(UK) "JAW DROPPING" - 5 stars - CD Baby
(Germany) "ROCK COLOSSUS" - 4.5 stars - Eclipsed Magazine
(Germany) "GRAND ROCK" - Der Anzeigenkurier Magazine
(Germany) "AN AMAZING LIVE ACT!" - Burg Herzberg Festival
(USA) "ABSTRACT, CEREBRAL, ANGULAR, QUIRKY & JARRING"- All Music.com
(Australia )"A MAELSTROM OF MUSIC" - ModMove
(Mexico) "SUPERDYNAMIC" - Tarkus
(Mexico) "TALENT & SINCERITY" - El Regional
(UK) "KITCHEN OF A CHINESE RESTAURANT" - Ray Bennett - FLASH
(Netherlands) "INTELLIGENCE, HUMOUR & GUSTO" - JazzFlits
(Italy) "INSTRUMENTAL VERTIGO" - Eventyr Records
(Serbia) "BLOODY HARD ROCK" - Rock Express
(Portugal) "PERFECT PERFORMANCE" - Prog-Pt
(USA)"GENIUS" - Obscuro Music
(USA)"WE JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH TriPod" - Progressive Edge
(Russia) "3 COMPLETELY WILD & CRAZY GUYS" - In Rock Magazine
(Germany) "AN ALMOST SEXUAL ENERGY" - Babyblaue-Seitan
(USA) "FASCINATING CACOPHONY" - Amplifier Magazine
(France) "A REVELATION" - Harmonie Magazine
(Italy) "MUST HEAR" - Paperlatte Magazine
(France) "MONOLITHIC" - Radio France
(USA) "A SMOKIN' RELEASE" - Ghostland
(Japan) "PUNCHY AGGRESSIVE ATTITUDE" - Euro Rock Press Magazine
(Italy) "SCORES A BULL'S EYE" - Radionotte
(Netherlands) "A MASTER WORK" - Prog-nose
(Italy) "ONE BEAUTIFUL CD - Musique.It
(South Korea) "BRAND NEW JAZZ" - Jazzmatazz
(Chile) "TIGHT AND EXCELLENT BAND" - Arproch
(USA) "QUICK'n'TWISTY" - AmbiEntrance
(Italy) "SWEEPING LIVE PERFORMANCES" - Spazio Di Musica Alternativa
(USA) "A WAKE-UP CALL" - ProgNaut
(Norway) "ACTIVE INSANITY" - Tarkus
(Mexico) "SIMPLY ASTONISHING & UNCLASSIFIABLE" - Radio Educativa
(Costa Rica) "ON MY TOP 10 LIST for 2003"- Musica Progressiva
(Panama) "UNIQUE AND PROGRESSIVE FORCE" - Mundo Rock Zero
(USA) "I AM MIGHTILY IMPRESSED"- Downtown Music Gallery
(Mexico) "FULL OF MUSICAL VITAMINS" - La Corte Final
(Spain) "TRUE VIRTUOSI" - Spanish Progressive Rock
(USA) "THIS POWER TRIO PACKS A PUNCH"- New Ears
(Finland) "WHAT THE DICKENS" - Colossus Magazine
(Italy) "QUITE REVOLUTIONARY" - Tales of Wonder
(USA) "WHOLLY NEW GEM"- Rock Reviews
(Latvia) "TRUE MASTERS OF THEIR TRADE"- Panaceja
(Italy) "NEARLY BLASPHEMOUS" - JAM Magazine
(Russia) "I WILL LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM OVER & OVER" - M/Legion Magazine
(Italy) "INDEED REMARKABLE" - Music on TNT
(Germany) "THE INSANITY OF TriPod"- Underground Empire
(USA) "AMAZING POWER TRIO" - Big Balloon Music
(Italy) "POWERFUL IMPACT " - Altre Musiche
(Germany) "COMPLEX MONSTER - 6 stars - Daredevil Magazine
(USA) "STUDIED CHAOS"- Cosmik Debris
(Germany) "UNDISPUTED MASTERPIECE" - Home of Rock
(Italy) "DAMN GOOD " - Arlequins
(Netherlands) "CONTEMPORARY & SUPERMODERN" - East Court Fusion Music
(Indoneisa) "I WAS STUNNED" - Metal East Teen
(Denmark) "YOU'RE WARNED" - Music By Mail
(Norway) "TIGHT AS HELL" - 4 stars - Monster Rock Magazine
(USA) "FEVERISHLY RECOMMENDED" - All About Jazz - USA
(Germany) "PRICELESS" - Ragazzi
(Costa Rica) "LABYRINTHIAN DYNAMISM" - Progresiva70s
(Scotland) "SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE" - Zeitgeist
(Germany) "UNCOMPROMISING MUSIC " - Progressive Newsletter
(USA) "THESE GUYS WILL BLOW YOUR FACE OUT" - Aural Innovations
(Italy) "VIOLENT BUT DELICIOUS" - Movimenti Prog
(USA) "IN YOUR FACE, CULTURED & CONFIDENT" - Giant Progweed
(Uzbekistan) "MIND-BLOWING" - 5-Stars - ProgressoR
(Italy) "THREE-HEADED MONSTER" - All About Jazz - Italy
(USA) "YOU REALLY NEED TO HEAR THIS BAND" - 4.5 Stars - Electric Earwig
(Norway) "MASTERPIECE" - Mr. Bluestrain
(UK) "SUPERB ALBUM" - Feedback Fanzine
(Italy) "AMAZING" - 5 stars - Agartha
(Argentina) "WELCOME TO THEIR WORLD: EXTREME SENSATIONS" - Nucleus
(USA) "A UNIQUELY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE" - 4 stars - Epinions.com
(Israel) "RELENTLESS INTENSITY" - 4 stars - Let It Rock - DME
(USA) "STRANGELY ENTERTAINING" - 4 stars - ESpudd
(Spain) "BRILLIANT MOMENTS" - TomaJazz
(Quebec, Canada) "EXCELLENT WORK " Proglands
(France) "ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE" - Something Prog
(Italy) "HERETICAL MUSIC " - MusiKàl!
(Panama) "ENORMOUS MUSICAL CUFF ON THE EARS"- Avant Garde Music
(Belgium) "NEW AND ADVENTUROUS" - Radio Dakka Dakka
(USA) "ONE RAUCOUS, ROARIN' RIDE" - Sea of Tranquility
(Canada) "NOT A DULL MOMENT" - Proggnosis
(UK) "BOUNDARIES ARE BROKEN" - Hairless Heart Herald
(Germany) "RIFFING & HARD" - Babyblaue-Seitan
(UK) "DYNAMIC EDGE & DRIVING PACE" - New Horizons
(USA) "YOU WON'T MISS THE KEYBOARDS OR GUITARS" - Progressive Ears
(Germany) "STAND THE TEST OF TIME" - RWoP
I can't believe this record --really!
This rating goes to 5 stars: unfortunately I can't allocate it a hundred bright shiny things! This is an excellent record for ANYONE. Jaw-dropping stuff for musicians, especially. They'll wig out to the melodies, which interact in tasty fashion with the time sigs and quirky rhythms. Highly recommended, folks!
-- d. h. spider
TriPod's debut CD was released three years ago but was not officially offered for the first time in our region until now. It is impossible to ignore, and necessitates us giving new and intense consideration to this Rock Colossus, which plays without guitar or keyboard. Using only bass, drums and saxophone, this trio has a unique configuration and fits within a musical grouping including artists such as John Zorn and Frank Zappa. Similar to "21st Century Schizoid Man", which was devilish and made you look over your shoulder all the time, TriPod's "Dance of the Kabuki" is another example of how to escalate the joy of music; the perfection of the piece is incomparable. "Conversation Drag" awakens your senses to great ideas that others would surely make into a entire album. "As The Sun" with its art rock disposition could be compared to Crimso's work such as "The Court of the Crimson King", which is extreme.
Translated by Iris Romano
Inspired New York sounds "TriPod" at the Zappanale 17 - Grand rock without guitar and key board!
Good rock music without guitar and keyboard - can that be played at all? With "TriPod" it is. The New York band, with the songs of singer and bassist Clint Bahr, was a first time visiting artist at the 17th annual Zappanale in Bad Doberan. Musicians from Germany and from around the world met at that three-day Music Marathon in Mecklenburgian, which always inspires thousands of new fans. The festival at the Baltic Sea coast is a unique and international homage to the American avant-garde composer Frank Zappa and his music. In addition to the Progressive Metal Jazz Jam Rock of "TriPod", also to be experienced at Zappanale 17 was Hochkaraeter. In addition were special guest stars, guitarist Adrian Belew (USA), discovered by Frank Zappa, and also jazz rock legend Soft Machine from Great Britain.
The most grand, and remarkable, were the songs of Clint Bahr and his two fellow band members Steve Romano (drums) and Keith Gurland (saxophone). One could hear influences of King Crimson, Jethro Tull and also jazz legend John Coltrane. Clint Bahr admitted that they were not familiar with much of Frank Zappa's works. Nevertheless, the Zappanale consists of approximately 70 percent of interpretations of the music by the "Maestro" played enthusiastically by performers and 30 percent progressive rock. "The best thing about being here, however, is the public. They really impressed me" said the bassist. "Without exception, they are connoisseurs of the scene. That is a rare experience."
TriPod's music can be best described as a conglomeration of Black Sabbath, Metallica, King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator. The band plays a strange mixture of instruments, Bass, Drums and Sax. An amazing live act !-Burg Herzberg Festival
"ABSTRACT, CEREBRAL, ANGULAR, QUIRKY, CLUTTERED & JARRING!"
TriPod is a rarity: a rock band that has never used a guitarist and has gone out of its way to broadcast that fact. The guitar, of course, is the instrument that has guided countless rock artists over the years from Chuck Berry's rockabilly in the '50s to Bob Dylan's folk-rock in the '60s and '70s to Slipknot's forceful alternative metal in the '90s and 2000s, terms like "guitar-powered" and "guitar-driven" have been applicable to the vast majority of rock recordings. But TriPod is among the exceptions; the New York City-based threesome has, since the late '90s, been rocking loudly and aggressively without the use of a guitarist. TriPod's sound, which is best described as avant-garde rock or alternative rock, is essentially built around horns (mostly sax), electric bass, and drums a combination of instruments that one would expect to find in avant-garde jazz rather than rock.
And in fact, avant-garde jazz especially electric avant-garde jazz is a strong influence on TriPod, whose influences have ranged from Ornette Coleman & Prime Time and Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society to John Zorn, King Crimson, Primus, Yoko Ono, and the late Frank Zappa. There are, at times, hints of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music in TriPod's work, but Roxy Music was much smoother and a lot more polished; TriPod can be a very noisy, chaotic band Roxy Music was never as abrasive as TriPod, whose members clearly identify with the inspired, passionate chaos of free jazz. The New Yorkers do not go out of their way to be accessible; their material can be abstract, cerebral, angular, quirky, cluttered, and jarring and that fondness for abstraction has made the threesome perfect for the downtown Manhattan club scene, where hipsters who fancy Henry Threadgill, Ann Dyer, and Ivo Perelman have also been known to appreciate avant rockers such as My World, Mark D., Dadadah, Lo Galluccio, and Philadelphia's Huffamoose.
TriPod was formed in 1998, when Clint Bahr (lead vocals, electric bass) joined forces with reedman Keith Gurland (alto and tenor sax, clarinet, flute, background vocals). From the beginning, Bahr and Gurland agreed that TriPod would use neither guitar nor keyboards and while a lack of keyboards isn't all that unusual for rock, the absence of a guitarist and the fact that Bahr and Gurland had no desire to hire one made TriPod stand out in the Big Apple's insanely crowded rock scene. Between 1998 and 2001, Bahr and Gurland went through a series of drummers in terms of drummers, TriPod was a revolving door during that period. But in 2002, the drummer position became more stable with the arrival of Steve Romano (who is still with the band). TriPod had only been together a few months when, in 1998, they caught the attention of Genya Ravan, formerly of the '70s horn band Ten Wheel Drive. In 1999, Ravan produced TriPod's debut album; in 2003, they recorded their sophomore album (a self-titled disc) for the Moonjune label and co-produced it with Ron Allaire.
"A MAELSTROM OF MUSIC"
There are those that say the true avant-garde doesnt and cannot exist in recorded music. That as music goes through the recording process, it becomes something commercial in nature and the danger and unpredictability is removed. While there is some truth in those words, there are music projects that are so far removed from the mainstream and so challenging that they come close to fitting that lofty description.
TriPod, the band and album hail from New York City and that location makes perfect sense when you spin the 14 tracks. Just like walking down the streets of NYC and hearing a different language and seeing a different lifestyle around every corner, the songs here constantly evolve and change, almost every bar itself is a self-contained composition. Also like the Big Apple with its constant change of cadence in the spoken word, the tracks here almost defy all standard time signatures. In most hands this level of movement would equate to an unmitigated mess, not so here.
This trio sounds like a mix of so many different bands that it transcends mere comparisons and becomes unique. Imagine 12 string bass, bass pedals, flute, sax, clarinet, theremin, drums and acoustic and electronic percussion just to name a few, used and abused in the service of some very original compositions. Its beyond metal, with its entrenched tempo and jazz with its predictable unpredictability, this stuff is truly out there.
Clint Bahr, Steve Romano and Keith Gurland are to be congratulated for creating a maelstrom of music this distinctive and demanding. Play TriPod after any music you can think of and it sounds like the illogical conclusion of mad muse and musical might.
A Full Theater that Was Testimony of the Importance of the Festival! Kudos to Alfonso Vidals who surely will have better statistics than ever since the theater was packed to bursting, I was bathed in the great music of the American band TriPod, who made good vibrations with the assistance of a superdynamic saxophonist who along with vocalist-bass player, stimulated the spirits of the audience.Tarkus
These New Yorkers are led by Keith Gurland, replacing the 5-chord rock of a Fender guitar, and are a trio emanating insinuating sounds of the Oregon style. The blonde and thin bass player has a look in the style of Peter Frampton and also executed sound effects with pedals, that rather seemed archaic analogs to the speed of the rhythm section of Clint Bahr and Steve Romano, in a demonstration of talent and sincerity, accompanying the lead player who played melody on saxophone (alto and tenor) wireless, in addition to clarinet. This band declared openly that one of their creations was an improvisation.
-Juan David Arenas Arellano
Some friends of mine from New York City - TriPod - came across very well at Baja. Clint Bahr on twelve string bass/vocals. Steve Romano on drums (his set-up looks like the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant) and Keith Gurland on saxes, flute and effects pedals. Keith's a great jazz improviser and on top of that he ran around the stage through much of the show blowing like a madman, jumping over monitors from one end of the sizeable stage to the other and somehow managing to avoid disappearing into the audience. I would vote him a bronze medal at least, for the sprint, and maybe a silver for the hurdle. With somersaults and back-flips he would have got the gold.
The New York trio TriPod are a modern descendant of progressive rock bands from the seventies, such as King Crimson and Van Der Graff Generator. That is not to say that TriPod is making old-fashioned music, it's their musical attitude. Just like the previously mentioned examples, or more recent bands such as Dr. Nerve and the Dutch Blast, TriPod's reedsman Keith Gurland, bass player/singer Clint Bahr, and drummer/percussionist Steve Romano combine the energy of rock with the complexity of jazz and modern classical music.
Bahr and Romano lay the rhythmic foundation, about which the melodies of Gurland now and again meander, and then all three combine in their complexity. The trio plays songs and sometimes abstract instrumental pieces, among which are a pair of studio improvisations. Everything is played with intelligence, humour and gusto, which would certainly radiate even more in their live performances. I would gladly go to see them at the Paradiso or wherever they are in the galaxy.
-Herman te Loo
Does a bass/drums/sax trio come to mind? Obviously, your first thought should be Morphine, the only known current band of this kind that I am aware of. Well, now there is also TriPod, a trio with Steve Romano (drums), Keith Gurland (mostly sax, occasionally flute and clarinet) and Clint Bahr (bass and vocals). To be honest, compared to TriPod, Morphine is a meaningless band, and TriPod shows an extraordinary example of how possible it is to create a fully progressive rock band renouncing guitars, which many illustrious bands did, and renouncing keyboards, too. An instrumental vertigo based on a very powerful and creative rhythm section, full of dynamism with innumerable time signatures and mood changes, while the sax swings from purely jazz convulsions to lyric passages, from melodic and grandiose to dissonant parts, accompanied by very impetuous and masculine lead vocals. The band's sound is close to the Rock-In-Opposition (RIO) sound (this CD easily can be featured on well-known Cuneiform Records) but dispensing with derivative self-imposed improvisations, and preserving the melodic, song-oriented flavor: an example is the second part of "Trip The Light", a sort of the high-fashioned "avant garde pop-jazz". A powerful release, a pearl in the small but very significant MoonJune catalog, the CD ends with seven grandiose minutes of "As The Sun", an amazing prog tune masterfully arranged with unique instrumentation.
Can you imagine a band with no guitars and no keyboards which delivers a true bloody hard rock with a lot of energy? TriPod is the most unusual musical ensemble that I ever had the chance to listen to:The band consists of 12-string bass (Clint Bahr): clarinet, flute and sax (Keith Gurland) and drums (Steve Romano). Bass emphasizes the harmonic parts, while sax's duty is to take care of riffs. Drums and percussion contribute to the full rich sound. With all that you don't miss the other usual instruments. TriPod bases its sound on psychedelic rock mixed with melodic 80's rock with free jazz influence and cabaret flavor. Really, really nteresting.-Zoran Rogosic
Well, what do we have here...? A trio, right? Right! Clint Bahr on vocals and bass, Steve Romano on drums and percussion and Keith Gurland on sax, flute and clarinet. But...what the hell? No keyboards? No guitar? Right! This New York-based band may catch anyone's attention just because of its lineup, but the point is that they really don't need to use this fact for promotion since their music is what really matters. And in what it takes to music, well, we're at the frontier between progressive rock and jazz-rock. The instrumentation leads the music into this style which gains the progressive flavour through the refined composition and emotive vocals, and the jazz-rock flavour through some feeling of improvisation and the perfect performance by these guys. Jerome's Spotlight warns us on what's to come. Despite being some kind of intro, here you can check the spirit that reigns in their mind. Explosive moments supported by intricated rhythms, some fun and the blowing instruments leading the way. Trip The Light reveals the leaning into Crimsonesque areas, mainly circa "Red". But there's not that dark atmosphere that King Crimson usually set. Dance of the Kabukiis one the highlights of this work. Mind-blowing, should I say! There are some traces of Echolyn here, but these guys are from an even more weird planet! No Diamond Cries really defies the fact of this band being a trio since it's incredible how they populate all the sonic spectrum; a very symphonic track, indeed!There are also tracks which are live studio improvisations like Smoke & Mirrors and Fuzz but, to be honest, they seem like well thought-out atmospheric tracks, mainly the first one. I could spend the rest of the review pointing this and that track, but I really feel short of words as each track advances. There are no two similar tracks. Each one is a great surprise! So, if you are into Jazz-Rock and you like King Crimson, Echolyn and love superbly performed music, do yourself a favour and spend your money with this band!
TriPod is comprised of the genius of Clint Bahr (bass - 4, 8, 10, and 12-string), Keith Gurland (saxophones) and Steve Romano(drums/percussion). This New York City band has created an impressive debut CD, called simply TriPod. This ten-track CD covers a wide range of styles ranging from avant-garde to nearly electronic dance music. You'll hear echoes of Gong, Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, and Frank Zappa among others, but TriPod has a unique style all their own.
We just can't get enough TriPod, and apparently neiher can anyone else who's heard them. They have been playing numerous gigs in the New York Area, and have released their first official CD, called, surprisingly enough "TriPod". The trio of Clint Bahr (bass, vocals), Keith Gurland (saxophones) and Steve Romano (percussion) continues to chart an unusual course through the world of modern music.
The band prides itself on not using keyboards or guitars, and you might think someting was missing. Well, it's not. These guys produce a great, solid sound with a lot of theatrical flair. In their first EP, they sounded a lot like Gong, and while you can still hear that influence they have clearly charted a course of their own. The album has a fresh sound, surprising at times, with manic saxophone, lots of tempo changes and complex rhythms, and a hint of the dramatique of French/German cabaret, riminiscent of Roxy Music. They bring excellent musicianship to this well produced album, although one occasionally wishes for a little more of their quiet material for a respite from the craziness.
TriPod is perhaps a bit of acquired taste, but if you like bands such as Gong, Hawkwind, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, and even some of Bowie's more avant garde material with an emphasis on dynamix rhythms and surprising twists in the music, you'll find something here to interest you. We know we really enjoy this band and find their musical explorations fascinating and uniue.
We got 3 copies of this disc, from 3 different sources.
TriPod are three completely wild -and-crazy guys: Steve Romano, percussion; Clint Bahr, lead vocals, 12-string bass, and bass pedals; Keith Gurland, alto and tenor sax, flute, clarinet and back-up vocals. Unconventional, yes, combining rhythm section, vocals and wind instruments, but if you think about it, the group "Me and my friend the truck " [Ya i Druk Moy Gruzovik] made do without the wind instruments. Incidentally, TriPod's energy and the way they handle their material is perfectly comparable to that of YaIDMG: both of them are way reckless, both their styles are devil-may-care youthful abandon. In addition, TriPod hasn't escaped a certain influence of alternative music, though the roots of their style are completely other: hard-fusion, the hardest kind of be-bop and the improvised saxophone madness of King Crimson's "Pictures of a City".
A couple of their compositions are true improv, born in the heat of a recording session. Everything sounds the way it ought to, considering TriPod's make-up and philosophy: lean, ascetic, heavy, masculine, at times in-your-face but not angry or aggressive, rather, dark and ironic. The moan of the clarinet, the laughter of the sax against the background of the skillfully twisted jazz-like riffs, the rumble of the monster bass, and sporadic electronic effects
Spending some time with TriPod is the best way to prove to yourself that you are still alive, especially if you play 3 discs at the same time at full blast.
In Rock Magazine
Translation courtesy Misha Norton
Sometimes it happens (at least to me) like this: I listen to a new album for the first time - and I'm absolutely disappointed. Even if I give the album more tries, nothing changes - the album remains a flop. The CD disappears onto my CD-shelf and gets dusty and forgotten until, after a year, I pull it out again, put it into the player and it works. It may be because my gusto has developed during the last months (at least, I hope so); it may be that I wasn't in the mood for the dirty, urban rock-jazz-prog, nevertheless on this present day I say: rocks, is loud, has an almost sexual energy in their songs (and I surely don't mean cuddly sex with elves).
The noisy, rattling rhythm section; the obscene (I can't think of a better word for) saxophone that sounds so wonderfully indecent that you could picture yourself in the darkest, dirtiest part of a city, in a really bad gin palace; the very extroverted vocals (which are very seventies-alike to me... perhaps something between Steve Harley, Alex Harvey and Glamrock à la early Roxy Music): everything convinces me now.
perform raw music, without any twirls and creates in songs like "Conversation Drag" or "Dance Of The Kabuki" a strange, urbane, almost paranoid mood transposed in electrifying music.I'm aware, this isn't music for everybody: Those who don't look in music only for the same old boring grace, harmony and beauty in perfection-attitude will probably discover something unexpected.
Man I had the weirdest dream last night. I woke up in Oz and decided I'd get the Wizard to send me home, or failing that, Detroit in 1970 when the Stooges and Motown were peaking. On the way I ran into Phish who wanted the Wizard to give them King Crimson's brain. Then Primus showed up and they were going to ask the Wizard for Morphime's courage. And then suddenly Bill Bruford's Earthworks joined the crowd and said they wanted Peter Gabriel's heart - not his shiny new pop heart but the old thumper he had back around Foxtrot - and so off we went to find the Wizard.
When we found him we told him our deepest desires, but rather than give us what we wanted, he told the bands to be themselves and then proceeded to play all of the music that they were and all that they wanted to be all at once. It was a fascinating cacophony, a proggy jazz that swung and lurched and throbbed and satisfied like fusion promised that it would so long ago.
And when I pulled the curtain aside, there were these 3 New York Jazz bohos named Clint Bahr, Keith Gurland and Steve Romano at the controls with no guitars or keyboards, just a 12-string bass with a bank of pedals, and an insane amount of saxes and other winds, and an acoustic/electronic drumkit that would have given Carl Palmer a trouser tent.
Then they told me that home and Detroit in 1970 were both in my heart the whole time and I didn't need anything from them other than their new CD, which they gave me. . Hmmm.... Then I woke up. I've got to quit eating buttermilk ranch pretzels and Coco Puffs after midnight. Or I've got to eat more....
Second album for the New York trio, discovered in our columns in April 2002. Also called "", it will be tricky to differentiate the two albums. Here again is Clint Bahr, Keith Gurland with new addition Steve Romano and their feats of brass, saxophone in the lead with a foundation of bouncing drums and flute or clarinet to add seasoning. Still straddling the wide boundary between Roxy Music (first grind, off the rim and iconoclastic) and Van Der Graaf Generator (first grind, off the rim, austere and visionary), seems expressly to have added what was missing in the first album, that is, keyboard and guitar, although, I'm not so sure. . . Still flying high, especially for those that flash on Zappa and the big family of jazz-rock and rock-jazz, this second album will satisfy the grand proponents of Gong (like Dance of the Kabuki) and a small contingent of admirers of Ozric Tentacles.
Excuse this batch of excessive comparisons written only to convince you of the bizarreness of , a pushed-to-the-limit group, musically speaking. Lacking another way to write about it, citing these comparison groups so abusively, groups so diverse and all-over-the-map, is only my way to rally the public which will be seduced by the brassy rock of New Yorkers. The grand progressive family should be reassured of the talents of , to definitively include it in the list of groups that count, and this second album will, without doubt, be a revelation.
-Jean Claude Granjeon
Translation courtesy BIll Moody
Strange disc, this one, very strange. And not because, as the promotional material says, the trio does not include a guitar or keyboard. Jumping back in time, one of the most respected groups in the history of jazz was the "pianoless quartet" (a quartet which besides not using a piano, also did not include a guitar) that made Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan famous in the 1950's.
So, no surprise, although obviously the surprise would be greater because we find ourselves in the rock environment. But listening to the debut release of - the American trio with Clint Bahr on bass and voice, Steve Romano on percussion and Keith Gurland on winds - we don't notice the lack of these two instruments, as fundamental as they may be. It's hard to catagorize this album, whose sound is as smooth as it is fluid. Jazz-rock? Progressive? Canterbury? We leave it to the listener to decide, but let's say that whoever appreciates the Canterbury genre and the musical acrobatics of Soft Machine as well as the memories of Happy The Man, will find some commonality here, especially owing to the great contributions of Gurland, who dedicates himself to the clarinet, flute and tenor/alto sax. It's a mixture of those three styles, adeptly managed by musicians who clearly know their stuff.
The opening is very pleasing, even if it takes the listener off guard. "Jerome's Spotlight" starts off in fourth gear to then settle into slow and delicate arpeggios. In the more strictly instrumental parts, I would say that the band comes near to what Soft Machine would be doing today, if their career had not been interrupted 20 years ago. Among the "must hears" of the album, we cite "Dance of the Kabuki" but also the atmosphere of "Smoke And MIrrors" and "Fuzz."
Translation courtesy Dan Read
The Moonjune label was devoted solely to distribution of CDs whose music revolved around Soft Machine. This time, the its production is turned towards a rather hard rock progressive trio, without guitar or keyboards, but comprised of a bass player/singer, a percussionnist and a saxophonist. The ensemble sounds sometimes like King Crimson (in particular the drums, with some Bill Bruford style playing), Daevid Allen for the vocals with also reminiscences of Crimso, but I will not write as certain fellow-critics who surely say the saxophonist resembles Coltrane... Perhaps a vague inspiration. Monolithic.
Every once in a while I think it's good to push the listening envelope. For me that means taking in something that is a little more angular or dissonant than what I usually listen to.
That being said it was with some trepidation that I approached the latest self-titled release from the New York based trio known as . Not because of what I thought the music might sound like but rather the somewhat disturbing CD cover graphics. I'm not sure but that alone might put some people off. But close your eyes and put the disc in the player.
It's always amazing to me the affect that challenging music has on me the first couple times I hear it. It's the usual that's an odd bit oh that's pretty harsh oh-no a rather abrupt change that's me looking for all the non-symphonic elements. But then and that's an important "but" each listen brings a better sense of appreciation as the compositions slowly begin to come together in my head. is not "pop" music but it is progressive.
consists of Clint Bahr (vocals, 12-string bass, bass pedals), Steve Romano (acoustic & electronic percussion) and Keith Gurland (alto & tenor sax, flute, clarinet, pedals, backing vocals). Bahr and Gurland hooked up in 1998 and after going through a number of drummers Romano came along in April of 2002 when was launched. Now you'll probably notice the absence of guitars and keyboards from the list of instruments .but you won't notice them missing when you listen to the music. I know it's a bit of a cliché but create a truly unique sound without those instruments but it's like they're there.
Compositionally 's material is as described above, jazz-influenced progressive rock. It's music that changes tempo on a dime and is dominated by woodwinds. They seem to be everywhere. The other sound element that needs to be mentioned is Bahr's use of a 12 string bass and bass pedals. What this does is provide an intricate and solid bottom end rhythm to the proceedings. Structurally the music is very aggressive but can just as easily shift into spacey atmospherics before sliding into a catchy-melodic bit of vocal work. Vocals are present in most of the tracks but they're kept very concise and five of the compositions are instrumentals. The 14 compositions tend to be on the shorter 3 - 5 minute range with a few of them being nothing more than introductions for other pieces. Three of the pieces are just in the seven minute range, but regardless of the length the songs start and stop, speed up and slow down and bounce around with more energy than I've heard in a long time. These guys must be a sight to behold live!
creates music that's more than a little challenging to listen to but once you give it a fair listening more than a few times, there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate here. You may hear a bit King Crimson influence from time to time but it's buried deep within the music. Progressive music like this is sometimes short on melody but again with each successive listen the melodic gems come to the surface more and more. I'll say it again; this is a "smokin'" release. If you like your prog on the angular-adventurous side with lots of woodwinds rush out and pick up , you won't regret it.
A new comer from New York City. The trio's instrumentation is Drums / Bass & Vocals / Sax, Flute, Clarinet - which is somewhat similar to that of Etron Fou Leloublan, but has a more punchy aggressive attitude which is not dissimilar to X-Legged Sally (but I should note this twisted yet aggressive style was originated in the New York City downt town avant scene).
The bassist's use of bass pedals, and his utilizing the high & low end of the 12-string bass gives the band a thicker sound (as if there were a guitar player). Also the drummmer adds extra (programmed like) timbre by using electric percussion effectively. The sax/wind player handles both the tight unison phrasing and also the freaky blow outs. As a whole they handle a lot of tricky rhythm patterns effectively, yet manage to keep accessibility in the music (with even a pop feeling sometimes).
Translation courtesy Nakanishi Nobuhisa
It is rare to find something of true value and yet have it increasingly hit you. And even more so in music. This CD, from an American band founded in 1999, is effectively something unexpected. A product of Moonjune Records, (a label that is housed in New York but has published (among others) live albums from some Italian bands, includingDFA and Finisterre), the album is introduced in all its splendor from its first notes.
But let us go in order... The members of the group are Clint Bahr lead vocals & bass player, Steve Romano on percussion, and Keith Gurland on woodwinds. As you may notice they are a trio and in case you are worried about the lack of instruments or the possible shortage of sound. You could not be more mistaken!
Indeed that hypothesis is strongly refuted by this trio that offers us a devastating wall of sound. This comes through a series of musical compositions (all original and written by the band) and they do not leave any empty spaces or moments of empty timbre. The sound flows incessantly and assaults the listener with violent but specific effectiveness. There can be made comparisons to the dignified music of the first King Crimson (whether you like them or not) meets Van der Graaf Generator, while the exquisite sound of is a powerful voice on its own and an amalgam of the rest.
Their music is not essentially definable in a very precise canonical musical genre; it has ranges from jazz but is not jazz, to more extreme rock but it is also not rock, until arriving to tracks where electronic music stands out. It is simply classic progressive rock. The album is not smeared by any concessions, and ranges from eye-popping to tailored collective virtuosity. 's debut album, therefore, scores a bull's eye, exceeding expectations and surprising this reviewer with an original sound, a good recording and an ensemble that it has put to fruition all the potential and the timbre that can be obtained from a trio.
I add that it is difficult to believe that such a decidedly European sound was played and produced in the U.S.A. and is a credit to Moonjune Records, to which my personal encouragement goes at least to continue on the same road, made of small but superlative releases. For anyone who wanted to purchase this album, unlike most discs you hear on Radionotte, you will not find it in a common record store yet, you will have to order it directly from the Moonjune Records. Good luck with your purchase!
A progressive rock-album with bass, drums and woodwinds? I admit that is something you don't experience much in this world. But apparently it is possible, although the music of the poetic New York City band leans more toward jazz-rock than at real progressive rock. And when listening, inevitably you make connections with King Crimson; there are not many other reference points, so you can call this the original link. As a matter of fact, does not imitate Crimson; they call themselves rock-band, but then nevertheless they are very special!
The music is carried by the 12-string bass of Clint Bahr, the different woodwind instruments (bass pedals, flute, sax) of Keith Gurland, and a firm rhythmic support by drummer Steve Romano. The result is a dynamic and vigorous sound, where you do not miss immediately guitar and keyboards, this album has full music sounds. Guitars are easily replaced by a multi-string bass and bass pedals, and the keyboards were cleared out for all kinds of wind instruments.
And there perhaps lies the problem with , you must be already completely accessible for this mixture of jazz-rock, fusion and progressive rock. Canterbury-scene aficionados and banner bearers of Van Der Graaff Generator and Soft Machine will be happy to join this party, the symphonic progger on the other hand will possibly have difficulty with the sometimes very complex and agitated arrangements. At some moments there is too much good improvisational sounding parts and one loses sight of the real song.
The beginning of the album is replete with rather strong amusing sounds as in "Dance of the Kabuki", music which seems suitable for a movie. Sometimes it also goes in the direction of that other prog trio (with different instruments) ELP, the voice of Bahr seems thus sometimes similar to that of Greg Lake.
But also, rather unnecessary, intermezzos are frequently inserted between tracks and certain good numbers are too short, leaving you hungry for more. Musically it beats all, the technical skills of the three masters are above reproach, especially in the last numbers such as 'As the Sun' there is an interaction interesting between these uncommon prog-instruments.
In short, this debut album is certainly worth it for the real lover (some will consider this perhaps as a master work), yet if they are looking for broader public appeal the music would have to be planed. More to follow!
-Claude 'Clayreon' Bosschem
Discovered by the mythical Genya Ravan while playing at CBGBs, this trio offers its first album on a planetary scale thanks to MoonJune, the prodigal label of rock progressive discoveries. It suggests descriptions from the critic like "brave", the line-up is unusual, with no guitar or keyboards, in favour of a rhythm section accompanied by sax, clarinet or flute. The technical preparation of Clint Bahr (bass), Keith Gurland (woodwinds) and Steve Romano (drums) is decidedly remarkable, considering also that the three are not callow youth but, rather, have numerous experiences, including orchestral.
The fourteen tracks of this album move along without impediments between various genres, fusing jazz licks with typically Crimsonesque progressions, surprising the listener with unexpected hard and unrelenting spigolose that reminds us of a more musical funk. A highlight of the album is "Fuzz", seven minutes of an in studio improvisation that will remind you of "Starless and Bible Black", with a robust bass that operates contrapuntally to the escapades of a psychotic sax. It sings, considering the difficulty to insert an articulated musical sostrato in an improv, therefore, delineated well enough, with melody that agilely avoids the stucchevolezza.
follows in the footsteps of progressive rock with their own musical language that exceeds Prog's own pompous definition and has still something to say today. It sure is one beautiful CD.
King Crimson meets Primus
**** (4 Stars)
As the title of my review for this album tells, it is definitely a mixture of two different types of music. One is progressive rock and the other is jazz. It also reminds me of Swedish prog band Anglagard. But not that dark or heavy. However the music contained in the CD doesn't allow me to put it in exact category. It is nearer to Prog than to Jazz. Since the so called "death of prog", recently it's not been easy to find bands who dare to play this type of music, and it's sad. That's why finding the music of this band brings a meaningful message especially to those eager to find good music somewhere. Musically speaking, you can experience prog-art rock, jazz,avant-garde and pop rock all at the same time on this CD. But if your point of view were different, you would call it brand new jazz.
Keith Gurland's sax reminds us of Andy Mackay (Roxy Music). Clint Bahr's bass is similiar to Les Claypool of Primus. All 14 tracks are well recorded. If there is a complaint, the music is so hybrid and it's not easy to find out what their true face is. I mean it's not easy to target certain music listeners. On the other hand, it can appeal to jazz maniacs who also enjoy rock. Their playing is great as well as the recording. It only needs some hooks in the melody. Personally I suggest that if they had played heavier, darker or lighter, their music would be more welcomed by music fans. Obviously the style of music which is played by them now has a limited draw for casual listeners. But the 5th track No Diamond Cries shows they also have potential into the pop rock charts. Just give it a shot and you won't be disappointed!
-Che Hae Yong
"TIGHT AND EXCELLENT BAND"
is a very particular American trio, introducing us to their debut CD on September 2003. The band is Clint Bahr on Lead Vocals, 12 string bass and bass pedals, Steve Romano on acoustic and electronic percussion, and Keith Gurland on sax, flute, clarinet, pedals and vocals.
Maybe this is the most unusual thing about this band: a progressive number without keyboards and guitars. In spite of this, we didn't miss these instruments because of the musical orientation of the band, reminiscent mainly of early King Crimson, but with a more pared down and tight rhythm section. In some pieces, the wind section could fill the role of the mellotron, and the basses are very well written and arranged, in a way that we don't detect the lack of the harmonic instruments. The Chilean band Akineton Retard could be a point of reference, but 's approach to the music is more structured and less wild.
The CD have 14 tracks , most of them run between 3 and 5 minutes, being a "cut to the chase" approach to the music. The production is very good, but not brilliant, with an excellent sound. The playing is great, and in a few moments near to Jazz. The players aren't virtuosos, but they are a very tight and excellent band.
In a summary, a very recommended CD to the people who enjoy the Rock in Opposition and early King Crimson.
The three-pronged prog/rock attack of is delivered in its uniquely sans-guitars/keyboards line-up, as manned by Steve Romano (acoustic/electronic percussion) , Keith Gurland (sax, flute, clarinet, pedals, vocals) and Clint Bahr (12-string bass, lead vocals). The show opens on Jerome's Spotlight featuring quick'n'twisty outpourings of instruments, and even quicker, twistier vocals! Sultry stepper Trip the Light swaggers with earned arrogance. Gentle pastoral winds wash over brief Prelude just before No Diamond Cries kicks in with grand intensity.
Another shorty, East Flatbush thumps with spastic e-percussion, followed immediately (and with immediacy!) by the warping, weaving Buzz. In a smokily brooding haze, Smoke & Mirrors reveals the trio's mellower moments (or would they be in the spooky mists of Ghosts?) I prefer these more-atmospheric times to the jazzesque freakouts, like in live-improv Fuzz which sashays sassily and adeptly... just not so much my thing. Sharp production and playful skillfullness get a B anyway.
-David J Opdyke
is the latest addition to the MoonJune label: is a New York trio, apparently without a past, , created at the end of 1998, by a contact between Clint Bahr (bass/vocals) and Keith Gurland (woodwinds) finding their third in April 2002 with the addition of drummer Steve Romano. Their sweeping live performances were discovered by the producer Genya Ravan; who produced their debut promotional album, described as an inspired mixture of King Crimson, Cheap Trick and John Coltrane.
Their debut release effectively introduces their interesting distinctiveness, thanks to their unique sound; delivers a more incisive and elaborate sound than Morphine (comprised of an instrumentation similar to but presenting a cruder sound), but the influences that nearly unavoidably emerge refer more to Van Der Graaf Generator than to the previously cited bands.
The good use of saxes, clarinet and flute on the part of Keith Gurland reminds us of David Jackson, but that said does not sufficiently describe the personality of the band, which is also effected by the use of acoustic and electronic drum kits and the ample phantom sound of the 12-string bass (used at times like a guitar, very much the British approach) which contribute to differentiate the final result from other bands.
The trio intentionally included two live studio improvised tracks, a testament to the versatility of their songwriting that, in effect, appears more inspired when it is not subordinated to constructing songs, freeing the band to play in a more free jazz style.
The opening track, "Jerome's Spotlight" brings the Cardiacs to mind, yet is obviously streamlined from said band's more numerous instruments, while elsewhere ("Conversation Drag") elements emerge that remind us of Gong. Elaborate and yet listenable at the same time, the sound of is in a position to reach far and wide. In order to appreciate the value of this band, l encourage you to purchase this CD through the MoonJune label.
Spazio Di Musica Alternativa
is a wake-up call to stagnant progressive rock. By that I mean, this NY-based power trio (drums, bass, sax) provides a dynamic often violent brand of modern fusion based music.. Steve Romano (drums) is by far one of the greatest drummers of this and any genre, hands down. He combines rock and jazz parts equally. Keith Gurland works his alto & tenor saxophones into a frenzy, recalling some of the early horns of King Crimson in some ways. To make this union complete, vocalist Clint Bahrs vocal delivery is refreshing, with all the Collins, Gabriel, etc. clones rampant. His vocals alternate between a quirky Les Claypool style to a more straightforward style which reveals a very pleasant midrange voice when needed. Plus he plays 12-string bass. which make for a deep, growling tone that easily makes up for the lack of a a distorted 6-string guitar power chords. He is an unsung Bass God!
These three guys are undoubtly a progressive rock band; there are moments of subtlety and serenity, but these are overshadowed, in a good way!. So if you want an aggressive power trio that is NOT rooted in the prog-metal genre then do yourself a big favor and pick up a copy today! You wont regret it!
The awesome American trio along with their debut album has arrived and totally turned upside down my impressions of what a trio consisting of bass, sophisticated woodwinds (sax, flute & clarinet) and a drummer are able to do. The French trio Volapük have the highly creative instrumentation of cello, drum, and bass clarinet, but they are by no means as hot as .
's music is absolutely stripped down, hard rock along with a lot of jazz, with a style somewhere between that of King Crimson and Morphine.The sax reminds us a good deal of Van Der Graff Generator and the bass playing is similar to John Wetton on steroids. ("is it feasible?!" I think so.) Their sound is absolutely concentrated and most of the songs are over 4 minutes, but the band puts a good deal of music in that amount of time. In addition, they present their songs with dynamic diversity that ranges from active insanity to calmer sections with vocal solo and whistle.
is a band that deserves to be heard by considerably more than just the few who heard their promo CD.-Trond Gjellum
The sound of the band is simply astonishing and unclassificable. My friends of the jazz show in the same station borrowed my cd and also played a couple of songs on their show. Pretty adventurous but with a clear musical idea, not just weird improvisations.
It is intriguing that this CD was produced without the aid of guitars and keyboards. Also, in truth, while listening to this great and bombástic offering, one does not feel the lack thereof, a feat not easy to accomplish I believe.
is a power trio whose unusual configuration, consists of vocals, 12-string bass, bass pedals (Clint Bahr), acoustic and electronic percussion (Steve Romano) and a wind section that includes alto and tenor sax, flute, clarinet and pedals (Keith Gurland). It is Keith's sound that grants that "special enchantment " to this work: without a doubt, very rich spaces, forms, textures and atmospheres. They really surprise the listener.
Definitively we are hearing experienced, professional and expert musicians at their art.
is one of the select artists on the MoonJune label, small yet well esconced in the world-wide the musical scene that it combines subgenra such as rock, fusion and jazz. is a success without a doubt.
consists of 14 tracks, 2 of which are live studio improvisations which cast no doubt on the abilities of the musicians: Tracks #8 & #13: -"Smoke & Mirrors" and "Fuzz", respectively.
voyages through the lands of Jazz-Rock, Jazz-Fusion and Progressive Rock (avant-garde). We hear passages that remind us of King Crimson in their jazzy "Lizard" stage, and of Soft Machine and Van Der Graaf Generator and continue on until we arrive at the mythic John Coltrane.
is their first release..., and we are already waiting for their secondl. Highly recommendable.
is on my top ten list of BEST 2003´s albums. Period !!.---
appears as a succession of sounds and the total absence of guitars and pianos replaced by the woodwinds of Keith Gurland. An aggressive fusion that bursts in into scene with Steve Romano on percussion and Clint Bahr on vocals and bass. Fusion of unique and progressive force. A shining American surprise of unquestionable quality with an enormous future.
Mundo Rock Zero
is Clint Bahr on 12-string bass & vocals, Keith Gurland on saxes, flute, clainet & pedals and Steve Romano acoustic & electronic percussion. The MoonJune label is a most impressive local prog label that is run by our good friend and fellow Canterbury fanatic Leonardo Pavkovic and who released the great Soft Works & Elton Dean CDs earlier this year.
are a local prog trio that I hadn't heard until now, but I am mightily impressed. With the same instrumentation as UK seventies trio Back Door, there is a similarity in sound. 's sound is tight, intricately composed and well played. Think the mathematical-angularity approach to avant-jazz fusion of, say, Dr. Nerve! They also remind me of Van Der Graaf Generator in spots, with their dark sound - fuzz bass, layered and at times processed saxes, sort of goth lyrics and feisty lead vocals. There are a few short instrumental and/or improvised pieces that show a crafty, more restrained side. One of things I dig about that this band is that their sound is somewhat stripped down without some of that prog bombast, so that these tunes can be tasty without going over the top, the way Van Der Graaf often does.
I would imagine that this trio is great live and we will a chance to see & hear them soon.
Downtown Music Gallery
Moonjune Records is a recent musical label which in its short but successful career has given excellent results by giving us great bands as Finisterre, DFA, Softworks, and now an American somewhat bizarre band filled with energy and imagination called .
is one of those 'power trios' so popular nowadays, with the notable exception that the line up consists of drums, bass-vocals and woodwind instruments (sax, clarinet, etc), which is something that personally I haven't heard before. Such line up presents not only a pleasant and refreshing surprise, but also an enormous risk to give up traditional instruments such as keyboards or guitar. Nevertheless, emerges with great success on their musical adventure by giving us energetic complex music, a little bit acid and full of musical vitamins.
Those who are in love with the classic prog symphonic music of bands such as Genesis, Marillion, Renaissance, etc. will receive this work as an authentic knock out, a huge musical slap, but the people who appreciate complex imaginative music as King Crimson (Red) or Echolyn, will indubitably welcome this band to the club of prog music for adult (over 21) ears, because this debut album is complex, with a lot of influences but takes care to not sound like a clone of any of them and with vocals that completely match the musical style, not too melodic or 'nice', but also not the babbling screams of metal, the voice is another instrument matching the existing sound, not trying to dominate or emerge as the main resource.
is a highly difficult record to digest, but this is not bad, on the contrary. It's the kind of record that you have to listen to a couple of times to make it click into our ears. For more information of this and other fantastic new bands, I suggest you visit www.moonjune.com.
La Corte Final
is an atypical power-trio. Though the soloist elements of the power trios are often a guitarist or a keyboardist, in this occasion it is a saxophonist.
This one is the second album of this band from New York, an album that is titled exactly as the first one (that has not been heard), "", so the most suitable thing would be to call to this second album 2 to avoid confusion.
All three members are true virtuosos on their instruments, emphasizing Keith Gurland, who might be included perfectly among great saxophonists of the progressive rock, and Keith need not envy David Jackson or Mel Collins among others. Also to emphasize the excellent voice of the bassist Clint Bahr who delivers the aggressiveness that we find in the execution of the music. No guitars or keyboards sound in this album, at least if we read the credits, because really some basses sound as if they were guitars, and also it is possible to hear what sounds like a synthesiser in the track "World of Surprise".
To define the music of this trio, we might refer perfectly to Van der Graaf Generator, Morphine and Primus as more famous possible influences, thoughoften has approximations to more jazzy sounds - like those of French TV for example. On the other hand, they also sound rather jazz-rock and avant-garde, with the spirit of rock and the grit that contributes an important punk or grunge feel, and a progressive soul heard on some tracks which tend to have a structural complexity.
Most of the tracks can enter inside the definitions that I have just specified. There are some more direct tracks - for example "Jerome's Spotlight", "Trip the Light" and "World of Surprise"; and others which are more complex progressive tracks, all of them excellent, as "Dance of the Kabuki", "Conversation Drag", "Fashion", "Fuzz" and "As the Sun".
Also some tracks point in a different direction like the mystic "Smoke and Mirrors" and the slightly more experimental, "Ghosts" and the brief instrumental pieces which are a minute long.
Three tracks of this album already appeared in the first cd of the band.
An excellent album, especially the second half, of an original band that has the ability to bring us much pleasure.
Spanish Prgressive Rock
This power trio packs a punch, even without the use of guitars. This band led by woodwinds with a bass and drum rhythm section rocks out.The band is reminiscent of the King Crimson horn era but with more balls. At times they also remind me of The Lonely Bears. The bass player uses a 12-string Musicvox along with other assorted bass and bass pedals creating a nice wall of sound. This isn't an instrumental album but the music seems more upfront in the production compared to the vocals.
Some of the standout tracks are "Jerome's Spotlight", the fantastic "Trip the Light" and the haunting track "Ghosts". All and all a very good disc that clocks in at around 55:00 minutes. will be a welcome addition to the already impressive record label Moonjune Records.
What the dickens! This kind of instrumentation has been looked forward to since the days of Back Door and Morphine. You guessed it right, the instrument arsenal of the trio from New York reviewed here is a combination of wind instruments, drums and a 12-string bass. When you add to this the fact that there is a huge load of Crimsonesque complexity and that the band is a soulmate with Adrian Belew's GaGa era, you get a hint of what they are all about. The pieces are short, but complex song-based pieces of work, which the trio hurls at you with a convincing touch. Although the aggressive playing and compositions of are admirably in hand, the skilled 12-string bass player does not reach as a soloist the level of his instrument, of which he is a master. The vocals are slightly hushed, which does not fit with the sparkling general tone of the band. In spite of its weaknesses, this is a promising debut from a group with potential for development.
translation courtesy Raili Ojala
is a brave three-piece from New York, who released an eponymous album for MoonJune Records. Why brave? Simply because they decided to play all the songs without guitars and keyboards. Yes, Keith Gurland plays flute, saxophone and clarinet, Clint Bahr sings and plays bass-guitar, the new-entry Steve Romano sits behind the drums.
I think it's very hard to describe their music: they don't strictly follow any particular schemes, they're quite revolutionary and free to make improvisations. Don't be astonished if, listening to this album, you'll probably feel yourself a bit confused among the jazz passages, some Canterburian moments, hard-prog sounds in the vein of King Crimson/VDGG and some funky/pop traces. That's all you can find here... and more.
The most exacting prog fans will certainly buy this album.
Tales of Wonder
It is important to note that nothing about is lacking in originality - this is a wholly new and completely unexpected independent gem that will appeal to fans of progressive/avant-garde rock and jazz alike.
I presume that most readers of these lines have not heard much of , a trio based in the United States. Likewise, very few amongst us will agree that the combination of the bass guitar, the saxophone and the drums, spiced up with some vocals, is the most common mixture in today's rock music. How do they do it without any guitars or synthesizers? No problem!
Having very limited information about 's past ventures in the world of rock, it only a spin of this CD was enough for me to realize that these guys are true masters of their trade, ones that are able to turn the absence of the guitar into sound that is original and atypical.
In part, the 12-string bass guitar as played by Clint Bahr subs for the rhythm guitar, and although there is no traditional guitar-riffing heard on this album, I cannot think of a better term to describe Keith Gurland's sax parts that are, at moments, reminiscent of David Jackson's (ex-Van Der Graaf Generator) vehement playing style. Taking into account that both lead vocals and the bass guitar are handled by a single person, Clint Bahr, I can't help tracing parallels with Les Claypool of Primus, though has a more powerful singer. The witty lyrics, the occasionally funny arrangements and the band's overall style brings the band quite close to Max Webster, Canadian weirdos of late 70s/early 80s. However, despite sounding somewhat similar to other artists, have managed to attain a face of their own - clearly, a point that counts against the twilight of creativity and ideas that exists in the current progressive rock scene.
Speaking of the album's content, a couple of band improvisations ('Smoke & Mirrors', 'Fuzz') and experimental inserts ('East Flatbush', 'Ghosts') sit aside a number of songs in the literal sense of the word, which provides the right amount of contrast and versatility.
Having said a lot in 's favor - and rightly so! - I have to admit that the limited palette of sounds could give the untamed listener a tough time to fully appreciate the album as the contrast can get too sharp, given the small amount of instruments used. For instance, the radio-friendly 'No Diamond Cries' and 'World of Surprise' are miles away from the weirdness of 'Jerome's Spotlight' or 'Conversation Drag'.
To sum it up, I guess this album by will go down very well with the prog community, people who prefer highly technical playing coupled with an interesting combo of fusion, jazz, prog and rock. What about me? Definitely not a beginner, so I'll stay open for more in the years to come!
One of the more obvious defects of progressive rock is the artistic "do-nothing policy". Also being a musical genre that has already passed a quarter decade of life, most times is limited to recycle things already chewed and digested ad nauseum. Simplifying it to the max, of ten new progressive groups, eight copy Genesis, one Yes and one Pink Floyd. Currently, however, one is taking a different road, preferring to follow the lead of another fulgide band that is more progressive in every era: King Crimson.
, an American band, is in this vein, debuting on the MoonJune label. On this disc are various pieces (such as "Trip The Light," "Dance Of The Kabuki" and especially "As The Sun") that refer in some way to the first phase of the band of Fripp.
, then, plays in triangular formation, lacking guitar & keyboards. Nearly blasphemous, for the more traditional prog fan. In truth, their disc is much more progressive than many carbon copies incorporating a mellotron. Clint Bahr, the singer, also plays pedals and a 12-string bass weaves the melodic webbing, the rhythm is supported by the powerful drumming of Steve Romano, over which are the prodigious breaths and excellent solos of Keith Gurland (sax, flute and clarinet).
Rating: 7 out of 10
Because all progressive bands are not retrograde and stale. There are still those who want to experiment.
Theme of today's meeting: "New York - The City of Contrasts". This multimillion megalopolis has produced hundreds of talented and legendary associations literally in every style of music, and, probably one hundred times more - mediocrity and imitators. The New York scene did not once become an originator in the world of music; and it often generates crowds of faceless clones of successful projects originated elsewhere. Such "universal" and many-sidedness in the sense of musical vital activity is municipal on the entire planet - time -two and miscalculated... - rock group, the place dislocation - New York, with all its contrasts. I strongly doubt, that this eclectic band could arise in any small town, because the life of relatively small human communities, as a rule, can be dull and colorless, missing the bright paints, necessary for the appearance what-to/kogo- that uncommon. Read a little Mr. Stephen King (Kasl- fates and other townlets of the state of Maine) - and they everything will become clear.
Thus, I stopped at the eclecticism of this rock trio... Yes, they reality are uncommon - exactly so, to what extent can it be uncommon art- rock - the group, in which no one plays the guitar. Are there bands with other such configurations that you will be able to name? Hardly... Neither guitars nor synthesizers. Band members consist of a vocalist with 12- stringed bass (!), drummer and a multifaceted musician who plays saxophone, clarinet and flute. Can I believe - these fellows assign similar to fumes, which will little seem no one; what only cost these mad solo on sax - about-about- o-o-o! The majority of listeners, even those who prefer a different kind of progressivism to art- rock, can turn off even in the middle of the album: the sonic filling of the CD is very complex for unprepared ears. In principle, this album will be in sharp contrast to those who do not know psychedelic music generally, or for those don't know of King Crimson, or music lovers who have never encountered the creations of Frank Zappa.
Even if you think that you are ready to dip into the pace of the reckless and amelodic avant guard of , by making deliberate musical parallels of its "ordering" and structure to works of the rowdily free-jazz genre, such as that of John Zorn in his Naked City period, you would not be correct for one simple reason: it is better to begin a journey into the peace of free progressive music more than "lungs" for understanding of things. - this is not dull brutal-playing nor even duller "draconian" Power-playing, you will not be overcome by the sudden attack of their sound.
Intensive izdergannost' of the life of human anthill distinctly is reflected in - as if some reckless composer (or the trinity of composers) shifted its life-force, into the music, with all its contrasts... The album does not follow any one theme: in one track sound can lead to the loss of pulse progressive- jazz, in a second - an amazing classical piece, in a third - on -pankovski the a little razgil'dyayskim and the the humoristic (the well adjusted voice of the vocalist contributes to this to a large degree), in a fourth - the strictly academic progressive and the cold. And so on.
If for the approximate comparison some equivalent of heavier music is necessary to you, let this be Craw... or Keelhaul, although even these projects next were not dragged along with om, if we look on the level of "zavernutosti". Moonjune Media - an original label which helps focuses on musicians, whose creations only the small circle of true judges of skill in its pure form will be able to estimate. I will listen to this album over and over. However, Italian D.F.A. - released by the same label is another CD I repeatedly listened to.
-Evgen A. Pilipenko
Attention! Attention! I don't know any other way to say it, but I use this introduction less and less, but for this article I must. I will explain why.
is a group without a past, in the words of vocalist Clint Bahr. They come from New York and they originated in 1998. They are a trio with hard-rock, prog and metal infuences. The uniqueness of the group starts with its instrumentaion: it is a trio comprised of 12-string bass, vocals, drums and sax. No guitars, and they rock. It turns out to be indeed remarkable. The sound produced is powerful and essential, and in order to give you a sense of them - imagine a summit between King Crimson, Primus, Gong and John Zorn. It this strikes you favorably, you should jump into this because of it's worth the pain.
They travel more or less noisily between the syncopated rigors of Robert Fripp (without despising relative passages to the more modern poppier Crimson), the vocal blends with song or of favol-fumettistica formulation, it points to the Canterbury sounding flute and clarinet on a pair of pure improvisational pieces. Their music is complex but not all that radical, and therefore it maintains its fruibilità basis (like sour fruit) that will stimulate the palate's more strong yearnings than sapid sounds and simple structure.
The lack of the guitar is not missed in the total feeling of a rather acerbic sound. For the 12-string bass delivers power and body and very well, and the colors in the bones of the pieces come from a toughened sax that delivers when it serves the piece, but also presents itself relatively softly when emphasizing the melody of the main riff. The technique of the songs is that they play without self-indulgent solos but aim rather at them all playing effectively together, with the sax oft-times in unison with the bass line.
What to say in closing? Indeed an interesting work, with the its corners, its rigidity, and it leaves you with a desire to hear it all the way to the end, wanting to know where will go and in the next album, where they will be evolving to.. The ideas are not lacking and it is very beautiful music to listen to, even if obviously it's not singing in the shower music. - and we advise finding a more suitable utilization for this CD. For those who it love rock it is something innovative to listen to. Decidedly to taste, in order to do not always take the same road.
-Pier Luigi Zanzi
Music on TNT
Honestly,, drives the listener definitely to the brink of insanity if the listener does not have extremely good nerves and a thick skin. The trio comes together in free jazz, within which, when necessary, occasionally other harder riffs are interspersed. Songs - none come! Their concern is only to rape instruments as effectively as possible. Stupidly there is no menu, from which one could click "block", so that one is delivered under duress, for better or for worse, to the insanity of .
An amazing power trio from New York City, bass drums and sax - that's right, no guitars or keys. They have an aggressive sound that reminds me of Van Der Graaf Generator. A band worth watching.
-Big Balloon Music
In the United States has never created a native tradition of progressive rock. Every effort in that direction always has demonstrated an excessive legacy to the British models, probably because of the lack of the ability combine to elements outside of prog, rather than combining characteristics of the approaches of some prog groups (noted are the indefensible exceptions of the case). Where it has gone to adorn this breath of rock in recent years,is the neoclassic prog of the 80s, from Marillion, Pallas, IQ to the globalized style today. The prog schools that seem to mushroom in Eastern countries (from Indonesia to Japan) are born by crediting westernization. It is also true that in painting style has its way and it cannot be ignored that they aim to repeat some established models in a unique way. So all of this makes groups far more intriuiging when they are not derivative, and have interesting propositions or ideas. This leads us to , a New York group since 1998, who with their first release do not fall into the derivative camp.
Thus, the great value of the band can be appreciated here in print, but: sax/bass/drum trio that has a powerful impact. The "amount" of sound in a trio of instruments makes an impression that produces a heavniess as if they had guitars or keyboards. Despite the lack of traditional instrumentation one must recognize that knows how to concentrate their efforts in songs of short duration, avoiding the bombast of suite-oriented progressive rock. The greatest plaudits go to Clint Bahr (singer and12-string bass and pedalboard player), the true heart push-button of the group: its wefts know how to give force to the trio and the basswork indeed attracts attention. Keith Gurland (alto and tenor sax, flute, clarinet and background vocals) remain faithful to the Mel Collins model: clean and precise. Some relevant bands: Pallas, Audience (some sax work a la the 70s), Gentle Giant (a bit), Cream (on equal footing with White Room), Primus and Limbomaniacs (the acid-funk of is the more interesting of the three); there would be nearly the will to compare to King Crimson (as in the case of Red), but that's another story.
Who said that Progressive Rock and classic Jazz elements don´t fit together?! The three guys of mixed these two genres and out came an outstanding album with a lot of new sounds and new ways to play music. They´ve everything in their songs that reaches from clarinet over sax to12 string bass and really good percussion. At the beginning of the songs you think that this is a pretty simple tune, but after a few moments that whole track changes into a complex monster with whole lot of gooooood Jazz in it!!! I´ve never heard music like that, but it´s good, relaxing and absolutely into the groove. I love MoonJune Records...always something new. This is high quality music!!!
is a jazz power trio out of New York and this is their first release. It might be easy enough to make a big deal about the fact does not use any guitars or keyboards, but that would be selling these guys short. Regardless of the methods by which they produce their sound, 's music is simply fantastic.
One thing is certain, they not producing any Kenny G. pop-goes-the-Musak here. has a manic energy and their sound is one of studied chaos; in other words it only sounds anarchic. Favorites cuts include "Jerome's Spotlight," "Trip The Light," the more sedate "Fuzz" and "Conversation Drag."
King Crimson fans will enjoy these guys. They have the same polyrhythmic density at the low end due to Steve Romano's terrific drumming, though a drummer friend says he hears more Terry Bozzio in his drumming than Bill Bruford. Also Crimson-ish, Clint Bahr's singing is often reminiscent of Adrian Belew. Interestingly on "As The Sun," and "World Of Surprise" he sings more like Greg Lake, which makes a connection to the earliest Crimson sound. Bahr's bass playing is not much like Tony Levin's though because he's using a 12 string bass. Yes, I said 12 string. You may've heard of 4, 6 and 8 but the 12 gives a fatter sound, almost like there are extra players. Meanwhile Keith Gurland's soaring horn work comes from some other constellation, triangulated in the star charts somewhere with Elton Dean and John Coltrane. Usually it's alto sax but there also some "electronic multi-horns" he uses that add even more texture.
Any one of these guys would be the front man in most bands; having them together as a trio is pretty damn powerful. I'd love to see work live.
If the late Robert Stoltz have heard anything of the band in his time, perhaps he never would have written his classic opera"Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt" ("Two Hearts in 3/4 Time" ). Instead probably would have written "Four Hearteats in 9/8 Time". Fans of Herzilein-Fraktion or the substantial"Hau den Lukas Boogie" should not venture anywhere near the CD reviewed here discussed here without a defilibrator standing by. Rhythm freaks will revel in this disk.
's range of rhythms is unique in the musical vocabulary of contemporary rock and jazz. Standard rhythms play only a supporting role in the work of this trio. The album springs much more from a complex blend of synchopated, gestoppten, and accented rhythms, coupled with many boisterous and additional beats. Got it? If so, we wish you, Mr. Stockhausen, a heartfelt welcome to our website.
Fun aside. In a mere 56 minutes, besieges the listener with a collection of complex arrangements worthy of their own entry in the Guiness Book of World Records. But let's first look at the band. The instrumentation alone is exceedingly adventurous. There's Clint Bahr on vocals and a 12-stringed (count 'em... 12!) bass, Steve Romano provides an acoustic and electronic shooting gallery, and Keith Gurland on sax fires off some rocking jazz. Rumor has it that their search for the right drummer resulted in several broken arms and nervous breakdowns before they snared an all-out sticks fetishist in Steve. 's musical underpinnings are juicy jazz-rock with some borrowings from fusion. And it's all celebrated in a never-ending sea of breaks and tempo changes. It's amazing that the laser on the CD player can keep up without going crazy.
"Trip the Light" starts off as jazz-rock... for all of three seconds. Then any number of adventurous breaks blast into your ears. As if that weren't enough, the band constantly changes the tempo. Where do they come up with these ideas? Live in performance these three guys must be nothing short of completely unpredictable. To three such talented musicians, the more plebeian schools of tempo must feel like a thorn in the ear.
"Dance of the Kabuki" begins with a proper big band offensive, then soon unwinds into a groove, only to break into a fascinating, rocking volcanic eruption. Yet these departures in instrumentation are met with perfectly melodic vocals. One usually encounters jazz-rock fusion as a purely instrumental form. An ingenious line of sax follows you throughout "No Diamond Cries." Rarely have I heard such a humorous succession of saxophone shenanigans. It's a fantastic mix of progressive rock, jazz, and good old Camel. Later, Colosseum meets Soft Machine on "World of Surprise". In a truly musical surprise, bass, sax and drums improvise off a single point. Then, "Fashion" harkens back to the time of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew", but this time the trumpet is a sax, which manages at times to also sound like a burning clarinet. Strange, but true.
This, 's second album following their 1999 debut, is an undisputed masterpiece of musical thinking. There is no rhythm, no tempo, no time count that this band doesn't find a way to work into its playing. The three are also complete masters of their instruments. 's music jumpstarts us into the music of the new millenium. (So, let's check in again in another 998 years. All the best from your overworked editorial staff.)
This album is crazy fun. Even Charlie Antonini hasn't ever heard wild drumwork like this. Genya Ravan, the legendary voice of Ten Wheel Drive, discovered these three soundscapists.
Sound and production are excellent.
Home of Rock
Translation courtesy Aaron Brace
Can there by a progressive trio without keyboards or guitars? It can! And it can be made damn good as well! The triangular formation of the Americansees Clint Bahr on bass and vocals, Steve Romano on drums and Keith Gurland on woodwinds. An instrumentation, therefore, that it harkens back to the historical British group Backdoor. Nevertheless there is little in common between the two groups: except a glimpse in the infuences of jazz-rock, but while the English band loved to venture into blues territory, heads toward a more aggressive, and also at times ferocious sound, scorning incursion of electronic music.
The American musicians are wrought, in truth, from the forge of the King Crimson of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "The Sailor's Tale", for which they seem to have a particular predilection, and from the onslaught of jazz-rock propositions in brani - not of long duration, but loving to move in every direction. They know to offer also moments of healthy melody, avant garde solutions and live studio improvisations. Also the vocals are compelling, above all for meritorious harmonies that are a perfect insertion with the music.
One knows that in order to play as a trio, one must have technical competence; and the group puts it all together to make beautiful sound with the rhythm section (instruments that however succeed ritagliar also space solistici) to separate from each other in daring resolutions and with the saxophone fiatistici funambolism deriving from rockers McDonald, Collins and Jackson, but also the jazz of Coltrane and Zorn. The final result is satisfactory, in the aggressive equilibrium between progressive, jazz and rock. Perhaps it is advisable to give a listen to the CD before buying it, but if you do, you will find a brave, resolute, dynamic and authoritative job. is a sure bet!
Contemporary supermodern progressive Jazz-Rock with a number of influences from Jazz and Rock and many other popular currents only with a depth and drive that you at first sight might fear from the amount of varitions in composition. This American trio dares to merge all aspects and colors of expression in the Fusion-pot (melting -pot) to and present them in a unique style. America is the home of trends and modernism. In words and on paper it really sounds great but the listening experience says so much more. This is - the developers of re-newals and more. Refresh your mind and enter another mirror of emotions reflected into the -World.
-Aat T. Oosterhof
East Court Fusion Music
is the third CD I received from MoonJune. (Thanks to Mr. Leonardo P.) This label produces many great bands, especially bands with combination of rock, fusion and jazz. This CD has more unique style than the other bands like DFA and Finisterre. No guitars and keyboards. Imagine that?
The first time I heard the CD, I was stunned as the solo parts were not filled by guitars but by clarinet and saxophones. There are 14 tracks on the CD and most of them were packed in a jazzy fusion sound. And for those who are into metal, I do not recommend this CD but for those who like fusion jazz rock this is quite an interesting band to listen to. Anyway I prefer "No Diamond Cries" as the best song on this CD.
Metal East Teen
( Clint Bahr, Keith Gurland, Steve Romano) together combine a wide range of styles - from progressive rock to jazz-inflected metal through more atmospheric sections - with an occasionally cryptic but always meaningful lyrical content. This is a release from the US label MoonJune (MJR 004). You're warned!
- Pierre Tassone
Music By Mail
At first I thought of Van Der Graff Generator as I put this disc in the player, but a few seconds later what came to mind was a strange avant garde rock. You know, this American trio reminds me a little of VDGG but their sound also brings to mind the jazz of King Crimson and a good deal of rock 'n roll. Throughout there is a bit of Morphine in the band's sound. Instrumentation of consists of vocals, bass , drums, sax, flute and clarinet, which build to a manic intensity. It is very progressive along with unusual approaches and hefty breaks, and they are tight as a hell. For more info go to www.MoonJune.com
Monster Rock Magazine
The first thing that your attention is called to is the unusual formation of sax, bass and drums. Antecedents of this type of formation are in jazz from the 50s, when saxofonist Sonny Rollins decided to play without piano. Ine rock, Morphine utilized this insturmentation, but if something characterizes the musical aspects of it is that they do not have anything soporific. Very much on the contrary its music is expansive, of almost explosive intensity and surprising rythmical changes. The ample sonorous phantom is based in the personal sound that arises from the 12-string bass and pedals of Clint Bahr and from the electrified woodwinds of Keith Gurland, who in addition plays flute and clarinet occasionally, which add coloration to the compositions. In this structure the enormous forcefulness of Steve Romano on the drums is necessary.
It has been said their influences range from King Crimson to Coltrane, nevertheless this does not lead to confusion. One perceives the intensity and some Crimsonian structures and the labyrinthian dynamism of the masterful saxophone of hard bop. Without doubts also there are influences of the music of the New York DownTown scene, particularly of the Naked City of John Zorn, but has managed to put these references in their right place and to apply them in the measurement of its expressive hunger. It incorporates elements of pop, hard rock and improvization. Truly, an already attractive formula that has produced very satisfactory results in their first album.
-Humberto Luna Tirado
The trios first effort for this enterprising New York City-based progressive rock record label is a power packed affair indeed. Think of asymmetrical parts, Van Der Graaf Generator, Morphine and King Crimson morphed into one neat little package, enhanced by twelve-string bassist Clint Bahrs zealous vocalizations. The instrumentation consists of drums, bass, and sax, as the bands scorching rhythmic maneuvers complement a fast track methodology. They circumvent any perceived limitations due to the lack of a guitarist or keyboardist. (Feverishly recommended )
All About Jazz
This is an unorthodox violent rock trio! Steve Romano (drums, percussion), Clint Bahr (lead vocals, bass) and Keith Gurland (saxes, clarinet, vocals) are not a jazz group, even if instrumentation suggests it. Rather reminds me of Atomic Rooster, but this comparison limps! The songs, 14 in all, are song-orientied rock and roll, which stop and bring on monstrous swells, heretofore only found in bombastic symphonic rock. Grandiose rhythmic nuance-wrought, vital, nonchalantly powerful songs, which are transported by odd, but grooving rhythms. All three musicians are extremely active, drums/saxophone or bass/saxophone often start in unison and then break radically from the structure, solo and rhythmic accentuations take the ideas apart again and again and race in to grandiose, virtuoso experiments of them.
The press kit compares them to King Crimson, Cheap Trick and John Coltrane and a savage, diagonal mix of these three acts approximates to some extent. In "Prelude" its lyric silence is nevertheless humourous as the trio illustrates the classically inspired motif, their fun is self-confident and blasphemous. In addition,"East Flatbush" by contrast, tries to sound Electropop, which in 49 seconds shows itself Zappa-esque rather than dance music. The violent radio "Buzz" breaks beautifully out of it. With "Smoke & Mirrors" and "Fuzz" two live studio improvisations on the CD, which show the scope of their dynamic and free interaction, which still shows traces of jazz nevertheless.
There are some jazz facets, but despite these attributes, which refer from it, the marvelous structure of their compositions is violent rock. The gentle voice of Clint Bahr suprises, because one expects a Metal singer. The trio's playful joy and exciting dynamics are highly contagious, the great diversity and humorous interpretation (with a serious approach) are highly enjoyable and entertaining. The unusual combination of instrumentation and style is worth listening to at high volume. The CD cover art presents what could be seen as a friendly, pinched close-up of Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, however there is no musical relationship. When the final track #14 "As The Sun" races from the CD, I know not whether I should be sad or merry.
The motif of the songs and their beautiful singing are priceless! Thus, eyes and senses up. Give this courageous trio a chance!
- Volkmar Mantei
When the press release informed me that was a trio employing the services of neither a guitarist nor a keyboard player I was intrigued. There have been precedents of course like early 70s British band Back Door with a line-up of bass, drums and saxes. While Back Door was compared with Cream, are more in the King Crimson league as the Schizoid-like power of the opener 'Jerome's Spotlight' testifies. The nearest comparison may be the mighty Crimso but does have a unique sound (although reminiscent at times of some early 70s music I couldn't quite identify) defined by Clint Bahr's 12 string bass and Keith Gurland's alto and tenor sax, flute and clarinet. Early on I heard shades of Dave Jackson in his playing but there are many influences at work here I suspect. A strength of is the atmosphere to the music and the"You walk the walk and talk the talk' chorus of 'No Diamond Cries', one of two Gurland compositions on the album (Bahr writes all the lyrics), is simply irresistible.
Just to confirm the spontaneous excellence of the band there are two live studio improvisations. There is also a rather curious two minute instrumental 'Ghosts' that doesn't really fit in with the rest but is the most haunting piece on the album and worthy of further development. No problems with the realisation of ideas on the closing song, the seven minute 'As The Sun', the most prog rock track on the album and one that approaches the intensity of Anekdoten.
I know that prog rock author Bill Martin and Crimson fanatic Sid Smith have already expressed their admiration for the band. Do yourself a favour and find out what all the fuss is about!
A power rock trio without guitar or key board? Impossible? Clearly not, because with , that unique trio from New York, the three protagonists make sufficient noise with their other instruments. The distorted 12-string bass of Clint Bahr acts like the more frequently found guitar, multi-instrumentist Keith Gurland blows saxophone, flute and clarinet like the figurative wolf, while percussionist Steve Romano agitates the air with his acoustic and electronic drumming.
ventures into jazz terrain, then into off to rock, and can jump as they wish back and forth between the two. Borders and style borders do not exist with them. Therefore it does not surprise, when they transition from avant-garde rock to jazz, between acoustic and electronic sounds, sometimes atonal or simply improvised. The production catches in the best way the unrestricted energy of the trio, unfortunately, however, at the cost of a rather raw, direct, incompletely working live sound. This fits the uncompromising music of the three. Bassist Clint Bahr sings punk in interaction with the sound, nevertheless with quite a sympathetic attitude. Technically they are a bit mechanical, therefore are, above all, something for those, who like their music wild, uncalculated and direct in your face.
What a pleasure it is to see a new progressive band release a debut album in 2003 that doesn't suck! Of course, has been around for a few years, releasing an impressive demo CD-R in 2000, but this is their first official release. The fact that this was released on the extremely selective and small MoonJune label (Softworks, Finisterre, Elton Dean/Mark Hewins, DFA) should say something for the quality of this release.
is a three-piece band consisting of a drummer, saxophonist and 12-string bassist/vocalist. If that sounds like a far cry from just about any other rock band lineup (prog or otherwise) operating these days, it's because it is. Keyboard drenched and symphonic this ain't. Rhythmic, energetic, stripped down and bursting with frenetic zig-zag melodies it is. live up to their New York City heritage perfectly. They're in your face, cultured and confident. The 14 tracks on show a band successfully staking new musical ground, yet never venturing into realms that are difficult or feel contrived. The music on bridges the gap between progressive and accessible (but not commercial) in a surprisingly successful way.
Keith Gurland's aggressive, wonderfully melodic sax playing combined with hard hitting riffs and fast, angular jazz melodies makes comparisons to Van der Graaf Generator and King Crimson circa "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Pictures of a City" almost unavoidable. Other than that, however, there is not much evidence of a classic prog influence in 's music. It's almost tempting to link with bass-heavy progressive post-punk groups like Ruins or Primus, though that doesn't quite fit either. The short, song-oriented nature of much of the album might put some proggers off at first, but there is plenty of really interesting instrumental interplay that will keep most open-minded proggers coming back until they get it. To make it easier, there are even two improvisations and a total of five instrumentals (two of which serve mostly as short preludes).
This album finds the band improving upon the sound quality and vocal performances of their demo CD. They also add several new songs. Unfortunately, they decided to ditch "Incident Suite," the best track on the demo. Still, we have some really interesting, creepy improv with "Ghosts," high-energy, catchy rock of "Jerome's Spotlight" and the more elaborate prog rock of "Dance of the Kabuki" and "As the Sun."
has done a wonderful job of establishing their uniquely gritty, yet sophisticated signature sound and attitude on this CD. This proves to be something of a double-edged sword, however, as the album would have benefited from a little more variation. The five instrumentals do serve as notable exceptions to the rule of homogeny, as they offer an optimistic peek at what a more well-rounded will almost certainly sound like in the future. Unfortunately, most of these instrumental tracks are too short and often feel incomplete, so their effect on the album as a whole is not as dramatic as it ought to have been for the sake of variation.
When manages to fully meld their newfound experimentalism with their already well-crafted compositions in the context of an individual piece, then they will have completely arrived. It will surely be an arrival worth waiting for. Until then, prepare yourself with this very enjoyable and ambitious CD.
- Scott Hamrick
rules the world.
Jazz Rock for the Masses?
"We are truly a band without a past. came from nowhere." (Clint Bahr).
For a long time we have not heard a genuine "power trio" and the anxiously awaited album satisfies us immensely.
I adore "the triangular" formations: Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, ELP, Rush, King' s X, the Police and Orme of the 70s. The perfection of the number and the magic of 3 that these bands successfully emanate intrigues me. Listening to this New York trio, , I retain my fascination.
After a first promotional album ("TriPod", 2001) produced by Genya Ravan (former Ten Wheel Drive), the three New Yorkers are on the attack again with this great new work, of which Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune was the executive producer. The three feet (tri-pods) of the band are the eclectic wind instruments (sax, flute, clarinet) Keith Gurland, the bassist (12 strings) and vocalist Clint Bahr, the newly arrived Steve Romano, their powerful drummer.
Photo: Fernando Natalici
differs from the thousands of other rock bands in two very precise elements: the myriad of infuences that inspire their sound (from Coltrane to Fripp, Soft Machine to David Bowie, from Roxy Music to the Who, elements of punk and Van Der Graaf Generator) and their music, a hard/jazz rock pestone, without guitars and keyboards. Characterized by frothy woodwinds, 12 string bass, full of rhythmic rock, amiable melodies and incredible progressions, "TriPod" confirms the great intuitions of the three.
"Jerome's Spotlight", "Trip the Light" and "As the Sun" were on the promotional release, but here are polished and performed impeccably. The first song is a sort of strange hardcore-prog, violent but delicious; the second composition was already a warhorse on the previous release, and now it confirms the talent of this trio. Hard rock without the bang of the guitars, with the woodwinds we would want on every album. The final track is an obvious example of the maturity of their talent, which calls to mind the best of King Crimson and VDGG.
Jazz (in the eccentric interpretation of this trio) strongly permeates "Dance of the Kabuki", alternating moments of tension with squared and powerful passages. Exceptional is the bass-playing of Bahr, he's one of a kind. The accessible "No Diamond Cries" proves that the acquisition of Romano adds to the power of the band, one perfect rhythmic machine - as evidenced in the convulsive jazz-core of "Buzz" and the plentiful loops of "East Flatbush".
Listen to the perfect hard rock of "Conversation Drag": a powerful acknowledgment of fusion, psychedelia and pop. There is also a strong sarcasm that sprays from its grooves. Not only are their technical ability and creativity in continuous evidence, but also the plethora of their varied infuences is fascinating. Living Colour, Stooges and Frank Hoe have never been this close.
The three not wanting to be slaves to the formalities of recording, also offer two live studio improvisations: "Smoke & Mirrors" presents us with an almost unrecognizable band, closer to the spirituality of John Coltrane; "Fuzz" is a fiesty cavalcade, a distorted acid trip that leaves the listener breathless. On the pop side we find "World of Surprise", graceful and just rough enough; "Fashion" on the other hand, is a panzer, with rapidfire beats and woodwinds that assault the unwary listener.
If Queens Of the Stone Age has created "Stoner Rock for the Masses", then the patent for "Jazz Rock for the Masses"goes to .
(translation courtesy Andrea Laguni & Dan Read)
Based in New York, play a killer mixture of progressive rock and jazz, with healthy does of in-yer-face King Crimson styled heavy rock. The band consists of Clint Bahr on 12 string bass and vocals, Keith Gurland on saxophones, flute, clarinet and vocals, and Steve Romano on drums. On their web site the band proudly proclaim NO GUITARS or KEYBOARDS!, much in the way the early Queen albums would boast "and nobody played synthesizers".
Throughout the CD's 14 tracks we are treated to blazing avant-prog-thrash, with quirky angular rhythmic twists and turns. Some of the jazz elements remind me of In The Wake Of Poseidon era King Crimson, though that's just one piece of the pie. could easily make a name for themselves as an instrumental outfit, and it's unusual to hear much of what they do with vocals, though the band do a damn fine job of making songs out of what are essentially kick ass instrumental constructions.
Musically these guys are tight-as-a-knot. Bahr's bass is a commanding presence, more than capably handling the guitar role. Romano is a powerhouse drummer. And Gurland's saxophone and clarinet shred as good as the best 6-stringed axe-wielders. The sax and 12-string bass are a potent combination indeed. There are some decent songs in the set but the trio are at their best when rocking hard, cranking out off-kilter and continually changing compositions, which often include a Zappa-like sense of quirkiness and humor. But there are dreamier atmospheric moments as well, like the spacey haunting "Ghosts" and the ethereal but jazzy "Smoke & Mirrors".
Those familiar with 's previous CD will recognize three of the tracks: "Jerome's Spotlight", "Trip The Light" and "As The Sun", though the versions on the new CD are considerably tighter and the sound is 100% better. You can also get a taste for what are like live by downloading a one song RealMedia video performance from their web site. Doesn't a bass/horn/drums trio sound like your cup of tea? Trust me... these guys will blow your face out. Recommended to prog rockers of all stripes.
is a very unusual formation, consisting of bass guitarist/vocalist, drummer and wind instrumentalist, and they dont use any keyboards and guitars. Nevertheless, the bands music is for the most part outstandingly original, and the sound is rich, dense, and very saturated, all of which is especially evident on those compositions that consist mostly of highly eclectic and intensive arrangements. Above all, these are the first three tracks on the album: Jeromes Spotlight, Trip the Light, and Dance of the Kabuki. Extremely diverse and intricate, each of them is just mind-blowing and consists of constantly developing, mostly highly intensive and, often, just indomitable arrangements performed with the continuous use of complex stop-to-play movements, unusual meters, and kaleidoscopic changes of a musical direction. The cascades of different, highly unusual, yet, always logical and inventive interplay between wild solos of saxophones, virtuosi solos and dense riffs of bass guitar (often sounding truly heavy thanks to the use of bass pedals), and the very diverse parts of drums cross each other by inconceivable parabolas. The contrasts between lazy and as if 'laid back vocals' and highly intensive instrumental arrangements are also very impressive. Representing a unique combination of harsh Jazz-Rock, classic Jazz-Fusion, and (just) Fifth Element, all three of the said songs are just marvelous masterpieces, are undoubtedly the best tracks on the album and are the real hallmarks of it.
All this progressive grandeur suddenly got stuck on track 4, and only on the albums last two tracks: Fuzz and As the Sun (13 & 14), the first of which is an instrumental piece, the band was able to find forces to return to the by all means remarkable music theyve started with. Here again we here how virtuosi and, sometimes, uncommonly wild solos of saxophones and flutes create central arrangements in combination with very inventive bass guitar themes to the accompaniment of a highly diverse drumming. Nevertheless, while Fuzz and As the Sun are also the high- quality compositions, the level of compositional and performance mastery on them is a bit lower than that on the first three tracks. As for the core tracks, there are a few excellent and good numbers among them, but on the whole, all of them are much less diverse, original, and impressive than the five boundary tracks of the album. No Diamond Cries, Conversation Drag, and World of Surprise (5, 9, & 10) are not without intricate and eclectic arrangements, but these hardly cover even a half of each of these songs that, overall, look like simplified versions of the best compositions on the album. The songs Buzz and Fashion (7 & 12) are about quite a simple Heavy Rock with the bits of Jazz-Fusion. These two are not only too straightforward, but also feature very predictable arrangements, which is partly due to the fact that both of them are done much in the vein of Primus.
Among the remaining four tracks, all of which are instrumentals,a mellow, lightly improvisational Jazz-Fusion on Smoke &Mirrors (8) is OK, while the other three bits of music: 4, 6,& 11 (see track list above, if you wish), respectivelyrepresenting somewhat of blitz benefit performances for sax and clarinet, acoustic and electric percussion, and bass, are too short and empty to define their style and even take them into account in general.
Having summarized all the advantages and defects of this effort, came to conclusion that is an excellent album, nothing more nothing less. Before listening to it however, I will be excluding tracks 4, 6, 7, 11, & 12 when programming my CD player. Of course, my version of the CD will be shorter than the original, but the remaining 43 minutes are more than all right with me, especially since the duration of most of the classic albums of Progressive ranges from 40 to 45 minutes, and I used to such a format. I only wonder why this band didnt play everywhere on the album as bravely and strong as at the beginning and at the end of it, because its clear that they were able to do this. Well, I think its impossible to please simultaneously the lovers of profound and accessible music unless you are Pink Floyd:-
The trio knows to put into play an interesting proposition that departs from the prescribed basic style of music. I interlace aggressive spumeggiante and that develops between the drums and the electronic percussion of Steve Romano, the sax and clarinet of Keith Gurland and the subsonics of the 12-string bass (a true three-headed monster to witness) of Clint Bahr.
The first difference that jumps to the eyes, regarding the instrumentation examined in the previous paragraph, is the important presence of the voice: Bahr sings on approximately two thirds of the tracks, with the support of the vocal accompanyment of Gurland. This moves the axis towards the English progressive rock of the seventies (think Van Der the Graaf Generator but also King Crimson) even if moments do not, and opens towards atmospheric grooves that the other two bands are further from.
The three musicians demonstrate optimal mastery of their instruments and great facility of interaction. There is an excellent rhythmic cohesion between acoustics and electronics and the phrases of the sax are as aggressive and cutting as could be expected from a frontman playing a 6-string guitar. They are a true power trio, in the full tradition of rock (listened to "Fashion", a hit) , but at the same time the are careful to put in play one more dose of emphatic experimentation, and not only in the two studio improvizations. And all this without the characteristic keyboards and guitars, the traditional instruments that are the hallmark of rock masters.
This trio belongs authoritatively in a world of groove speziati, more jam band or less psychotic, the missing instruments aren't be missed, several drum ' n' bass and strabismuses. What counts is, in truth, the power of the songs, the instrumental skill to the service of modern ideas, ine step with the times. Easy to say, but hard to do.
All About Jazz - Italy
"YOU REALLY NEED TO HEAR THIS BAND"
Electric Earwig / Progressive World / Talent Star / UBO
(USA) & (UK)
**** 4 1/2 Star Review
is very original and unique on their self-titled album. They have no problem struttin their stuff. Their sounds encompass a broad-based fusion and funk meets jazz with sprinkles of pop for a tad of sparkle and polish. They accomplish this by not using any guitars or keyboards; it really is quite amazing how full and varied their sound is. Considering they are not using the meat and potatoes that most progressive bands use to achieve the necessary atmosphere and sound that a listener has come to expect, it is even that much more awe inspiring. If you are a musician or just a music fan like me, you really need to hear this band.
A practiced combination of bass, drums and brass form their sound. I thought of Morphine more than once while listening to this band, which used the same configuration but was strictly alternative rock. This band covers quite a bit of ground on this album and they truly define the word progressive. If you are looking for something new and different and enjoy jazz-rock-fusion, check out .
-Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Never heard of? Neither did I until this release showed up. After a short glimpse of the cover, it was thrown in the CD-player at once. The cover lists a trio with the unusual line-up sax, bass and drums! Not since the days of good old Back Door have I seen such a line-up. And, wow, was I excited when I pushed the play button??! Is The Pope Catholic??! Does a bear shit in the woods??!
A big "Yesss!", I shouted after a few bars into the opener "Jerome's Spotlight". This was really great!! And the comparison with Back Door is absolutely inevitable here. A thunderous bass, wild saxophone and powerful drums got me by the balls.
To go in detail on every track here is almost impossible, there is so much happening all the time. But I'll try to give you a clue how great this band sounds.
Handling the bass and bass pedals is Clint Bahr, a twelve string which makes him able to vary his tone and playing a lot, and he does, believe me! He's also the main songwriter of the band, but is assisted by the other band members from time to time.And he takes care of all the lead-vocals as well.
Keth Gurland is the man behind both alto and tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet, pedals and sings backing vocals as well. The drummer is Steve Romano who plays both acoustic and electronic percussion. Luckily there's not much of the latter. I prefer the good old drum sound, it's got much more soul to it if you get the picture.
After the opener "Jerome's Spotlight", which gave me the idiot look on my face, (you do that when your jaw fell down to you chest!) things continue in the same vein. "Trip The Light" is full of rhythm breaks and powerful as hell, with a beautiful saxophone theme woven in.
More mellow and delicious saxophone, more rhythm breaks and counterpoints you get in "Dance Of The Kabuki", one of the many great tracks on the album. "Prelude" is exactly that, a wonderful theme played on saxophone and clarinet before the rhythmic and melodic and very powerful "No Diamond Cries" comes next. An absolute killer!! A short (luckily!) silly track follows, with electronic percussion and some noise, and is easy forgettable.
"Smoke & Mirrors" is a live studio improvisation and is quite pleasant! A rather chaotic opening sequence on "Conversation Drag" runs in a more structured way as the track rolls by with great percussion work. "World of Suprise", short but with great hooks. "Ghosts" is a short instrumental, calm and beautiful! "Fashion" is nearly brutal in the opening, but as usual with not much is like it seems at first sight. It develops into a killer with more than a hint of David Bowie's song of the same name. But it's tough as hell! Another goodie!
Another live improvisation comes in "Fuzz", exciting but a bit too long for my taste. To end this great album, they've chosen a long track called "As The Sun". And it's so good it hurts!! A great track loaded with dynamics and power. This album's winner for sure!!
There's no doubt that has, with this album, delivered a strong application for album of the year, at least in my book. All members are rock solid musicians. So for all you lovers out there of Back Door and more, this is indispensable!! Simple as that, catch it before everybody else comes to your door and brags and claims to have discovered them!! If you have trouble getting your hands on this masterpiece, try the following address www.MoonJune.com.
With a trio I always thought that there wasn¹t a great deal that could be done with the band format, but I was wrong. comprise Steve Romano (percussion), Keith Gurland (alto & tenor sax, flute, clarinet, pedals, backing vox) and Clint Bahr (lead vocals, 12 string bass and bass pedals). This certainly gives the band a different musical outlook on life, and one in which they have to work extremely hard to maintain interest without either keyboards or guitar to keep it going. When I was first reading about this I was a little concerned that it was either going to be boring or unlistenable I was wrong on both counts.
As long as you don¹t mind trying some jazz that is out of the ordinary, then this is quite a find. Steve holds the backline together virtually on his own, as Clint is sometimes with him but often is to be found playing a counter melody so that Keith has something to pitch against. That Keith has to provide the main aural point is never in doubt. Clint has a voice that seems better suited to rock, and this in itself provides a calming influence to proceedings. The overall effect is that of a band refusing to conform to any norms, and produces music that is challenging yet is invigorating and exciting. For more details on this superb album then contact the label at
***** 5 stars
is an American trio which composes progressive music without the use of keyboards or guitars. Many lovers of the classic sound of prog symphonic instrumentation might expect to wrinkle their noses at this, but this CD deserves to be listened to without prejudice, with the open mind that every lover of our music must have.
Well, these experienced musicians (they aren't kids) succeed with the help of a 12-string electric bass (with the use of various effects) and with the wind instruments (sax, clarinet, flute) to fill up the sound and to render it sufficiently varied. The King Crimson of "Lizard" (most of all), Frank Hoe and jazz-rock are the main references in the music of . The beat is sufficiently broken up even if at times it sounds slightly monolithic and more typically rock. Contributing to my feeling is that the recording of the drums is a bit too "foreground" with respect to the other instruments.
On the whole, however, the work is courageous, well played and also well sung. The vocalist and bassist of the group reminds us in his timbre of Greg Lake, which is definitely a positive factor as well as being another demarcation of the influences of .
The CD is on the American label MoonJune, a small and brave entity in the world of progressive rock. I advise the purchase of this album, finally, to all those who love prog untied from the classic symphonic sound (don't look for Mellotron, Mini-moog or Hammond, because you will not find them on this album). Amazing.
Technique **** 4 stars
Performance ***** 5 stars
Sound Quality **** 4 stars
Composition **** 4 stars
Feeling **** 4 stars
Originality **** 4 stars
(Translation courtesy Dan Read)
With their fantastic album premiere this band based in New York doesn't allow any doubts that they are one of the most interesting bands to arise in the United States in the latest times. The first thing that gets the attention in is the very unusual instrumentation that they use to create their sound universe, far from the typical format from Power Trío to which we are accustomed in progressive rock, and that represents one of the main attractiveness that presents their formidable sound.
Musically speaking, is able to conjugate with total naturalness the most experimental aspects in bands the way ELP, UK, King Crimson, Soft Machine, Yes, Zappa, Rush or the wrongly forgotten Back Door (a reminder for those who have not lost the memory of it) were able to, more the attaché of some how many dose of its own invoice, reaching an excellent sound and a composition level that it deepens primarily in the energy and the power of the wind instruments executed clearly by Keith Gurland -a formidable musician - who is supported by a very precise Steve Romano, owner of an astonishing technique and of the solidity and imagination of Clint Bahr.
Regarding the tracks that constitute this album, we could highlight the spectacular ones "Dance Of The Kabuki", "Fuzz" and "As The Sun", in which the group's rhythms and atmospheres go from the moving to devastating thing and that alone would justify the acquisition of this CD.
We told you at the beginning that is one of the most pleasant surprises that Yankee Progressive Rock has afforded us this year and it is a good bet that their new offerings will be worthwhile.
Welcome to their world of extreme sensations!
Pros: Interesting arrangements, great songs, amazing performances...
Cons: Probably much too strange for some people...
The Bottom Line: A definite great album for individuals fond of avante-garde artists with a flair of jazz AND rock.
Interesting concept; well executed.
Quickwhat are the four most prominent elements of a rock band?
Ill give you some hints: one has strings, one has keys, one has sticks, and one doesnt have anything.
, a unique rock band hailing from New York City, strips away both the guitars and keyboards and what remains are horns, vocals, percussion, and bass. Discovered at famous rock club CBGBs in 1998 the trio soon found themselves recording a demo and subsequently publicized in a variety of rock and prog-rock publications. Years passed and in mid-2003 recorded their first official LPsimply self titled .
Trios are not rare in rock musicbut the unusual arrangement of makes for some interesting sounds and contrasting elements. Clint Bahrs off-kilter voice and 12-string bass are reminiscent of Les Claypool of Primus with a less abrasive tenor. But what really sets apart from the crowd is their infusion of jazz to creatively free not to mention adventurous rock. The horns (as played by Keith Gurland) make for a challenging but enlightening listening experience. I must admit that Ive never heard an album that blends sax, flute, and clarinet with rock so perfectly. Then again, Im not sure Ive ever heard anything of this sort in my life. Rounding out the line-up is newcomer Steve Romano on percussion.
It is clear that owes a debt of gratitude to bands like King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Jethro Tull. But with that said, it is important to note that nothing about is lacking in originalitythis is a wholly new and completely unexpected independent gem that will appeal to fans of progressive/avant-garde rock and jazz alike. Its been quite some time since Ive heard something so abrasive but also outstandingly lovely at the same time.
At the same time that I find myself readily impressed by , I also must admit that their style wont appeal to listeners of mainstream rock. Then again, Im pretty sure that they dont want to end selling out or on the level of a zillion soundalikes with zero desire and not a creative bone in their body. The fourteen songs on the bands debut proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the band should be awarded the attention of listeners everywhere. To further prove their worthiness, also includes two studio improvisations--Smoke & Mirrors and Fuzz. Both are amazing examples of work from an adept jam bandand are just as lengthy as one would expect.
The first sounds that hit your ears upon popping the disc into the stereo are from Jeromes Spotlight. A perfect place to start with the band, it is a frenetic and strange and brave song arranged in two distinct partsall these characteristics work well in the context of the excellent melody and production (by Ron Allaire). Each song that follows builds nicely upon the groundwork laid out early on.
There are a number of high points and nothing is particularly troubling. Other songs including Trip The Light, As The Sun, No Diamond Cries, Prelude and Conversation Drag. But the moment at which I realized to be something truly special is with Dance of the Kabuki. The beginning is jarring but also catches and holds you attention, but none of that is necessary once the main part of the song begins. This is jazz-infusion rock at its most perfect. Thick, strange, and lovely the song is the best example of the bands talent and appeal.
Im completely impressed by and their debut. In this case to call the band weird is a compliment. The album caught me off guard and impressed me from the get go. It is definitely worth the effort of checking out and should be on jazz-rock wishlists everywhere. Just dont try to pawn this thing off on fans of MTVs version of rockthey will probably shut it off after the first note of the first song. s music is detail-oriented and takes a great deal of attention to digest.
Let It Rock - DME
**** 4 Star Review
A highly experimental jumbo standing on its own three legs.
The fact there's no guitar here means nothing, really, with Clint Bahr's 12-string bass pulling it off in the range department; what matters is the NYC trio's relentless intensity and idiosyncrasy that cover all the emotional bases. Outside of the "Ghosts" soundscape, it's wild and jazzy, the method in use close to that of CRIMSO - the evidence lies in the opening "Jerome's Spotlight" heavy angularity smoothed over by Keith Gurland's reeds. The saxes jitter and flutter, yet whatever progressive it sounds, peeling under the surface of "Trip The Light" reveals blues roots. Here's the solidity, but the romanticism of humorous "No Diamond Cries" is deceptive and a surprise that the ensemble had been discovered in the legendary CBGBs dissolves in the undercurrent aggression of delivery - hear Steve Romano's percussion work throughout. Spicy stuff able to cure the faint-hearted.
Let It Rock - DME
They don't call me for nothing.I can honestly say that this is like nothing I have ever heard before. Let me set this up for you. The band is called , and sure enough, there are three members: Steve Romano, Clint Bahr and Keith Gurland. For all intents and purposes, is a progressive rock band. One of those great underground prog bands that like to push the limits and try new things - and try new things is not afraid to do.
So then what makes so unique? Easy, they have no guitar or keyboards.
Yes, that is a bit confusing. If you're thinking that progressive music is made up of highly technical and complicated guitar and keyboard arrangements and compositions, you're right, it mostly is. But now there is , a truly (jazz) progressive outfit that only employees the use of vocals, various basses, an assortment of percussion and plenty of woodwinds. Now that sounds a bit different doesn't it? Right again, it is. But it's this difference that really makes shine.
There is a heavy focus (heavier than usual for prog) for well written and strangely entertaining and groove structured songs as pumps out actual progressive music without the use of two of the genres biggest and most characteristic instruments. It's uncanny at just how easy they make it sound. You won't even notice that the most taken for granted instruments are nowhere to be heard. has literally written them out of their music. I don't know where on this excellent self-titled album they could have fit them. Don't be fooled, because what you hear and might think are keyboards are really just imaginative uses of a few bass effect pedals or electric percussion.
It's raining prog! For those of us into progressive music, is a great release, escape, and breath of fresh air before we head back into the familiar push and pull of massive guitar and keyboard soloing. For anyone else, is just plain fun. It is a bit crazy in places, but you kind of have to be in order to make music like this work. So if you can stomach progressive experimentation, then by all means, pick this album up.
Rating: 4/5: Progressive in a way that you've never heard before.
From time to time, the rock scene (globally speaking) is shaken (in greater or smaller measure) by groups that have a more jazz basis. This it is the case of trio "", that on its eponymous CD is advertized as a "hard-rock trio" without guitars or keyboards. In this case the keyboards or guitars are replaced by the various saxophones, clarinetes and flutes of Keith Gurland. Integrated with him are Steve Romano (drums) and Clint Bahr (vocals and 12-string bass - with a very particular loudness). This atypical rock configuration is a habitual trio instrumentation throughout the history of the jazz. Therefore, a jazz fan would not be surprised by this lineup. Not so, however, by 's sound. It is not typical for a band able to integrate instrumental and compositional free-bop with progressive rock and hard-rock. The result is 14 tracks that have certain brilliant moments and very interesting and novel melodies. At other moments, as it happens in the studio improvisations "Fuzz" and "Smoke & Mirrors", we encounter tracks where the music does not live up to its promise, and these are the less interesting moments of the CD.
Definitely and by lack of contrast with its sound, it is possible to affirm that the CD "" is the disc of a group that probably won't disappoint fans of the progressive rock, jazz-rock or jazz in a very ample sense and that perhaps in the near future it might achieve great popularity.
-José Francisco Tapiz
"EXCELLENT WORK "
I was impressed in listening to the CD.
The core of the band is composed of only three members, actually their music is without guitar and keyboards, it's the task of Keith Gurland and Clint Bahr, both replacing them two by the fabulous work on Saxes, Flute and Clarinet by Keith and Clint Bahr playing on a 12-string bass and the bass pedals. Steve Romano completes this outfit with his excellent rock'n'roll rock drumming but highly progressive in many moment.
Incredible but this band doesn't used any guitars and keyboards in their music, but don't worry guys, this music drives a lot and sounds very well complete. All three has a long experience, Clint and Keith both toured in and outside the USA, they all played before with different bands. The CD consists of 14 song from which two are studio's improvisations and the lenght of the song is set from 0:49 seconds to 7 minutes long.
Their music is somewhere very rock'n'roll and FM rock ('No Diamond Cries') , but in a ZAPPAish rock and looking a lot to VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's David Jackson saxophone in many time. The guys are not too open when you ask them their influences, but for sure, likeness with KING CRIMSON appears on 'Trip the Light' and the excellent 'As the Sun'. Jazz is in the party but not to much, ambient music on the little song 'Ghosts' and marvelous progressive moments here and there. It's an excellent work, all three are excellent and the whole thing makes them a very original band. I haste to listen the next one, what is cool is that the guys have a lot of material for the following CDs..
There are three of them no guitarist, and certainly no one on keyboard. No, these three Americans play bass, drums, and sax. Thats it. No other instruments. So, one might ask what a progressive rock group without its two indispensible instruments sounds like. At first listen, I didnt have the feeling that it would stick with me. And then I listened and re-listened, and ended up leaving it in my CD player several days. Because the music of is a subtle mixture of jazz, fusion, rock, and even a bit of metal. Admittedly, the music might seem a bit off the wall, completely cranky: but where really gets you is in its disjointedness, and you feel a personal pleasure, whether it comes from the rhythm, the bass line, or the saxophone line of Keith Gurland. Some may describe s progressive rock as cerebral, but this trios music is still accessible to everyone. But its full development would really find its full scope in concert.
(translation courtesy Bill Moody)
"HERETICAL MUSIC "
When one speaks about rock trios, one refers commonly to the triangle of bass, drums and guitar, this latter sometimes being replaced by keyboards, especially in the progressive genre. Decidedly more original and innovative is the American trio . With their first record released under the aegis of the emergent New York based label MoonJune, they show themselves to be receptive to the fusion of jazz to prog and back.
Here at the apex of the triangle, something you wouldn't expect: saxophone (alto and tenor), clarinet and flute. With his winds, Keith Gurland knows how to improvise in a hard-bop style, and to rip the air in near free style (like in the fulminating "Jerome' s Spotlight " that opens the CD), to a hammer riff of hard-rock, as well as and better than a traditional chitarrona, to strengthen the rhythm section or to construct an independent musical speech, supported by the percussion of Steve Romano and the bass of Clint Bahr, all taking advantage of a very welcome dash of electronics, making this incandescent style still more hard to pin down. The power of the sax sometimes recalls the epic period of " Saxon " Jackson in Van der Graaf Generator - but other times abruptly abandons their style, in favor of more jazz style improvisations (especially " Smoke & Mirrors " and " Fuzz ", live studio improvisations). The style is only tangentially reminiscent of that of King Crimson because s music is less grandiose, more warm (merit obviously of the wind instruments) and varied.
The music of all 14 tracks is constantly changing, there is no room here for predictibility - not a small feat . Both classic rock and jazz aficionados will be fully satisfied: unexpected sonorous outbreaks alternate with meditative pauses (sometimes within the piece or from track to track, in order to create solid ties), constant changes of rhythm, assimilation of various styles - "Buzz" is remarkablly jazzily tinged bebop, "World Of Surprise" sounds deliciously like the pop-blues-psychedelica of Cream -, the vocals (by Bahr) always reach the height of the instrumentals - the tension of the listening experience never lessens, enhanced by lightning bolts of a soulful melody rabidly emerging above the rhythmic base (a splendid example is "Fashion"). Heretical music in the best sense of the term.
The disc is available for purchase at www.moonjune.com
(Translations courtesy Dan Read & Andrea Laguni)
"AN ENORMOUS MUSICAL CUFF ON THE EARS"
Avant Garde Music Productions
Moonjune Records is a new label that in its short life has made some wise moves by signing up Finisterre and Softworks; and now an intrepid and powerful North American group that he goes by the name of .
is one of those 'power trios' so common in these times, with the proviso that this trio is drums, bass and wind instruments (sax, clarinet, etc), a configuration which is something I personally had never heard before. Such a trio represents not only an agreeable sopresa, but takes on an enormous risk by performing without traditional instruments such as keyboards or guitar.
Without a doubt, performs adventurously with progressive energy, a touch of acid, and abundance of musical vitamins. Those who are in love with the symphonic classics of Genesis, Marillion, Renaissance, etc. will receive this disc as an authentic punch, an enormous musical cuff on the ears, but those who appreciate groups as King Crimson (Red) or Echolyn, will know they will be able to give this band a sound welcome to the club of progressive music for adults, since this album debut is complex, full of influences but not seeking to sound like anybody else, and completely unique, not highly melodic, but with some metal-like grit; its voice is one that we have been looking for and prevails.
is a disc that is extremely difficult to digest, but not because it is bad, indeed, the extreme opposite. It is discs like these which must be listened to several times in order for them to click in our ears.
Avant Garde Music Productions
"NEW AND ADVENTUROUS"
Radio Dakka Dakka FM 106
WOW! This must be the heaviest jazz fusion band I have ever heard. And they don't even have a guitar player! The fact is, Clint Bahr's 12-string bass sounds rich and heavy enough to be able to go without a guitarist. This might sound odd coming from a guy who does a Heavy Guitars radio show like Dakka Dakka, but I never missed the guitars for a minute when listening to this CD.
As a progressive rock fan I found much to enjoy here, especially since some songs sound like King Crimson in a jazzier mood (but to be honest, are more prog rock than jazz fusion). Another remarkable fact is that real songs exist alongside studio jam sessions and that you can't really distinguish which are the jams. This just shows how skilled this trio is. In short: if you're interested in something new and adventurous, don't let this pass you by. It's energetic, it's original, it's groovy and it delivers.
Radio Dakka Dakka
"ONE RAUCOUS, ROARIN' RIDE"
Sea of Tranquility
**** 4-star review
Feel the buzz! Can ya feel the buzz?!
The first minute of is going to wake you up. As an experiment, substitute the opening cut, Jeromes Spotlight, for your next kuppa kawfee. This NY-based power trio works four different angles dynamically, strategically, often violently. Steve Romano portrays the jazz~rock drum god who idolizes Neil Peart and Lenny White, equally. Keith Gurland stars as the jazz ensemble defector who works his alto & tenor saxophones into melody-mangling frenzies, and strikes up a friendship with two rogue musicians called Romano & Bahr. Vocalist Clint Bahrs delivery is anything but triteand he plays 12-string bass. Not 8-string bass, 12-string bass. Four three-string clusters, which make for a markedly deep, growling tone that easily mimicks distorted 6-string guitar chordsand for this, he is a wanted man. But back to a certain song concerning the fugitive trio's secret connection, Jerome: the first minute is positively electrifying. On first listen it sounds oddly cacophonic, but it will be a different matter on RII. Romanos sphere of influence is huge, while Bahr alternates between a Les Claypool sort of vocal style, and a more straightforward style which reveals a very pleasant midrange voice.
Photo courtesy TriPod
are doubtlessly a rock band; there are moments of subtlety and serenity, but these are suprisingly sparse! Oh, one may recall that other major-label sax~bass/vocals~drums trio from the early 90s. Morphine, were they called? makes those guys sound like wimps, by comparison. Without resorting to remarks like David Sanborn/Tom Scott/Michael Brecker on acid, etc., track twoTrip The Lightsheds light on how much Gurlands sax takes on the lead guitar role with honking bursts, melodic passages, and forceful trilling. Very inspiring, to say the least. Dance Of The Kabuki has a Rush sort of quality, with its rhythmic strutting, bridges, flareups, and monstrous drum rolls and double bass shenanigans. No Diamond Cries is less tense, smoother, and wouldnt make a bad single, at all, with its nicely staccato bassline and slightly by-the-book power drumming. East Flatbush is a vaguely trip-hoppy vocalless interlude that leads into the rather punkish Buzz. Gurlands sustained alto sax notes are the most shrill, yet. The 2nd verse reminds me of a certain Butthole Surfers song (only for several bars).
Now Conversation Drag is quite interesting: Bahrs bass takes on a distinctly Stranglehold feel (yes, that song), while the chorus emulates a mid-period Blue Oyster Cult song with an echo effectit simply has to be a nod. Proving theyre not two-trick ponies, also serves up several instrumentals in the form of the atmospheric Ghosts, and two in-studio improvisations, Smoke & Mirrors and Fuzz. Smoke finds the trio coaxing some B.L.U.E.-like textures from their inner muses, and Fuzz is named after Bahrs grainy, rippling tone on this cutits quite savory. A nice ly instrumental thats in-line with everything before it. And while this is a magnificent band, Fashion could have been left off; this is a bizarrely trite number with a shockingly lame chorus that makes one wonder why it was recorded. This isnt a perfect world, as we know, and thats why track selectas in skipfunctions exist today.
All-in-all, one raucous, roarin ride! Nothing soothing about unless youd like your aggressive side massaged! Perhaps well hear from other power trios which sub guitars & keyboards for other lead instruments.
Sea of Tranquility
"NOT A DULL MOMENT"
After listening to this CD for about 30 minutes, I realised that musically sounds a lot like mid-seventies Van Der Graaf Generator (Godbluff - Still Life - World Record albums). This is mostly because of the presence of Sax and Clarinet at the forefront. It must also be said that quite a few of the songs on would fit well on the afore mentioned VDGG albums.
So why did it take me 30 minutes to realise this? Mainly because of two reasons. Firstly, Clint Bahr's voice in no way sounds like Peter Hammill's. Think more of Happy The Man's Stan Whitaker but with a more aggressive style of singing. Secondly, even though both bands play high energy music, the mood coming from is not somber and dark like what you almost always get from Hammill's compositions. 's music also has a modern feel to it.
In conclusion, should be of high interest to fans of VDGG. I would also add that those who have trouble getting in VDGG because of PH's voice or style of singing, should check this band out. There's not a dull moment on this CD.
"BOUNDARIES ARE BROKEN"
Hairless Heart Herald
What were they thinking? Prog and jazz-rock without any guitar would seem rather daring if not careless in the wrong hands. But if youre thinking this must be a keyboard-based band, you are way off the mark because there are no keyboards either.
is an American based trio who do not worry themselves about prog rock conventions, certainly as far as instrumentation is concerned. With an arsenal of instruments (too long to list in full) at their disposal including 12-string basses, 8-string basses, Chapman stick, Saxes, flute, clarinet, bass pedals and assorted percussion, guitars and keyboards are redundant.
Individually the band members (Clint Bahr, Steve Romano and Keith Gurland) have a wide variety of musical tastes including Tull, YES, Brand X, The Beatles, King Crimson, Zeppelin etc. and whilst they are bound to draw on these influences, s resultant unique sound is something of a conundrum.
The immediate impression after hearing the album in its entirety is a wondrous mix of Zappa, Crimson and Gong in the main, with vocals (Clint Bahr) ranging from the Zappa-esque to a sort of Greg Lake - Ian Anderson - Brian Gulland (Gryphon) combination.
Steve Romano (percussion) does a lot more than hold it all together, with some terrific fills and a variety of sounds. On top of main vocal duties, Clint is also the man with the bass and whilst lesser mortals struggle with a standard 4 string version he needs no map to find his way round the 12 strings, effortlessly flipping from rhythm to lead as the passage dictates. Keith Gurland, who also provides backing vocals, is a match for Mel Collins or Didier Malherbe on sax and Ian MacDonald on flute, the latter being most obvious on the last track, As the Sun.
Photo courtsey Escape TV.tv
As with any small business, job demarcation is often blurred, as everyone is required to muck in when required, and this is no exception for this trio. Normal boundaries are broken in the sense that there is no single lead instrument but all three are on an equal footing. This leads to a fullness of sound with clever interplay but without any annoying over indulgence.
Along with the late Frank Zappa (assuming he is listening from beyond the grave), Im still smiling, but you have to hear it to understand why. Look no further if you want something that is both cool and rocks.
-Jem Jedrzejewski, Reviewer
Hairless Heart Herald
"RIFFING & HARD"
has received plenty of laurels in advance, and for obvious reasons their promotional materials made no effort to hide the praise received from authoritative sources. Sid Smith, for example, author of an influential book on King Crimson, attested to the frightening power of the trio. Bill Martin, author of several volumes on progressive rock in general and Yes in particular, devoted several lines in his book Avant Rock to the as yet nearly unknown trio, acknowledging that they have it in them. And, Martin includes among groups no less than King Crimson and The 5 UUs.
Its true that, roughly speaking, can be categorized as Crimsonesque. Several riffs, and occasionally the drumwork of Steve Romano recall Messrs. Fripp and Bruford. But the analogy stops there, due to its unorthodox instrumentation by rock standards. There are neither guitars nor keyboards, but only wind instruments, bass, drums, and minimal vocals.
Such a line-up might probably seem to many rock fans somewhat Spartan and dangerously close to jazz. But s music is anything but soft, swinging, or lyrical. The music is riffing and hard. But apparently, such an unrock-like instrumentation is the groups intentional trademark. This unique feature is played up on their website. Whether the concept has legs is a question I wouldnt dare speculate on based on this, their official debut CD (the earlier release was just a private demo CD).
The fourteen relatively short pieces offer many strong moments. Whenever the rhythms turn complex, when the tempo tightens, when the group launches into a song full-throttle, s music delivers. There were passages where greater instrumental variation would have worked better. On the other hand, songs like my favorite, Dance of the Kabuki, and others, really worked.
The upshot is that this is a new project that you should keep your eye on and take out for a spin. Theres ample reason to expect more buzz about .
-Ralf J. Guenther
(translation courtesy Aaron Brace)
It's nearly a year and a half since I first became aware of the US band and reviewed their eponymous CD release. Since then, the band have struck a deal with MoonJune Records and are now able to bring out their first signed release, although I am a little suprised to find that it is untitled, which leaves room for confusing between this and the previous album. True, three of the tracks featured here also apperaed on the earlier work, but the majority of the tracks on this current release are new compostitions.
Much has been, and still is, made of the fact that are a band that use no guitars or keyboards (only percussion, bass and sax here) and, while this could be seen as a simple marketing ploy to set them apart from the rest, I believe this is far from the truth. are a very dynamic band who produce a very supremely rich sound, achieved through the virtue of strong compositions and musical ability - not through the use of gimmicks!
'Jerome's Spotlight' and 'Trip the Light' (4.10) are two older pieces and, although the run time here for both is slightly reduced, I would refer the reader to my earlier review (apologies if you are not reading this on the New Horizons web site - in which case please visit us).
The first of the new compositions comes with 'Dance of the Kabuki', a rather hard hitting piece with a strong sax opening. The vocals here help reduce the harsh edge instilled by the music which can be a little unsettling at times, although, I should stress, it is expertly delivered.
'Prelude' is a short soft bridge piece that takes the tone right down before the powerful launch of 'No Diamond Cries', which takes a direction that is more melodic than some of the band's more avant garde passages.
'East Flatbush' is another short linking piece which consists primarily of percussion with some overlaid vocal effects. This works very well and gives an almost tribal feel at times, wheras 'Buzz' comes over with a more jazzy edge and bundles along at a faster, almost frenetic pace at times.
'Smoke and Mirrors' is an instrumental track and is the first of two studio improvisations. Again there is a change in direction and mood; the slow, subdued opening creating a strong sense of atmosphere with the softly rolling percussion and the muted tones of the wandering saxwork. As it progresses, a growing sense of urgency starts to develop in the underlying rhythms of bass and drums while the melody, played out on the relaxing and hypnotic saxophone, continues to counter this. To my mind, this shows the band at their best.
'Conversation Drag' is another number with a dynamic edge and a driving pace, while 'World of Suprise' is an easier going, song based piece which moves closer to more traditional rock music. 'Ghosts', another instrumental number, sees a return to the moody atmospherics we have already experienced earlier on the album.
Next on the running we have 'Fashion', featuring some nice distorted vocal overlays. This is followed by 'Fuzz', the second of the two studio improvisation pieces, which has an overtly more funky mood to it. The album finishes with 'As the Sun' which closes the album quite nicely but, since this also appeared on the band's debut release, I would again refer the reader to my previous review.
It has to be said that exhibit a wide variety of styles although, I guess, the progressiveness of the music may be a little to far out for some tastes. For myself, if I had to find any niggles at all with this album, it would be that some of the tracks tend to be a little on the long side - a point I raised in my original review. This is a shame since on the shorter and mid-length pieces the band seem to shine very brightly indeed. That said, this should not be seen as a major obstacle in any way. deliver music which is innovative, never overly self indulgent and in which the progressive element is always very much present. I for one continue to be excited by the band's work and look forward to hearing where they go to from here.
is a band from New York City that boasts they are "A hard-rocking trio with NO GUITARS and NO KEYBOARDS!" Is that allowed? Can they do that? Well, I must say they can do it and they do it very well. You won't miss the keyboards or guitars at all, either. The band consists of Clint Bahr on vocals and 12 string bass, Keith Gurland on saxes and other wind instruments, and Steve Romano on percussion. There are elements here that are reminiscent of Van der Graff Generator or Soft Machine but mostly they have a unique style that's all their own.
When I first put this CD on I strangely recognized it...then I realized it was a song from their last CD. That was also called but now that the band is on the Moon June label they had the chance to re-record a few of the songs from that disc. The sound quality on this one is much better as well; the older material has been revitalized and the new songs sound very fresh.
One of my favorite tunes on here is "Dance of the Kabuki" which reminds me of some of the jazzier moments of King Crimson's Lizard album. The sax playing throughout the album is very unique. I'll admit that I'm not used to hearing the instrument in such a rhythmic capacity but it works very well. He does get the opportunity to stretch out with solos and leads a bit too which is really nice. "East Flatbush" is a fun little electronic percussion piece which serves as an intro to the hard-rocking tune "Buzz". Some of the lyrics are a bit hazy but it's not really such a problem when the music is so good. Without a doubt, the high spot on this CD is the instrumental "Smoke and Mirrors". This is a wonderfully mellow, "smokey" tune with some wonderful soloing from Keith. I'd love to hear a whole albums worth of this kind of stuff from these guys. The album's closer "As The Sun" was one of the highlights from the last CD and the updated version sounds even smoother.
is definitely an original band with a bright future. There's no brash guitar work but they can be very heavy, no lush keyboards or synths but they do have a distinctively progressive sound. Kudos to Leonardo Pavkovic of Moonjune Records for picking up this talented trio.
"STAND THE TEST OF TIME"
Roland's World of Prog Music
Does a band need guitars or keyboards to make good music? Well ... before I heard of I thought, that there is NO music without guitars (because there is nothing better in music than a beautiful heartbreaking guitar-solo). And now there is the CD of the band from New York and I read in the booklet, that exists only with a bassplayer and singer (Clint Bahr who wrote most of the songs), a percussionist (Steve Romano) and a wind player (Keith Gurland plays sax, clarinet and flute).
Photo courtesy Escape TV.tv
The first song Jerome's Spotlight reminds me of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'. Very strange. But the second song 'Trip The Light' is more melodic and I have the impression, that the clarinet replaces the guitar ... it sounds like a guitar solo ... very interesting thing. The first longsong 'Dance Of The Kabuki' (nearly 7 minutes) is too jazzy for me because the saxophone is too much in the foreground. Great is the classical short song 'Prelude', followed by 'No Diamond Cries', a great song where you don't miss the classic instruments (guitars and keyboard). A little bit of electronic music is 'East Flatbush'. Okay ... enough details. Also the rest of the CD has some interesting parts for me especially when the music is not too much jazz-rock (with the sax better in the background). Too much jazz-rock makes me nervous. You can't compare with nothing else in the rock-business because it is very unique. Maybe a litte bit with King Crimson in their experimental phase. The CD is released by www.MoonJune.com. Whoever doesn't dislike Jazz-Rock-influences has to check out . TriPod should stand the test of time.
Roland's World of Prog Music
2000/01 Promotional CD
(USA) "MUSICAL ARTISTRY WELL WORTH EXPERIENCING" - AURAL INNOV.
(USA) "NOTHING SHORT OF EXCELLENT" - MUSIC DISH
(USA) "FULL SONIC ASSAULT" - **** 4-star review - SEA OF TRANQUILITY
(USA) "A JOLT TO ONE'S REALITY" - PROGRESSIVE EDGE
(USA) "JUST PLAIN EXCELLENT" - GIBRALTAR ENCYC. OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK
(USA) "TREMENDOUS MUSICAL SKILLS" - AVANT ROCK
(UK) "FULL MARKS FOR THIS ONE" - NEW HORIZONS
(UK) "MONSTROUSLY POWERFUL" Sid Smith
(USA) "9.5 OUT OF 10" - JAZZ-SAX.COM
(Norway) "EXQUISITE AND ENERGETIC" - TARKUS
(USA) "ROCK GETS A COLLEGE EDUCATION" - ALL ABOUT JAZZ
(Hungary) "THERE'S NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WORLD" - ECLECTIC MAGAZINE
(Brazil) "EXCELLENT & INDISPENSABLE WORK" - PROGRESSIVE ROCK & METAL
(USA) "LEAN, SINEWY COMPLEX ROCK" - REELS OF DREAMS
(Sweden) "DYNAMIC AND INTENSE" - FIRST LIGHT
(USA) "GUITARS? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING GUITARS!" - BFM
(USA)"ROLLING THUNDER" - PROGRESSIVE EARS
(USA) "THEY CAN ROCK BIG!" - KARNEVIL J
(USA)"ENDS MUCH TOO SOON" - THE MUSIC BOX
(Uzbekistan) "HEARD NOTHING LIKE THIS" - **** 4-Star Review - PROGRESSOR
(Canada) "HARD EDGED" - THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK FILES
(Netherlands) "HOT STUFF!" - BACKGROUND MAGAZINE
(Germany) "FANTASTIC GROOVE!" - Rated 84 Points - D.U.R.P.
(Belgium) "A REAL DISCOVERY!" - PROG-RESISTE
(Netherlands) "A SOUND OF ITS OWN!" - AXIOM OF CHOICE
(France) "AMAZING DEBUT!" - PROGJET
(USA) "FULL AND RICH" - GROUND and SKY
(UK) "MAJOR ALBUM of 2000!" - Rated 100 out of 100! - EURO ROCK
(UK) "REFRESHING ANGLE" - ACID ATTACK MUSIC
(Germany) "STRANGE MAGIC" - PROGRESSION NEWSLETTER
(USA) "SUPERB AND BALLSY" - PROGRESSION MAGAZINE
(USA) "WATCH OUT!" - ESCAPE TV
(Spain) "GREAT WORK!" - **** 4-Star Review - PROGVISIONS