Jakko M. Jakszyk — The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
(Innerhythmic ICNCD 2007, 2006, 2CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01
Guitarist Jakko Jakszyk has finally come into his own with his current solo recording. After stints with Level 42, Dizrhythmia, and 21st Century Schizoid Band and numerous guest spots, the singer-songwriter has finally found a clever vehicle to mesh his love of dinosaur prog and crafted pop much in the mode of the late Kevin Gilbert (Giraffe, Toy Matinee). Two discs of new thought-out/well-conceived and polished rock are included in this set with prominent contributions from old friends such as drummer Gavin Harrison (now in Porcupine Tree), keyboardist Dave Stewart (Ex-Hatfield, National Health) and Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel) and the late Ian Wallace. Disc one (“Now”) at times covers ground closer to current Spock’s Beard or less heavy edged Porcupine Tree. The original version of “Catley’s Ashes” which was performed by 21st CSB shows the guitarist mastering a direction for strong new material outside of the prog umbrella so to speak. “No One Left to Lie To” is purely the artist coming to terms with family loss and an excellent sax back tracking.
Disc Two is entitled “Then,” which serves as an insight into the inspirations and challenges for the artist with covers of Crimson, Soft Machine and two Henry Cow songs (shock!). Jakko’s arrangements of early Fripp/Sinfield material are especially on target; the deep Indian dervish version of “Pictures of an Indian City” is essentially a Dizrhythmia reunion of sorts. Coral sitar guitar is interlaced with tabla and traditional Indian scat vocal to create a blistering almost inside practical joke of the piece. The best surprise is clearly the rework of “As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still” which had previously been buried on a rare Voiceprint compilation. Now it’s in its proper place and almost serves as an Egg reunion with Hugh Hopper and drummer Clive Brooks banging away with a monstrous organ accompaniment from Stewart. Currently Jakko has joined Guy Manning’s “The Tangent” for sessions on the band’s fourth studio recordings so much more is in store for this talent with many irons in the fire.
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
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
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
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
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 Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more