Taylor's Universe — Kind of Red
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD 022, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01With each subsequent 'Universe' release, guitarist Robin Taylor's vision reaches a new level of refinement, and the latest, Kind of Red, is yet another step along that enlightening path. The eight composed pieces herein deliver a satisfying progressive rock informed by elements of jazz, classical, and a comprehensive synthesis of classic prog savvy wrapped up in contemporary production styles. Taylor himself plays all guitars, bass, vintage keys, and percussion, leaving the drums, saxes and trumpet / flugelhorn to other players. One never to let flashy playing get in the way of the overall effort – at least in this venue – Taylor’s function here is primarily as the composer and arranger, bringing a cornucopia of diverse elements of power, delicacy and universal vision together into an overall concept, much like the late great Pekka Pohjola. Each of the eight tunes here will leave an unmistakable invitation for return listens, at which time more will be revealed. Guest voices trade off with sax solos on one track, but other than that and "Tortugas," where low distorted voices mix with Mellotrons and other sounds for one brief section, this is primarily an instrumental outing of memorable melodies with confirmatory support from solid rhythm backing throughout. In all, another major step forward for one of the best cutting-edge bands around.
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