Versatile Jazz Trumpet

Shunzo Ohno - ReNew (Pulsebeats, 2015)
Shunzo Ohno – ReNew (Pulsebeats, 2015)

Japanese musician and composer Shunzo Ohno is one of the finest trumpeters in the current jazz scene. ReNew showcases his versatility with a set of modern jazz combined with funk and world music elements. The album features notable performances by Ohno and his colleagues. It’s dedicated to the people of Northern Japan and Nepal who are recovering from natural disasters.

Highlights include “Musashi” where Ohno injects funk, global percussion, spoken word, and electronic processed trumpet. Another high point is “Tairo Bushi”, a folk song from northern Japan. This piece includes Indian tabla, a synth solo and Ohno’s trumpet delivering a Japanese folk melody.

Another high spot is “First Step.” This is the classic jazz piece where practically every musicians gets his noteworthy solo. Ohno uses various trumpet techniques. The electronic processed trumpet is especially mesmerizing.

Lastly, another great track is the final composition, “ReNew Reprise”. It’s a slow tempo piece with a wonderful mix of trumpet, cello global percussion.

The lineup on ReNew includes Shunzo Ohno on trumpet; Buster Williams on bass; Billy Drummond on drums; Cyro Baptista on percussion; Jerome Jennings on drums; Ray Spiegel on tabla; Clifford Carter on keyboards; Ed Howard on bass; David Berkman on piano; Sasha Ono on cello; Paul Bollenback on guitar; Jerome Jennings on drums; Ira Coleman on bass; and George Yamazawa on spoken word.

Absorbing Atmospheres

Craig Padilla – Heaven Condensed (Spotted Peccary, 2016)

American synthesist Craig Padilla creates electronic space music deeply inspired by the classic Berlin School sound. You’ll experience a cosmic voyage with drifting atmospheres and trance-like sequencers that recall the best works by Klaus Schulze and early Tangerine Dream.

Padilla uses a fabulous collection of analog and digital synthesizers along with sequencers and samplers.

Heaven Condensed is an exquisitely crafted set of hypnotic electronic pieces by one of the most talented synthesists in the American scene.

Buy Heaven Condensed

Trance Electronic Music duo Cosmic Gates Releases “am2pm” Video

Trance-style electronic music duo Cosmic Gates has released a cinematic, traveling video for “am2pm,” the first single from their mix compilation series Wake Your Mind Sessions 002 (Black Hole Recordings). The video was directed by Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic, featuring scenic shots of The Death Valley (California), Los Angeles (California), and The Grand Canyon (Arizona).

German producers Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems are behind Cosmic Gate, one of Germany’s most successful and lasting electronic acts. The duo has created some of electronic trance music’s iconic singles, including classics such as “Be Your Sound,” “Fire Wire,” and “Exploration of Space.”

Greg Lake Releases a Statement about Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake - Photo © Neal Preston/Corbis
Keith Emerson and Greg Lake – Photo © Neal Preston/Corbis

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
.”

Greg Lake
London – March 12, 2016

Progressive Rock Legend Keith Emerson Dies at 71

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

Farmhouse Odyssey, State Of The Art Progressive Rock from California

Farmhouse Odyssey – Farmhouse Odyssey (2015)

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.

Buy Farmhouse Odyssey

Impeccable Avant Rock Artistry

Loomings - Everyday Mythology (AltrOck Productions Alt-048, 2015)
Loomings – Everyday Mythology (AltrOck Productions Alt-048, 2015)

Italian multi-instrumentalist Jacopo Costa takes the listener into a wild ride of avant-garde rock with unexpected twists and turns. The band’s sounds revolves around the multiple layers of vocal interplay, outstanding vibraphones and bass. You’ll find Rock in Opposition connections along with echoes of Frank Zappa, the zanier side of Canterbury, some Zeuhl and even occasional doowop.

Loomings was founded in Strasbourg (France) in 2012 by Jacopo Costa along with three classically-trained vocalists: Maria Denami, Ludmila Schwartzwalder and Benoît Rameau; bassist Louis Haessler; and percussionist Enrico Pedicone.

Everyday Mythology includes impeccable examples of avant-garde rock craftsmanship performed by a fascinating ensemble of talented vocalists and musicians.

Buy Everyday Mythology

Iconic Afro-Cuban jazz-rock fusion group Síntesis to celebrate its four decades in Havana

Síntesis
Síntesis

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.

Multifaceted Earthscapes

Julian Julien - Terre II (A Bout De Son, 2015)
Julian Julien – Terre II (A Bout De Son, 2015)

French musician and composer Julian Julien delivers a series of musical vignettes inspired by international photography and cinema. The music crosses numerous stylistic boundaries, depending on the context or theme. You’ll find ambient electronic moods, avant-garde experimentation, new jazz, world music, classical music, minimalism, Zeuhl-style electric bass, and cinematic environments.

Julian Julien uses a mix of wind instruments and percussion performed by musicians who come from a jazz, classical and rock background, including Frédéric Collignon (cornet, vocals), Siegfried Canto (flute), Michaël Havard (soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone) and Rémi Dumoulin (bass clarinet). Other musicians include Hélène Argo (vocals), Guillaume Billaux (guitar), and Adeline Lecce (cello).

Terre II is a beautifully crafted collection of multifaceted music pieces deeply inspired by the various currents in today’s progressive music.

Buy the album from www.julianjulien.com

Progressive Music Trio Consider The Source Releases Free Album

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.

Tracks include:

1. Aquarians (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
2. You Are Obsolete (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
3. Tsim Sha Tsui (World War Trio Part III, 2015)
4. Put Another Rock In That Bag [single edit] (World War Trio Part I, 2014)
5. Closer To Home (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
6. \ i / (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
7. Blue Steel (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
8. Moisturize The Situation (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
9. Constantly Nostalgic (Esperanto, 2006)
10. Patterns (Esperanto, 2006)
Bonus Track: Past Is Prologue (Untitled EP, 2005)

Free Compilation Album Download link

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