The idea is to take no more than 1/2 hour of your time and present you with four or five songs that have been on my mind, for whatever reason. With the blog entry, I will tell you what I was thinking in presenting these songs in this order. As always, you are free to comment and discuss. In addition, I ask that you contact me privately if you would like information on how to obtain any of these selections or the albums from which they are drawn.
Tangerine Dream – Bondy Parade (5:20) from the Tangerine Tree bootleg series (#37). This recording is from a live performance in Sydney in 1982. Despite Tangerine Dream’s reputation as being “new age” or “head music” (what is that?), I find this excerpt to be a funky little groove. The guitar solo is a bit tentative, but this gives an excellent flavor of how the band had shifted from improvisational to a more song-oriented approach.
SBB – Walkin’ Round The Autumn Town (4:00) from Live in Koln 1979. This is a great instrumental intro that shows how SBB, usually considered more of a jazz fusion act, really used groove-style improvisation that seems to go well with the Tangerine Dream track. Skzerk’s keyboard solo reminds me why I have such deep and abiding love for analog synthesizers.
Black Bonzo – Sudden Changer (4:30) from Operation Manual: The Guillotine Model Drama 2009. This band came into my life from a recommendation on the internet. I have only corresponded with this person online, but there was such strong musical affinity to begin with that I dove into Black Bonzo and was hooked right away. As a contrast from the previous twi tracks, this includes a vocal performance and, while decidedly prog, this has very strong rock elements. Black Bonzo does so many things so well.
Spock’s Beard – The Gypsy (7:30) from Day for Night 1999. This make a nice match for Sudden Changer, despite being ten years older. Spock’s Beard, even today, reminds us that we shouldn’t leave the “rock” out of prog rock. There are so many beloved Spock’s Beard songs, this is an often overlooked gem from the height of the Neal Morse era.
Józef Skrzek is one of “those” guys. He’s working on a whole different level than most of humanity. For about the past forty years he has been doing all his own stunts, writing, performing and even singing once in a while. Skrzek is one of those guys who was going to be famous no matter what. The force of energy contained within him is simply too great not to be shared. Not even the Iron Curtain could hold him back. And, as the leader of legendary Progressive giants S.B.B., he has elevated his status to that of Robert Fripp, Christian Vander of Magma and perhaps even Zappa himself. SBB’s influence may seem less than that of those legends, but the output is nothing short of prodigious, including over 50 official releases. The next one is tentatively titled Blue Trans, and is slated for an Autumn release through Metal Mind.
Here’s a small example of the Tangerine Dream meets Steely Dan vibe that Skrzek favored in the late 70’s:
Share the goodness with the finest in Polish sausage prog. This is one of my all-time favorite bands, but if they come in concert (still touring and making great music!), then it would be a bit of a sausage fest.
And, hey! What’s with that beautiful guitar with the metal neck! Heh heh…
The legends of Polish Prog are back! SBB’s new album is called ‘Iron Curtain’ and it’s so good, for those of us who are so inclined, it will make you cry.
The pressure of the modern world is the reason for human oblivion. We are the generation that destroyed the myth of Europe’s ‘iron curtain’. The new sound of SBB is like a mirror of the lives of the barriers’ breakers…