Exposé Online banner

Ut Gret — Ancestors' Tale
(AltrOck Productions ALT-041, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-06-19

Ancestors' Tale Cover artThe follow-up to 2011’s Radical Symmetry is a further refinement of Ut Gret’s unique musical vision. Ancestors’ Tale represents the crossroads of many different seemingly incongruent styles, but presented with the masterful hands of this group that seems to be able to make anything work, whether inside or outside the box. The ten tracks here cover about an hour, and brim with invention at every new turn, combining spirited rock with elements of chamber, jazz, world folk, impressionist classical, improvisation, and avant-garde, all based on exceptional compositions mostly by bassist, guitarist and de-facto bandleader Joee Conroy and keyboardist Steve Roberts either alone or together or in combination with other band members. There are vocals, but not a whole lot of them, courtesy of singer Cheyenne Mize who may remind listeners just a smidgen of Thinking Plague during her vocal parts, while at other times she is contributing on violin. But overall, this is for the most part an instrumental effort, with strong arrangements utilizing the band’s powerful woodwind section of Jackie Royce, Steve Good and Greg Acker (the latter doubling on percussion), which includes flute, basoon, contra-bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, bari sax, and even occasional didgeridoo. Roberts’ preferred keyboards include electric piano, piano, Mellotron, and occasional organ, vibes, marimba, and samples. Drummer Gary Pahler connects all the dots and provides the necessary structure, wherever that structure is needed. As one traverses these cuts, reminders of the work of other classic progressive artists may make fleeting appearances: Soft Machine and other prime era Canterbury bands, Univers Zero (with all those woodwinds, how could it not?), and the strong influence of mid-70s King Crimson is in evidence on many of the later tracks. There’s a lot of brilliance and originality herein, and it’s very hard to stop pushing that replay button, as each spin reveals something new or presents something familiar in an entirely new light.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Ut Gret

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Arti e Mestieri - Tilt & Giro di Valzer per Domani – Much ink has been spilled about the drumming of Furio Chirico and for good reason: the guy is phenomenal. He is all over the place using all available musical space yet is never bombastic or...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues