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This Texas-based progressive rock unit celebrates its fourth release, featuring multi-instrumentalist Gayle Ellett, from legendary Southern California prog rock band Djam Karet. In addition, former Miles Davis (and current Steven Wilson) keyboardist Adam Holzman lends his laudable faculties on two tracks via his ring modulated Rhodes and burly Moog solos. Warr guitarist/composer Mark Cook also layers keys, guitar and bass parts into the grand schema. And while the core band members perform on select tracks, Cook advises that he, "wrote/recorded the whole album ... and then brought in the other musicians to add their parts. The music was written with the idea of adding a specific musician's unique vocabulary to the mix to enhance the music."
The musicians sport more of an ultra-progressive demeanor on this outing, awash with tightly organized unison choruses along with fluid thematic developments and power-packed dynamics. But with Ellett and Holzman's use of the Mellotron, a sense of antiquity looms in the background. Many of these hyper-mode works present a conglomerate of mini-mosaics for the mind's eye. With sustain-driven guitar lines, along with a few nods to King Crimson's Robert Fripp, the musicians' weighty cadences and ominous interludes on "Drone Priest" summon imagery of entering a temple of doom. But "Slow Current" is a transcendent dub groove, tinted with Ellett's harmonious electric guitar solo.
Several movements are concocted with odd-metered choruses, mutable song-forms, alternating paradigms, and hummable motifs that add a little frosting to the cake. On "Count to 5," Holzman dishes out a speedy Moog solo atop pulsating rhythms. "The Blood Jet Is Poetry" features Ellett's Morse Code treatments, Cook's sweeping synth strings, flutist Bob Fisher's dainty treatments, and effects that could suggest twinkling stars atop medium-tempo rock beats. Here, the ensemble could be on a trip to Andromeda or orbiting earth. Indeed, the artists generate a veritable prog rock-like magical mystery tour.
Track Listing: Fragments of a Portrait; Cosmos; Drone Priest; Slow Current; Orphan; Filament; Count to 5; Zero Point Flow; Soft
Glow; Almost Transparent Blue The Blood Jet is Poetry.
Personnel: Mark Cook: Warr guitar, fretless bass, fretless and fretted guitars, keyboards, samples, drums; Gayle Ellett:
mellotron, Moog, Hammond organ, guitar; Bill Bachman: drums (1); Bob Fisher: flute and sax (5, 9-11);
Adam Holzman: Moog, piano, mellotron and Rhodes (5,7); Marco Machera: bass (1); Mike McGary: Rhodes, synth, vibes (2, 10); Rick Read: Chapman Stick (8, 11); Ross Young: cymbals (7).
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab. My late great pa-in-law--the actor Keith Michell--wins the contest hands down however, as he co-starred in the 1962 movie All Night Long rubbing shoulders with Dave Brubeck, Keith Christie, Bert Courtley, John Dankworth, Ray Dempsey, Allan Ganley, Tubby Hayes, Charles Mingus, Barry Morgan, Kenny Napper, Colin Purbrook and John Scott! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall of that soundstage!
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