Monday, 23 January 2017
Next Simon and Bard: Tear It Up with Ralph Towner from 1982
After Musaic I was quite eagerly anticipating the next installment but when I heard the first track my heart dropped. Luckily, as in Doug Lofstrom's oddball Beatlesian choice of opener for his Music album, the remainder turned out to be totally of the same inimitable ilk as the first album. It seems the opener merely shows some conciliatory gestures towards the elementary school fuzak that was such an unrelenting and incurable plague of the eighties, after which the musicians are given freedom to play sophisticated and elegantly intelligent music. In fact, already by the second track the sweeter meditative side of the band is quite in evidence, on a little composition called Lazlo's Muse:
Notice the percussive ascending piano chord pattern from Fred Simon which was a big feature of the Musaic composition. As on the previous album, a longer suite appears, this time at the start of the second side, this time called Octabloon. Look forward to that very well composed sonata-structured piece with different tempo'd sections and again very Muffins-like, with a most dramatic finale.
My one perhaps critical comment, meek as it is, may be that ultravirtuoso Ralph is not put to the fore as we had hoped. It's OK-- this is Simon and Bard's show.
Look forward again to more.