Renaissant — South of Winter
(Voiceprint TJSCD-01, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01
Here’s another branch of the Renaissance tree, this one under the stewardship of longtime drummer Terrence Sullivan, along with what appears to be numerous Sullivan family members (Lee, Christina, Kristian, and Derrick, on keys, vocals, guitars and bass respectively). Betty (Thatcher) Newsinger contributes lyrics to a number of the songs, Renaissance keyboardist John Tout plays piano on several cuts, and we have Alex Caird on bass and Martin Orford from IQ adding strings and flute, plus other guests. While Terry Sullivan wrote all of the songs here (or co-wrote them with Newsinger), they basically fall into two categories: those sung by Christina, which for the most part are dead-ringers for the style Renaissance embraced from Turn of the Cards through Azure d’Or, although they tend to be a little leaner on the heavy orchestrations, and Christina’s voice is different, perhaps a bit more folky and soulful compared to Annie Haslam, but she does have that similar and somewhat annoying tendency to over-enunciate the lyrics. The second category are the songs sung by Terry Sullivan exclusively, his voice a deep tenor, with its own style and delivery, and because of that those songs tend to be somewhat more stylistically original – that is to say unlike classic Renaissance. All taken though, this is a good album that will definitely be of interest to fans of his old band. It’s been out a couple years already, so hopefully something new is in the works.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more