To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Italian progressive rock band Le Orme has re-recorded its classic Felona e Sorona album. The new 2-disc version is titled Felona e/and Sorona, featuring Italian and English language versions.
The new version features drum tracks recorded live during past tours while all the other instruments were recorded in studio. The idea behind this is to bring forward a live vibe.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) guitarist, bassist, vocalist and composer Greg Lake released a statement about the late Keith Emerson, who died on March 10, 2016 in California.
“To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news. As you know Keith and I spent many of the best years of our lives together and to witness his life coming to an end in the way that it has is painful, both to myself and to all who knew him.
As sad and tragic as Keith’s death is, I would not want this to be the lasting memory people take away with them. What I will always remember about Keith Emerson was his remarkable talent as a musician and composer and his gift and passion to entertain. Music was his life and despite some of the difficulties he encountered I am sure that the music he created will live on forever.
My deepest condolences go to Keith’s family.
May he now be at peace.”
Composer, keyboardist and synthesizer pioneer Keith Emerson, passed away on March 10, 2016 in Santa Monica (California, USA). Keith Emerson was one of the one of the greatest keyboardists in rock history and a founder of legendary progressive rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Keith Noel Emerson was born November 2, 1944 in Todmorden, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. In the late 1960s, Keith Emerson’s skill as a keyboardist attracted international attention with pioneering progressive rock band The Nice. He later formed Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) in 1970. ELP became one of the most excellent and influential progressive rock groups of the 1970s.
For more details about Mr. Emerson, read the ELP biography and his Wikipedia profile
Photo: Dr. Robert Moog and Keith Emerson in the 1970s
The self-titled debut album by American band Farmhouse Odyssey is one of the finest progressive rock releases we’ve heard in months. Farmhouse Odyssey combines several of the most beloved subgenres within progressive rock: Canterbury, symphonic rock and psychedelic music.
The five instrumentalists deliver stellar performances throughout the album, delighting the listener with beautiful guitar and keyboard interplay. On the first progressive symphonic piece, “So It Would Seem,” the band presents some of the best mellotron/guitar interaction I’ve heard in many years. The vocals have personality; neither Genesis nor Yes-inspired, which makes the vocals much more attractive.
On track 2, “Dante,” Farmhouse Odyssey head in a jazzier direction with delicious bass lines, electric piano and synths and vocals that sound like an updated version of the classic National Health-era Canterbury sound. At times, the group intensifies the music, introducing fiery guitars, but it’s all done with incredibly good taste.
“Sleeping Silent”, track 3, quickly grows into a wonderful epic piece with some of the best guitar work on the album with truly memorable solos set to an irresistible laid back jazz-rock beat.
Track 4, “Cross the Deep” begins with mellotron and progresses into a dazzling prog-rock jam piece with spectacular guitar work.
The electric piano and organ along with jazz beats on “Colossal Cypress” immediately evokes echoes of Canterbury. The soft vocals on this composition are mesmerizing. “Colossal Cypress” concludes with grand guitar mastery.
The last cut on the album, “A Moment to Take” builds beautifully with a mixture of vocals, guitars and mellotron. Once more, the guitar interplay is truly outstanding.
The five extremely talented musicians of Farmhouse Odyssey have recorded a state of the art progressive rock album that deserves worldwide recognition.
Farmhouse Odyssey is a band from Arcata, in northern California. The lioneup on the album includes Alex Espe on vocals and keyboards; Ian Taylor on bass and vocals; Thatcher Holvick-Norton on drums and vocals; Alex Pepe on guitars; and Aaron Laughlin on guitars and vocals.
Síntesis (Synthesis), the iconic Cuban group led by bassist, singer and composer Carlos Alfonso Valdes, will celebrate its four decades on Saturday, March 5 at 16:00 at Casa de África in Havana.
Founded in December 1976, Síntesis started as a progressive rock band inspired by Genesis and the nueva trova, releasing En Busca De Una Nueva Flor. The group later evolved towards a fusion of progressive jazz-rock and Afro-Cuban influences to become those of the most significant and original acts Cuba with their album series called Ancestros.
New York City-based progressive music trio Consider The Source is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a free compilation. The anthology, titled “Past Is Prologue: 2005-2015”, includes tracks from every Consider The Source studio album, including multiple pieces from the recent “World War Trio” series.
The band plays Middle Eastern influenced music mixed with progressive rock, heavy metal riffs, cinematic orchestrations, odd-time improvisations and world music beats.
Formed in 2004, the current lineup of Consider the includes Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar; John Ferrara on bass; and Jeff Mann on drums and percussion.
The Claudia Quintet, an ensemble led by composer and drummer and John Hollenbeck has will be touring Europe and North America in the next weeks.
The Claudia Quintet plays jazz influenced by classical minimalism, new music, progressive rock and post-rock. The ensemble has released seven albums, six of them on Cuneiform Records. The eighth album, Super Petite, is scheduled for release on Cuneiform in Summer 2016.
A new 2-DVD set showcases Italy’s annual progressive rock gathering, Veruno Prog Festival. The collection includes performances by well-known Italian and international acts, including Area, Magma, the incredible Beardfish, the new idols Pineapple Thief, Sylvan with Arabs in aspic, the new Fabio Zuffanti band, The Runaway Totem, Japanese act Yuka & Chronoship, the Maschine and Syncage.
Veruno Prog Festival takes place in a small own near Novara in northwest Italy.
Veruno Prog Festival – The Best of 2 Days Prog 2015 features nearly 4 hours of some of the best progressive rock. available from www.btf.it
In 1970, English pioneering symphonic progressive rock group The Nice disbanded and its keyboardist, Keith Emerson formed the legendary act, Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) along with King Crimson bassist and vocalist Greg Lake and Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer. This was in effect the first progressive rock superband. Emerson Lake and Palmer achieved instant fame with their debut at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
The 1971 debut album, Emerson Lake and Palmer went platinum. It was produced by Greg Lake and featured a song that Lake had written while still in school: “Lucky Man.” This song, performed on acoustic guitar, was their first single. It ended with an unconventional new sound, the lead Moog synthesizer solo. This futuristic sound fascinated thousands of music fans. “Lucky Man,” became an iconic song for the band and a popular classic on FM radio.
Like other progressive rock groups in the late 1970s, ELP headed in a commercial direction after Works Volume 2 (1977). Love Beach, released in 1978 contained a couple of pieces that recalled ELP’s former glory, but the rest of the album leaned towards short pop songs and, additionally, the unappealing disco-like album cover was disliked by many fans. The final two studio albums, “Black Moon” (1992) and “In the Hot Seat” (1994) continued the direction towards radio friendly AOR and melodic rock.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer disbanded several times so its members could pursue solo careers. One line-up featured the late Cozy Powell on drums, together with Emerson and Lake. Each time the band re-united on stage, fans showed up by the thousands to see them.
In 2010, Shout! Factory released Emerson Lake & Palmer “A Time and A Place”, a 4-CD boxed set of remastered live rarities and bootlegs. The collection includes material from 1970 to 1998.
On Sunday, July 25th, 2010, Emerson, Lake and Palmer reformed for the first time since 1998 to headline the High Voltage Festival in London. The music from this performance appeared on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer “40th Anniversary Reunion Concert” DVD. This release contains many of ELP’s most beloved compositions.
In 2012, British musician and engineer Steven Wilson (Porcupine tree) remixed ELP’s debut album Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Tarkus into 5.1 and high resolution stereo.
The Brain Salad Surgery and Trilogy remixes were made by King Crimson’s guitarist Jakko Jakszyk in 2013.
Vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nad Sylvan is currently one of the finest singers in the international progressive rock scene. In addition to his recent work with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, Nad recently released a superb solo album titled “Courting The Widow” that was one of the finest progressive rock albums of 2015.
Nad talks to Progressive Rock Central in this exclusive interview:
Can you give our readers a brief history on how you started your musical career?
I sought to myself to the piano when I was about 5. Started to compose maybe a year later. I joined various bands in my teen years and after a while drifted into progressive rock with stacks of keyboards and mikes around me. Apparently I never got out!
What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
Melody, harmony and rhythm. Arrangements that supports the lyrical content.
Who can you cite as your main musical influences?
I know people think it’s generally Genesis, but it’s so much more than that. Everything that rocked in the 1970s plus lots of soul music.
Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.
I recorded a single when I was 19, a total Genesis rip off. But that’s fine, I think I was excused being so young and with such high ideals. Two years later that band, which was called Avenue, broke up. I drifted into fusion, jazz rock and so on in the early 80s and formed my own band. We never played any gigs, but I learned a lot during that time.
In 1984 I joined a band that became “One By One”, a funk rock band in the same kind of musical hybrid style as Prince, Scritti Politti and etc. We made it as far as being the supporting act to Lionel Ritchie in 1987. I went solo after that and recorded a couple of unsuccessful solo albums until I met Bonamici in 2003. We formed “Unifaun”, recorded an album, which is now my musical platform. That’s when I started to get some kind of recognition. In 2008 Roine Stolt contacted me, we made three albums and in 2012 I heard from Steve Hackett.
What’s the concept behind your latest album, Courting the Widow?
Death and the sea.
Along with Italy, Sweden has produced some of the finest progressive rock groups in recent years. Why do you think Sweden generates so much talent?
It wasn’t always like that. I think the Internet opened up so many possibilities for everybody, let alone for myself, and the Swedes were very quick to latch onto this new digital world.
There seems to be a dark theme in the lyrics of many Nordic progressive rock artists. Why do you think so many acts have this gloomy side? Would the music be different if it was composed in sunnier and warmer places like Tenerife or the Costa del Sol?
I think you just came up with the best answer yourself.
Although you are known as a vocalist, you also play various musical instruments and you do it quite well. Tell us about your musical training.
I taught myself everything I know. Singing is my key element, second comes piano and keyboards. The rest I do on my recordings such as guitars, takes an awful lot of time for me to get it right.
Your most recent solo album features a lot of beautiful mellotron-sounding work. What does the mellotron represent to you?
How did you connect with guitarist Roine Stolt?
He got in touch with me after he’d heard Unifaun back in 2008.
And how did you link up with Steve Hackett?
Same thing there four years later. But I was also recommended through Win Voelklein who promotes the Night of the Prog festival in Germany, where I have performed three times now.
How do audiences react to your versions of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis songs?
Nowadays they are alright with it. They have allowed me to grow into the role.
It wasn’t easy at first.
On April 19, 2016 you’ll be performing as part of the Steve Hackett band in Durham, North Carolina which is where we are based. What material will the band be presenting there?
The same show we did in the autumn. 50% Hackett solo stuff, 50% Genesis.
In addition to your solo work, you are currently involved in other projects like Agents of Mercy. What’s the focus of Agents of Mercy?
I am currently not involved in anything but Hackett and my solo career. Agents of Mercy has not released anything since 2011 (The Black Forest), and we haven’t played together since 2012.
If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?
Basically the people that play on my album “Courting The Widow“. Especially Nick Beggs and Doane Perry. But also Jonas Reingold is a fabulous player and a good friend.
Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?
I am working on a follow up album to “The Widow” right now. That will take me at least a year.