Billy Currie — Stand up and Walk
(Puzzle PZLCD102, 1991/2001, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2002-04-01The second solo album by violinist and composer Billy Currie (ex Ultravox, Visage) traces a narrow path down a lush musical side road. Having completed his tenure with those bands, moving into a semi-romantic vein was a logical choice for Currie since he seemed to be gravitating in that direction. Vocalist Susanna Bramson adds wordless singing on nearly half the cuts as melodic counterpoint, in an Enya style. Currie’s grasp of full keyboard arrangements was demonstrated on his first album, Transportation (which featured Steve Howe), and it’s a bit more sedate in these twelve tracks. The album’s title track evokes a gypsy mood, which could have suited a performance underneath foreign film credits. Dreamy themes and the nature of the work give the overall album an eighteenth century feel. Similar comparisons can be made to Eddie Jobson’s solo work (e.g. Theme of Secrets) as heard on “Liberation” with its passionate violin intro. Currie procured some of Rick Wakeman’s equipment for use on “Ukraine” which is based on a Russian theme. Currie undertakes a path into ambient music terrain with “Requiem” by playing some meditative no frills piano. Closing out the disc are two tracks that contrast greatly: a Christmas piece, and an Irish jig. No wonder that Howe was evaluating Currie’s skill as a possible band member. Detailed liner notes give the composer’s blow-by-blow account of each piece. The composer’s keen sense of space and pacing makes the album a tour de force given the electronic trend of the day.
Related artist(s): Billy Currie
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more