Judy Dyble — Talking with Strangers
(Brilliant Music FXTR CD113, 2009, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2010-07-01
For those of you not old enough to remember, Judy Dyble was Fairport Convention’s original vocalist who left after their first album. She then hooked up with Ian McDonald and the original line up of Giles, Giles, and Fripp and some other groups along the way. Then Judy dropped out in 1973 only to return in 2004. Talking with Strangers is her fourth release since then. Co-written by Judy, Tim Bowness (No-Man), and Alistair Murphy (curator of the Cromer Museum), Talking with Strangers is a mixture of folk, acid folk, jazz, and progressive rock. Judy is accompanied by an all-star lineup of her friends: Ian McDonald, Robert Fripp, Simon Nicol, Julianne Regan (All About Eve), Jacqui McShee, Celia Humphris (Trees), and Pat Mastelotto. Judy’s voice is rich and vibrant, that of a much younger woman, and her excellent cover of Greg Lake’s “C’est la vie” is so beautiful that you could fall in love. Though Tim Bowness is in the background, you can definitely feel his presence throughout, especially the sadness of the title track, “Grey October Day,” and the 19 minute “Harpsong.” “Harpsong” is an oddball in that it appears to end after five minutes only to begin anew with lyrics that could have come from No-Man’s Schoolyard Ghosts. This is a poignant song about Judy restarting her career. Then at roughly the nine-minute mark, the music shifts to a King Crimson-esque jam, with Judy returning to the original melody to close the song on an upbeat. Highly recommended.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more