Fernando Perdomo Tracking the Beatles


Fernando Perdomo – Zebra Crossing

Fernando Perdomo – Zebra Crossing (Forward Motion Records / Cherry Red, 2018)

Zebra Crossing is a Beatles-inspired album by American musician Fernando Perdomo. Although Fernando Perdomo has been involved in various progressive rock projects, this recording is essentially a pop album with some Beatles-style arrangements. The only time when Perdomo shows his progressive side is on the title track Zebra Crossing, an instrumental where he plays guitars inspired by George Harrison.

Perdomo provides most of the vocals and plays the majority of the instruments. Guests include  Kaitlin Wolfberg on Violin; Ruti Celli on Cello; Durga McBroom on Background vocals on “Home”; Zak Nilsson on Backing vocals;  Stephen Kalinich on spoken word; Cyndi Trissel on Clarinet; Danny Ayala on Keyboards & backing vocals; Megan Zeankowski on Bass;  and  Ken Sharp on Guitar and backing vocals.

For Perdomo’s progressive side listen to Out To Sea and Out To Sea 2.

GroundUp Music Festival 2019


The GroundUp Music Festival

The GroundUp Music Festival will take place this weekend, February 8-10, 2019 at the North Beach Bandshell. Snarky Puppy will play all three nights, and music fans will also get a chance to see Andrew Bird, David Crosby, Tank & the Bangas, Richard Bona, Lalah Hathaway, and many more.

Snarky Puppy’s discography includes Live at Uncommon Ground (2005), The Only Constant (2006), The World Is Getting Smaller (2007), Bring Us the Bright (2008), Tell Your Friends (2010), groundUP (2012), Amkeni with Bukuru Celestin (2013), Family Dinner – Volume 1 (2013), We Like It Here (2014), Sylva with Metropole Orkest (2015), Family Dinner – Volume 2 (2016) and Culcha Vulcha (2016).

Click here for more details and a link to buy tickets. The North Beach Bandshell is located at 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141.

Tony Palmer & Tangerine Dream Announce “Live At Coventry Cathedral 1975” Deluxe Box Set

Tangerine Dream – Live at Coventry Cathedral 1975

 “Live at Coventry Cathedral 1975” is the title of an exclusive box set of Tangerine Dream’s filmed and directed by Tony Palmer.

In December 1974, German electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream were invited to play in the grand setting of Rheims Cathedral, a groundbreaking move. Afterwards, they were then invited to perform in the cathedrals of York, Liverpool and Coventry. The tour attracted extraordinary coverage in the media, especially at Coventry Cathedral, an iconic building rising on the ruins of the old cathedral bombed to rubble by the Germans in 1940, as a celebration of peace and reconciliation, as well as a lasting showcase for great contemporary art.

This DVD features the live recording soundtrack (unlike the previous issue), and also contains footage of Tangerine Dream from the legendary music program, All You Need is Love.

This deluxe box set brings together both the film DVD and memorabilia together for the first time, along with a signed and numbered certificate by Tony Palmer, the director.

To pre-order: burningshed.com

Thijs Van Leer got It Partially Right

Thijs Van Leer – Focus

Focus founder Thijs Van Leer recently made headlines when he stated in an interview in the new issue of British publication Prog Magazine that “All the bands who call themselves that [progressive] today, to me, are more regressive rock.”

Indeed, many current acts that are described by labels and publicists as prog or progressive are in reality regressive rock, a term we like to use.

Interestingly, the organizers of an event called Radar Festival came to the defense of certain current acts. This gathering will feature a set of heavy metal acts: Animals As Leaders, Monuments, VOLA, Valis Ablaze, Toska and Sumer. These are all prog metal bands, one of the most regressive genres out there.

Where Thijs Van Leer got it wrong is that there are currently some truly excellent acts making various forms of progressive rock that are forward thinking and metal free: Infinien, Big Big Train, The Tangent, Syndone, The Knells, Gleb Kolyadin, Yuka & Chronoship, Dave Kerzner and many more.

Thankfully, progressive rock is well and alive, featuring pioneering masters as well as young talents. We’ll keep you informed about superb new recordings.

King Crimson Reveals 2019 Tour Dates In Celebration of 50 Years

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, legendary progressive rock band King Crimson has announced 50 Concerts for 2019. The present eight musician line-up will perform 50 concerts throughout three continents as part of their 2019 Celebration tour.

The band’s packed three-hour shows regularly include material from twelve of their thirteen studio albums, including many of the songs from their essential 1969 album In The Court of the Crimson King, described by Pete Townshend, as an “uncanny masterpiece”. The new 8-piece line-up plays many historic pieces which Crimson have never played live, as well as new arrangements of Crimson classics.  There are also new instrumentals and songs, as well as the compositions by the three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, which are a regular highlight. A unique show, where eight of the best rock musicians in the world play music without disruption or embellishment.

King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King

The lineup includes:

Robert Fripp, although best known for his work in King Crimson, he has contributed to numerous albums by players as diverse as Brian Eno, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Blondie, Talking Heads, Daryl Hall, The Roches, Peter Hammill, Keith Tippett, David Sylvian, The Orb, and The Grid. His 1979 solo album, Exposure was described as “the Sergeant Pepper of avant punk.” He has appeared twice in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time poll, although Fripp claims these are likely to have been mistakes by the typesetter.

Tony Levin has been a member of King Crimson since 1981.  Internationally renowned and constantly in-demand for his distinctive bass work, he also toured with Peter Gabriel with whom he has worked since 1977. He has appeared on albums by Paul Simon, John Lennon, David Bowie and countless others and recently formed his own band, Stick Men alongside Crimson drummer, Pat Mastelotto.

Jakko Jakszyk was a member of Level 42, before working with Mel Collins as part of former-KC alumni group, 21st Century Schizoid Band between 2002 – 2004. His solo album, The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (2006) was his first recorded collaboration with Fripp, followed by A Scarcity of Miracles in 2011. An acclaimed producer in his own right, Jakszyk has recently mixed Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson’s UK Top 20 album, Homo Erraticus.

Mel Collins was previously a member of King Crimson 1970 – 1972 appearing on In The Wake Of Poseidon (1970), Lizard (1970), Islands (1971), Earthbound (1972) as well as a guest appearance on Red (1974), the final King Crimson album of the 1970s. He subsequently worked with The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and many others, before returning to King Crimson in 2014.

Gavin Harrison joined King Crimson in 2007, playing a series of dates in the USA the following year. A respected author and tutor, he has also recorded three albums with The Pineapple Thief, even though Harrison is probably best-known for his work with Porcupine Tree.

Pat Mastelotto joined King Crimson in 1994 after working with Robert Fripp and David Sylvian. A member of the hugely successful American 1980s group and MTV favorites, Mr. Mister, he is at home in both experimental music working with KTU as well as pop and rock appearing on albums by The Rembrandts, Hall And Oates and XTC.

Jeremy Stacey is a British drummer. His early work included the 1990s band, The Lemon Trees (with twin brother Paul Stacey on guitars, Guy Chambers and others) and Denzil. He has also played with Sheryl Crow, the Finn Brothers, Nick Harper, Noel Gallagher, and many more. On March 7, 2016, it was announced that he would be taking the place of Bill Rieflin as the center drummer on the 2016 King Crimson European tour, a position he retained even after Rieflin’s return to the band.

Bill Rieflin is a multi-instrumentalist but is primarily known for his drumming with Ministry and industrial rock outfit KMFDM. From 2003 until their dissolution in 2011 he played drums with REM. He recorded with Robert Fripp on Birth of a Giant and The Repercussions Of Angelic Behaviour (both 1999) and most recently in the ambient super-group, Slow Music in 2006 and 2014.

King Crimson 2019 Tour Dates:

June 10, 2019 – Haus Auensee, Leipzig

June 12, 2019 – Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt

June 13, 2019 – Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt

June 15, 2019 – Liederhalle, Stuttgart

June 16, 2019 – Liederhalle, Stuttgart

June 18, 2019 – Royal Albert Hall, London

June 19, 2019 – Royal Albert Hall, London

June 20, 2019 – Royal Albert Hall, London

June 22, 2019 – De Vereeniging, Nijmegen

June 23, 2019 – De Vereeniging, Nijmegen

June 26, 2019 – Teatr Roma, Warsaw

June 27, 2019 – Teatr Roma, Warsaw

June 29, 2019 – Zitadelle, Berlin

July 04, 2019 – Romisches Theater Augustusta Raurica, Basel

July 08, 2019 – Arena Di Verona, Verona

July 10, 2019 – Stupinigi Sonic Park, Torino

July 12, 2019 – Doctor Music Festival, Escalarre

July 13, 2019 – Doctor Music Festival, Escalarre

July 14, 2019 – Doctor Music Festival, Escalarre

July 18, 2019 – Arena Santa Giuliana, Perugia

August 23, 2019 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City

August 24, 2019 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City

August 27, 2019 – Teatro Diana, Guadalajara

August 29, 2019 – Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City

September 03, 2019 – Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

September 05, 2019 – Fox Theater, Oakland

September 06, 2019 – Fox Theater, Oakland

September 08, 2019 – Paramount Theater, Denver

September 10, 2019 – Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago

September 12, 2019 – Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.

September 14, 2019 – Budweiser Stage, Toronto

September 17, 2019 – St Denis Theatre, Montreal

September 19, 2019 – Boch Center Wang Theater, Boston

September 21, 2019 – Radio City Music Hall, New York City

September 23, 2019 – The Met, Philadelphia

September 25, 2019 – Hard Rock Rocksino, Cleveland

September 27, 2019 – The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

September 29, 2019 – The Cobb Center, Atlanta

Oct 06, 2019 – Sunset Stage Rock In Rio – Rio De Janeiro

A Celebration of Progressive Rock Bass Mastery

Various Artists – A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute (Purple Pyramid, 2018)

A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute honors the work of the late Squire, who was the longtime bassist of progressive rock masters Yes. Chris Squire performed some of the most memorable bass solos in progressive rock history.

This project was produced by multi-instrumentalist and Squire’s friend Billy Sherwood. He did a great job this time, recruiting a truly impressive cast of first rate musicians: Todd Rundgren, Steve Porcaro (Toto), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Sonja Kistina (Curved Air), Patrick Moraz (Yes, The Moody Blues), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Dweezil Zappa, Steve Hogarth (Marillion), Larry Fast (Synergy), Jon Davison (Yes, Glass Hammer), Brian Auger, and David Sancious (Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen).

The song selection is interesting, with several tracks from Tormato and Fragile, plus pieces from other Yes albums and a few curiosities.

As one would expect, A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute highlights the electric bass, performed by Billy Sherwood. He’s an outstanding instrumentalist, who shines when he ventures into real progressive rock.

The first track is the solidly progressive rock composition “On Silent Wings of Freedom: which appeared on the album Tormato (1978). This fabulous version features Jon Davison on vocals; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar, backing vocals; Jay Schellen on drums; and Patrick Moraz on keyboards.

Track 2 is “Hold Out Your Hand” from Chris Squire’s first solo album Fish Out of Water. It is a very Yes-sounding song with superb bass work. The lineup here is Steve Hogarth on vocals; Larry Fast on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

The beautifully-melodic “Onward” appeared on Tormato. The Jon Anderson vocals are replaced on this occasion by the great Annie Haslam (Renaissance). The rest of the band includes Billy Sherwood on bass, excellent slide guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 4, “South Side of The Sky” is the Yes progressive rock classic from the album Fragile (1971). The fierce rock guitar is played by Steve Stevens. The rest of the band: Billy Sherwood on vocals, bass; David Sancious on keyboards; Steve Stevens on guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

“The Fish” is a knockout electric bass fest, also from the album Fragile. Hats off to Sherwood for his bass work here. His colleagues here are Sonja Kristina on vocals; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 6 is from Yes’ least appealing era. “The More We Live – Let Go” appeared in the pop-leaning Union album (1991). It features Billy Sherwood on vocals, bass; Steve Hackett on guitar; Steve Porcaro on keyboards; and Jay Schellen on drums

The tribute returns to genuine progressive rock on track 7, “Parallels” from the Going for the One album (1977). Once more, the bass lines are by Sherwood are exceptional. The band: Jon Davison on vocals; Tony Kaye on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 8, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” from the album 90125 (1983) was one of Yes’ greatest hits. This was a time when Yes moved away from progressive rock and embraced radio friendly AOR. The best of this version is Dweezil Zappa’s skillful guitar solo. The lineup here: Nikki Squire on vocals; Dweezil Zappa on guitar; Billy Sherwood on bass, keyboardss; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Another classic, and radio hit, is “Roundabout,” from Fragile. This striking version includes Todd Rundgren on vocals; John Wesley on guitar; Tony Kaye on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 10, “Don’t Kill the Whale” was included in Tormato. It holds special significance now that several countries have disgracefully decided to hunt whales again. The unmistakable Brian Auger provides the stand out organ solo here. The other artists: Candice Night on vocals; Billy Sherwood on bass; and Jay Schellen on drums.

The album contains two bonus tracks. Track 11 is “The Technical Divide” from the supergroup The Prog Collective, featuring Chris Squire, Alan Parsons, David Sancious, Gary Green and Billy Sherwood. By the way, more pop-leaning than progressive.

The final track is “Comfortably Numb” from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The musicians here are: Chris Squire, Alan White and Billy Sherwood.

Buy A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute

Roine Stolt’s Epic Alchemy and Social Conscience

Roine Stolt’s The Flower King – Manifesto of an Alchemist (Inside Out Music, 2018)

Swedish guitarist, composer and progressive rock marvel Roin Stolt is a prolific artists who has been involved in numerous projects as band leader or as part of super bands: The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy, and Kaipa DC. His latest project is called Roine Stolt’s The Flower King, which is a subtle way to clarify that this is a solo endeavor rather than a new Flower Kings album.

Although many identify Roine Stolt as a progressive rock musician (which he is), the multi-faceted artists is also influenced by classic rock, blues and jazz.

The album begins with a short atmospheric piece titled Rainsong. This is followed by the least favorite song on the album, Lost America, which is a classic rock/hard rock song with catchy hooks.
Progressive rock starts trickling in with “Ze Pawns,” a track with dreamy keyboards and mesmerizing slide guitar. The introspective vocals recall the work by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.

High Road is one of the finest pieces on the album, symphonic progressive rock at its best; full of memorable and beautiful electric guitar work.

Rio Grande is an instrumental epic with outstanding guitar, drums and keyboard work, including evocative mellotron.

Next To A Hurricane is a happy, sing-along song with pop and jazz harmonies.

On The Alchemist, another instrumental, Roine Stolt incorporates jazz fusion, Zappaesque zaniness and blues, including interplay with saxophonist Rob Townsend.

Baby Angels is a sweet song with unexpected ukulele.

Thirty Wakeup sounds like a tribute to Focus’ signature classically-rooted instrumentals, with Roine’s guitar joined by electric organ and flute.

Roine Stolt has a great ability at making epic progressions. The Spell of Money is an instant-epic that feels familiar right from the dramatic beginning. It combines superb musicianship with politics and social criticism about the dark side of money.

The album includes Roine Stolt on lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass, ukulele and drums; Hans “Hasse” Fröberg on vocals; Nad Sylvan on vocals; Max Lorentz on vocals and Hammond B3; Zach Kamins on organ, Moog synth and Mellotron; Rob Townsend on soprano saxophone and flute; Michael Stolt on bass and vocals; Jonas Reingold on fretted and fretless basses; and Marco Minnemann on drums

The album is available in various formats: limited edition CD digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD and as digital download.

Buy Manifesto of an Alchemist

Interview with Transylvanian Band Yesterdays

Yesterdays, a progressive rock band based in Transylvania, Romania, recently released Senki Madara, a fascinating recording where Hungarian traditional music meets with state of the art symphonic progressive rock.

Yesterdays – Senki Madara

The band talked to Progressive Rock Central in December 2018:

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

I think is important to listen many styles of good music. For us, classical music, jazz, fusion and traditional music are the ingredients and this helps keeping the sound and the ideas fresh. Prog is just the final form, we communicate on this “language” best.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

We grew up listening to The Beatles, Yes, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, but from the classical side renaissance music is essential for us, the usage of polyphonic vocals are very important to us.Of course Debussy, Ravel, Bartók and Stravinsky are also our favorites. Later we got to love Pat Metheny, Chick Corea’s works from the seventies and of course Hungarian bands like East and Faxni, and also some obscure folk/jazz bands like Makám and Kolinda.

Stephanie Semeniuc (vocals) – Yesterdays

How did your musical ideas evolve throughout the years?

We started Yesterdays at a young age, so we were experimenting with prog, even bossa nova. Now after more than 12 years we are still experimenting, but everything got more conscious. You know, we love prog because here we can do musically everything we want. We are not part of any big label, so we don’t have to deal with compromises, which is a fantastic thing.


Fehér Róbert Benjamin (guitars, backing vocals) – Yesterdays

Tell us a little about the band members and the background.

The main “old” elements of Yesterdays are still present, me on guitars and keys, Enyedi Zsolt on keyboards, synths, Kósa Dávid percussion, we were present on all the 3 albums. Kecskeméti Gábor, flute virtuoso, got involved with our second album and since then he is also with us. While Zsolt and I are the main progheads, Dávid is more a funky guy, Gábor comes from the jazzy, bossa-nova fields, he is an amazing fusion guy with perfect pitch! Stephanie Semeniuc is the lead singer on the new album, she also has classical training, but she comes from jazz and funk, she’s a pro, handles prog very easily. Our drummer is Szűcs József, who plays with us for years now.

Enyedi Zsolt (keyboards) – Yesterdays

What’s the connection between progressive rock and Hungarian folk music?

Well, you can find connections everywhere. Hungarian folk music is such a rich and ancient source, it’s been “used” by Bartók a lot. It has beautiful melodies, texts, deep meanings, sums up the Hungarian traditions and history. Progressive rock is such a nice and forgiving style with integrating the “old” into the “new”. Just look at the classical renditions by Nice, ELP or Gryphon’s and Gentle Giant’s renaissance connections. We did the same thing with Hungarian folk music and it felt very natural. I think one can feel it by listening to the Senki madara album, it’s been only 1 and a half months since the release date and we are almost sold out. It feels good!

 


Bogáti-Bokor Ákos (guitars, keyboards) – Yesterdays

Although you are a Hungarian band, you are based in Romania. What’s the reason for this?

Yes, it’s correct. Transylvania, where we are living now was part of Hungary for a few hundred years. The 20th Century brought changes with the World Wars, so Transylvania is now part of Romania. Our grandparents were born in “Hungarian times”, we were born in “Romanian times”, so right now we live in Romania as Hungarian minorities along with many others. It’s a historical thing. Our roots belong here, our past, our traditions tie us to this land, we are at home here.

Kecskeméti Gábor (flute) – Yesterdays

What musical instruments do you use?

Yesterdays is s symphonic prog band, so we are using all those instruments and samples from the seventies which made this sound unique. Many types of acoustic guitars, electrics, steel guitars, distorted bass, fretless bass, mellotrons, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, piano, flutes and many many vocals.

Kósa Dávid (percussion, vocals) – Yesterdays

Do you have plans to continue the great fusion of progressive rock and Hungarian music?

Of course, although this album started out as an experiment, looking at the current success and positive responses we decided to play as many shows as possible in 2019 with a minimal setup (voice, guitars and flute, in a trio line-up), but of course you can expect many sound-wizard things as well. We are planning to shoot a DVD with this material in the Summer of 2019. But near this, a brand new concept album is in the making, my long-time dream, a classical story from literature…

Szűcs József (drums) – Yesterdays

How’s the progressive rock scene in Hungary and Romania?

Right now it’s not in a good shape… the classic bands like Solaris are doing a few comeback shows every now and then, but that’s all. Barbaro is over, After Crying isn’t active as far as I know. In Romania it’s the same. Yesterdays is the only active prog band in Romania (it’s safe to say).

If you could gather any additional musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

We have many special friendships with Flamborough Head (played with them 3 times in the past), with Paidarion (from Finland) and with Argos (+Yacobs). In 2019 we’ll play a few shows with Argos in Germany.

As for recordings, we have many wishes to play with Patrick Moraz, Pálvölgyi Géza (East), maybe Dan Andrei Aldea (from Romanian band Sfinx), just to name a few, but Canadian singer/songwriter Marie-Pierre Arthur got under our skin with her recent album, she got near the progressive rock territory… it would be nice to collaborate with her (she is also involved in the recent Harmonium tribute in Canada… check her out!)

Aside from the new album, do you have any additional upcoming projects to share with us?

Yes, we are working on a new single/song right now and in 2019 hopefully will bring our first DVD/live CD, and in the meanwhile we’ll keep on working on the 4th album, hopefully it won’t take this long as the 3rd…

Discography:

Holdfénykert (Rockszerviz Records, 2006), re-released enhanced and remastered in 2008 (Musea Records)
Colours Caffé (2011)
Senki Madara (2018)

website: www.yesterdaysband.eu

Arabs in Aspic Live At Avantgarden in Trondheim

Arabs in Aspic – Live At Avantgarden (Apollon Records, 2018)

Live At Avantgarden showcases the energy and talent of Norwegian progressive rock band Arabs in Aspic. This the seventh album by the band from Trondheim and its first live recording in a familiar and friendly environment.

Throughout the album, Arabs in Aspic delight the listener with a vintage sound that recalls the finest groups of the early 1970s. The band uses the exquisite mellotron generously and skillfully, along with notable electric organ and guitar work, plus a formidable rhythm section.

The influences range from the memorable progressive rock of Pink Floyd and King Crimson to the classic hard rock of Uriah Heep.

The lineup includes Jostein Smeby on guitar, vocals; Stig Arve Kvam Jørgensen on Hammond organ, mellotron, synths, piano, vocals; Erik Paulsen on bass, vocals; Eskil Nyhus on drums, percussion; and Alessandro Elide-Metal on percussion.

Buy Live At Avantgarden

Dramatic Instrumental Rock

Alizarin – Cast Zenith (2018)

Alizarin is an instrumental rock trio from Los Angeles. On their album Cast Zenith, the band delivers a fabulous set of tracks that showcase the talent of guitar wizard Josh Kay, supported by a formidable rhythm section that includes Jon Damon on drums and Steve Ostaszewski on bass.

The music ranges from progressive rock to fusion, and guitar-hero rock. Although the music gets very intense at times, thankfully there is no prog metal.

Acclaimed keyboardist Adam Holzman makes a guest appearance, playing synths on two tracks.

Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond