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.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more