Gentle Giant — Out of the Fire - The BBC Concerts
(Hux Records HUX008, 1978/1998, 2CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01English archive label Hux Records is slowly building an excellent reputation for having the best BBC tapes for re-release. Out of the Fire fits in nicely into their archive plans (alongside Caravan and Kevin Ayers discs) to showcase two excellent (and complete) radio broadcasts from 1973 and 1978. The '78 show was originally available on the English Windsong label, and spotlighted The Missing Piece tour while the '73 show is a thirty minute slice of the band's stage show post In a Glass House. Disc one contains a breakneck version of "Way of Life" with Gary Green's blistering guitar work counter-balancing Ray Shulman's driving bass line with an actual ending (the studio track faded out). "Nothing at All" (from the first album) comes across rather well as rocker with a great drum/glockenspiel interlude (including "Shorting' Bread" ) from drummer John Weathers (ex-Man). Two versions of "Funny Ways" appear across the set which gives the package two comparable pieces with Kerry Minnear's vibes solo (although the '73 performance has been edited). Disc two has several gems including an intricate version of my favorite piece, "Playing the Game," and aggressive rendering of "For Nobody." And the classy twin acoustic guitars of Green/Shulman grace the wonderfully reflective, "Memories of Old Days." The '78 show focused six of ten tracks on their current album with a more standard rock shift, but still with a high energy level. Liner notes are by Weathers and coordinated by fan club president, Geir Hasnes. Out of the Fire is essential for fans, completists, and risktakers.
Related artist(s): Gentle Giant
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more