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.
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.