & Boddy have proved to be a potent musical team with their balance of styles producing a complex, deep album. Effortlessly crossing genres between prog and ambient electronica it not only looks back to their roots but creates new sonic landscapes for the listener to explore.
Track listing:
01 Gyroscope (07:45)
02 Spindrift (06:56)
03 Linger (06:24)
04 Memento (06:31)
05 Vermilion (09:08)
06 Deadlock (09:34)
07 Stay (06:26)
Total Time: 52:58
All tracks composed, played & produced by Markus Reuter & Ian Boddy (September - November 2016).
Mixed by Ian Boddy & Markus Reuter (November 2016).
Mastered by Ian Boddy @ DiN studio (December 2016).
Markus Reuter:
Touch Guitars® AU8, 6-string Electric Guitar, Looping, Programming
Ian Boddy:
Serge & Eurorack Modulars, Moog Voyager, Ableton Live running NI Kontakt, Spectrasonics Omnisphere & Camel Audio Alchemy


18 April 2017: Allan Holdsworth & Djam Karet

Allan Holdsworth died unexpectedly on April 15 at age 70.  We'll feature some of his solo work in the first half of tonight's show.



Allan Holdsworth (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017)[1] was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles spanning a period of more than four decades, but is best known for his work in jazz fusion.
Holdsworth was known for his advanced knowledge of music, through which he incorporated a vast array of complex chord progressions and intricate solos; the latter comprising myriad scale forms often derived from those such as the diminished, augmented, whole tone, chromatic and altered scales, among others, resulting in an unpredictable and "outside" sound. His unique legato soloing technique stemmed from his original desire to play the saxophone. Having been unable to afford one, he strove to use the guitar to create similarly smooth lines of notes. He also become associated with playing an early form of guitar synthesizer called the SynthAxe, a company he endorsed in the 1980s.
Holdsworth has been cited as an influence by such renowned rock, metal and jazz guitarists as Eddie Van Halen,[2] Joe Satriani,[3] Greg Howe,[4] Shawn Lane,[5] Richie Kotzen,[6] John Petrucci,[7] Alex Lifeson,[8] Kurt Rosenwinkel,[9] Yngwie Malmsteen,[10] Michael Romeo,[11] and Tom Morello.[12] Frank Zappa once lauded him as "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet",[13] while Robben Ford has said: "I think Allan Holdsworth is the John Coltrane of the guitar. I don't think anyone can do as much with the guitar as Allan Holdsworth can."[14]
 


Review – Djam Karet – Sonic Celluloid – by Progradar
 Djam Karet (pronounced ‘jam care-RAY) is an Indonesian word that translates loosely as “elastic time”.
Djam Karet was founded in 1984 by guitarists Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson, bassist Henry J. Osborne, and drummer Chuck Oken, Jr., and continue making new music even to this day, 33 years later! So far … they have released 18 full-length albums, including the newest release ‘Sonic Celluloid’ (as well as an additional 24 minor releases and EPs and compilations, see the discography).
Compared by the press with King Crimson, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree, they are credited with breathing new life into progressive rock, leading the way to the genre’s future growth. The California-based instrumental group has often been called America’s greatest undiscovered band.
To my ears this most inventive of bands has always been a psychedelic instrumental sounding board and their musical ideas have always expanded and evolved to give the listener a real Smörgåsbord of acoustic delights. When Gayle asked me if I would be interested in reviewing ‘Sonic Celluloid’ it was a definite no-brainer!

Sonic Celluloid includes all four founding members of Djam Karet: Chuck Oken jr, Henry Osborne, Mike Henderson, and Gayle Ellett, as well as Aaron Kenyon and Mike Murray. All six play (to varying degrees) on the new album. Everyone contributed as much or as little as they wanted to, with the huge bulk of the work being done mostly by Ellett and Oken.
This new release is as cinematic as they come, little musical-movies running in your mind as you listen to the tracks, opener Saul Says So has a really electronic, 70’s sci-fi feel running throughout. Quite dark and moody in style at the start, it has you on the edge of your seat before it opens up into something akin to a psychedelic revelation, only one that is experienced in a supremely leisurely fashion. It seems to float across your synapses, leaving a gentle memory everywhere where the intricate guitar playing touches your mind. Forced Perspective takes that soundscape and leads it on a convoluted, meandering journey with a Southern California vibe, edgy drums, funky bass and super smooth electronica transport you to vast landscapes of sound in your mind. There’s more of that psychedelia that I come to expect from this exceedingly expressive band, I just close my eyes and let the music wash over me. It brings to mind independent art movie soundtracks, cerebral music for the connoisseur.
The muted classical music inspired intro to Long Shot makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Subdued minimalistic synths bring to mind Jean-Michel Jarre and even a touch of early Kraftwerk to the 70’s nostalgia reunion that is going on in my mind. I begin to think of films like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ as the track evolves into a kind of Prog inspired sci-fi melodrama. It really is an intricate sepia-tinged cinematic delight. No Narration Needed starts with a full-on free form jazz trumpet before the music takes on a more suspenseful tone layered with atmospheric keyboards and electronica. There’s a timeless aura to this track, like a primordial beast that has lived across epochs and never notices the short lived lives of the pitiful humans who inhabit its planet. A medieval sounding guitar and flute then punctuate the stillness to add a layer of calm and collection. This is a track that engenders meditation and reflection and has dignity and character at its core. There are some great titles to the tracks on this release, Numerous Mechanical Circles being one of them and it is a musical composition that seems to grow around you, the flute sounds and electronic synthesisers forming a symbiosis with an almost alien quality to it. It moves across your mind in a slow but sure manner, all the time in the world to achieve its purpose. I can sense a slight apprehension in the occasionally caustic keyboards and the hesitant voice you hear in the background has a spooky, mystical ambience to it, it is disturbing but in a very enjoyable way.

The sounds of waves and seabirds opens Oceanside Exterior, a rhythmic and meditative piece of music that flows through space and time and engenders images in your mind of powerful oceans braking on immovable rocks, time and space standing still against the majesty of nature. This is music as an elemental force but one that has no need to be brash and in your face. The incredibly laid back guitar playing is utterly addictive and is best experienced through a pair of high-end headphones with a great quality glass of wine in your hand. 70’s synths come back strongly on Au Revoir Au Reve, a strong sentimental note can be felt all over this wistful track. Dreamy and fanciful with a Gallic undertone, you could be walking the streets of 1950’s Paris, a suavely dressed detective in the seedy underbelly of this great city. The plaintive guitar is full of angst, perhaps railing against an unsolved crime, who knows but you feel the pain. A masterful piece of music that, once again, has your furtive mind working overtime.
Pink Floyd guitar notes are very evident at the opening of Flashback, a more hard-edged track that has an incredible depth to it, like it has survived eons in the primordial soup of creation. It seems to be treading water, awaiting what, we don’t know. There is a timeless grandeur and stature to every note, especially when the powerfully cultured guitar breaks out. The synths are the stage on which Gayle’s fiery, blues infused guitar takes centre stage. Lower has a post-rock gravity to it, the elegant keyboards glide around you as the mournful guitar tells its seemingly grief stricken tale. A soulfully forlorn piece of music that propagates a sombreness deep in your heart and soul and moves you inside. Another excellently titled track closes out the album, The Denouement Device is music that stimulates a sonic journey for your body and soul, music that will have differing effects on different people. Intense and thought provoking, a wide-ranging and all-encompassing sound that fills your entire being with a feeling of wonderment and lets you see things with a childlike innocence. Genuine, contemplative and thoughtful yet it treats you with kid gloves as it strips you of any pre-conceived ideas and back to your bare soul.

‘Sonic Celluloid’ is yet another triumph for this ever inventive band. An intricate instrumental tour-de-force that takes the listener on a cinematic journey through ever-evolving soundscapes engendered in their own mind. Djam Karet are the masters of cerebral, intelligent music for the erudite listener and have delivered a superlative musical odyssey once again.

2017 04 April: My Sleeping Karma / Richard Barbieri


Review from The Obelisk:
Having proffered tonal sweetness and instrumental heavy psych groove since their self-titled debut made its way to the ears of an eager European scene in 2006 via Elektrohasch, the German four-piece My Sleeping Karma make a jump to Napalm Records for the release of their fourth album, the CD/2LP Soma. If one that’s going to bring them to the attention of a wider audience, it’s also a move for which they’re ready. Their last album, Tri (review here), was released in 2010 and found the band focusing on various aspects of Hindu theology, using the names of gods as themes running throughout the mostly instrumental tracks. With the prior Satya (review here) in 2008, it was Buddhism at the thematic fore.
Musically, they’ve remained consistent despite working through these varied conceptual influences – you could hear Seppi’s guitar tone on the debut and on the latest and recognize the same smoothness in it then as now, though what he’s playing is more developed – and Soma takes for its basis the Hindu drink of the gods that shares its name. Each of the 55-minute full-length’s six central, mostly extended (six minutes and up) tracks is named for an “ingredient” in the soma, and each is also companioned by a transitional interlude, making the album as a whole an 11-track CD, beginning with “Pachyclada” and ending with “Psilocybe,” as each pair of songs between is separated by and interlude. This would be, at worst, a disruption of Soma’s progression, were it not for the fluidity of the material itself. If My Sleeping Karma wanted to base their fourth album around a drink, they did right in choosing something liquid, as there’s no better descriptive basis for the songs themselves – they flow as a liquid would, to be clearer about it. Rather than distract from that process, the interludes add to it, bolstering an already rich atmosphere and adding instrumental complexity and ambient vibing to the ebbs and flows within the more expansive, dynamic tracks. On any level you could want to evaluate it, Soma is a triumph in how it accomplishes the task it sets for itself – tonally, atmospherically, engagingly. It crafts memorable parts serving a greater whole and to call it manna doesn’t seem inappropriate (however disparate the cultural basis might be for doing so might be) given My Sleeping Karma’s otherworldly psychedelic range.
Most of the elements at work musically on Soma will be familiar to those who’ve experienced My Sleeping Karma’s sweetly-honed jamming before. Their apparent methodology remains consistent despite the varying themes – they jam – in a variety of moods and vibes, perhaps, but they jam nonetheless. Songs like “Pachyclada,” “Ephedra” and “Eleusine Coracana” are not without their structures, their peaks and valleys, but they have a direction underlying their largely open-feeling development. At an even nine minutes, opener “Pachyclada” is the longest piece on Soma (immediate points tallied to whatever scope might be kept) and sets the tone for what follows with strong hits from drummer Steffen punctuating the prevalent bassline of Matte as Seppi’s guitar gradually swells to prominence.
One thing My Sleeping Karma has always done well is craft a chorus out of the instrumentation, and Seppi is quick to establish that of “Pachyclada” in a flicker of a lead that returns as a sort of mini-theme within the song itself, cycling through several times in the first half before a heavier tangent emerges in the second, still keeping to the same kind of idea, but turning it into a build that reaches a satisfying apex before calming and riding out, Norman’s keys adding proggy swirls and a sort of howling tonality to complement the guitar. From its very beginning, the song is rich and encompassing – on headphones its pull is even greater – and the rainy transition it makes into the first of the album’s five interludes is no less smooth than anything on “Pachyclada” itself. The interludes are a point of interest both sonically and conceptually, as they manage to be vastly different among themselves while also tying the material before and after them together. The one between “Pachyclada” and “Ephedra” is Seppi’s guitar alone, echoing layers of simple sweetness, but to contrast, the later interlude between “Saumya” and “Somalatha” is key-led, almost trip-hop in its construction, so there’s more at work there than just moving from one track to the next. With drums at the fore between “Ephedra” and “Eleusine Coracana” and Matte’s bass accompanying birdsong between “Eleusine Coracana” and “Saumya,” it’s as though each member of My Sleeping Karma was given an interlude of their own, finally culminating in the breathing-topped, beating-heart contemplative minimalism of the interlude between “Somalatha” and closer “Psilocybe.”

Planets + Persona, the 2017 studio album from Richard Barbieri, is the most sonically expansive work to date from the former Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboard maestro.

The album combines vintage analogue synthesisers with acoustic instrumentation, and incorporates Jazz elements, pitching Barbieri's unique sound designs against improvisations from a personally hand-picked group of guest musicians that includes Percy Jones, Luca Calabrese and Lisen Rylander Love.

As on Stranger Inside, manipulated voices (mainly courtesy of Rylander Love's real time experiments) are present.

Recorded across Europe in studios in London, Italy and Sweden, Barbieri's third album is without doubt his most ambitious solo release to date.

Highlighting the album's central theme of duality, the artwork on the 16 page booklet features photographic scenes of dramatic Icelandic landscapes.

CD in digipak. Mastered by Simon Heyworth.  

TRACKS 
 
1. Solar Sea (7:30)
2. New Found Land (7:17)
3. Night Of The Hunter (10:44)
4. Interstellar Medium (5:38)
5. Unholy (8:58)
6. Shafts Of Light (6:39)
7. Solar Storm (6:22)

Credits
Richard Barbieri - Synthesisers, Fender Rhodes, Sampler, Electronic Percussion Programming, Sound design
 
with guest perfomers:

Lisen Rylander Love - Voices, Saxophone
Luca Calabrese - Trumpet
Kjell Severinsson - Drums
Klas Assarsson - Vibraphone
Christian Saggese - Acoustic Guitar
Grice Peters - Kora
Axel Crone - Bass
Percy Jones - Bass Guitar

22 March 2017 Wednesday Night Jazz 9-11 pm KMXT.org

I'll be doing Wednesday Night Jazz tonight from 9-11 on KMXT.org.  The playlist includes Hossein Alizadeh, Miles Davis, Crimson Jazz Trio, Armik, Shankar Jim Hall, Markus Reuter &IB Big Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Soft Machine

21 March 2017: Hossein Alizadeh - Markus Reuter

Endless Vision is a collaborative album by Hossein Alizâdeh and Djivan Gasparyan. It was released on 3 February 2005, through Hermes Records[2] in Iran and released on 14 February 2006 by World Village records in the United States.it was recorded at the Niavaran Palace on Tehran in 2003.[3]
Alizâdeh plays on this album, the six-stringed shurangiz and Gasparyan plays the Duduk.[4]
The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album at the 49th Grammy Awards.[5]

Track list

All music composed by Hossein Alizâdeh, except where noted.
No. Title Length
1. "Birds" (lyrics: M. Azad) 22:20
2. "Armenian Romances" (Shurangiz Improvisation) 3:07
3. "Sari Galin" (Music: Ilgar Moradof with Azeri, Armenian and Persian Lyrics) 7:40
4. "Call of the Birds" (Instrumental) 8:17
5. "Mama" (Music & Lyrics: Djivan Gasparyan) 5:55
6. "Improvisation on Shurangiz" 5:58
7. "Parvaneh Sho ..." (Tasnif, Lyrics: Rumi) 7:13
Total length: 60:33

Personnel

Hamavayan Ensemble
Additional Musicians
  • Vazgen Markaryan – Duduk
  • Armen Ghazaryan – Duduk

Markus Reuter – Live in Pomona 2016

released November 18, 2016 | Performed and recorded live on August 9 2016 during the radio show “Digital Dreams”, hosted by Mark Dickson on WLFR. Stockton University, Pomona, NJ, USA.

Available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from Iapetus Records.
Presented here in its entirety, unedited and thus with some small audio flaws, but split into 3 sections because of file size limitations.
credits
Markus Reuter: Instant composition, Touch Guitars® AU8, Processing
www.markusreuter.com
Recorded and mastered by Markus Reuter
www.unsung-productions.com
Cover artwork by an unknown artist
Touch Guitars®
www.touchguitars.com
Driver and support: George “G$” Bley

08 March 2017: Wednesday Night Jazz Show

I'll be doing the Wednesday Night Jazz Show tonight from 9-11 pm on KMXT.org
The playlist includes Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Lena Horne, Crimson Jazz Trio, Ernesto Holman Etnojazz Trio, Jimmy Smith, Giora Feldman, Art Blakey, Jean-Luc Ponty, Alice Coltrane, and Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Ensemble.

07 March 2017: Unitopia & The Pineapple Thief

Unitopia was an Australian music group using progressive rock as a framework, but also including elements of world, classical, jazz, hard rock, and groove.Unitopia is the rare case of prog from "down under". The band was formed by Mark Trueack (vocals) and Sean Timms (keyboard, guitar) after they were introduced by a mutual friend who saw that the two had similar tastes in music and the story goes that as soon as Timms heard Trueack sing, he knew they had to do something together. They released their first album, "More Than A Dream" in 2005 after spending 8 years on the albums, and have since been working on material for their second album "The Garden", which was recently released after 3 years of writing, recording and mastering. The band's influences stretch all across the progressive scope and make for a very intriguing sound that has one foot in "retro"-70s style progressive while still being able to sound like other artists in the modern progressive scene. They have a rather large sound to them, which is no doubt helped by their 6-member roster (including Matt Williams (guitar), Monty Ruggiero (drums), Shireen Khemlani (bass) and Tim Irrang (percussion)). They mix a combination of Flower Kings-like symphonic qualities with the soul of Ladder-era Yes and Trueack's unique vocals to make the brunt of their sound.
Sean Timms has started a new band, "Southern Empire", since the dissolution of Unitopia.
Your Wilderness is the eleventh studio album by British alternative rock band The Pineapple Thief. The album features several known guest musicians, including Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), John Helliwell (Supertramp), and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan)

Your Wilderness, their 11th studio album, showcases the band performing without any inhibitions providing a springboard for the ongoing creative growth of The Pineapple Thief.
For the first time, The Pineapple Thief has brought in several special guest performers. “Since our last album Magnolia, the most eye catching change is obviously having Gavin Harrison contribute drums throughout the album” explains Bruce Soord. “This has not only redefined our sound but also redefined how we approached the songs as a band.  Gavin’s drumming is technically brilliant but also incredibly musical, and it inspired all of us to raise our game.  I’ve also rediscovered my progressive roots in terms of song-writing and arrangement.  Added to that, we were lucky enough to have John Helliwell from Supertramp contribute some beautiful clarinet parts and Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) provided a string quartet. We were also joined by a lovely 4 piece choir and to cap it all off, my friend Darran Charles (Godsticks) added some jaw dropping guitar playing… You’ve never heard a The Pineapple Thief album like this one!  I am convinced people will love this record as much as we do.”
Carl Glover’s thought provoking collection of photographs perfectly compliment the concept of the album, something which Soord is tight lipped about. “It should reveal itself to the listener and be open to interpretation. I don’t want what it means to me to influence how it affects you”.   
Your Wilderness was recorded entirely by the band with the exception of the drums, which Gavin Harrison produced & engineered at his own studio. The string quartet which was recorded at Geoffrey’s own studio in Canterbury. The album was mixed and produced by Bruce Soord and Steve Kitch with mastering duties also carried out by Steve. There will be a special lossless 5.1 surround mix available with the special edition mixed by Bruce.
Seen as one of the most vital rock bands the UK has produced over the last two decades, The Pineapple Thief was formed in 1999 by founder and chief songwriter Bruce Soord. The band has steadily evolved and refined it’s sound with the bass playing of Jon Sykes and the production and keyboards of Steve Kitch now so integral to the sound.  “After so many years, The Pineapple Thief has become way bigger than the sum of its parts.” explains Soord.
“The new album was a joy to make. More so than any other The Pineapple Thief album before it. Everything came together so effortlessly and I think this comes across when you hear the record.”
Bruce Soord has also collaborated with the likes of Wisdom of Crowds (with Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse), Katatonia (joining the band on its 2014 acoustic European tour), and has created 5.1 remixes for artists such as Opeth, TesseracT, Tim Bowness and Katatonia. Soord also released his debut self titled debut solo album through Kscope in 2015.
The Pineapple Thief is currently booking a European tour for late 2016 and planning live shows in USA / Canada
Your Wilderness will be released by Kscope on CD, LP, digitally and as a special deluxe 12” hardback book.

Track listing

All tracks written by Bruce Soord.
No. Title Length
1. "In Exile" 5:40
2. "No Man's Land" 4:20
3. "Tear You Up" 4:53
4. "That Shore" 4:36
5. "Take Your Shot" 4:34
6. "Fend for Yourself" 3:49
7. "The Final Thing On My Mind" 9:52
8. "Where We Stood" 3:46
Total length: 41:


01 March 2017: FreeForm Does That Jazz Thing All Over Again

I'll be doing another Jazz show on KMXT tonight from 9-11.  On the Playlist are Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dinah Washington, Charles Mingus, California Guitar Trio, Crimson Jazz Trio,  Jethro Tull, Al DiMeola, Frank Zappa, and King Crimson.

22 February 2017: FreeForm Does the Jazz Show

I'll be filling in for CeCe on the Jazz Show tonight from 9-11.  Expect extended cuts of freeform jazz  from Larry Coryell, Weather Report, John Coltrane, Santana, Crimson Jazz Trio, Miles, and Steven Wilson.  I'll have time for a couple of standards as well.