Mahogany Frog — Do5
(Moonjune MJR020, 2008, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2009-07-01Canada’s Mahogany Frog has been slightly off the main prog radar in their native Winnipeg honing their own incarnation of the 70s classic prog rock sound. On the quartet’s third instrumental recording, keyboardists Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin have done an amazing job resurrecting gear and presenting vintage sounds doing both Mike Ratledge and Dave Stewart proud. This collection of nine well-arranged pieces are grounded as much on Fender Rhodes as Moog, Farfisa, and other classic keys. The other essential ingredient of the band is the rock and jazz elements from guitarist/bassist Scott Ellenberger. His straight and distorted leads blend well on pieces such as “Medicine Missile” and “Demon Jigging Spoon.” The former piece runs the gamut of high pitched synths and psychedelic twisted leads evoking elements of both Egg and Rain Dances era Camel. Drummer J. P. Perron is clearly from the Robert Wyatt school of reckless abandon as prominently heard on the rave up, “You’re Meshugah!” Tracks such as “T-Tigers and Toasters” and “Lady X & Shield Jaguar” show the composers keen grasp of melody, and a rich chord vocabulary. The closing anthem track, “Loveset,” captures much of the uplifting 70s mood in no small part from the well crafted trumpet parts. If you’re an ardent fan of The Rotters’ Club or any Soft Machine this disc will provide a gentle reminder of that halcyon era. Highly recommended.
Related artist(s): Mahogany Frog
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more