Category Archives: Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles: Gong

Gong in 1974

Gong was a psychedelic rock band formed in the late 1960s when Australian musician Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Great Britain following European tour dates with Soft Machine. He decided to stay in Paris, where he began working together with Gilli Smyth and various musicians on what would eventually be recognizable as Gong.

The first recordings from the band were Magick Brother, Mystic Sister in 1970. Followed by albums such as Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You. These last three albums followed the fortunes of Zero The Hero and told the tale of the pothead pixies and was told over the course of the three albums and became the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy.

Following the release of You in 1974, Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth left Gong and Steve Hillage became the band leader. He also left in 1975 to pursue a solo career. Gong continued in a jazz fusion-oriented direction under Pierre Moerlen, which was very different from the original musical concept of the band.

Gong returned years later and recorded several albums until the death of Daevid Allen. The band continued with a post-Daevid Allen lineup.

Discography:

Magick Brother (1970)
Camembert Electrique (1971)
Continental Circus (1972)
Flying Teapot (1973)
Angel’s Egg (1973)
You (1974)
Shamal (1976)
Shapeshifter (1992)
Zero to Infinity (2000)
Acid Motherhood (2004)
2032 (2009)
I See You (2014)
Rejoice! I’m Dead! (2016)
The Universe Also Collapses (Kscope, 2019)
Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75 (Universal, 2019)

Artist Profiles: Eddie Jobson

Eddie Jobson

Eddie Jobson was born April 28, 1955 in Billingham, United Kingdom.

Eddie Jobson was well known as a teenage ‘rock prodigy’ with the early Roxy Music, and as Frank Zappa’s right-hand-man on both keyboards and electric violin – replacing both Jean Luc Ponty and George Duke at the age of 21.

A keyboardist and electric violinist, he was the co-founder, producer, and principal writer of the legendary progressive rock group UK (band). He formed it together with drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson), singer/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson), and then-unknown guitar phenom Allan Holdsworth.

After appearing on over 60 albums with many of the rock/fusion genre’s top musicians, Jobson retired from both studio and live performance for more than 20 years until an unannounced appearance in Russia with King Crimson.

Eddie Jobson formed two new projects based on his original ‘UK’ concept: ‘UKZ’ – a five-piece contemporary rock band and ‘U-Z Project’ – an instrumental band of extraordinary virtuosos from around the world, including Michael Jackson’s former guitarist Greg Howe; stick player Michael Bernier (Stick Men); and two world renowned drummers, German drumming sensation Marco Minnemann (UKZ), and British drum legend Simon Phillips (Peter Gabriel, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Toto).

Discography:

Air Cut, with Curved Air ( Warner Bros. Records, 1973)
Stranded, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1973)
Country Life, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1974)
Siren, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1975)
Viva!, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1976)
Yesterday Boulevard b/w On a Still Night (1976)
Zappa in New York, with Frank Zappa (Reprise, 978)
UK, with U.K. (Polydor, 1978)
Danger Money, with U.K. (Polydor, 1979)
Night After Night, with U.K. (Polydor, 1979)
A, with Jethro Tull (1980)
The Green Album (Capitol Records, 1983)
Theme of Secrets (Private Music, 1985)
Lovechild, with Curved Air (1990)
Concert Classics, Vol. 4, with U.K. (1999)
Voices of Life, with The Bulgarian Women’s Choir—Angelite (2000)
Radiation, with UKZ (2009)
Philly ’76, with Frank Zappa (2009)
Ultimate Zero Tour – Live (Seven Seas, 2010)
Reunion – Live in Tokyo, with U.K. (2013)
Curtain Call, with U.K. (Ward Records, 2015)
Four Decades (2015)
1971-1979 The Band Years (Ward Records, 2018)

Artist Profiles: Djam Karet

Djam Karet in 1985

Djam Karet was founded in 1984 by guitarists Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson, bassist Henry J. Osborne, and drummer Chuck Oken, Jr. They chose as the band’s name an Indonesian word (pronounced ‘jam care-RAY) that translates loosely as “elastic time”.

Early Djam Karet was a sort of “jam band” whose live, totally improvised performances on the southern California/Los Angeles area college circuit featured a free-form mixture of guitar-dominated instrumental rock and textural Eastern drone music, as on their 1985 release No Commercial Potential.

Djam Karet’s mode of working and repertoire gradually expanded beyond improvisation to include compositional elements, field recordings, and studio work. In 1987 the band released The Ritual Continues. Two years later, they released Reflections From The Firepool.

In 1991, Djam Karet released two separate CDs at the same time: Burning The Hard City and Suspension & Displacement. Three years later in 1994, Djam Karet released the CD Collaborator, with guests musicians: Jeff Greinke, Kit Watkins, Marc Anderson, Steve Roach, Carl Weingarten, and many others.

As the 20th Century drew to a close, Djam Karet signed with Cuneiform Records, and entered a period of unprecedented creative productivity that only accelerated as the 21st century dawned. It began working on new releases for Cuneiform, initiated a program to repackage and reissue its back catalog on Cuneiform, and began playing live on the festival circuit. Live shows were performed at Day Zero for 1999’s ProgDay (San Francisco); at NEARfest 2001, progressive rock’s premier US showcase; ProgWest 2001 (Claremont) and at 2002’s ProgDay (North Carolina). Throughout the years they have also contributed music to 10 compilation releases, both in the United States and in Europe. Many of those pieces are available nowhere else.

Cuneiform’s first Djam Karet CD came out in 1997, titled The Devouring. In 1998, Djam Karet performed on the West and East Coasts, recordings a live album for Cuneiform titled Live At Orion, released in 1999.

The band began to do more work in the studio, resulting in the 2001 release of New Dark Age (Cuneiform) and also the Limited Edition CD release Ascension.

Around the same time as New Dark Age’s release, and complementary to its work with Cuneiform, Djam Karet launched a series of self-released CD-Rs, reissues and limited edition CDs for its fans. Within two years, the band had self-released numerous CD projects, including recordings made at New York City’s The Knitting Factory, an on-air performance recorded at KCRW-FM, and other archival performances. Out of this creative resurgence arose A Night For Baku, which featured new band member Aaron Kenyon on bass. The title derives from Japanese folklore: the Baku are mythical inhabitants of the dream world, valiant warriors who devour nightmares as the spoils of battle. The CD features Djam Karet using more keyboards and electronics, and collaborating on one track with electronic musician Steve Roach, who worked previously with the band on Collaborator.

This new line up as a quintet created Recollection Harvest, two albums on one CD, divided into two chapters. The first-half is filled with their most melodic and jazzy music released so far, with a strong focus on composition and tight arrangements, mellotrons and soulful guitar melodies. The second-half, titled Indian Summer, features a collection of compositions colored with beautiful acoustic guitars and analog synths, and showcases their more atmospheric side.

In 2009 the band was flown to the Bordeaux area of France to headline the annual Crescendo Festival. To achieve a fuller and more massive live sound, the group acquired new member Mike Murray on guitar, allowing Gayle Ellett to focus more exclusively on keyboards. When they returned to the United States they decided to record The Heavy Soul Sessions in 2010, to better document their current live sound. All of the music was performed live-in-studio without any overdubs and no compressors or limiters were used during the recording process.

In 2011 they formed a new record label called Firepool Records, which has released various albums; Herd Of Instinct (self-titled), Hillmen – The Whiskey Mountain Sessions, and Henderson/Oken – Dream Theory In The IE.

Discography:

Happy Cancer: McMusic for the McMasses (1982)
No Commercial Potential (1985)
The Ritual Continues (1987)
Kafka’s Breakfast (1988)
Reflections from the Firepool (1989)
Burning The Hard City (1991 )
Suspension & Displacement (1991)
Collaborator (1994)
The Devouring (1997)
Still no Commercial Potential (Limited Edition) (1998)
Live At Orion (1999)
New Dark Age (2001)
Ascension New Dark Age Vol. 2 (2001)
Afghan (Live At The Knitting Factory) (2002)
A Night for Baku (2003)
Live At NEARfest 2001 (2004)
…And Still Getting The Ladies (2004)
Recollection Harvest (2005)
25th Anniversary Beginner’s Guide (2009)
The Heavy Soul Sessions (2010)
Ukab Maerd: The Waiting Room (2010)
The Trip (HC Productions, 2013)
Regenerator 3017 (2014)
Swamp Of Dreams (HC Productions, 2015)
Sonic Celluloid (HC Productions, 2017)
The Crows Of Dust Fall At Night (HC Productions, 2019)
Beyond The Long Twilight (HC Productions, 2019)
A Sky Full Of Stars For A Roof (HC Productions, 2019)

Related articles: Interview with Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet


Artist Profiles: Big Big Train

Big Big Train

Big Big Train is a British progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth in 1990. Until 2009, Big Big Train was active primarily as a studio project led by multi-instrumentalists Greg Spawton and Andy Poole.

In recent years, Big Big Train has built a substantial and passionate following for their music. Noted for their story-telling songs and progressive rock influences, their 2017 album, Grimspound, reached number one in the UK Official Rock Album Chart. After selling out a three gig residency at London’s Cadogan Hall in 2017, the band headlined the Night of the Prog festival at Loreley, Germany in 2018.

Big Big Train released the “Swan Hunter” single on July 13th, 2018. The single set includes a remix of the studio album version and a live performance of “Swan Hunter,” together with two previously unreleased tracks. Swan Hunter is an elegy for the shipbuilding communities of England’s north-east.

Vocalist David Longdon said: “Imagine being a child who grew up within this community, seeing these huge vessels grow daily until their launch. Imagine the relentless sound of machinery and construction workers. Your father most likely would have worked there and probably his father before him. It must have been almost impossible back then to imagine a time when this way of life would come to an end. This is what you knew and it defined you.”

Andy Poole left the band in 2018.

Big Big Train

Inspired by the 17th and 18th century custom of the Grand Tour, where young men and women traveled to broaden the mind, Big Big Train made an album of songs set in distant lands and beyond.
Grand Tour features nine new tracks which take listeners on an epic journey over land and sea and through time and space.

The 2019 line-up includes band founder Greg Spawton on bass, guitars and keyboards; Nick D’Virgilio on drums; Dave Gregory on guitars; Rachel Hall on violin and vocals; David Longdon on vocals, flute, keyboards and guitars; Danny Manners on keyboards and bass; and Rikard Sjöblom on keyboards and guitars. Robin Armstrong (guitars and keyboards) joins the band for live performances.

Discography:

From The River To The Sea (Least Peculiar Music, 1991)
The Infant Hercules (Least Peculiar Music, 1993)
Goodbye To The Age Of Steam (Giant Electric Pea, 1994)
English Boy Wonders (Giant Electric Pea, 1997)
Bard (Treefrog, 2002)
Gathering Speed (Treefrog, 2004)
The Difference Machine (English Electric Recordings, 2007)
The Underfall Yard (English Electric Recordings, 2009)
Far Skies Deep Time, EP (English Electric Recordings, 2010)
English Electric Part One (English Electric Recordings/Giant Electric Pea, 2012)
English Electric Part Two (English Electric Recordings/Giant Electric Pea, 2013)
Make Some Noise, EP (English Electric Recordings, 2013)
Wassail, EP (English Electric Recordings, 2015)
Folklore (English Electric Recordings/Giant Electric Pea, 2016)
A Stone’s Throw From The Line, live (English Electric Recordings, 2016)
The Second Brightest Star (English Electric Recordings, 2017)
Grimspound (English Electric Recordings/Giant Electric Pea, 2017)
Merchants Of Light, live (English Electric Recordings, 2018)
Grand Tour (English Electric Recordings, 2019)

Artist Profiles: Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren was born June 22, 1948 in Philadelphia, USA. He began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and lead Nazz, a 1960’s psychedelic group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut album, Runt.

In 1972 he released a superb album titled Something/Anything? on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer. This propelled Todd to superstar status. It was followed by essential LPs such as “A Wizard, A True Star” and “The Hermit of Mink Hollow,” as well as singles “I Saw The Light, “Hello It’s Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Bang The Drum.”

Todd Rundgren

Rundgren has performed a wide range of styles as a solo artist and as a member and leader of the band Utopia. With Utopia he released two progressive rock albums: Todd Rundgren’s Utopia (1974) and Ra (1977), and a solo progressive album as well, Initiation (1975).

He is known for his elaborate and often- unconventional music, extravagant stage outfits, and his later experiments with interactive entertainment. Rundgren also produced ground-breaking music videos, initiated forms of multimedia, and was an early adopter and promoter of various computer technologies.

Todd Rundgren

After a thirty-year-plus pause, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia reformed to conduct a tour. Todd brought together Kasim Sulton (bass), Willie Wilcox (drums) and Gil Assayas (keyboards). A double live album titled Live At The Chicago Theatre was recorded in 2018.

Utopia – Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Live At The Chicago Theatre

Also in 2018, Rundgren’s long-awaited autobiography, The Individualist: digressions, dreams and dissertations, was released by Cleopatra Press. The book documents Rundgren’s life through his 50th birthday.

Discography:

Runt (Ampex Records, 1970)
Something/Anything? (Bearsville, 1972)
A Wizard, a True Star (Bearsville, 1973)
Todd (Bearsville, 1974)
Initiation (Bearsville, 1975)
Faithful (Bearsville, 1976)
Hermit of Mink Hollow (Bearsville, 1978)
Healing (Bearsville, 1981)
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect (Bearsville, 1982)
A Cappella (Warner Bros. Records, 1985)
Nearly Human (Warner Bros. Records, 1989)
2nd Wind (Warner Bros. Records, 1991)
No World Order (1993)
The Individualist (1995)
With a Twist… (1997)
One Long Year (Artemis Records, 2000)
Liars (Sanctuary Records, 2004)
Arena (Cooking Vinyl, 2008)
Todd Rundgren’s Johnson (MPCA Records, 2011)
(re)Production (Gigatone, 2011)
State (Cherry Red, 2013)
Global (Esoteric Antenna, 2015)
White Knight (Cleopatra, 2017)

With Utopia

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia (Bearsville, 1974)
Another Live (Bearsville, 1975)
Ra (Bearsville, 1976)
Oops! Wrong Planet (Bearsville, 1977)
Adventures In Utopia (Bearsville, 1980)
Deface The Music (Bearsville, 19800
Swing to the Right (1982)
Utopia (Netword Records, 1982)
Oblivion (Passport Records, 1984)
P.O.V. (Passport Records, 1985)
Redux ’92: Live in Japan (BMG, 1992)
Live At Hammersmith Odeon ’75 (Shout! Factory, 2012)
Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Live At The Chicago Theatre (Purple Pyramid, 2019)

Artist Profiles: Alameda

Alameda

Andalusian rock band Alameda was born in Seville. The group fused flamenco and progressive rock, featuring two keyboardists, the Marinelli brothers.

The lineup included Rafael Marinelli on keyboards, Manuel Marinelli on keyboards, Manuel Rosa on bass, José (Pepe) Roca on guitar and vocals, and Luis Moreno on percussion.

Alameda released 4 albums during its first phase: Alameda (1979), Misterioso manantial (1980), Aire cálido de abril (1981), and Noche andaluza (1983). The group disbanded after Noche andaluza and re-formed in 1992 for a concert that took place during the World Expo 92 in Sevilla. Three albums were released in the 1990s: “Dunas” (1994), “Ilusiones” (1995) and the two-CD live set Concierto – 20 Aniversario (1999).

Original founders Pepe Roca and Rafael Marinelli kept the band alive, supported by session musicians and released “Calle arriba” in 2008.

Discography:

Alameda (Epic, 1979)
Misterioso manantial ( Epic, 1980)
Aire cálido de abril ( Epic, 1981)
Noche andaluza ( Epic, 1983)
Dunas (Horus, 1994)
Ilusiones (Horus, 1995)
Concierto – 20 Aniversario (Actual, 1999)

Artist Profiles: Guadalquivir

Guadalquivir

The seeds of Guadalquivir emerged from the idea of ​​Seville guitarists Andrés Olaegui and Luis Cobo “Manglis.” The two musicians coincided while serving together in the Spanish military as conscripts in Cerro Muriano (Córdoba).  While at basic camp in Cerro Muriano, they listened to Miles Davis, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and other cutting edge jazz fusion acts. In their spare time they started to exchange their ideas, experimenting with American blues and emergent jazz-rock.

Later, the two friends were transferred to the 14th Artillery Regiment based in Seville, assigned to the unit’s military band. Although they had known each other previously, a sincere friendship was born and since then the two musicians became inseparable friends. They came up with the idea of forming a powerful jazz-rock band with Andalusian roots.

In Seville, Andres and Luis formed a band called Manantial together with Willie and Tony de Trujillo, two American musicians who were great instrumentalists, had a studio and very good gear. These brothers had parents from Seville but were born and grew up in New York. Manantial also featured Puerto Rican David Rodríguez.

Manantial performed only two concerts and the most significant was a live performance on TVE’s show Popgrama, directed by Gonzalo García Pelayo, who was reporting about the Seville music scene in 1974.

After completing their military service, Manglis and Andrés Olaegui decided to relocate to Madrid with Manantial to try their luck, and after a month without achieving the objectives set for the group, Willie and Tony returned to Seville, and Manglis and Olaegui, decided to stay in Madrid to keep trying.

At that time, they frequented the Balboa Jazz Club, where they met and became friends with three highly influential musicians: flamenco jazz saxophonist Jorge Pardo, singer and drummer Pedro Ruy-Blas and percussionist José Antonio Galicia, who played at the club every day, and delved into what was the world of jazz in the capital of Spain.

One night in January 1978, José Valera, who was the first manager of the band Triana, talked to Luis Cobo “Manglis” at Club Raíces, in Madrid, where Manglis was playing. José proposed that Luis set up a group to participate in a festival with Andalusian rock bands that he was organizing with Triana as headliner. It was the opportunity Manglis and Andres had been waiting for.  They created the long-awaited dream band with original compositions. The two guitarists recruited Pedro Ontiveros (sax and flute), Larry Martín (drums) and Jaime Casado (bass).

I had just returned from playing in Ibiza and recently arrived from Munich where I had been invited to collaborate with German group Embryo and that’s how Guadalquivir was born,” said Manglis. “A month later we debuted in this festival before 7,000 people and from there everything was as fast as gunpowder.”

In February 1978, after twenty days of marathon ten-hour rehearsals, Guadalquivir debuted before 7,000 people at the Festival of Andalusian groups at the Móstoles Sports Center near Madrid, along with Triana, Iman – Caifato Independiente and Storm.

That same year, Spanish rock star Miguel Rios organized a large tour that was called La Noche Roja (The Red Night), with Triana as a headliner and featuring Guadalquivir as well.  The concerts attracted over 100,000 concertgoers and featured a state of the art PA system and laser show.

Guadalquivir – Guadalquivir

Guadalquivir signed with EMI Records and released its self-titled debut album “Guadalquivir” in 1978.  The color of the vinyl was green and became known by collectors as the green album. Guadalquivir became an essential act in Andalusian rock. They appeared at numerous festivals.

Guadalquivir – Camino del Concierto

In 1980 the band recorded its second LP, “Camino del Concierto.” (EMI, 1980). After finishing the tour to promote the second album, in 1981, Manglis left the group due to disagreements with some members of the band, and embarked on a solo career. He founded the band Manglis with which he recorded two albums; while at the same time Triana recruited him as guitarist, in 1981.

Guadalquivir, released a third LP Después del Silencio (After the Silence) in 1983) on the Caskabel label. By then, two of the founders, Manglis and Pedro Ontiveros had left. After various concerts and a tour of Poland, the group disbanded in 1984.

The compilation Guadalquivir, Todas sus Grabaciones en EMI included the two EMI recordings.

Nearly thirty years after Guadalquivir was founded, Manglis reorganized the band again with Andrés Olaegui and Pedro Ontiveros and reappeared at various festivals and tributes to Andalusian rock during 2006-2008.

Discography:

Guadalquivir (EMI, 1978)
Camino del Concierto (EMI, 1980)
Después del Silencio (Caskabel, 1983)
Guadalquivir, Todas sus Grabaciones en EMI (Rama Lama, 1999)

Artist Profiles: Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman

Richard Christopher Wakeman was born May 18, 1949 in Perivale, Middlesex, England. His interest in music manifested itself very early. From the age of seven on, he studied classical piano. At the age of 14, Wakeman joined a local band, Atlantic Blues. The same year, he left school to enroll in the Royal College of Music. He had intended to start a career as a concert pianist, but Wakeman was dismissed from the college after it became clear that he preferred playing in clubs to studying technique.

By his late teens, Wakeman was a well-known session man, playing on records by such diverse acts as Black Sabbath, Brotherhood of Man, and Edison Lighthouse. At the end of the 1960s, his name also began appearing on the credits of albums by artists such as Al Stewart and David Bowie. A set of sessions with a folk-rock band called the Strawbs led to his joining the group in 1970.

After two albums with the Strawbs, Wakeman joined Yes, a rock band that evolved into one of the pioneers of cutting edge progressive rock. Yes had attracted considerable attention with their first three albums. Wakeman played a key role in the final shape of the group’s fourth record, Fragile, creating a profound, swirling sound on an array of electric and acoustic pianos, synthesizers, and mellotron. Fragile was a hit, driven by the chart success of the single “Roundabout,” and Wakeman was suddenly elevated to star status.

Rick Wakeman – The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Yes’ next album, Close to the Edge, increased Wakeman’s audience and his appeal, for his instruments were heard almost continually on the record. During the making of Close to the Edge in 1972, Wakeman also recorded his first solo album, an instrumental work titled The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which comprised his musical interpretations of the lives and personalities of the said six royal spouses. Released early in 1973 on A&M Records, it performed well on the charts.

Yes’ next album, Close to the Edge, increased Wakeman’s audience and his appeal, for his instruments were heard almost continually on the record. During the making of Close to the Edge in 1972, Wakeman also recorded his first solo album, an instrumental work titled The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which comprised his musical interpretations of the lives and personalities of the said six royal spouses. Released early in 1973 on A&M Records, it performed well on the charts.

Cover of Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans, designed by Roger Dean

Public reception of Yes’ magnificent 1974 double album, Tales From Topographic Oceans, was mixed, and the British pop critics, who disliked and misunderstood progressive rock, were cruel in their attacks on the record. Wakeman left Yes before the album’s supporting tour. His new solo album, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, adapted from the writings of Jules Verne and featuring a rock band, narrator (David Hemmings), and full orchestral and choral accompaniment, was released to tremendous public response in both the United States and the UK, where it topped the charts.

Rick Wakeman

In 1975, Wakeman’s next album, The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was given a grand-scale premiere at Wembley’s Empire Pool, although it also cost Wakeman a fortune to stage the event on ice. During this same period, Wakeman began working on film scores with the music for Ken Russell’s Lisztomania, which was a modest hit.

In 1977, Wakeman returned to Yes, with which he has continued recording and touring. His solo career continued on A&M into the end of the ’70s, with Criminal Record and Rhapsodies, which were modestly successful.

Wakeman’s biggest media news during this period, however, came through his alleged role in getting the Sex Pistols dropped by A&M Records soon after being signed. None of this bothered his fans, which rapidly expanded to encompass those he picked up through his work with lyricist Tim Rice on a musical adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, and his burgeoning film work, which included the music to movies about the 1976 Winter Olympics and the 1982 soccer World Cup competition. Additionally, he became a regular on Britain’s Channel 4. Wakeman’s audience and reputation survived the 1980s better than almost any progressive rock star of his era, as he continued releasing albums on his own label. He also remained associated with Yes into the 1990s.

Rick Wakeman

In January 2016, Trevor Rabin announced he plans to perform with Wakeman and Jon Anderson as Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW), later in the year. Anderson revealed the three wrote “some unique songs together”. Also in January, following requests from fans, Wakeman recorded piano versions of “Life on Mars?”, “Space Oddity”, and “Always Together” as a tribute to David Bowie following his death with proceeds from the songs donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Selected Solo Discography:

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (A&M Records, 1973)
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (A&M Records, 1974)
Lisztomania (A&M Records, 1975)
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (A&M Records, 1975)
No Earthly Connection (A&M Records, 1976)
Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record (A&M Records, 1977)
1984 (Charisma Records, 1981)
Silent Nights (President Records, 1985)
Country Airs (Coda Records, 1986)
The Gospels (Stylus Music, 1987)
Phantom Power (Jimco Records, 1990)
The Piano Album ( Castle Communications, 1995)
Return to the Centre of the Earth (EMI Classics, 1999)
Out There (Music Fusion, 2003)
Piano Odyssey (Sony Classical, 2018)

Artist Profiles: Cai

Cai in the early 1980s

Cai was a progressive rock band from the Cadiz province of Spain. The groundbreaking group combined progressive rock, with jazz fusion and Flamenco.

Cai – Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminuta

The band’s first album, Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, was released in 1978. The line-up included Paco Delgado on guitar, Diego Fopiani on drums, percussion, lead vocals, José Vélez Gómez on bass, and Sebastian Domínguez ‘Chano’ on keyboards.

Cai – Noche Abierta

Epic Records Spain signed Cai and released its second album, Noche Abierta (1980). The musicians that participated in the album were the same as in Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, with the addition of another guitarist, José Fernández Mariscal.

Cai – Canción De La Primavera

By 1981, Andalusian rock was struggling to survive. Cai released a third album titled Canción De La Primavera (Epic, 1981) and later disbanded. Its young keyboardist, Chano Dominguez, went on to become the leading jazz pianist in Spain and is known for his outstanding fusions of Flamenco and jazz.

Cai – Mucho Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas

In 2009 a double CD set came out, titled Mucho Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas. The album featured the reissue of the debut album Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas plus 3 bonus tracks from 1981 and live performances from a 1979 concert at cortijo Los Rosales.

The band reunited in 2010. This time it was reduced to a trio featuring Diego Fopiani on drums, percussion and vocals, José Fernández Mariscal on guitars and bass, and new member Blas Lago on keyboards. They released an album titled Metáforas De Luz (2010).

Cai – Metáforas De Luz

Drummer Diego Fopiani died April 4, 2019.

A Highly Melodic Pymlico

Pymlico – Nightscape (Apollon Records Prog, 2018)

Norwegian instrumental band Pymlico returns with an album titled Nightscape. Although the band is known for combining progressive rock and jazz fusion, the fusion side is actually smooth jazz, with very sweet, melodic saxophone.

There is a dynamic interaction between the high energy progressive rock, cinematic passages and the mellowed down sections.

The band includes Øyvind Brøter on keyboards; Stephan Hvinden on guitars; Andreas Sjo Engen on guitars; Axel Toreg Reite on bass and synth bass; Marie Færevaag on saxophones and keyboards; Arild Brøter on drums, keyboards and additional guitars; and Oda Rydning on percussion.

Guests: Mattias Krohn Nielsen on acoustic and some electric guitars; Ketil Vestrum Einarsen on flute; Didrik Føyn Føyen on trombone; and Andreas Fossum on trumpet.

Nightscape is a finely crafted instrumental album by a group of talented young musicians.

Buy Nightscape