Lighthouse – Lighthouse

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Artist: Lighthouse
Genre: Progressive rock, funk, rock, jazz fusion, pop, groove, psychedelic
Title: Lighthouse
Released: 1969
Label:RCA
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Skip Prokop / vocals, drums, leader, Paul Hoffert / keyboards, vibes
Ralph Cole / guitar, vocals, Grant Fullerton / bass, vocals, Pinky Dauvin / percussion, vocals, Ian Guenther / violin, Don Dinovo / violin, viola, Don Whitton / cello, Leslie Schneider / cello, Freddy Stone / trumpet, flugelhorn, Howard Shore / alto saxophone
Russ Little / trombone, Arnie Chycoski / trumpet, flugelhorn (uncredited)
Producer:Skip Prokop, Paul Hoffert
Arranger: Paul Hoffert, Freddy Stone

Lighthouse was formed in 1968 in Toronto by vocalist/drummer Skip Prokop (formerly of the Paupers) and keyboardist Paul Hoffert. The two met by coincidence on a flight from New York City to Toronto, and discussed forming a band structured around a rock rhythm section, jazz horn section, and classical string section. Prokop had admired Ralph Cole’s playing when they shared the bill at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, so he brought him to Toronto to be the band’s guitarist. Prokop and Hoffert assembled the rest of the group from friends, studio session musicians, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra members, and proceeded to make a demo recording. On the advice of Richie Havens, Prokop and Hoffert took the demo to MGM Records in New York, who signed the band. Two days later they had a manager, Vinnie Fusco, out of Albert Grossman’s office, who overturned the MGM contract and made a deal with RCA Victor. Lighthouse made its debut on May 14, 1969, at the Rock Pile in Toronto.
Their first album, Lighthouse (this one), was released in 1969 by RCA from RCA’s Toronto Eastern Sound Studio Continue reading

Strawbs – Ghost


Artist: Strawbs
Genre: Rock, Progressive Rock
Title: Ghost
Released: 1974
Label: A&M
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Dave Cousins – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, recorder, Dave Lambert – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
John Hawken – piano, electric piano, harpsichord, mellotron, Moog synthesizer, Hammond organ, pipe organ, Chas Cronk – backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, Rod Coombes – backing vocals, drums, congas, percussion, Claire Deniz – cello on “Starshine/Angel Wine”
Producer:Tom Allom
Engineer: Tom Allom & Mick Glossop

While this isn’t the first Strawbs LP, it is the first one in my collection I randomly chose to review, so I’ll give some bio history here. Continue reading

Glaston – Inhale/Exhale


Yes, it is more new music! Ok, boys and girls, we get to learn a new word today or rather a new sub-genre. Glaston is band from Switzerland. They are listed as Post-rock, but I would describe their style much closer to instrumental *Cinematic Prog-Rock*.


The title of this LP is Inhale/Exhale and it is their debut. Most of the songs on this album to me lean towards kind of a cinematic Perfect Circle with a small dash of Pink Floyd thrown into a couple of tracks.
1.Game of Tones 07:10
2.Levitating 05:56
3.Sunnar 09:51
4.Noir 07:57
5.This isn’t Happening 01:36
6.Implosions and Her 05:53
7.Mariana Trench Skycrapers 07:36
8.Better Luck Next Time 03:57
9.Ritou 09:03
10.In the End 03:01

From the promo: Glaston is a post-rock band from Switzerland founded in 2014. Consisting of four members (Selina Maisch, Jake Gutzwiller, Timo Beeler and David Preissel (IRIJ, Pure Inc.)) They are a purely instrumental band who allow the instruments to tell the whole story, free from vocals. Piano, guitar, bass and drums playfully combine in delicate melodies with dynamic rhythms, creating a sound that is influenced by both Classical Music and Progressive Rock, and at times is even reminiscent of cinematic scores. It‘s place in the Post Rock world is created by it’s leading piano, which builds the heart of the music, its voice. The band is inspired by a range of different artists, from Olafur Arnalds and Agent Fresco to A Perfect Circle.
http://www.glastonmusic.com/

Piano is the main foundation instrument on most of the tracks of the LP.
Track #1 Game of Tones, I consider to be one of my two favorite tracks on the album. It is a pleasantly full sounding track with plenty of instrumentation including strings and organ. My other favorite track is #9 titled Ritou. This 9 minute track has an interesting time signature and no, that is not a skip you are hearing, it is done on purpose. It is similar to the first track in some ways and kind of a Tangerine Dream meets Perfect Circle meets Mannheim Steamroller.
The track 7 “Mariana Trench Skyscrapers”,highlight are the drums with a very interesting stick on stick method in it.

Most of the songs are quite long, but that is a prog-rock standard signature. There is a nice brief interlude at track #5 and the last track could be considered a long outro.

This is a different sounding band with a different sounding style. It is actually a somewhat pleasant listen really. It does raise enough curiosity to check out the rest of their work when it comes out.