The Spanish Hard Rockers GÜRU has returned to the present with its new video clip “Quédate”, song written and produced by David Palau and belonging to his third studio album RED.
This video directed by Sergi Milà, aims to reflect the duality between the inner personal world and the artistic exterior of each one of us. The musicians, with their lights and shadows, show the personal wear that the artist suffers due to his audience and the fragility that this entails with time. A story never before told through the harrowing voice of Dagarod.
On the verge of celebrating its 10 years of existence, GÜRU has wanted to release this last video clip “Quédate” before entering the studio again to prepare its next record.
MARK WINGFIELD guitar, soundscapes GARY HUSBAND acoustic piano
There was some magic that unfolded during this intimate session at La Casa Murada, a recording studio located in a 12th century farmhouse in Catalonia about an hour outside of Barcelona. Gracefully yet deliberately, the music emerged like a force of nature, winding and floating its way through the medieval building from fingers to strings to the pleasure centers of the brain. Credit the vibe of the unique room for creating the perfect ambiance in which this magic between Mark Wingfield and Gary Husband could take place. High ceilings, walls of stone and lots of natural light pouring in, it set the proper mood for this first-ever one-on-one encounter between the two countrymen. And credit producer Leonardo Pavkovic with having the rare intuition and foresight that this duo would indeed foster magic together in the studio.
Wingfield is the forward-thinking British electric guitarist whose impressionistic work over the past decade is reshaping the sound of his instrument. “Wingfield’s guitar playing is mysterious, majestic and blazing in turns,” wrote Guitar Player magazine while All About Jazz crowed, “Wingfield makes his guitar howl, sing and cry for mercy amid flickering single note runs” and Music That Matters simply called him a “six-string winged, improvising shaman.”
Fellow Brit Husband has long been revered as one of the greatest drummers on the scene for his fabled association, since 1979, with the late, legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth. A longtime doubler, he has also showcased his exceptional keyboard skills with his New Gary Husband Trio and Force Majeure, Billy Cobham’s Spectrum Band and John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension. Husband has also released two luminous solo piano recordings, The Things I See: Interpretations of the Music of Allan Holdsworth and A Meeting Of Spirits: Interpretations of the Music of John McLaughlin.
For musical dreamers and ECM devotees, Tor & Vale answers the hypothetical question: “What if Terje Rypdal had recorded a duet album with Keith Jarrett?” A beautiful document that showcases the remarkable chemistry between these two extraordinary players, it is a gem of nuanced interaction and rare potency by improvisers of the highest order. “This recording captures and reflects the mutual enthusiasm and easy kind of compatibility we found with each other that was present at all times throughout the sessions in Spain,” noted Husband. “None of it felt forced or seemed to require a lot of effort at all. It just happened, just as you hear it.”
Added Wingfield, “As soon as we started playing it was clear that there was an instant musical connection there and a willingness to really open up and explore. With the composed pieces, we decided just before playing how we would structure it. We discussed who would solo first and where the melody would come back just based on how we felt it might work best, but with the proviso that if the music felt like it wanted to go somewhere else at any give point, we would follow that.
“I wanted to take an approach to the composed pieces where we were free to move in and out of or reinterpret the chord structure,” he continued. “Gary was of the same mind so we agreed to freely interpret what I’d written and even to depart completely from the chord progression if that felt right when we were improvising. As for the improvised pieces, there was nothing at all planned. We started the session with the composed pieces and things went so well
that by the time we got to the improvised pieces we felt there was no need to discuss how to approach them.”
While “Kittiwake,” “The Golden Thread,” “Night Song,” “Tryfan” and “Vaquita” were all compositions brought to the session by Wingfield, there was also plenty of room for stretching here. Check the last highly conversational minute of “The Golden Thread” to confirm that freedom-within-form principle. “Night Song,” likewise, is brimming with call-and-response exchanges and dramatic rubato exploration by the two kindred spirits.
The evocative 16-1/2-minute title track is a freely improvised excursion in the studio, the result of two intrepid improvisers being open to the moment. With a premium put on space, each note played during this uncharted interaction took on huge authority. And both Wingfield and Husband rose to the occasion with stirring statements that are full of conviction and throbbing with virtuosity (like Wingfield’s organic flurries of 32nd notes throughout) while remaining complementary to the flow.
“Shape of Light” is another improvised exploration that travels from an opening ambient soundscape to a gentle solo showcase for Husband’s piano at the 3-minute mark before resolving to a lovely, lyrical duet. “Tryfan” is a driving, dissonant number featuring some of Wingfield’s most potent six-string statements, underscored by Husband’s forceful comping. Picture a cross between Terje Rypdal and Robert Fripp and you’re getting the picture.
The third purely improvised piece, “Silver Sky,” is a spacious soundscape imbued with ambient swirls and patient statements by the two participants. Wingfield’s ‘howling, singing, crying’ guitar is in full effect here.
The guitarist’s thoughtfully composed closer, “Vaquita,” is infused with liquid whammy bar statements, furious 32nd-note fusillades and ambient echo washes. “Like most of the music I write, it started with a feeling or an atmosphere which I then translated into music,” he explained. “Sometimes these feelings or atmospheres are accompanied by images of places or scenes from people’s lives. Other times they are more of an emotional story of some kind with no particular image or scene in mind. ’Vaquita’ was more in this later category. For me, this one has quite a bit of momentum, as if you are being propelled through a story which travels up and down through the different events and feelings in the tale.”
Husband explained that the intuitive nature of this Tor & Vale session has been part of his modus operandi for years. “I actually have the infuriating habit of listening to initial instruction or some kind of plan, only to then completely disregard it and let instinct and intuition take over,” he said. “I love the conversational, instinctive process to make it’s own way and present itself through us.”
Wingfield explained his own modus operandi this way: “What I’ve been interested in for a long time is a type of free improvisation where rather than just playing completely ‘free’, you instead attempt to improvise as if there was something composed. Another way to explain this is to improvise as if you were composing a piece — line by line — in real time. Of course, it will sound improvised but it’s a radically different approach to playing free in the traditional sense.
“Gary is someone who is very at home with this idea too,” he continued. “Our wide range of common musical reference points meant that we were able to go on some extended improvised journeys. And he is such a great player. I knew his piano work so I knew he was able to go way outside the usual jazz improvised format and reference lots of different musical
worlds. So I knew there was a real potential to do something like this with him. But I had no idea beforehand that the session would go so well or that we would be able to communicate musically on the level we did.”
Wingfield also explained the title of his first-ever duo collaboration with Husband: “In the UK the word ‘tor’ often refers to a prominent hill with steep sides that stands out from the rest of the countryside. Some of these are natural but others are man-made and date back to the 7th century or possibly even back to the iron age. They had a significance for ancient people and are a significant sight on the landscape still. A ‘vale’ is, of course, a dip in the landscape. So for me, Tor & Vale represents a changing, undulating, twisting and turning landscape. Areas of the UK are particularly known for this kind of terrain. The track ‘Tryfan’ also refers to this. Tryfan is the name of a small mountain in Wales where there is a beautiful valley or vale right at the foot of it. There are also areas of the Peak District in England and elsewhere which fit this description. It’s the kind of landscape where you never know what you might find around the corner of a windy road. Some of the improvisations on this album made me think of these landscapes.
“Having said that, the music is not specifically about a landscape,” he continued. “For me, the places it goes are more varied — sometimes natural landscapes, sometimes urban, sometimes it’s more about a feeling or moment or something indescribable outside of music. That’s what I love about music: it can describe things we all know but which cannot be explained in words or images. So the landscape connection is an abstract one, but for me it was a name which fit.”
Following this MoonJune release, the formidable improvising duo is now considering the prospects of touring together in support of Tor & Vale. “I think it’s an excellent idea,” said Husband. “It would be pretty eventful, I feel, to build on this already existing simpatico and explore how and where it can all go.”
New York City – Jack Spann has had an incredible couple of years. The Saint Louis native has lived in New York City for the last 18 years and established himself as one of the city’s in-demand keyboardists. His reputation led to an introduction to David Bowie’s producer, Tony Visconti who hired him to play on the demos for what would be Bowie’s final album, Blackstar.
Spann’s Visconti connection did not end there. It led to an introduction to Milwaukee-based producer, Gary Tanin, who worked with Spann on his 1st and 2nd solo records, Time, Time, Time, Time, Time, and Beautiful Man From Mars and now on his 3rd upcoming release Propaganda Man.
The album took two years to complete and is different from his last, in that it faces social issues head on and does not shy away from addressing thorny social conundrums. Several guests appear while Spann provides lead vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar and bass. Cecil Robbington provides drums and percussion along with producer Gary Tanin adding additional keyboards.
Spann confesses he has drawn on the inspiration of having worked with David Bowie on the Blackstar demos. The 12-song record kicks off with the title track “Propaganda Man”, “… [which] is vintage Jack Spann. He sings of ‘crunching numbers’ and ‘equations . . . while the world waits, breathless’ … the politics of spinning information.” “’Rage in the Garden’ – Just enough Jersey Sound flair to qualify as a tune that Little Steven should cover with his Disciples of Soul.” “’Her Majesty’ – echoed the Abbey Road vintage of the Fab Four – It is hard to sound like Ringo but they pull it off on this track – one of many elements that give the track this Beatles fan’s stamp of approval….” “’She’s My Love Line’ does sound like a Billy Joel tune recorded in Detroit with Ray Charles at the keys for good measure.” – Ken E. Raisanen – From The Vaults – WOAS-FM 88.5.
Propaganda Man will release July 26th, 2019 in CD and Digital formats through Big Boo Publishing.
The Green Album/Theme of Secrets is a double release of two solo albums from keyboard/violin master, electronic music pioneer and 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee (with Roxy Music) Eddie Jobson. The critically acclaimed Green Album, with studio band Zinc, was originally released in 1983 on Capitol Records along with the first CGI MTV video “Turn it Over.”
Theme of Secrets is a groundbreaking electronic music album performed entirely on the Synclavier Music Computer. The 1985 release was featured in TIME magazine.
All tracks have been remastered for this special 3-disc CD and high-fidelity Blu-ray Audio re-release.
Available June 14th in the U.S. (June 21st as an import on Burning Shed and elsewhere in Europe/Japan)
Classical prodigy and teen star — Award-winning film composer — “A musical genius” (Editor-in-chief of Emmy magazine) — Inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — World music and jazz record producer — Lecturer on The Art & Science of Music — Electronic music innovator — Electric-violin virtuoso — Award-winning pianist
With an international reputation as the definitive musicians’ musician, British musician Eddie Jobson has been recognized as a musical genius since childhood. As a piano and violin prodigy, he was awarded a Diploma of Distinction by London’s Royal Academy of Music at the age of 8, performing with his first professional orchestra at age 10. In 1971, at age 16, he was appointed as the Young Persons’ Representative to the British Government’s Arts Council and, the same year, performed his debut concert at the University of Newcastle—one of the first live concerts to feature the electronic music synthesizer. By age 17 he had acquired a worldwide record deal with Warner Bros. to record his first full album, playing violin, synthesizer and piano.
Transitioning away from classical music and still only 17, he became orchestrator for British singer Bryan Ferry, leading to Jobson becoming a full member of the influential art-rock group Roxy Music, contributing to their first number-one album as synthesist and groundbreaking electric-violinist. Eddie’s proficiency in re-sculpting and professionalizing the Roxy sound played a major role in the band’s success and their considerable influence on the likes of U2, The Talking Heads and many of the ’80s new wave rock/pop groups. Jobson’s early pioneering work as a teen, along with the other Roxy members, has resulted in his 2019 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making Jobson the first rock violinist to be so honored.
Remaining in the rock and jazz world after Roxy, Eddie—still only 21—was “discovered” by American music icon Frank Zappa and flown to Los Angeles to replace both jazz greats George Duke on keyboards and Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, in Zappa’s only four-piece lineup. Returning to England in 1978 after several albums and world concert tours with Zappa, Jobson then formed the internationally acclaimed progressive-fusion band UK with jazz-guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, King Crimson vocalist John Wetton, and original Yes drummer Bill Bruford. The UK albums, along with his other work with King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull and with members of Deep Purple and The Who, established Jobson not only as, arguably, the top rock violinist in the world, but also as one of the top keyboardists.
In the 1980s, Eddie put rock music and concert touring aside and focused on electronic music and the innovative world of computer music. He created the first music video to feature CGI, as well as the world’s first album performed entirely on the Synclavier Music Computer. Featured in TIME magazine, this critically acclaimed album was one of the very first all-digital CD releases. The 1990s saw Jobson move into the world of television and film scoring—an award-winning side career that culminated in him becoming choral director for Disney on two major movies and the soundtrack composer on numerous films, TV shows and 3D theme-park experiences. Fascinated with all musical forms, he left the world of Hollywood in 2000 and formed a musicians’ label called Globe Music as a vehicle for producing a diverse array of jazz and world-music artists. This period also saw Eddie working with the Tuvan throat singers, and composing for and conducting both the City of Prague Philharmonic and The Bulgarian Women’s Choir, while also functioning as the choir’s spokesperson at Harvard University and on multiple classical radio broadcasts.
An unexpected return to the concert stage in 2008, saw Jobson perform to a festival audience of more than 150,000 people in Kazan, Russia, leading to ten more years of world tours until his permanent retirement from live concerts in 2018. In 2017, Jobson received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Progressive Music Awards in London.
Five new double-CD releases are being planned to commemorate Jobson’s almost fifty years as one of the world’s most respected musicians. Eddie is also currently producing six video lectures on The Art and Science of Music.
“Oceans of Thought” was originally called “The Merchant of Eternal Youth” but during the time of the recordings I had some personal problems and I was a little depressed. So the songs, the cover but above all the lyrics, have undergone a change because my music comes from what I have inside of my mind and soul.
So this album talks about the difficulties that life sometimes brings us, but also talks about how to try to overcome them. It’s a record that I care a lot about because it talks a lot about me. Because great musicians have played there, from Norwegian guitarists Bjørn Riis founder of the band Airbag and Marius Halleland (Wobbler), Peter Matuchniak (Kinetic Element), Jeff Mack (Scarlet Hollow) and Maurizio Antonini the beating heart of this record. The precious woodwinds arrangements by Dave Newhouse (The Muffins) and the beautiful voice of JoJo Razor(Gekko Projekt) and last but not the least, Charlie Cawood (Knifeworld) playing Sitar.
This year I turned 50, an important and very significant milestone for me. Half a century on Earth! What a wonderful journey up to here. First of all, I want to thank my beautiful and wonderful Wife because She made my life happier and more dynamic. Then all the supporters who allowed me to record this album and in particular Jon Hawkins for having produced it. I am proud and very happy to present it to you today. I hope it will reach your heart and your mind. Entertaining you, relaxing and making you think about life, its beauties and sometimes its inconsistencies.
The album was released today June 21st, the day of the summer solstice. The most important day of my life.
Have a good trip folks! Marco Ragni
Track Listing 1 Flashlights 2 Dizziness 3 Hammil’s Thoughts 4 The Wind Blows Anyway 5 Regain Control 6 Oceans of Thought 7 Under a Big Red Sun 8 Voice in the Dark 9 Open My Arms
Music and lyrics by Marco Ragni Produced by Jon Hawkins Album Art by Marco Ragni
Featuring: Marco Ragni: Vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keys, bass Peter Matuchniak: Electric guitar Dave Newhouse: Woodwinds Jeff Mack: Five string fretted and fretless bass & Chapman Stick. Maurizio Antonini: Drums JoJo Razor: Backing vocals
Special Guests Bjørn Riis: Lead guitar on No. 9 Open My Arms Marius Halleland: Lead Guitar on No 2 Dizziness & No 5 Regain Control Charlie Cawood: Sitar On No 8 Voice in the Dark
Melodic Revolution Records and Blå Lotus are thrilled to announce that Högtid is now officially released worldwide.
About the New Album We agreed upon dubbing it “Högtid”, approximately the Swedish word for feast, or rather celebratory season (i.e. Christmas, Easter, Midsummer and so on), sort of hinting at the superficial theme of the two main tracks ‘Pagan Solstice’ and ‘Summer Demons’ and maybe also the inclusion of our momentary rendition of an old Swedish marching tune (‘Gånglåt’). Despite this, it’s not a concept album, no overarching theme or grandiose convolution, no siree Bob! They just happened to be the songs we decided upon rehearsing during this last year-and-a-half. You could say though, that there is a common theme between the two aforementioned main songs in that they both deal with the expectations laid upon oneself and the urge to get away from them; one more in the external side of things (‘Pagan’) and one the internal (‘Summer’). ‘Pagan’ was actually a leftover song from my previous band (as was ‘Unreal Estate’) in which I played the guitar and thus these were written accordingly so I had to find a way to present them on the Hammond but eventually they proved to be more in tune with the Lotus spirit anyway.
‘Summer’ on the other hand began its life as an unassuming, Neil Young-esque folk song, amounting to probably no more than a couple of minutes in all, but demonstrably ended up being the longest track on this record. The mopey lyrics should probably not be interpreted too deeply by a suicidal person though. Then we have the most optimistic track on the album, ‘While You Were Asleep’, a psychedelic ode to the divison of labour and the fact that despite what all the fearmongers tell us, overall the world is a better place at this very moment than ever before throughout history and that it will be ever so slightly better tomorrow, so stop whining and dig into the fact that this is more a showcase of the Farfisa rather than the Hammond. A bit of variation thrown in for good measure. And finally ‘Rats’n Brats’ is just a piece of vintage heavy rock’n roll; a good excuse for letting our hair down and maxing out the fuzz boxes toward the end.
And there you have it. We hope you will enjoy the fruits of our labor as much as we have enjoyed perfecting it during this period. It’s just a pity that we can’t really put into words the exact Anglo-Saxon depiction of its name. Guess that’s why we insist on inserting all these Norse umlaut-laden words everywhere.
//Fredrik, keeper of the sevenhundred keys
Artist: Blå Lotus Formed during the fall of 2016, Blå Lotus was basically three guys with a vision of making heavy prog rock without the aid of a guitar. Heavily influenced by old school progressive acts of yore, they immediately set out to create a fulfilling soundscape equipped with just bass, drums, and Hammond organ and a vast array of lengthy jam-based compositions interspersed with heavy stoner-like riffs.
Album Title: Hötid Album Art: Viktor Örneland Release Date: June 21st, 2019 Label: Melodic Revolution Records Format: Digital
Track Listing: 1. Pagan Solstice 2. Open Hand On All Fours 3. Unreal Estate 4. While You Were Asleep 5. Gånglåt 6. Summer Demons 7. Rats’n Brats
Band Members Fredrik Andersson: Hammond and Farfisa Organ, Mellotron, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Flute & Vocals Linus Karlsson: Bass Guitar, Theremin & Random Sound Effects Wiktor Nydén: Drums & Percussion
What the critics have said about their debut Tube Alloys
This is a great album, and it is incredible to think that they came together in Autumn of 2016, and recorded this album in April the following year, as they sound as if they have been bouncing ideas off each other for years. If you have ever enjoyed the sound of a Hammond Organ in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing, then this is essential. ★★★★ 4/5 Kev Rowland – Power of Prog
Wow! This new Swedish heavy prog rock band just totally blew me away. It’s clear these guys are totally enjoying themselves. That “no guitar” policy only proves, as Quatermass or Rare Bird (their first two albums only) had proved all those years ago, that great music can be had without a guitar. Blå Lotus is simply the new generation of it. Really worth it. ★★★★ 4/5 Progfan97402 – Prog Archives
The sound is really cool and I like this album a lot. In this case, we are talking old-style 1970s heavy prog and symphonic prog. There is even some John Lord’s Deep Purple like keys and music here. The Hammond organ sends warm shivers down my spine and gives me a silly grin. 3.5/5 points by Torodd Fuglesteg – Sound Of Fighting Cats