Various Artists — Thousand Days of Yesterdays - A Tribute to Captain Beyond
(Record Heaven RHCD19, 1999, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01
For most of us, Captain Beyond is a sort of footnote in the history of progressive rock, having achieved little apparent success or recognition for the three records they released between 1971 and 1977. But even 25 years after its release, the band’s debut album has a life of its own, and quite a few fans, at least among the rock musicians of Scandinavia. Michael Ivarsson of Record Heaven has assembled a tribute to that album, with different bands recording each of the tracks. Most of the bands represented are Swedish, plus two American, one Italian, and one German. I’m quite fond of the original album, but I’ll try to judge this tribute on its own, rather than by comparison. Musically, many of the songs are based on heavy riffs, sort of like Led Zeppelin in odd meters, and several have quieter acoustic sections with a psychedelic sound. Interestingly enough, the album consists of a number of songs that link together, mutate, and then come back in reprises or second parts, and on the tribute, sometimes these second takes on a song are done by a different band, sometimes by the same one that did the first. Highlights include Flower Kings doing “Raging River of Fear,” Five Fifteen’s title cut, “Mesmerization Eclipse” by Lotus with Brian Robertson, and Qoph’s Swedish version of that same song (one of four “bonus tracks”). But all of it is of consistent high quality, and provides good advertising for both the bands involved and for reissues of Captain Beyond’s first album.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more