Joe Deninzon & musical friends Rachel Flowers (flute, piano) and Alex Skolnick (guitar) perform Chick Corea’s “Spain” on the upcoming Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius’ “Behind the Curtain: Live From ProgStock” via Four-Disc Box Set – Double CD, DVD & Blu-Ray to be released by Melodic Revolution Records.
“Spain” will premiere on YouTube on Friday, October 14 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT/ 3 AM Amsterdam time (October 15, Saturday) Watch it here or on YouTube.
“Spain,” and how it came to be by Joe Deninzon
One of the perks of being a jazz musician is that you can walk into a room anywhere in the world, jump on stage with people you’ve never met who may or may not speak your language, and weave together a spontaneous concert based on a shared musical language.
On October 2nd, 2021, when the late great John Goodsall from Brand X fell ill, Stratospheerius was asked last minute to headline Progstock, the biggest prog rock festival in the Northeastern U.S. Preceding our set was the amazing multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers, who recently contributed her talents to our single, “Storm Surge.” Following us later that night was the bassist Percy Jones. Joining Percy on guitar was Alex Skolnick. Alex is an old friend who recorded and toured with our band in the early 2000s. I saw a great opportunity to reunite with Alex and include Rachel in a song. It was also nice to give the band a break and play something more stripped-down in the middle of our set. We decided to play Chick Corea’s “Spain,” a song we all knew well. There was no time to rehearse. Alex had heard of Rachel but had never met her. That night, Rachel and Alex met on stage, never having played together before. This performance was completely on the fly! Judging by the audience’s reaction, I think we created some magic that night and are excited to share it with everyone who couldn’t be there in person.
Discography Behind the Curtain: Live at ProgStock (2022) 4 Disc Box set Spain “Live at ProgStock” (2022) Digital Single The Prism “Live at ProgStock” (2022) Digital Single Game of Chicken (Live at ProgStock) (2021) Digital Single Cognitive Dissonance (2021) Digital Single Storm Surge (2020) Digital Single Frame by Frame (2020) Digital Single Impostor! (2019) Digital Single Guilty of Innocence (2018) LP/Vinyl Guilty of Innocence (2017) CD & Digital Album Hysteria (2017) Digital Single The Next World (2012) CD & Digital Headspace (2007) CD & Digital Live Wire (2004) CD & Digital The Adventures of Stratospheerius (2002) CD & Digital Electric / Blue (1998) CD & Digital
Capturing the angst of the 21st Century with Karen Langley’s sharply observed lyrics, laced with the manically haunting guitars of Rob Williams and Jon Sharp on drums (plus guest musicians), BABAL delivers a thought-provoking, barbed performance that defies categorization.
BABAL reveal a dystopian, offbeat view of life; their cinematic, psych/art-rock approach calls up comparisons with Talking Heads, Zappa, Beefheart, Hendrix, Primus, Bent Knee, and Patti Smith among many.
The band has gathered great responses around the UK and Europe and has also played live soundtracks for Alternative Cinema presentations.
It’s been said
This is a wonderful amalgamation of progressive rock mixed well with Frank Zappa – like experimentation. Progressive Rock Central
Karen, Rob, and Jon have yet again delivered something out of the norm and very special indeed. Kev Rowland – Prog Archives
BABAL offers you more than a record, it’s a journey without any barriers or musical boundaries. Wil – Chronicle
Babal easily switch between dark, light, gray, and dazzling. The band moves seamlessly through improvisation, taut precision, poetic fusion, political satire, eccentricity, and authentic raw power. Anne-Claire -Mazik
If you want a piece of music to play in the background to a dinner party, then you have come to the wrong place. But, if you want to sit down for an hour and be taken on a magic carpet ride through our fragile existence, with humour, sarcasm, and understanding. If you like great guitar, bass and drums all working together, so tight, you will think it is all the same person. If you like colour and light and meaning, then this is a must have…. Chris Gill – Band of Rain
About Who will I be when I leave?
BABAL has many carriages, and there are many stops along the way; sometimes the train is just too crowded and we have to get off and have a station break; a breather, while we wait for the next connection.
We never opt for the straight-through – it always speeds past, sending clouds of dust and screeching metal particles over us as we sit patiently on the bench, anticipating the arrival of the mystery train that will send us happily on our way, toward the next strange town of tunes. What wonderful places we visit, and are still visiting!
“Who Will I Be When I Leave?” takes us to some eccentric station stops on a network of infrequently used branch lines and complex intersections. Take the BABAL ticket once more, and sit back for the Corkscrew Ride…. we can’t guarantee a return trip; just taking the journey is the goal. X Karen Langley 2022
1. 3 Minutes (7.12) 2. Sitting Pretty (6.54) 3. Corkscrew Rider (8.22) 4. Dead End Friends (4.35) 5. The Wolf Slips Up Quickly (6.17) 6. Made Without Instructions (5.00) 7. Baby Wants Freedom (7.59) 8. Doors (12.10) 9. Who Will I Be When I Leave? (3.52)
Total Playtime: 61’57
Lineup Karen Langley: vocals Rob Williams: Guitars, synth, bass, programming Jon Sharp: Drums Guest artist Paul Smith: Bass on “ Corkscrew Rider” and “Doors”
Microsoft Word – Babal Who Will I Be When I Leave? Press Sheet.docx
Who Will I Be When I Leave? (2022) CD, Digital & Streaming Corkscrew Rider (Single) (2022) Digital & Streaming Zombie Diary (Single) (2021) Digital & Streaming Spirit In A Meat Suit (2021) CD, Digital & Streaming Dreams For Imaginary Puppet Shows On The Radio (2020) Limited Edition CD, Digital & Streaming Hellish Interlude (2020) Limited Edition USB Frank’s Lament EP (2020) LP, CD, Digital & Streaming The Big Everything EP (2019) CD, Digital & Streaming The Glacier EP (2018) CD, Digital & Streaming The Circle of Confusion of Tongues (2018) LP, CD, Digital & Streaming
About this Song In this part of the rock opera, the wrongful king, the younger twin prince, has been crowned, leaving the rightful heir hopeless, until he meets Wisdom. The message here is when unjust life situations create uncertainties that are of such a scope as to be beyond our control, Wisdom encourages us to be patient and not reactive and comforts us with the knowledge that ill-gotten gain is temporal and truth, eventually, will be known.
The Law of Ages highlights the subtle and powerful range of vocalist Beau West and the classical influence of Shane Atkinson’s compositional prowess. Introspective and powerful, with notes as varied as Coldplay, The Scorpions, Kansas, and Queen, this single is a good power ballad suitable for modern, classic, acoustic, and progressive rock programs.
The Uncrowned King – Act 2 will be released on October 14th.
About Evership Rock band Evership is the conceptualization of composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer/engineer Shane Atkinson, along with lead vocalist Beau West. Few recent acts have made a bigger splash than Evership in the world of modern art/progressive or symphonic rock. Their impactful 2016 self-titled album catapulted them to the forefront of the rock world. This led to main-stage performances at the largest of US Art/Prog rock festivals RoSFest and ProgStock and over 50 glowing national and international reviews and interviews. Each successive album has been honored in the yearly “Best of’s” by critical reviewers. The response to The Uncrowned King – Act 1 was astounding. Highland (Issue #108) hails Evership as “firmly establishing themselves in the Progressive American Landscape” and UK’s ProgRadar sites “Evership is the new face of American Prog”.
Babal are back with another album which refuses to conform to what anyone thinks progressive rock should be like, with a worldview which puts them in opposition to the majority and they are just fine with that. Although they have a guest who provides additional bass on a couple of tracks, Babal are a close-knit trio who have been following their own musical path and destiny for some years now, staying away from anything which could be deemed to be trendy and instead walking a path less followed. In Jon Sharpe they have a drummer who is never content to sit at the back and just keep time, but rather he needs to be heard and injects himself into the music to be a key part of the arrangements. Rob Williams is a multi-instrumentalist who appears to be at home with whatever he touches, and then there is Karen?… Karen is the ultimate performer living her roles, which are very much part of her, destined to be the center of attention.
With both Rob and Karen suffering cancer in recent years, there was a very high risk that Babal would have to fold, and as it is they have unable to play gigs for quite some time, but there is nothing which will stop the guys channeling the music which is in their blood, and here they have come up with one of their most uncompromising albums yet. Think Talking Heads mixed with Beefheart, experimental Zappa and some punk ethics (as opposed to musical) such as Crass and one may just get close. There are elements of free jazz alongside prog, an edginess which refuses definition and a solid desire never to be pleasant and restful but rather be angular and sharp. This is music which will divide opinions among progheads as there will be plenty who will feel there is too much angst and general weirdness going on while there will also be others who feel this is cutting edge which takes us back 50 years to a time when anything was possible and being progressive meant being different as opposed to rehashing what had come before.
I have become used to Babal by now and knew I would not necessarily enjoy this the first time I played this, even before I put it on, and possibly not even the second, but by the third, there was a smile on my face as Karen, Rob and Jon have yet again delivered something out of the norm and very special indeed.
As Martin Springett says ‘I am so fortunate to work with two brilliant musicians/producers in Kevin Laliberte and Norm Macpherson. I have wide musical interests and don’t care to be hemmed in by labels or listener expectations. With Kevin and Norm, I can travel to new and unexpected ports of call, and to many different musical worlds. A Bridge of Spirits connects them all.’
Bridge of SpiritsTracklist
1. Forever Leaving Home 06:05 2. The Sister of Theft 02:50 3. Woman In the Waves 05:56 4. Finding Home 01:48 5. Rare Birds 03:51 6. A Dance to the Music of Time 02:49 7. Bridge of Spirits 05:41 8. The Owl (long form) 17:04 9. The Gift 02:24 10. Strange Kingdom (Bonus Track) 04:49
Musicians on Bridge of Spirits
Kevin Laliberte – Flamenco Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Electric Bass Norm MacPherson: Slide Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin & Bassoon Dave Wilkie: Vocals Denise Withnell: Vocals Drew Birston – Fretless Electric Bass and Acoustic Bass Martin Springett – Guitars, Bass, and Vocals Sari Alesh – Violin Wayne Kozak: Soprano Saxophone
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