ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


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Jadis (UK) - 1992 - "More than Meets the Eye" **+

For some reasons some reviewers introduce Jadis as an offshot project of IQ's Martin Orford led by him. Far from this! The band was formed by guitarist/vocalist Gary Chandler (hey, CDelight, call him Geoff?) and it is him who is the main composer. Incidentally, he happens to be a bad composer and a poor lyricist, and rare decent keyboard arrangements on the album are made only by Orford. It's very strange that this band roused his curiosity: Martin joined Jadis, and Jadis joined Martin's "Giant Electric Pea" label. Of the music? This is quite boring guitar-based Neo. Dutch Arkus (see "A" section) showed that sort of music so many years ago... content

Jadis - 1994 - "Across the Water" **+

An absolute copy of it predecessor. About the 5-7 interesting minutes (all made by Orford) only and that is all. There are also (as well as on "More than Meets the Eye") an ubiquitous bassit John Jowitt, already is a member of IQ, too, not counting of his following Neo-activity. Backing to album I hear, that the music, as usual, is centred around the boring Chandler's guitar and vocals. WOW! I've read some descriptions of Jadis in Gibraltar... Quatations: "The music is centred around the keyboards of M.Orford(!)... with the musical style of Pendragon(!!)... Pendragon should have been opening for them (well, maybe it is just an opinion)... Points of comparison... Hogarth-led Marilion"(!!!). Are these guys heard Jadis in general? content

Jadis - 1997 - "Somersault" **

The band: Orford and Jowitt are out, the unknown musicians are in. This time already popular Jadis accordingly left "Giant Electric Pea" founding their own lable "Jadis Music". Well, they're OK, but so many other much more original true "Prog" bands need the support... To sum up, without Orford, this new one album's music is more straight-forward AOR than even Neo. content

Jean-Francois Moulin - 2006 - "40" ****
(51 min, Dreaming)

As if following in the footsteps of Henriette Kat, French solo pilot (to ambient paradise:-) Jean-Francois MOULIN also exceeds the bounds of traditional synth-based electronic music on his first outing, "40". In addition, Jean-Francois plays not only synthesizers, but also piano and - which is especially pleasing - a real electric guitar, additionally utilizing some sample sounds and vocoder. As a result the album has a quite saturated sonic palette, though of course, it would have not been enough for me to appreciate it if it were uninteresting compositionally. While the creation's fundamental style is definitely Ambient, the music flowing unhurriedly in most cases, each of the 11 tunes has its nice moments, now touching light Classical music, now getting an Art-Rock-like sound, and more. Quite frankly, I find this stuff to be better than anything in contemporary AOR - be it even Prog-tinged as is in the case of Ten Midnight. content

Jebo (UK) - 2004 - "Jebo" ***
(3 tracks, 13 min CD-R)

The first recording from the English quintet Jebo (vocals, guitars/vocals, drums, bass, and keyboards) consists of three songs ranging from 3 to 5 minutes. Like hundreds before them, the vocalist sings in the style invented by Peter Gabriel, but all his parts are caged within the unchangeable couplet-refrain framework. The music as such is not without originality and is performed professionally, but is also too straightforward, especially on the first track, which is an ordinary vocal-based Pop-Rock, and on the last one, which is a very simple Neo. On these, none of the musicians play interesting or very memorably either. The second song is a modern Alternative Progressive and is better. There are very few tempo changes too, but the rather long instrumental interlude with interplay between passages of piano and those of acoustic guitar at the forefront of the arrangements is impressive and is in many ways outstanding. The band is currently working on their first full-length album with legendary producer John Burns who has such gems to his credit as Genesis's "Selling England by the Pound" and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". So I believe it will be at least more consistent than this strange 13-minute outing. content

Jebo (UK) - 2006 - "Sinking Without You" ***+

JEBO is a young English quintet of Rob Allen on guitars, Jeff France on drums, James Hollingsworth on vocals, Nick O'Neil on keyboards and Lawrie Jones on bass. "Sinking Without You" is their debut full-length album, following their eponymous EP from some three years ago. The CD is 51 minutes in duration and features eleven tracks ranging from 3 to 6 minutes, three of which repeat those available on the EP. Overall, the material falls somewhere between Neo and an ordinary pop Rock, so the best general definition of its nature would probably be just AOR. Most of the songs, and particularly Nowhere to Hide, Same Men, What Dreams, Always You and Lancashire Lands, are, that being said, more than merely radio-friendly, as also is the ballad Sand. The music often evokes quite distinct associations with Genesis, but is much simpler than anything the Legend have made during their progressive years (from 1970 to 1983, at least in my understanding), though to be frank, any of Genesis's albums sounds better to me than this one. Even those exclusively into Neo will hardly find this album worthy of their attention in its entirety, unless they've stopped considering themselves to be Prog lovers. content

Jeremy - 2006 - "Faithful & True" ****+

Jeremy is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer, whose first two prog-related outings, "Pilgrim's Journey" (1995) and "Celestial City" (1997), were among Kinesis Records' best-selling CDs for quite a long time. His regular recording with lyrics based on Christian values, "Faithful & True" is a collection of 20 songs, all being done in a unified style, which is certainly still the same romantic pop/rock. Most of the songs, ballads included, have a full-blooded sound, the music being warm and light, as if illuminated from the inside, though overall, it is surely not for prog lovers. Look for Jeremy's new progressive album (first since 2002's "Kingdom Come"), which should be out before December 2006. content

Jesdad (Spain) - 2004 - "City Lights" *****
(5 tracks, 44 min CD-R)

"City Lights" is the first album (demo, in fact) by the young Spanish band Jesdad. Upon the first spin, one may think it's about New Age, only with emphasized symphonic textures. But while synthesizers are really prominent instruments everywhere on the album, they work exclusively in the right, progressive direction. All the compositions are submitted to a unified stylistic concept, which is an atmospheric, yet, rather highly sophisticated symphonic Art- & Space Rock. The performance is good, and the arrangements are clever. Two out of the five tracks contain vocals, but not many, while the instrumental parts on those are especially monumental. Jesdad is a very promising ensemble, and I'd only wish them to find the opportunity to make their music available to the general audience. content

Jethro Tull (UK) - 1973 - "A Passion Play" ******
(46 min, "Chrysalis")

Ian Anderson's wish for seeing Jethro Tull among the leaders of the Progressive Rock movement led them to leave "Island Records" and form their own label. (That happened in many ways thanks to the great commercial success of "Aqualung", which, however, I regard as one of the weaker albums by the band.) Both of the first albums that the band released through "Chrysalis", became the brilliant examples of Classic Art-Rock and real Classic for the Future as well. Unfortunately, "A Passion Play", which is more eclectic than "Thick As a Brick", has been greatly criticized exactly for that (wonderful) eclecticism. However, this was and still is the only 'theatrical' album by Jethro Tull. Also, "A Passion Play" is the band's only album, on which Ian Anderson played the saxophone. (He did it there just outstandingly!) It's a pity that the band's most unique and innovative album, which in my view is a true rara avis of Prog, still remains very underrated. content

Jethro Tull - 1995 - "Roots to Branches" ****

At first sight it is almost a masterpiece, but after the few listenings of this album that impression slightly has fallen. On the whole, this is original and highly complex work, however, only about one half of compositions sounds as Classic Progrissive and can be compared to more or less complex "true" Tull's songs, and the rest are just the nice songs only. The arrangements from the new "free" keyboardist Andrew Giddings added to music colourful atmosphere, whereas sound on "Catfish Rising" was very "dry". content

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ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages