Tag Archives: Renaissance

Renaissance Releases Expanded Version of “Prologue” Album

Esoteric Recordings has announced the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1972 album by Renaissance, “Prologue”.

Formed in 1969 by former Yardbirds members Jim McCarty and Keith Relf, Renaissance had by 1971 experienced a series of line-up changes and had evolved into a completely different band from the one that had recorded the albums “Renaissance” and “Illusion”.

Renaissance – Prologue.

By June 1972 Renaissance included celebrated vocalist Annie Haslam, John Tout (keyboards, vocals), Jon Camp (bass, vocals), Terry Sullivan (drums, percussion) and Rob Hendry (guitar, mandolin, vocals).

The album “Prologue” was recorded in June and July 1972 and contained material written by Michael Dunford (a member of the group who had decided to skip performing with the band to concentrate on songwriting) and lyricist Betty Thatcher. Featuring such classic material as the album title track, “Kiev”, “Spare Some Love” and the epic “Rajah Kahn”, “Prologue” was also notable for the presence of guest musician Francis Monkman (of Curved Air) who would play VCS 3 synthesizer on “Rajah Khan”. The album would pave the way for the future success of Renaissance and would effectively be regarded as the band’s first true album.

This Esoteric Recordings edition has been re-mastered from the original Sovereign Records master tapes and adds the rare single version of “Spare Some Love” as a bonus track (appearing on CD for the very first time). The booklet features a new essay and exclusive interviews with Annie Haslam and Terry Sullivan and fully restores the original album artwork.

Symphonic Prog Rock Band Renaissance Featuring Annie Haslam To Perform with 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra

Renaissance

Pioneering progressive rock band Renaissance featuring Annie Haslam has announced its upcoming tour of the US Northeast in October and November 2017. Titled “Symphonic Journey,” the tour will feature four very special concerts with a 10-piece chamber orchestra, a handpicked ensemble of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

Concerts include October 26th at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield CT; October 27th at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA; Town Hall in New York City on October 28th; and The Egg in Albany, NY on October 29th. These concerts will be the first time in 40 years that Renaissance will perform on stage with a “live” orchestra.

Plans are currently being made for the group to film the October 27th Keswick Theatre show for an upcoming DVD release that will follow the success of its 2015 London Union Chapel DVD. A crowd funding campaign has been started to raise the significant funds to produce the new live DVD.

The band keeps getting stronger and stronger and the addition of the chamber orchestra will be the most exciting event for the band in years,” said Renaissance leader and singer Annie Haslam. “This addition of ‘live’ orchestral musicians will add an incredible dynamic to our big numbers like ‘Mother Russia,’ ‘Carpet of the Sun’ and ‘Song For All Seasons,’ all of which included an orchestra on the original recordings.”

Annie Haslam will be joined on stage by long time musical associate Rave Tesar on piano, together with Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on guitars, Frank Pagano on drums and percussion, and Leo Traversa on bass.

Tour dates:

Oct 26 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 27 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 28 – Town Hall – New York, NY (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Oct 29 – The Egg – Albany, NY (With 10-Piece Chamber Orchestra)
Nov 01 – City Winery – Boston, MA
Nov 02 – Rams Head on Stage – Annapolis, MD

Splendid Renaissance at Union Chapel

Renaissance – Live at The Union Chapel (Symphonic Rock Records, 2016)

What a beautiful concert! Pioneering symphonic progressive rock band Renaissance videotaped this concert at the stunning Union Chapel in London in 2015. The group is still led by founder Annie Haslam. Her longtime collaborator Michael Dunford passed away in 2012 so Annie Haslam, who has been living in the United States for the past years, has put together a band of outstanding American jazz and session musicians.

Annie Haslam’s five octave vocals still sound particularly beautiful. She has one of the finest voices in progressive rock history. Her live band delivers an exquisite performance. The band features two extremely gifted keyboardists, Rave Tesar on piano and keyboards and Tom Brislin on symphonic keyboards, synths and samplers. Bassist Leo Traversa gets several opportunities to showcase his talent, offering stirring jazz-infused grooves. The band also features Mark Lambert on delightful acoustic guitars and backing vocals; and the creative drumming of Frank Pagano.

This concert features a mix of classic Renaissance fan-favorites along with newer material. It’s truly memorable musicianship. On the final piece, “Ashes Are Burning” the musicians perform a series of solos and improvisations including a knockout synth solo by Tom Brislin.

The DVD is available in NTSC all-region and compatible with PAL DVD players and televisions.

Live at The Union Chapel is a remarkable performance by one of the great masters of symphonic progressive rock. Annie Haslam has found a formidable band and I look forward to more recordings by this talented set of artists.

Buy Live at The Union Chapel