Modest Midget — The Great Prophecy of a Small Man
((Not on label) LZAG004, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01Lionel Ziblat is an Israeli / Argentinean composer and musician based in Holland, and is the visionary and driving force behind Modest Midget, a four-piece touring band, although many more musicians and friends had a hand in creating this, the band’s first full length CD. The thirteen hook-filled cuts (which include four instrumentals) present art-rock in its most powerful form, seemingly drawing some inspiration from rock and pop influences like The Beach Boys, Beatles, Godley & Creme, Split Enz, Mike Keneally, Adrian Belew, and perhaps others. But that’s only half the story. Seamlessly blended in with this are the strong and unmistakable influences of jazz, a worldwide variety of folk styles, klezmer, modern classical, classic progressive rock, soundtrack themes and even touches of punk. The result is nothing short of brilliant, beginning to end. Ziblat is the main vocalist, and handles guitars, keys, bass, and a variety of percussion instruments. Also in the mix are some beautiful harmony vocals, kit drums, viola, violin, clarinet, a full family of saxophones, and much more including additional bass, keys and guitars. The orchestral sections might even remind a listener of the clever arrangement style of Frank Zappa on his classic albums like Waka/Jawaka. Seriously, there isn’t a dull spot on this disc anywhere, and surprises abound at every turn. This will definitely find a place high on my top discs of the year.
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
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more