Glass - Glass Live At Progman Cometh


Year of Release: 2007
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4736.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:23:00

The Canterbury style was never the leading voice in progressive rock and things haven't changed much in that regard for the last 35 years. Despite this situation, a few bands still choose to hitch themselves to the Canterbury style and the leading exponent of the style in the US is the northwest trio Glass.

This collection of live tracks, taken from several performances at the yearly Progman Cometh shows (and one track recorded at Mexicali's Baja Prog Festival) are all a few years old, recorded in 2002 and 2003. The band has just now returned home from a series of European appearances and even though I would have enjoyed hearing the sound of Glass' most recent tour I guess we will all have to be satisfied with these archival tracks from the past. And since we are speaking about the past ,I may as well mention some familiar names from the golden age of Canterbury who appear as guests on this disc. Hugh Hopper and the late Elton Dean, both of the legendary Soft Machine appear; as does Richard Sinclair, the former bassist and vocalist of Caravan, Hatfield And The North and Camel. In addition to these names from Canterbury's heyday, Glass also welcomes Bill and Paul Kopecky and guitarist Pete Pendras among others.

Canterbury generally comes in two flavors -- heavily jazz influenced prog, often instrumental, but sometimes with humorous lyrics; and less common, a sometimes harsher, sometimes more symphonic sounding experimental instrumental style featuring simple themes that are constantly under development. The latter is what one will hear on this latest Glass disc as the band works its way through a few of their best known pieces.

Some of the best works on this disc are also the lengthiest tracks that appear here, "Dedicated To Mike (But We Can't Find Him)" and "The Catch." Both of these pieces feature classic Moog tonalities, ever evolving percussion, punchy bass guitar and the sounds of real Mellotron and Fender Rhodes electric piano. These two tracks also benefit from the sax lines of Elton Dean, with guitar playing (including some cool slide work) from Pete Pendras on "Dedicated To?.." and bass guitar and snare drum stylings from the Kopecky brothers on "The Catch".

Track two, "Miles, Monk, Elton And Mom," is the disc's shortest offering at just over 4 minutes and, as you may have guessed by its title, this track showcases the sax work of Elton Dean. The disc's fourth track is the moody and expansive "Big Sur 9-14-2000," which sees the band performing with Richard Sinclair, who leads the band through a kind of Gregorian chant, and Paul Black and Jim Smiley on drums and keyboard sampler, respectively.

The disc's final track is "No Stranger To The Skies," the title track from the band's debut release. It was recorded at Glass' appearance at the 2002 Baja Prog Festival and while this track sounds good, it does not match the recording quality of the preceding cuts. Where the other tracks sound as if they were recorded off the mixing board, "No Stranger To The Skies" comes across more like a good quality bootleg. Despite the noticeable difference in sound quality this is the best tune on this disc in my opinion. It is lushly landscaped with dreamy walls of Mellotron and nourished with the most memorable themes on this disc.

Most of the music on this fine release was originally penned for Glass' long delayed debut disc No Stranger To The Skies and as such, it lives and breathes with the spirit of the seminal Canterbury proggers, Soft Machine.

If you are a fan of Canterbury prog or you just want to find out about one of the most interesting sub-genres of progressive rock, then you will definitely want to hear one of the few bands around who continue to champion the style into the 21st century. Oh, and you don't have to take my word as to the quality of the music on this disc. Ask the ex-members of Soft Machine or Hatfield And The North if you should take a moment to listen to the music of Glass.

What would they say? Long live Canterbury and long live Glass!


Tracklisting:
Dedicated To Mike (But We Can't Find Him) / Miles, Monk, Elton And Mom / The Catch / Big Sur 9-14-2000 / No Stranger To The Skies

Musicians:
Jeff Sherman - bass, Fender Rhodes, bass pedals, samplers, sound samples, effects
Greg Sherman - Roland A-90 keyboard controller, synthesizer, Korg 01W sampler, Mellotron
Jerry Cook - drums, tympani, gong, percussion, e-drums, effects

Guests:

Elton Dean ? saxello, alto saxaphone (1, 2, 3)
Hugh Hopper - bass guitar, effects (4)
Richard Sinclair - voice, effects (4)
Pete Pendras - acoustic guitar, electric guitar (1)
Bill Kopecky - fretless bass guitar (3)
Paul Kopecky - snare drum (3)
Paul Black - drums
Jim Smiley ? Korg 01W (4)

Discography:
No Stranger To The Skies (2000)
Illuminations (2005)
Glass Live At Progman Cometh (2007)
Spectrum Principle (2010)

Genre: Canterbury

Origin US

Added: January 4th 2008
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Score:
Artist website: www.rpursuit.com/GlassBros/Index.asp
Hits: 2392
Language: english

  

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