Panzerpappa — Pestrottedans
(AltrOck Productions ALT-052, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-16
Even someone who spends as much time listening to music as I do can’t listen to everything that comes out, even if you constrain the possibilities to progressive rock and jazz. So I come into this Panzerpappa release having never heard the band before. They’re often described as inspired by or reminiscent of the Canterbury scene, and it’s definitely there, with the overall sound kind of like Samla Mammas Manna crossed with later National Health, or maybe Phil Miller’s In Cahoots with an accordion. Which is to say the arrangements are complex and quirky, based more on polyphonic interplay than chords, and live in a region somewhere between jazz and rock. Jarle Storløkken’s guitar and Steinar Børve’s saxophones and EWI get most of the lead melodies, with keyboards (mostly from Børve) prominent but mostly supportive. The group has lost a bass player along the way, with the low end filled by keys (and possibly guitar synth), but Trond Gjellum’s drums are very tasty without being flashy. The real stars here are the compositions and arrangements. While each track is unique and full of nifty twists and turns, they are of a piece, with a bright, cheerful sound, almost completely lacking in darkness or dissonance. In spite of the avoidance of overt dissonance, the harmonic palette is sophisticated, with rich voicings and unexpected harmonizations. The album is entirely instrumental and really a joy from start to finish — easily among the highlights of 2016.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
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