Music Video: Bruce Arnold Plays Runway on Double Neck

Bruce Arnold
Guitarist Bruce Arnold provides a masterful demonstration of jazz rock fusion on his Music Man double neck and Asher slide guitar along with Kirk Driscoll on drums and Jerry DeVore on electric bass. The performance was part of the New York University (NYU) Summer Guitar Intensive.

Bruce Arnold was born in 1955 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. He is an author, composer, educator and guitarist residing in New York City. He explores the applications of 20th century classical theory in contemporary forms, such as Rock and Jazz, creating a unique compositional and improvisational sound. As a guest artist Arnold has toured Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States.

His performance and recording activities include work with a wide array of styles. He has played with such diverse musicians as Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lennie Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.

Bruce Arnold’s recording credits include over twenty five CDs and DVDs (on Muse-eek Records, MelBay Recordings, Truefire and other labels), ranging from the standard jazz repertoire to free improvisation to the reinterpretations of classical music with the ensemble Spooky Actions. His compositions are published by Muse Eek Publishing, and MelBay Productions.

Bruce Arnold plays “Runway.” from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

Arnold’s theoretical works have explored the use of Pitch Class Set Theory within a improvisational setting. He is also written more than 60 music instruction books covering Guitar Pedagogy, Ear Training and Time Studies. He is the director of guitar studies at New York University and Princeton University as well as the creator of the New York University Summer Guitar Intensive. He has taught at New England Conservatory of Music, Dartmouth College, Berklee College of Music, New School University, and City College of New York.

He is a totally dedicated guitarist who likes to practice for at least 3 hours a day. He also likes to work with the computer program SuperCollider to achieve his various effects.

His latest CD is Heavy Mental (Muse-eek Records, 2010)

A Saucerful Of Secrets Remastered

Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets
Pink Floyd

A Saucerful Of Secrets (EMI, 1968)

A Saucerful Of Secrets was the second studio recording by Pink Floyd. It was remastered this year and is now available with improved sound quality. A Saucerful Of Secrets was recorded at a difficult time for Pink Floyd. The band’s main lyricist and guitarist, Syd Barrett, was having serious mental health problems and became increasingly unreliable.

If you look at the album credits, you’ll see that guitarist David Gilmour appears along with Barrett. Gilmour was brought in as replacement for Barrett during the recording and brought with him his innovative guitar style.

At this stage of the band, most of the material was composed by bassist Roger Waters and keyboardist Rick Wright. Pink Floyd was still in a musical transition. Pieces such as the hypnotic Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and the instrumental ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets,’ introduced the experimental music and space rock tendencies of the band. Wright’s keyboards and Gilmour’s guitars ventured into uncharted territory. However, some pop elements remained in songs like ‘Corporal Clegg’ and ‘Jugband Blues’ both of which had a very Beatles-like flavor.

The album includes a delightful dreamy piece by Wright titled’ See-Saw,’ where his memorable mellotron plays an essential role.

A Saucerful Of Secrets set the ground for Pink Floyd’s space music explorations, introduced a key new member (David Gilmour) and made wide use of the mellotron, one of the most beloved musical instruments in the world of progressive rock.

Instrumental Rock Chemistry

The Aristocrats - The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats
(Boing Music (2011)

The Aristocrats is a new instrumental high energy rock band formed by reputable virtuoso musicians based in various parts of the world. Members include guitarist Guthrie Govan (Asia/GPS, Dizzie Rascal), bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dethklok, Mike Keneally), and drummer Marco Minnemann (Adrian Belew, UKZ, Necrophagist).

Their debut album is the self-titled The Aristocrats and features three compositions from each band member. The result of the meeting of these three minds is a mix of hard rock/metal and fusion. Naturally, I’m more interested in the fusion pieces, where the musicians combine musical virtuosity and Satriani and Vai-like electric guitar shredding with superb bass solos and elements of jazz and blues, recalling the sounds of King Crimson, Return to Forever and Frank Zappa.

The best cuts on the album are the laid back “Sweaty Knockers”, “Bad Asteroid”, and “Flatlands”, the exploratory “Furtive Jack” and the fusion piece “Get It Like that.’

Although the musicians are based in two different continents, they left their homes (outside London; Nashville, Tennessee; and southern California) to meet in a Chicago studio. “We ended up using our different influences to write for each other,” says bassist Beller. “I wrote “Sweaty Knockers” specifically for Guthrie to have fun with, while Guthrie wrote “I Want A Parrot” with bass leads in mind. As for Marco’s material, we’re just lucky to be able to keep up with it!

The Aristocrats was formed after an enthusiastic response to a single concert at The Anaheim Bass Bash during the Winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in January 2011. With just one rehearsal the night before the gig, the trio had a successful experience. “The chemistry was so great,” recalls Govan, who was recently featured on the cover of Guitar Player, “that when we came offstage we all said to each other, ‘This is working. We should record this.’”

Video of the week: Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 by Transatlantic

Transatlantic
The music video of this week is Stranger In Your Soul by multinational progressive rock band Transatlantic. Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 is extracted from the Transatlantic DVD “Live In Europe.”

Transatlantic is the progressive rock supergroup formed by outstanding musicians from various countries who have performed in some of the finest progressive rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s, including Neal Morse (former Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). The band also includes Mike Portnoy of the hard rock/metal band Dream Theater.

Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 was taken from the band’s 2001 album titled Bridge Across Forever.

Historical Prog Band Returns with More Andalusian Essence

Cai - Metaforas de Luz
Cai

Metaforas de Luz (Bujio BJ201, 2010)

Cai was one of the legendary Andalusian progressive rock groups of the 1970s. In 2007 they came back with a double CD titled Mucho Mas Alla De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, a reissue of their first CD with bonus material. Three years later, they released their latest studio recording, Metaforas de Luz (Metaphors of Light). The album brings back the captivating elements that made Cai such an essential band in Spanish progressive rock history. With Metaforas de Luz, Cai once more delivers a passionate mix of Flamenco, symphonic rock and jazz forms.

Cai is down to a trio on the album. Missing from the line-up is renowned keyboardist Chano Dominguez. He lives in another part of Spain now and is currently a worldwide famous jazz pianist. Without Chano, the lead instrumentalist is masterful guitarist José Antonio Fernandez Mariscal “El Niño”, who plays acoustic and electric guitars as well as bass.

Founding member Diego Fopiani continues to provide drums and the Flamenco-influenced vocals that characterize Andalusian rock bands. Blas Lago, a younger musician, plays keyboards. Bassist Salvador Otero plays with the live version of the band.

Metaforas de Luz is a fine example of symphonic progressive rock with a Spanish flavor by a legendary band that still sounds fresh and creative.

CD:

Digital download:

Stick Virtuoso Guillermo Cides Releases Live Album

Guillermo Cides
Renowned Argentine musician Guillermo Cides, who is one of the best Stick performers in the world, has released a new album after returning from his tours throughout Mexico and Spain. This recent concert was broadcast live on Facebook and Myspace. Meanwhile, he is preparing a new collaboration with Truey Mark’s project featuring Jon Anderson (Yes).

The live performance celebrated Cides’ 20 years of experience with the Stick. The concert was captured through a web camera located in a theater in Tarragona, Spain. Now this recording is released in CD format, signed by the musicians and sent directly to their fans.

Cides, who removed his CDs from the recording industry years ago, returns now with a live album in “a world without record companies, intermediaries and a real independent music” according to his official Facebook statement from where people can get a copy of the new album.

The album was recorded with drummer Alex Leys drummer and mastered by Tonica Studios in Buenos Aires. It is a limited edition and it is numbered and signed like “a simple object for collector,” says Cides.

Meantime he is preparing a new collaboration with Australian Truey Mark and Jon Anderson, former Yes frontman. This project directed by Truey Mark will born in 2012 under the name “Hope”.

Ohioprog 2012 Requesting Additional Pledges for Festival Tickets

Progressive rock festival Ohioprog 2012 announced that there are 2 weeks left to pledge a ticket to the OhioProg festival on Kickstarter. Roughly 45 tickets have been pledged so far and another 350-400 need to be pledged at the various ticket levels in order to reach the goal and hold OhioProg 2012.

Organizers explained that the process is like pre-ordering a ticket, except that the order is canceled if the goal is not met. The goal date is set to January 2, 2012 at 11:59PM (EST).

It is important that everyone who is going and is planning on going pledge their ticket,” said the press release. “ We’d like to consider alternatives to move forward but that depends on what the final number is on Kickstarter. All the ticketing info and additional event info can be found on the Kickstarter page as well as the festival website.”

OhioProg 2012 is set to take place September 7th, 8th & 9th of 2012 at the Canton Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio. The tremendous 15 band lineup represents 5 countries.

Friday, September 7, 2012 “A Tribute to the Classics” Pre-Show

Going for the One perform the music of Yes (USA)
Gende’s Giant perform the music of Gentle Giant (USA)
Script for a Jester’s Tour perform the music of Marillion and featuring original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer and Nick Barrett of Pendragon (UK)

Saturday, September 8, 2012 “Main Event”
Orphan Project (USA)
Persephone’s Dream (USA)
RC2 (Spain)
Glass Hammer (USA)
FM (Canada)

Saturday, September 8, 2012 “After-Party” at The Auricle

Dag Swanö (Sweden)
Gravity (USA)

Sunday, September 9, 2012 “Main Event”

Kinetic Element (USA)
After the Fall (USA)
Cryptic Vision (USA)
Arena (UK)
Nightingale (Sweden)

More information at:

tickets.ohioprog.com
ohioprog.com

Spanish Prog Band Absente H Releases Vagalume

Absente H - Vagalume
Vagalume (Musea Parallèle) is the title of the new album by Madrid-based progressive rock band Absente H. Absente H plays original symphonic progressive rock, inspired by bands such as Genesis, Yes, Camel, Pink Floyd, The Flower Kings and Porcupine Tree.

Absente H produced and recorded the album on its own and licensed it to Musea for worldwide distribution. Band members include David Pérez on vocals, Juan Pedro Miralles on keyboards, Jesús González on drums, Alfonso Pazos on bass, María José Izquierdo on flute & backing vocals, María Sánchez on violin & backing vocals, and Víctor García on guitars.

The lyrics include topics such as environmental issues, nostalgic poems, mythology and exploration of the time and space domain.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Remastered

Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Pink Floyd

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Capitol/EMI, 2011)

The first album by legendary progressive rock band Pink Floyd
, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, is now available digitally remastered. The album can be purchased individually or as part of a box set.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was originally released in 1967 and shows Pink Floyd in its pre-progressive rock period. Pink Floyd’s members at the time were Syd Barrett, who was the main songwriter, on guitar and vocals; Roger Waters on bass; Rick Wright on keyboards; and Nick Mason on drums.

In 1967, Pink Floyd was fully immersed in psychedelia. Barrett’s unconventional lyrics sent the listener to a world of fantasy, childlike rhymes and surreal creations. Barrett’s songs were the product of a musician experimenting with music and mind altering drugs.

Barrett also experimented with his electric guitar, using a series of effects that made Pink Floyd’s sound much more exploratory than other British bands of the time.

The album’s title, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, came from the seventh chapter of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio 3 and produced by EMI resident producer, Norman Smith, while the Beatles were in the studio next door working on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Piper at The Gates Of Dawn is an album by a novice Pink Floyd with dreamlike lyrics and music experimentation by one of the leading songwriters in the rock underground of the late 1960s.

Circa Goes AOR

Circa - And So On
Circa

And So On (2011)

Rock band Circa was expected to be one of the great new progressive rock bands in recent years. With two former Yes members, Tony Kaye on keyboards and Billy Sherwood on guitars and vocals, there is definitely a strong Yes connection. The band has a formidable rhythm section formed by Ronnie Ciago on drums and an excellent bassist that does not appear in the credits. Guitarist Johnny Bruhns is the fourth member of the band.

I used the term rock band because there is little progressive rock in And So On. The album begins with a strong piece, with rich instrumentation that will remind the listener of early Yes. However, the vocals are weak (literally) and the songs are better described as 1980s-style AOR and hard rock. The best instrumental work on the album is provided by the lead guitar and bass.

‘And So On’ is the 4th release by Circa. “Although the album was not written as a concept record, the songs are somehow tied together and are all symbiotic,” Billy Sherwood explains, “it’s really just an evolution of Circa: music. This is our 3rd Studio release.”

The album is available for circahq.com/CircaStore/index.php

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