Hasse Froberg is the distinctive voice for Swedish progressive rock icon, The Flower Kings. In 2008 he formed Musical Companion and seemingly enjoys an observable comfort zone amid the artists' synergistic chemistry. Indeed, a conspicuous attribute that cannot be understated. With memorable material providing an added plus to the musicians' prominent technical abilities, the quintet sculpts driving pulses, synth-laced balladry, and classic prog rock into a dynamic set that holds its own on subsequent listens.
"Venice CA" is one of those anthem-like rockers keenly interspersed with Beach Boys type vocal harmonies, burgeoning synths, chunka-chunka guitar parts and pumping drums. Otherwise, the group transforms the piece into a straight-four vamp, spiced by Froberg's authoritative vocals, tinted with an ever-so-slight rasp, where he develops a symmetrical stance, bordering between grace and power.
Lead guitarist Anton Lindsjo's upper register solo adds a vibrant edge as the band churns out a potentially solid cover tune that may appeal to other rock outfits. Overall, Powerplay is a top-shelf product and should whet the appetites for the often-demanding prog advocates.
Personnel: Hasse Fröberg: lead vocals, rhythm guitar; Anton Lindsjö: lead guitar, backing vocals; Kjell Haraldsson: keyboards, backing vocals;
Thomsson: bass, backing vocals; Ola Strandberg: drums, backing vocals.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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