Exposé Online banner

Frogg Café — The Safenzee Diaries
(10T Records 10T0024, 2007, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

The Safenzee Diaries Cover artFirst things first. This is one of the absolute best sounding live albums this writer has heard, made even more surprising because nearly every track across the 2CD set was recorded at a different time in a different venue, yet the result is an amazingly consistent sound quality throughout. For anyone who's been living in a cave for the last seven years, Frogg Café is a group of extremely talented and diverse multi-instrumentalists, usually numbering six, who seem to draw their influence from Zappa, Gentle Giant, Mahavishnu, early Steely Dan, Happy the Man, and the general realm of 70s progressive rock. Yet that's not to say they sound like any of the aforementioned — they're clearly doing their own thing and creating something fresh and new. Compositionally, these guys are way ahead of the game; every one of the fourteen songs here — some drawn from their previous four studio albums and several new ones to boot, display an advanced sense of musical adventure, twining through complex labyrinthine ideas effortlessly. Their palette includes trumpet, electric violin, flugelhorn, trombone, plus the standard g/b/k/d. Some of the intense instrumental jams that these longer cuts encompass are positively breathtaking, especially some of the dual violin flights; given that the average track is around 8 to 12 minutes, there's a lot of room available for stretching out. Four members supply the vocals (plus one guest), which are not big on flashy multi-part harmonies, but they get the job done, and the different voices offer some additional variety. Anyone new to Frogg Café would do well to start with this outstanding live set.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Frogg Café

More info
http://www.10trecords.com

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Roach - Landmass & A Deeper Silence – Most of the Steve Roach releases we have reviewed in these pages are on the Projekt label. Timeroom Editions is his private label, offering additional releases from this prolific artist, available for...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues