Jack Lancaster & Robin Lumley — Marscape
(Ozone OZ005-2, 1976/1993, CD)
by Mike Ohman, Published 1994-10-01
Lancaster is the former sax player in Blodwyn Pig, but this album is better-known for its side-players: Robin Lumley, John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Phil Collins, Morris Pert... in short, Brand X! Fans of Brand X actively search out this album expecting a pre-Brand X Brand X album. Well, yes and no. One can certainly hear the Brand X style in embryonic form on some songs, but we must remember, this is really Lancaster's show. Lancaster primarily plays sax, but he also plays a lot of Lyricon, an early wind synthesizer. Sometimes, it's hard to tell which synth lines were played by Lumley or Lancaster, although others have a definite "reedy" quality to their sound (i.e., you can tell by the phrasing that the notes came out of a wind instrument and not a keyboard). Other guest appearances include Penguin Cafe Orchestra mainstay Simon Jeffes on koto, while vocalist Bernie Frost graces some songs with his eerie falsetto, though none of the songs has any lyrics. The songs fall into two distinct categories: 1) Soft and atmospheric with gentle melodies expressed on sax/Lyricon/flute backed by Lumley's keyboards (usually piano) and 2) Jazz-fusion somewhat in the Mahavishnu mold with prominent sax and energetic rock backing. The latter passages are those which will be of greatest interest to Brand X fans, Percy Jones' distinctive bass playing being most prominent. One can't help but wonder if the program music on this album was perhaps originally intended to be a soundtrack of some sort. Worth getting if you know what to expect.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more