Exposé issue #33 Summary
Features in this issue include:
Not many instruments are named after their inventors. Some examples include the saxophone, which was conceived by Belgian musician Antoine-Adolphe Sax, and the theremin, the first electronic instrument used in classical music, which was invented in 1917 by Russian composer Leon Theremin. A totally different instrument, the synthesizer, is commonly named after his inventor, Robert Moog, who passed away on August 21, 2005, at the age of 71. Maybe saying he is the actual inventor of the synthesizer is not correct, since this instrument is the outcome of the endeavours of several engineers. Moog, however, is the person whose name will remain linked to the synthesizer much more than any other. Alessandro Michelucci reviews the inventor’s life and his contributions to the evolution of musical instrumentation.
For well over forty years, Daevid Allen has been instrumental in the development of the international experimental and progressive music scenes. An original member of the legendary Soft Machine, he later founded Gong and numerous offshoots and related configurations, as well as producing a sizeable body of solo work. Udi Koomran has been a Gong fan for more then 30 years and had the opportunity to work with Daevid in Israel (live sound and recording, etc.). Udi’s featured interview began in early 2005, and concluded almost a year later in the early weeks of 2006.
Long time Yes singer Jon Anderson recently began the second US leg of his one-man solo tour. The focus of the event is on the man, his songwriting ideas, intimate interaction with fans and a glimpse of an artist refining his craft on stage. Jeff Melton managed to speak him with during sound check where he was refining a few new tunes he had recently added to his set list while checking the acoustics at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon.
Gavin Harrison is the very likely the best drummer playing in progressive rock. These are strong words based on my observations of his precision playing with Porcupine Tree during the first leg of US tour dates supporting Deadwing. Jeff Melton spoke with the technically proficient player backstage at the Aladdin Theater and found him to be a well rounded performer. He’s spent much of his career doing pop sessions and backing Italian singers before stepping up on short notice to help push Steve Wilson and company onto the sales map.
American guitarist Steve Adams will be best known by followers of all things Camel, as he was tapped by Peter Bardens to fill the guitar slot on Bardens’ final series of tours in the mid to late 90’s, before his passing in 2002. This experience was instrumental in shaping the guitarist’s own creative growth and he’s finally beginning to enjoy some kind of popular attention, which is ironic given his early forays into more mainstream music in the early 80’s. His three solo albums have just been re-released by 3Ears Records and following a successful appearance at last year’s Baja Prog festival and with another album on the way the time seemed right to get to know Adams better.
Once in a while, a band comes along that makes you re-think what you know about rock music; how it is made, why it is made, why its strengths can enrich your listening world. Fortrangt Hushallsarbete is just such a phenomena; their music is rife with an outlook that transcends any simple palette, and a humble charm that surreptitiously belays a unique sense of self-worth. That this band should hardly be known inside their own country, and remain little more than a well-kept secret to the rest of the world, could well have to do with the fact that the musicians involved appear to be very private people, seemingly at ease merely creating music for the sake of doing so. Thusly unheralded, over the many years of playing together, they have granted only a single interview prior to this one. David Kerman had a chance to coax them out of their shells, and to learn a bit about one of the most advancement-focused bands from the modern, Scandinavian scene.
Exposé writer Jeff Melton received a sad e-mail from Hugh Hopper on the morning of February 8th 2006 that Elton Dean passed away due to complications from cirrhosis. “I first saw Dean play live with Seattle band Glass at Progman 2001 in Seattle. It had been my lifelong dream to see the brash Englishman channeling whatever force through his saxophone or saxello. His tone, approach to improvisation and consistent output through the years made him a long time veteran of the British jazz scene and an old musical soul with many friends and supporters.” Dean’s contributions to progressive rock were grounded on innovation and challenge, which influenced peers, followers and current day woodwind players. He will be greatly missed.
The two Musea label releases by French band Taal should be familiar to most Exposé readers, and during that time they have appeared at numerous festivals throughout France and Europe. But the band that began life in 1992 under the earlier name Stuart’n Co., later to become Little Rattle and then Stratus before christening themselves Taal in the late ‘90s, had never played in the western hemisphere before their riveting performance on the opening night of Baja Prog, March 30, 2005. By the next morning their set was already being touted in the local newspapers. The band was kind enough to spend a few minutes with Exposé on that morning.
BAJA PROG X: 2006
This annual four-day mega-event is now in its tenth year; split between 2 or 3 outdoor afternoon sets at the hotel (a large stage is set up at the west end of the tennis court), and 3 sets in the evenings at Teatro Del Estado, a couple miles away, baja Prog has become the premier annual west coast music event that has yet to be surpassed or outlived by any of its peers. This year 20 bands were hosted (two played twice – 22 sets in all), and as always there were some really nice surprises, some that met expectations, several unknowns that made themselves known, and only one real disappointment this time. As always, the atmosphere is very relaxed and free of hassle, a total experience that blends music, culture, and social interaction. And Exposé was there to cover it all.
Also included in this issue – as always, hundreds and hundreds of reviews: Roundtables, New Releases, Archives and Reissues.. 92 Pages total.