159

Proto-Kaw: The Wait of Glory

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Proto-Kaw: The Wait of Glory For my money, Proto-Kaw's 2004 release Before Became After was a modern-day progressive rock classic. Featuring Kansas founder and guitarist Kerry Livgren, that and this recording explore and extend concepts pursued by the group prior to the advent of its '70s-era commercial success. And while this newly issued studio session might not transcend or perhaps parallel the overall brilliance of Proto-Kaw's previous outing, it is in every sense of the word an admirable followup.

The ensemble continues to generate strong compositional frameworks consisting of windswept themes, guitar-based crunch chords, shifty time signatures and whimsical flute overlays. They also morph Eastern modal concepts into thrusting rock motifs. Think of early Genesis, Jethro Tull and other similar groups which coalesced driving overtures with regally pronounced melodies. Keyboardist Dan Wright spices up the power element with multihued textures and airy background treatments. For "On the Eve of the Great Decline, the ensemble fuses a straight-four, rocking ballad with dreamy keys and John Bolton's whispery flute lines. In other spots, Bolton (sax) and trumpeter Dave Batchelor round out hard-hitting rock numbers with snappy choruses.

On the flip side, "Melicus Gladiator surfaces as the least interesting piece, with its rather ho-hum thrash rock style, complete with Jake Livgren's overly exuberant rock star vocals. Ultimately, though, this outing highlights the artists' tight-knit workmanship and forthright approach to the material. Once again, Proto-Kaw takes a novel slant to a sometimes demure genre with distinction and chutzpah. Recommended.


Track Listing: Nevermore; Relics of the Tempest; When the Rains Come; On the Eve of the Great Decline; Physic; At Morning's Gate; Melicus Gladiator; The Vigil; Old Number 63; Osvaldo's Groceries; Picture This; (Bonus Track) One Fine Day.

Personnel: Lynn Meredith: vocals; John Bolton: tenor and baritone saxophones, flute; Kerry Livgren: guitar, piano and keyboards, percussion, background vocals; Dan Wright: keyboards, organ; Jake Livgren: guitar, alto saxophone, percussion, background vocals, lead vocals (7); Craig Kew: bass, background vocals; Mike Patrum: drums. Plus Daryl Batchelor: trumpet and flueglhorn.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: InsideOut Music America | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "A Moment In Time" CD/LP/Track Review A Moment In Time
by James Nadal
Published: July 21, 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!