Stan Whitaker / Frank Wyatt — Pedal Giant Animals
((Not on label) 83710127816, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01This gem came out quietly toward the end of 2006, a side project by two of the primary composers of Happy the Man needing an outlet for their material, unable to wait for the stars and planets to be in perfect alignment for the full band to get together, rehearse and record. Joining them on various tracks are Peter Princiotto on bass (from However) and Chris Mack on drums (Puppet Show and Iluvatar). Many of the numbers here are typical of the more gentle vocal pieces one might find too few of on any given HtM album, sung by Whitaker with backing support from Wyatt. That said, there are a fair number of instrumentals too, many of which tend to rock a little harder and also get into some very tasty and colorful elaborations and variations. These guys are both masterful creators, and each piece they cast is brilliantly arranged to pull out its strengths, using piano, synthesizers, guitars, bass, drums, and all manner of woodwinds, much as they would be had they been included on a HtM album. Since these were recorded, Pedal Giant Animals (the project) has evolved into a full five-piece band Oblivion Sun, featuring Wyatt, Whitaker, Mack, and two additional musicians on bass and keyboards.
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
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