4

Spocks Beard: Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Waiting for Me"

Spocks Beard: Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep Spanning two decades as one of the premier latter-day progressive rock outfits, this two-CD set features new members, vocalist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Thought Chamber), and drummer Jimmy Keegan (Santana), who has performed with the band during its live performances over the years. Sporting a big sound, integrated with the ensemble's agility and vibrant improvisational segments, the program imparts a few nods to the glory days of prog, amid the obvious modern era overhauls, with reverence to pop and storyboard-like theme-building episodes.

"Waiting for Me" clocks in a little over twelve minutes and is the Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep's lengthiest piece. There's a lot to digest as the rhythm section provides a hearty impetus, coupled with hard-rock riffing, driving keys and swiftly executed chord voicings. Leonard's attainable vocals combine passion, grace, and soaring attributes. And the ensemble fuses serious-minded musicianship with amenable overtones, occasionally projecting a radio-friendly vibe. At times sublime, sparked by Ryo Okumoto's delicate acoustic piano fabrications and guitarist Alan Morse's yearning notes, the group picks up the pace and dashes back into the grand schema with a firestorm and a sense of regality, largely due to Okumoto's majestic synth lines. The intense finale subsides into a divine fadeout, shaded with the sounds of church bells ringing.

With Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep, Spocks Beard links time-honored prog rock characteristics with a distinct flavor and fresh ideas on this gripping studio date.

Personnel: Alan Morse: guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, autoharp, vocals; Dave Meros: bass, vocals; Jimmy Keegan: drums, percussion, timpani, vocals; Ryo Okumoto: organ, mellotron, piano, synths, clavinet, vocoder; Ted Leonard: vocals, guitar.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Inside Out Music


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Sings the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Sings the Blues
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Altered Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Altered Narratives
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!