Although Memoirs... includes recordings that span a three year period, the songwriting largely stems from the era before The Uncertainty Principle, as "Memoirs of a Misshapen Man" and "The Hive" were featured in the live Volare' set as far back as 1996. Thus, with these tracks, the five songs from the debut cassette, and a live improv, Memoirs... accurately represents the Volare' live set list from summer 1996. The liner notes, including comments from three of the four band members, explain the different origins of the various tracks, their places in Volare's history, and the events surrounding the different recording sessions that generated them.
Volare's quirky and melodic prog rock shows strong Canterbury inspirations, including Hatfield and Happy the Man, in addition to slight jazz fusion and symphonic rock influences. Skillful dynamics range widely in intensity, sinuous odd meter passages groove, and textures from acoustic and electric guitars and a wide palette of synthesizers flesh out the sound. Volare' repeatedly achieves many of these extremes within the same song, making each composition more interesting through contrast rather than writing songs in slightly different styles to give the collection of songs contrast.
For budgetary reasons, the five tracks for the Volare' 1996 cassette were recorded through a PA onto four track tape, with overdubs of only saxophone and cello. The adroit execution of this low tech approach results in a surprisingly bright sound with clear separation between instruments, and along with the sharp live recording of "Memoirs of a Misshapen Man," these six tracks favorably compare to the other two Memoirs... tracks recorded in professional studios.
Memoirs... simultaneously documents Volare's early live set and releases various previously unavailable tracks from before and after The Uncertainty Principle. Fans of Canterbury style prog in general or that album in particular would enjoy Memoirs....
Volare' Information: http://www.keslers.net/grasshopper/volare.html
1. North by Northwest
2. Eighth Direction
3. The Broken Waltz
4. Three O'Clock
5. The Odessa Steps Sequence
6. Memoirs of a Misshapen Man
7. Oxford Don
8. The Hive
Record Label: Pleasant Green Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz