ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


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Gelb, Philip & Reason, Dana - 1996 - "Primal Identity" ***+

About the best (cool!) album of Philipp Gelb of those I've heard I'll tell later, and now I keep on the story about his work telling of his cooperation with the pianist Dana Reason (by the way, her name goes first on the original CD, but without Gelb I wouldn't be interested, sorry). As you probably know, Gelb is a unique musician (first, at least because he plays a really unique instrument - medieval Japanese hybrid of violin and sitar called Shakuhachi) performing one-of-a-kind music, remotely reminding of the soundtracks in the history movies of the established Japanese director Akira Kurasawa. Unlike the two Gelb's works I know, the sound of modern piano doesn't fit in well with the sound of the mentioned Shakuhachi. And while Gelb's improvisations are definitely made in the "classic" vein, madam Dana likes jazz. A bit too many styles to mix - for only two instruments. content

Genesis (UK) - 1974 - "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" ******
(2CD=95 min, "Charisma")

With this review, I am beginning a series of Extra Reviews on my favorite albums that, apart from the others, weren't reviewed until now. There are a number of true pearls of Classic Art-Rock in Genesis's discography, but "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" I love most of all. Even presently, I consider it to be the best album ever created within the frame of Symphonic Progressive and the best conceptual album of this genre as well. Here, IMHO, the band had reached the peak of their compositional and performing skills, the result of which became this wonderful double album. Which is the only double album in the discography of arguably the most influential band in the history of Progressive Rock. content

Ghiribizzi - 2005 - "Pan'ta Rhei" ****+

GHIRIBIZZI from Belgium present their second CD "Pan'ta Rhei", which follows "Zep Tepi" (2001). The band is a sextet consisting of three singing keyboardists, guitarist, bassist and drummer. So there is nothing particularly surprising in the fact that the music is abundant in keyboard patterns and is often vocal heavy as well. Both musically and stylistically, this is a quite mixed bag. The works of symphonic Neo with a strong heavy component (Asian Love, Valley of the Gold) adjoin traditional, at best proto-progressive Hard Rock numbers (Fires of Hell, Don't Fear the Unknown) and rather sugary ballads (Break Down Soon, Remember Paris) as well. Now the band shines with inventiveness, now reveal their numerous influences - from Queen and 10 CC to Marillion and Styx. Many should like this album, but I'd rather look for something more adventurous. content

Gosta Berlings Saga - 2006 - "Tid Ar Ljud" ******
(55 min, Record Heaven)

"Tid Ar Ljud", the first offering from Sweden's GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA, is released via their native Transubstance Records and is something I hadn't expected from that label, inasmuch as most of their productions only bear an indirect relationship with Progressive Rock, some being quite alien to it. With the exception of Prog-Metal, this excellent recording embraces all the principal styles that form our beloved genre, namely Sympho Prog, Jazz-Fusion, Space Rock and even RIO in places. The seven instrumental pieces on here are all thoughtfully composed, tastefully arranged and professionally executed, each revealing a genuinely vintage sound, essential progressive features falling as if from a cornucopia. The instrumentation includes electric, acoustic and bass guitars, electric piano, Mellotron, flute, violin and acoustic drums. I could list many legendary bands as references here, but I won't, because the influences are very transitory. Perceived as a kind of musical time machine delivering the listener right to the heart of the '70s, "Tid Ar Ljud" is nevertheless a highly original album, eschewing any direct comparisons. Sincerely recommended, particularly to those who are in their element when listening to Prog in the full variety of its manifestations. content

Grey Lady Down (UK) - 1994 - "The Crime" *

It is the very first CD-edition from one of the leading Prog-labels British "Cyclops". With the irony of fate GLD became the best-seller band for the lable. The album. Never I've heard so shameless a plagiarism, raised to the power of maximum simplicity! I have no words... These guys wannabee Marillion SO bad! And it's a pity, that many people are looking for bands that sound like Marillion. The following albums of the band are slightly better, but this one is very weak. content

Grey Lady Down - 1995 - "Forces" ***

Just for once these young proggers "composed" a new "piece of work" deeply impressed by Marillion's "Afraid of Sunlight" and Arena's debut "Songs from the Lions Cage". Nevertheless, this album was played in accordance with more or less decent Neo. Their best, I think. content

Grey Lady Down - 1997 - "Fear" **

After the some line-up changes, specifically, keyboardist L.David was replaced by another similar the feeble imitator of Mark Kelly M.WestWORST, sorry, M.Westworth, the band is back with their third album. New guitarist S.Anderson turned out to be the big lover of Anekdoten, and now you can hear the poor mix of Marillion / Anekdoten, no more. content

Group Therapy (Japan) - 1999 - "Atlantis" *****

Quite serious and impressive contemporary Jazz Fusion from Japan. Sructurally slightly compared to Billy Cobham's "Warning" (1983), but these guys have their own unique stilistical way and originality. A lot of the virtuostic guitar solos by the bandleader Hiroyuki Kitada into the acompaniment of the rich brass and rhythm sections. Doubtless, the best track here is the 15-minute's epic titlesong Atlantis. An excellent debut ("Mellow Records"). Highly recommended, but for Jazz Fusion fans only. content

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ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages