Oblivion Sun — Oblivion Sun
(Prophase MVDA4648, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01
About fifteen seconds into the opening cut (or maybe even sooner), the astute listener will be reminded of the great Happy the Man, and for good reason – two of that band’s main composers and instrumentalists, Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker, are members of Oblivion Sun. Along with keyboardist Bill Plummer, the three are responsible for all the compositions on this, the band’s debut release. Joining them are the rhythm section of bassist Dave DeMarco and drummer Chris Mack (the latter also of Iluvatar, Puppet Show). I’m not sure what the current status of HTM is, but for the most part the nine tracks here make for a pretty convincing follow-up to that band’s 2004 reunion album The Muse Awakens, as well as the Whitaker-Wyatt release Pedal Giant Animals from a couple years back. Some of the pieces have a bit of a harder guitar edge, and there seems to be a stronger vocal presence – Whitaker’s singing on the unabashed rocker “The Ride” being an especially solid example, while the Plummer-Smith composition “Re: Bootsy” dives headfirst into some new funky territory, which the band handles admirably. DeMarco and Mack do an outstanding job framing this unusually melodic and complex set of compositions and, as it always was in HTM, all the players are generally more interested in working as a cohesive unit than taking turns in the spotlight. Overall, an exceptionally good release – there’s plenty here to recommend.
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more