Pageant — La Mosäique de la Rêverie
(Musea FGBG 4181.AR, 1986/1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01
Having heard well over a hundred Japanese symphonic progressive rock releases from the early 80s to the present, ranging from mediocre to excellent, there are two that come to mind immediately as among the very best that scene has to offer: one is Providence’s And I’ll Recite an Old Myth, and the other one is this first full length release by Pageant from 1986. The band, fronted by powerful female vocalist / keyboardist Hiroko Nagai, led by guitarist Ikkou Nakajima, and also featuring Kazuhiro Miyatake (Mr. Sirius) on flute and acoustic guitar, plays a dynamic symphonic rock ranging from delicate passages featuring mainly acoustic instruments to full-power wall-of-prog, all meticulously arranged. Some comparisons that come to mind immediately are Renaissance circa 74-77 (Turn of the Cards, Novella), and perhaps the more gentle and acoustic side of early Heart (Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly) with all the soul and blues pretenses of the latter replaced by Euro-classical sensibilities. Hiroko’s vocals (in Japanese) are a match for Annie Haslam, though a little deeper and more tempered. The three opening tracks “La Mosaïque,” “Vexation,” and “Echo,” are worth the price of admission alone. This has been on CD before (King label, long out of print), and Musea’s reissue adds no bonus tracks, but the booklet does contain a short history of the band up to the release of this album. For those interested in exploring the world of Japanese symphonic prog, this is the place to start.
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
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more