Secret Oyster — Live in the USA 2007
(884385101626, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01And that’s the way it was! This is the NEARfest Friday show from June 22, 2007, featuring three original members (saxophonist Karsten Vogel, drummer Ole Streenberg, and guitarist Claus Bøhling) along with two new faces (keyboardist Daniel Fridell and bassist Assi Roar). The band’s first US gig was preceded only by a few weeks of rehearsals and a handful of gigs in their native Denmark; other than that it had been around 30 years since the band played together. That last point doesn’t show in this set, however, instead sounding like the group of consummate professionals they are, that well could have been touring together for all those years. Of course there was no time beforehand to work up any new material, so their set consisted entirely of material drawn from their four studio albums (now reissued on The Laser’s Edge), and other than the odd solo flight here and there, the arrangements generally follow the studio albums fairly closely. Reviewing a live album when the performance is so flawless is always a welcome task! One hopes that the band will find time to continue to work together on new material, but at any rate this disc is a hearty reminder of a great performance I won’t soon forget.
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more