First off, The Music That Died Alone has not left my cd player! this is a rare occurance as i usually listen to a cd then put it away until I want to hear it again but this one creeps back in. This is not a good thing when I have other cds to be reviewed but they can wait a bit while I enjoy this another time. *wink*
This started out as a solo project for Andy Tillson Overdrive (Parallel or 90 Degrees) but once Roine Stolt got to hear some of what Andy was doing, he soon wanted in. Joing him from The Flower Kings are Jonas & Zoltan. Joing Andy from PO90 Sam Baine from Parallel or 90 Degrees, solo artist (and sometime collaborator on PO90) Guy Manning, and the legendary David Jackson from Van Der Graaf Generator.
Okay now most are thinking, Transatlantic II? First off no Americans are involved plus musically The Tangent is more diverse. Here you get a nice blend of modern production with old school instrumentation to get a quirky mix of symphonic prog, Canterbury, and fusion.
As I said in the opening statement, I can't stop playing this disc!
Another plus is having two keyboard players, Andy along with Sam adds a truly rich sound, especially the monster Hammond provided by Andy. Stolt's unique guitar stylings are evident here as on any TFK recording but he adds a more loose jazzy guitar playing which can be heard on "The Midnight Watershed".
This is also a nice welcome return from David Jackson, whose sax & flute playing is one of the highlights of this CD. He brings the "old school" feel to the whole disc.
The first suite is the eight-part "The Darkest Dreams", a blend of complex, keyboard driven fusion and memorable catchy vocal melodies on "Night Terrors" and "Night Terrors Reprise".
The second section of the CD is "The Canterbury Sequence", a three-part suite that harkens back to the Cantebury days most notably in the vocals. Andy really got the Richard Sinclair vocals down. Plus I saw the band got praised by Richard himself. That's an honor indeed! Guy Manning's rolling mandolin work on "Captain Manning's Mandolin" is also a highlight. Everyone again compliments each other, no soloing. Ah so refreshing!
"Up Hill From Here" is an upbeat almost "commerical" sounding song and very similar to what PO90 or Man on Fire are doing these days. Ending off the disc is the title track, "The Music That Died Alone" is a four-part piece which showcases what these fine musicians can really do.
The Music That Died Alone is a welcome addition to any prog fan's collection and it's one that already is a favorite amoung other reviewers. In my humble opinion, this is by far one of the best recordings to be produced in 2003.
reviewed by Ron Fuchs on September 21st, 2003
To get to the artist's website, please click on the CD cover.