ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


David Jackson & Rene Van Commenee - 2024 - "Keep Your Lane"

(56:43; Talking Elephant Records)


David Jackson surely needs no introduction whatsoever, having been at the top of the musical tree for more than 50 years, with his work with VDGG cementing his importance in the progressive rock scene, and who these days can be found in the wonderful Kaprekar’s Constant. This album started life as a purely solo collection, as David found himself stuck at home during the pandemic and started working through pieces he had started but never finished. He was laying down track after tracks, adding horn after horn, and was discussing it with Rene one day and he immediately asked to become involved, adding not only percussion but his ideas and production skills. Soon there were some other guests as well, including Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass, John Ellis (Peter Gabriel & The Stranglers), Andrew Keeling (Composer & Gong Farmers) and Dorie Jackson. This album has been gaining a lot of attention, as while Jackson is known for often moving well into the avant garde, here he has taken as many influenced from folk as he has from prog, and if one listened to “Felona” without knowing who it was by, one would probably take a best guess at Gryphon. Something which will be of interest to old VDGG diehards will be the reimagined “Pioneers Over C” which originally appeared on the classic ‘He To He, Who Am The Only One’ from 1970. I think that was the very first VDGG album I bought, many, many years ago, and it is interesting to hear it being given new life. It certainly fits in well and does not sound out of place, with Jackson taking it in a new direction as an instrumental, all the time concentrating on the melodies. It is the melodies which make this such a standout release as while Jackson was recording this mostly on his own, he ensured he did not disappear into his own navel but instead concentrated on producing music which is wonderfully enjoyable as opposed to a vehicle showing just how clever he is. While some will head straight to the VDGG cover I urge listeners to not do that but instead relax into the album from the beginning, as there is a great deal on here to discover and enjoy.

Progtector: March 2024

Related Links:

David Jackson Rene Van Commenee Talking Elephant Records


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages