To any fan of British progressive rock, keyboard player Jan Schelhaas needs little introduction given that he has played with both Caravan (twice, and with whom he is still playing) and Camel, as well as numerous other sessions. Here we have a remastered reissue of his 2018 solo album with three additional tracks. There is not much information out there about the album, so while I know Doug Boyle (guitar) and Jimmy Hastings (sax) are both involved, I cannot find any other information, so it is quite possible that the rest is undertaken by Jan, including the vocals.
It is hard to imagine that this is a recent album, as this has far more in common with the laid-back Seventies sound of sanitised rock which, although it does have some similarities with The Moody Blues at times, has little with which I would normally associate progressive rock. This is straightforward relaxing middle of the road soft rock which is gentle, never threatening, and consequently it is something which I cannot really see me often returning to as in many ways it is just too sickly sweet. That he is an excellent keyboard player and pianist is never in doubt, but this is not for me. 6/10 Kev Rowland
Here we have a two-track digital single from one of the best new prog bands around, Kaprekar’s Constant, with all proceeds going to the charity Crisis. While the title cut is a new song, the second “Call It A Memory” was their debut single back in 2017. Their mix of folk and prog, with complex arrangements and layerings, have made Kaprekar’s Constant a great many friends, and their debut ‘Fate Outsmarts Desire’ is simply stunning (to my shame I still haven’t played the follow-up, ‘Depth of Field’, but it is on my list, honest!). These two songs remind me just why I love that album so much, as while the arrangements are huge and complicated there is also a simplicity contained with which make them such a delight. One can certainly see why David Jackson is so involved, and his use of various saxes, flutes, and whistles breaks through to provide an edge while the twin vocals of Bill Jefferson and Dorie Jackson are sublime and comforting. This single should become a new Christmas classic, and by buying it not only will you have an incredible musical experience but you will be helping those less fortunate as well.
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