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UK-based trio Lifesigns combines expressive soloing, stately overtones and heart-pumping opuses via impressive progressive-pop sensibilities and multi-tiered compositions, hardened by classic prog virtuosity. The band acquires compassionate support from icons, guitarist Steve Hackett (Genesis) and flautist Thijs VanLeer (Focus). Guitarists Jakko M. Jakszyk and Robin Boult (Fish) contribute, yet the listings do not identify the guest musicians on a per-track basis, other than what may appear to be obvious.
"Carousel" showcases the artists' holistic capabilities, featuring John Young's majestic and layered keys. With alternating rhythmic currents and Young's profound vocals, the musicians bridge temperate interludes with chunky and thrusting chord voicings. However, Hackett's unmistakable sustain lines and extreme note-bending sprees launch the piece atop a robust backbeat. During the midsection, Van Leer's patented, breathy flute lines add another lyrical component to the grand mix, complemented by Young's tenderly designed Moog solo.
Shifting cadences underscore the soloists' sonorous riffing and the band's ethereal interludes. Passive, reflective, and badass tonal swashes are neatly wrapped into a cohesive whole, abetted by resilient melodies and occasional nods to prog's glory days. Make no mistake about it: the musicians impart a prevailing sense of confidence on this auspicious debut, residing on that opaque line where technical acumen and sustainable compositions yield a favorable outcome, enhanced by a glistening audio production that serves the music well.
Personnel: John Young: keyboards, vocals; Martin “Frosty” Beedle: drums,
percussion; Nick Beggs: bass guitar, Chapman Stick, vocals). Guest
musicians - Steve Hackett; guitar; Robin Boult: lead and acoustic
guitar; Jakko Jakszyk: lead and acoustic guitar; Thijs Van Leer: flutes.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.