Spanish progressive rock band Kotebel has announced the release of its new album titled Cosmology. The new recording will be available in early July.
Cosmology is dedicated to the musical representation of four concepts of the Cosmos. The album includes several parts of a cosmology suite and Cesar G. Forero’s “Mishima’s Dream.” Also featured, a remastered recreation of “Canto XXVIII,” a composition that Cesar wrote for Dante’s Paradiso, a concept album released in 2010 as part of Colossus’ Divine Comedy, a project that featured numerous progressive rock acts.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart, that I have to report we have lost my dearest friend, brother, bandmate and long term musical collaborator, John Wetton, who has passed away after a long and tenacious battle with cancer. He will be remembered as one of the world’s finest musical talents, and I for one of many was wholly blessed by his influence. It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions – out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony – unreal. He was literally a ‘special one’.
But John was much more than a gigantic and unique musical talent. He was a supremely intelligent man, marked with his great observations and wisdom about life; all couched within his wicked sense of humor. The wit was dark and deep, only fully perceptible to those on his same wavelength. I was fortunate enough to be able to be on that wavelength, and discover that we had much in common. Many of his personal life experiences were reflected in his lyrical contributions to the songs. His heart was always in the music. That was John, through and through. It was always about – the music.
As a person, he was fiercely loyal, loving and generous, particularly to those he cared about. But he could be as stubborn as a mule or as gracious as a nobleman, depending on the mood that grabbed him on any particular day. There were some who couldn’t read his brilliant mind and complex personality. Some found him charming, others infuriating. But however you found John, there was no denying his rare talent as a musician and songwriter was second to none.
Both of us having been brought up with similar backgrounds in provincial England, we shared a love of many things – sport, and in particular – football, English church music, current affairs, comedy, literature, you name it….pretty much everything that 2 kids from the sticks were exposed to in our youth.
Our planets seemed to be immediately in alignment when we first met in early 1981. There was a laddish camaraderie that grew between us as we became as close as two non-related brothers could be. He was an avid reader and film enthusiast, something he pursued with great interest. This helped inspire him to some wonderful lyrics to the literally hundreds of songs we composed together. Back then, we immediately hit the ground running as we composed much of the debut ASIA album together and forged a formidable partnership which lasted right up until now. It was a wholly natural process for us, whereby we could knock out 2 or 3 songs in an afternoon. They were always greeted with our gentlemanly handshake and smiles once we had wrapped up another one in the bag.
Above all else though, his passion for life was to the fore. The battles he endured throughout were immense and well documented. Firstly with alcohol, which he so resolutely overcame, then open heart surgery and finally cancer, which sadly was to take his life in the end. He once observed to me that this disease is a “merciless assassin”. Just another example of his perception and the descriptive language that he was so richly blessed with. He took all of these battles on board with great bravery and almost a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude, tinged with his inimitable wry wit.
To say I will miss my him greatly is beyond understatement. He was such an inspiration to me. We were planning another album, but sadly he was not well enough to complete it. I feel heartbroken about this, as I knew John thought it was to be one of our finest albums to date. I remain as proud as ever of our Wetton/Downes writing partnership. I am hoping one day that I will be able to finish it, and that it will be appreciated by all those who loved his and our music, and most importantly, a legacy he would have been proud of.
Life will not be the same without him. And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the World will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on – the music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops.
Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother.
Please join me in sending our sincerest thoughts and prayers to Lisa, Dylan and the entire Wetton family at this difficult time.
Swedish progressive rock band Carptree will be releasing a new album titled “Emerger” on April 7th, 2017. In anticipation of this new recording, Carptree will reveal a new video titled “Fleeting Deep” in February.
Carptree is a progressive symphonic rock duo that includes producer and composer Carl Westholm on keyboards and composer and lyricist Nicklas Flinck on vocals. Even though Carptree is a duo, they are usually accompanied by the No Future Orchestra (NFO). The NFO includes musicians from other Swedish acts.
Carptree started working on the album in 2014. Jesper Skarin plays drums and percussion. Aside from the mellotrons that are generated from a sampler software, all instruments and amplifiers on this album are analog as well as the mix and mastering.
The CD will feature 8 songs, including a remixed version of “Dwindle Into Greatness” as a bonus track. The vinyl version will include the other 7 tracks and will be released about one month after the CD on the FOSFOR Creation label.
Progressive rock band IZZ is set to perform at the Music at the Mansion music series in Westchester, New York on Saturday, January 28th, 2017. This will be IZZ’s first live concert of 2017 and the band will present new music as well as songs they have not performed live in a long time.
IZZ is known for its captivating vocals and memorable guitar and synthesizer solos.
IZZ was formed by brothers Tom and John Galgano in 1996. The lineup includes percussionist Greg DiMiceli, guitarist Paul Bremner, vocalist Anmarie Byrnes, vocalist Laura Meade, and drummer Brian Coralian.
Progressive music acts Echotest and Jane Getter Premonition featuring Adam Holzman are set to perform on Friday, February 3, 2016 at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen, New Jersey.
Bass-centric ensemble features Echotest Julie Slick on bass; Marco Machera on bass; Alessandro Inolti on drums; Zach Lopresti on guitar and vocals; and Jenny Founds on vocals. Their album is titled Le Fil Rouge.
Jane Getter is an jazz-rock and progressive rock electric guitar maestra. Her lineup includes Jane Getter on guitars and vocals; Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson, Miles Davis) on keyboards; Randy McStine (The Fringe, Lo-Fi Resistance) on guitar, vocals; Dave Johnsen (Project Object, Grandmothers of Invention) on bass; and Rocky Bryant (Peter Frampton, Dianne Reeves) on drums.
Multi-faceted progressive rock musician and producer Fabio Zuffanti and his group Zband are set to perform on Friday, January 13, 2017 at Raindogs House in Savona.
Fabio Zuffanti will perform excerpts from several of his various progressive rock projects, including solo works, Finisterre, Maschera di Cera and Höstsonaten. As usual, Zuffanti will be accompanied by ZBand, featuring Giovanni Pastorino on keyboards, Simone Amodeo on guitar, Paolo “Paolo” Tixi (Tempio Delle Clessidre) on drums; and Martin Grice (Delirium) on saxophone and flute.
In the next months, Zuffanti will be working on his new album (scheduled for autumn 2017) and will also organize the annual Z-Fest that will take place on March 31, 2017 in Milan. Then in May he will fly to Canada and the United States for a series of gigs.
Jazz fusion innovator, composer and guitar maestro Al Di Meola will continue to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his Elegant Gypsy Tour with new concerts in 2017 in support of his most recent solo album Elysium. The North American tour begins February 7 in Durham, North Carolina with dates in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Dallas, Montreal, and more.
Di Meola has been on tour for most of 2016, presenting new material from Elysium together with old favorites. DiMeola uses acoustic and electric guitars, including his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a 1971 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy guitar).
The band includes Philippe Saisse on keyboards, marimba; Gumbi Ortiz on percussion; Elias Tona on bass; Luis Alicea on drums; and Evan Garr on violin.
2017 North America Tour:
2/7/17 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
2/8/17 Charleston, SC Music Hall
2/9/17 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
2/11/17 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
2/12/17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
2/13/17 Clearwater,FL Capitol Theater
2/14/17 Ponte Vedra,FL PV Concert Hall
2/17/17 Austin, TX One World
2/18/17 Dallas, TX Majestic
2/21/17 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music
2/22/17 Kent, OH Kent Stage
2/24/17 Quebec City, Q Palais Montcalm
2/25/17 Montreal, QC Salle Pierre Mercure
2/26/17 Peekskill, NY Paramount
Jethro Tull’s founder, Ian Anderson, John O’Hara, and the Carducci Quartet are set to release Jethro Tull – The String Quartets, a selection of 12 re-imagined Jethro Tull classics, allowing Tull fans and classical music fans to enjoy the band’s extensive catalog in a new way. The album will be available in the United States on March 24, 2017 via The End Records/BMG. A 2017 global tour will accompany the release.
“‘Ring Out These Bells’ was written for the Songs From The Wood album as a reference to the winter solstice pagan festival and the latter day transplanted Christian notional birth of the Biblical Jesus, but then the record company thought that we should release it as a Christmas single,” says Ian Anderson. “After a futile attempt to record a simpler, catchier version, we reverted to the original recording. It was released just too late to make the Top Ten charts in time for Christmas. But it has remained a radio play staple in the radio playlists for Christmas ever since.
This new string quartet version captures the spirit of the original recording but with a really authentic Christmas Classical interpretation with the flute and a bit of the vocal sections of the familiar version. I can just feel the mistletoe quivering in anticipation of a quick kiss and no tell.”
About The Carducci Quartet:
Winners of international competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition 2007 and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition, this Anglo-Irish quartet has appeared at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen; Carnegie Hall, New York and Library of Congress and John F Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Festival appearances include
Cheltenham Music Festival, Festival Messiaen au pays Meije, West Cork Chamber Music festival, Kuhmo Festival and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland. The Carducci Quartet are highly celebrated for their interpretation of contemporary repertoire, and are regularly invited to perform new works.
French guitarist David Marnay has a new album titled Resonance. Originally from Mayenne, he draws his inspiration from a wide-range of sources such as classical music, jazz-rock fusion, flamenco (Paco De Lucia), Celtic music (Dan Ar Bras), progressive rock (Steve Hackett, Steve Howe) and even hard rock (Rush). The common factor that emerges from this mix is a love for the acoustic six-string guitar, in all its forms.
French keyboardist Christian Richet has released a new album titled “Crepuscule” Twilight. Richet specializes in electronic music that inspired by Klaus Schulze and other electronic music pioneers.
Although Richet makes electronic music, he was originally a percussionist so some of his his recordings have a strong rhythmic component. “Crepuscule” leans closer to the atmospheric side of electronic music.