The Morrigan's music is a lively mixture of traditional Celtic folk with prog rock, sometimes leaning heavily in either direction. Their sound is distinctly original and full of magic vocals, their music made up of warm melodies wrapped up in rich arrangements (sometimes of their own composition, sometimes re-arranged traditional folk songs). Imagine a heavier sounding Steeleye Span and then move them up a notch on the prog scale. The band originated in 1984 when Tom Foad, a guitarist from hard-rock/metal band The Avalanche, was looking for something a little more acoustic. Soon, singer/musician Cathy Alexander joined him, followed by bassist Cliff Eastabrook. However, Foad's commitments to his previous band proved to be too time consuming and so, he was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Colin Masson (who, by the way, has done all the artwork for the band's albums). In addition to Alexander and Masson who are still with the band after two decades, two out of three excellent full-time musicians who feature on their latest album have since left.
The musical reconstructions industry keeps gathering pace, but few works have attracted as much attention as Mahler's 10th Symphony. Joe Wheeler (who died in 1977) was a brass-playing British civil servant with a passion for Mahler. This completion (itself in an edition by the conductor here, Robert Olson) uses the leaner orchestration of the composer's later years. But does it sound Mahlerian? Certainly more so than Remo Mazzetti's 1997 version, but neither caps Deryck Cooke's acute sense of authentic detail and color in his legendary edition.
Patricia Barber, who is both a fine keyboardist and an atmospheric singer, contributes roughly half of the material to her Premonition debut. Her dark voice and the generally esoteric program takes awhile to get used to (listeners will have to be patient), but after two or three listens, this thought-provoking and rather moody set becomes more accessible…
Never realised the breadth of the "Pop-Sike" genre until I heard Fading Yellow, a really fine compilation that hangs together beautifully as an album. That most of the tracks are obscure isn't surprising: everything is a little odd, a little ramshackle, with a strong melancholic undertow and not a little creepiness. Of course, this music is also specific to a particular time in Western pop music history so there's a strong nostalgic element, but the knowledge this music could never be exactly replicated is what also makes it so fascinating. Recommended, in a warm and loving 60s way.
After the success of their first album « A suivre », the PJBB members have now chosen the Mediterranean as a playground. In a festive and warm atmosphere, their music is sometimes full of energy, sometimes of sensuality. The big band is still conducted by trumpet player Nicolas Folmer and saxist Pierre Bertrand, who composed almost all the pieces, except for two that were composed by their guest, the accordion player Richard Galliano.