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

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moby Trip - NKU – Moby Trip is a trio from New Zealand operating in the retro-psych realm. The band features guitars, bass, and drums, with the guitarist doubling on keyboard programming, and vocal duties shared by...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues