U.K. — Concert Classics Volume 4
(Renaissance RRCD00704, 1978/1999, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of this live series disc at a local SF Bay area shop in the bin with the regular monthly releases. Considering that Volume 4 had supposedly been pulled by none other than Eddie Jobson, it's possible that the disc is not in wide circulation. The recording comes from the heavily booted Boston 1978 FM radio show featuring the first line-up of the group with Allan Holdsworth (electric guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums). The most important tracks are three pieces which were re-worked on the next studio LP, Danger Money: "The Only Thing She Needs," "Carrying No Cross," and "Caesar's Palace Blues." Each of these songs contains wildly different group arrangements and is worth hearing in their initial form. It is no surprise to identify the jazz elements injected specifically from Bruford and Holdsworth that give each track a noticeable guitar context. "The Only Thing She Needs" benefits from Bruford's adept top kit drumming style and a looser tempo. "Carrying No Cross" includes a Latin midsection which is quite impressive, while "Caesar's Palace Blues" is more syncopated rhythmically with Holdsworth's leads playing off Jobson's pizzicato violin during the intro. The disc liner notes include pictures of other boot CDs: 23 total by my count, which could explain Jobson's concern with potential lost revenue. Together with another missing track, "The Sahara of Snow," this recording provides distinct clues as to how close the original quartet was to completing their second album before the band split. If you can find a copy of the disc, snag it while you can since you may not get another chance.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
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 & 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