Extensive Guitar Sessions by Peter Banks

Peter Banks’s Harmony In Diversity – The Complete Recordings (The Peter Banks Music Estate/Cherry Red Records, 2018)

This mammoth 6-CD set contains all the recordings made by former Yes guitarist Peter Banks with his band Harmony In Diversity. The recordings were made during 2005 and 2007.

Peter Banks’s Harmony In Diversity – The Complete Recordings

The boxed set includes instrumental guitar-fueled rock with funk leanings, classic rock, jam rock improvisations, guitar experimentation and some progressive rock as well.

Peter Banks plays all guitars and is joined by drummer Andrew Booker and bassist Nick Cottam, who mixed the recordings. Drummer Dave Speight appeared on the volume 6 of the set.

The album includes an extensive booklet and the audio was remastered.

There is nearly 6 hours of music, rarely heard before by the talented Peter Banks and his colleagues.

Oytun Ersan’s Delicious Fusion


Oytun Ersan ‎– Fusiolicious

Oytun Ersan ‎– Fusiolicious (2018)

Turkish Cypriot bass virtuoso invited some of the finest musicians in the current jazz and fusion scene to perform on Fusiolicious. Jazz, rock and funk ingermingle with total ease.

The most captivating moments on the album are Ersan’s bass performances, the spectacular electronic keyboard solos by Gary Husband, Karen Briggs inspirational violin and the outstanding guitar work by Bret Garsed, Dean Brown and Mike Miller.

Personnel: Oytun Ersan on bass and guitar; Drums – Dave Weckl on drums; Brett Garsed, Dean Brown and Mike Miller; Gary Husband on keyboards; Gerry Etkins on keyboards; Eric Marienthal on saxophone; Gökay Gökşen on trombone; Utku Akyol on trumpet; Karen Briggs on violin; and Aytunç Akdoğu and Simge Akdoğu on vocals.

Carl Palmer Announces Prog-Rock Camp in Philadelphia

Groundbreaking British rock drummer Carl Palmer has announced a Prog-Rock Camp to be held November 8-10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carl Palmer was a founding member of the legendary progressive rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer. 

The event is envisioned as a musical learning experience for drummers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and vocalists called Carl Palmer’s Prog-Rock Camp. The instructors include  Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and very special guests: guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (former Guns N Roses; Sons Of Apollo) and Derek Sherinian (former Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Sons Of Apollo).

The camp will run for 3 days in Philadelphia. Registration is now open and is on a first, come first served basis. A sell out will be 100 registrants.

“This camp will be a special dream come true for me,” says Carl Palmer, who has spent many years as an educator and demonstrator of advanced percussion. “It is not designed to be a ‘fantasy’ event, but rather, a complete three day educational adventure for those who really want to improve and advance their musical craft. Of course, fans who want to take in the experience, are welcomed, as well.  This is a chance to sit one on one with some of the contemporary musical greats and learn.”

Carl Palmer

The Camp will begin on Friday, November 8th and will include three days of events. Among the highlights: Master Classes with Carl Palmer, guitarists Paul Bielatowicz and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, bassist  Simon Fitzpatrick, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian; An informative Q&A with Carl Palmer, his band, and the special guests; a complete Saturday evening concert with Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy featuring the greatest music of Emerson Lake &  Palmer; the world premiere of a never-before-seen complete concert film: ELP Live In South America 1997; performances by bands assembled  from the attending campers; plus seminars on artist management & booking; a seminar by a renowned life coach; new music technology displays; a Palmer Art Event and much more!

The cost to attend Carl Palmer Prog Rock Camp is $1,399 and includes all events, classes, concert, meals, parking, and hotel lodging.  A deposit is required at registration, which will cap at 100 campers.

November 8th – 10th, 2019 • 2300 Arena • Philadelphia, PA

carlpalmer.com/ProgRockCamp/ProgRockCamp-Main.php

Norwegian Fusion Superband Meets Mike Stern


Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern (Losen Records LOS 196-2, 2018)

Three of the finest musicians in the northern European fusion scene collaborate with American guitarist Mike Stern on Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern.

Half of the album are laid back tracks that highlight Stern’s guitar and Jan Gunnar Hoff’s piano. The other half are thrilling, high energy, electric jazz-rock fusion pieces with admirable guitar work and fantastic synth solos and electric piano by Jan Gunnar Hoff.

The synthesizer work is so good that leaves wanting more. His synth style is influenced by two of the greatest fusion keyboardists o all time: Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul.

The lineup includes Jan Gunnar Hoff on piano and keyboards; Mike Stern on guitar and vocals; Per Mathisen on electric and acoustic bass; and Audun Kleive on drums.

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.

Curved Air Live at Their Prime


Curved Air – The Second British Rock Meeting 1972 (The Right Honourable Recording Company/Cherry Red, 2018)  

This fantastic surprise is a high quality live album by progressive rock pioneers Curved Air at the peak of their career. While most of the first progressive rock bands were fronted by men, Curved air featured the fabulous lead vocalist Sonja Kristina. Another Curved air innovation within progressive rock was the use of violin as a lead instrument.

The Second British Rock Meeting 1972 shows the versatility of Curved Air and the beauty of progressive rock with a mix of exploratory rock, classical music, blues, jazz, and jam rock.  This album is the third volume of the Curved Air Rarities Series and the only recording of its kind, featuring Curved air improvising, with extended, delectable versions of the band highlighting the talent of innovative keyboardist Francis Monkman and groundbreaking violinist Darryl Way supported by an inspired rhythm section.

The lineup included Sonja Kristina on vocals and acoustic guitar; Darryl Way on violin, Francis Monkman on keyboards and guitar; Florian Pilkington-Miksa on drums; and Mike Wedgwood on bass.

The CD booklet includes an introduction by Francis Monkman, who mastered the audio and supervised the release personally, together with two essays authored by attendees at the festival as well as previously unseen pictures.

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.

Celebrated Yes Vocalist Jon Anderson Reveals New Album, 1,000 Hands

Groundbreaking progressive rock vocalist Jon Anderson (Yes) has announced the release of a new album titled 1,000 Hands that will be released on March 31, 2019.

“I’ve spent long periods of time making some records, but I’ve never taken a journey quite like this one,” says Anderson. “To say that 1,000 Hands has been a long time in coming would be quite an understatement, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally a reality and that my fans will now be able to hear it. And I think they’ll be delighted to hear music that’s timeless. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Jon Anderson – 1,000 Hands

Anderson started the album (originally titled Uzlot – “it means a lot of us”) approximately 30 years ago, working with a group of musicians that included Yes drummer Alan White and bassist Chris Squire. Nevertheless, due to his demanding touring commitments with Yes, Anderson had to put the record on hold. “Before you knew it, I started getting involved in other projects and tours, and years went by,” he clarifies. “I would listen to the tapes from time to time and think, ‘This could have been a great album! One day I’ll finish it.’”

Respected producer Michael T. Franklin (Bruce Hornsby, Brian Wilson, Roger McGuinn) had at one time begun working on orchestrations for the album, but once more Anderson’s packed schedule required the project to be put on hold. Ultimately, a year and a half ago, Anderson and Franklin decided to continue to work on the album and were determined to finalize it. “Our ideas still matched,” Anderson says. “Michael knew everything I wanted to do and how I wanted the music to sound, so we agreed to go for it.”

The final work took place in Franklin’s Solar Studios in Orlando, Florida. Anderson laid down backing vocals to his original lead tracks, and Franklin brought in an superb group of rock and jazz legends to complete the songs: fellow Yes colleague Steve Howe, Ian Anderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Steve Morse, Rick Derringer, Jonathan Cain, and the Tower of Power Horns are just a few of the guests on 1,000 Hands.


Jon Anderson – Photo Credit: www.DeborahAnderson.com

“That’s where the title 1,000 Hands comes from, all of the brilliant musicians who played a part in making the record,” Anderson states. “Michael acted like something of a casting director, bringing so many great players. It was really exciting to hear the record open up and become what I had always envisioned.”

The sessions came out so well, in fact, that Anderson decided to include four new songs on the album, with brand-new lead vocals. “Jon is such a remarkable writer and singer,” enthuses Franklin. “His newer songs were fabulous, and they fit seamlessly with the rest of the album. Everything came together beautifully.”

Bookended by the utterly beautiful acoustic ballads “Now” and “Now and Again,” the album includes stimulating new progressive rock pieces (“Activate,” “Come Up”), poly-rhythmic wonders (“WDMCF”) and reggae pop (“First Born Leaders”).

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