Phantom Navigator is the seventeenth album by jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, that was released on Columbia in 1987.
The year is 1978: 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer), playing in the woods near his home, is knocked unconscious. He awakens and heads home, only to find strangers living there. He also finds that the year is 1986, and that he's been officially missing for eight years. NASA officials determine that David was abducted by aliens during his blackout, and hope to scan the boy's brain in order to unlock a few secrets of the universe. Answering the call of a strange, unseen force, David boards a well-hidden spaceship and takes off, guided by the jocular voice of a computer named MAX (voiced by none other than Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman). Realizing that he can't fit in to 1986 so long as he's a child of the '70s, David hopes to retrace the steps of his alien abductors and get back to his own time.
This trio was formed in the summer of 1998. The mission has to fill the void, evident in prog-genre niche, by creating a "true" retro-progressive sound. Marc Perrcelli on keyboards/synths and lead vocals, Rob Thurman on drums & lead vocals, Michael Soro on guitars and vocals. Influences of the band include ELP, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes and so on from 70-s era. Their first CD "reEvolution" (vol. 1), a concept piece, was released in 2002. Great stuff… Alas, Marc has left the group some time ago. Nevertheless, Navigator goes on.
This fantasy stars Hamish McFarlane as a young 14th Century boy with acute psychic powers. During the period of the Black Death, Hamish believes that he can rescue his fellow villagers by leading them into an abandoned mine. The fugitives tunnel their way through the darkness and emerge on the other side–into a bustling New Zealand metropolis in the year 1988. The phenomenon is seen from the point of view of the "aliens," to whom every modern convenience and invention is a miracle comparable to the Resurrection. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey creates its own logic, framing the story in the linear form of an ancient legend.
A 12 year old boy goes missing in 1978, only to reappear once more in 1986. In the eight years that have passed, David hasn't aged. It is no coincidence that at the time David 'comes back', a flying saucer is found, entangled in electricity cables.
Soundmill Navigator, a Tangerine Dream Classics Edition, contains a vintage live recording from 1976, where the trio Baumann, Froese and Franke performed a concert at the Philharmonics.The almost 42-minute track finds the musicians in good spirits, as the set features lots of mellotron and antique sound textures, which are later on accompanied by some nice sequencing. Halfway, Edgar’s typical guitar soloing is added as well. Music wise, Soundmill Navigator the space ambient contains lost of elements and characteristics from their albums Ricochet and Encore.
This album is shocking at first, due to its very flashy, seemingly commercial, electronic production.
But it's also "shocking" because of the very radical, unusual compositional approach. The songs on this album are more complex and personal than on any other recent jazz album. This has absolutely nothing to do with "smooth jazz", as some superficial listeners believed.