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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Something About Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Something About Jobim
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Binary & Mysteries of the Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Binary & Mysteries of the Deep
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Parallax" CD/LP/Track Review Parallax
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!