The Frankenstein Consort — Classical A-Go-Go
(SFZ-004, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01That’s "The Frankenstein Consort featuring Erik Lindgren." That’s the Erik Lindgren of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. That’s “Invigorating Musical Novelties for Woodwinds, Piano, and Percussion.” And it’s every bit as good as you might expect (providing, I suppose, you’re the kind of person who expects it to be good). There are a few alternate arrangements of Birdsongs pieces, a set of Raymond Scott compositions, a piece by Satie, a suite written for dance, Lindgren compositions ranging in vintage from 1972 to 2004, and a nifty take on Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.” A string quartet shows up on one track, but mostly it’s flute, clarinet, and bassoon playing against Lindgren’s piano; percussion includes a drum kit as well as various other items, and even some programming on “Frankenstein.” All in all, it’s not as silly as the title implies, and comes off as a fresh complement to darker varieties of modern chamber music, at once accessible and innovative, lighthearted and cerebral. The Scott tunes are all well known, and really benefit from these new interpretations, coming off less as warped jazz and more as warped... something else. A little less frenetic, but still off kilter – imagine “The Toy Trumpet” without a trumpet. The oldest Lindgren piece (“Baroque-a-go-go”) was written when he was in college and intended as a parody of progressive rock. But it works as a worthy piece in its own right, and caps off the set nicely.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more