Exposé Online banner

Nektar — Unidentified Flying Abstract
(Bellaphon 9724525, 1974/2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Unidentified Flying Abstract Cover art

Nektar occupies a somewhat awkward place in the history of progressive rock. They don't fit in with the symphonic style of Yes or Genesis, and they're not as elaborate as King Crimson or Gentle Giant or artsy and uncompromising as Henry Cow and friends. Like Camel and Caravan, their music grows out of the psychedelic rock of the 60s, with occasional big concepts, multipart suites, and a bit of room for improvisation, but with a definite rock and roll feel almost always present. This live in studio recording dates from a single night in 1974, when they were at the creative peak of their 70s work. Remember the Future and Down to Earth (recorded but not yet released) were immediately behind them, and Recycled just ahead, but instead of a set from the Down to Earth tour (as documented on Sunday Night at the London Roundhouse), this presents almost all new material (“Desolation Valley” from A Tab in the Ocean being the only pre-existing song). In spite of the fact that none of the five new tunes here never got another studio recording, the material is not really inferior, only unrehearsed and a bit underdeveloped. There's a bit of jamming, especially on “We Must Have Been Smashed,” but the playing is good enough to hold a listener's interest. This is not an essential piece of rock history, but it is a great addition to Nektar's discography, and surely of interest to any fan of the band.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2002 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Nektar, Roye Albrighton

Latest news

2017-04-16
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

2017-04-16
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

2017-02-20
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

2017-01-31
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

2017-01-30
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


Previously in Exposé...

A.C.T. - Silence – I'm new to this Swedish quintet, but have to say I'm mightily impressed. In a nutshell, these guys have come up with a prog rock take on what Queen were doing in the mid 70s. Other reference points...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues