Exposé Online banner

Frogg Café — Fortunate Observer of Time
(no#, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

Fortunate Observer of Time Cover art

Frogg Café is one of those bands with influences you can probably spot, but whom you’d be hard pressed to describe. Their new one takes its cues from lots of places: classic progressive rock, orchestral jazz, fusion, and even 20th Century classical music all appear within the eclectic stew that is the Frogg Café sound. Underlying it all is a certain vibrant American adventurous spirit and willingness to break rules while still showing respect for forms and traditions. The band members, from the New York area, have all received higher education in music with several now educators themselves. This can often lead to a very clinical approach to music, but guiding this outfit is a willingness to embrace creativity and originality and to even have fun. Songs like “You’re Still Sleeping” recall Gentle Giant’s polyrhythmic agility and flair for non-standard instrumentation plus a blindness to stylistic barriers that allows them to go from odd-meter prog riffing to swinging jazz (featuring a slick trombone solo from John Lieto) without missing a beat. Drummer James Guarnieri’s mallets lend a Zappa-esque touch to songs like “Reluctant Observer” that gets a fuller exploration in the theatrical “Abyss of Dissension” which encompasses stately brass arrangements, sassy jazz, and mock-demonic verse that would certainly put a smile on Frank’s face. In case the genre bending abilities hadn’t yet been proven, the album closes with a harmonically challenging chamber composition featuring flute and strings. Eclecticism is definitely on the menu here – get it while it’s hot.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Frogg Café

Latest news

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Body Full of Stars - Falling Angels – Mark Dunn seems like quite a colorful guy. The leader and main songwriter for English group Body Full of Stars writes spirited Afro- and British pop and has a vocal delivery full of English wit and...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues