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.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more