The Fellowship — In Elven Lands
(Voiceprint VP378CD, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
It is no surprise that Yes vocalist Jon Anderson would finally contribute to a musical project surrounding the highly profitable Lord of the Rings books and films. What is surprising is how low-profile this UK based project is considering the research and well crafted product by the loose confederation entitled The Fellowship. Constructing traditional folk-based arrangements around themes and derived lyrics from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books was not a big stretch for the capable ensemble. Anderson appears on four tracks and is composer of two. “Dan Barliman’s Jig” demonstrates his still-strong vocal range and danceable delivery. His lyrical imagery fits well into the Tolkien world with Eddie Freeman adding twelve string guitar supported by flutes and a krumhorn solo. “The Sacred Stones” is a precious adaptation of another moment in the Silmarillion story offset by hurdy gurdy and djarbka accompaniment. The closest comparison for this song would be to “Where Will You Be” from Yes’s Talk. Also the cover version of Page and Plant’s classic from Led Zeppelin IV, “The Battle of Evermore” is done up as a traditional dirge with Adam Pike’s John Cale like singing. In contrast, Caitlin Elizabeth imparts several stronger lead vocals across the disk in a style not far removed from Enya’s serene delivery. Instrumental pieces by Carvin Knowles offset the vocal pieces, creating a seamless representation of the unique subject matter. Overall the 16 pieces are a must-hear for fans of Enya, Mediæval Bæbes, and Blackmore’s Night.
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