Mike Keneally — Wing Beat Fantastic
(Exowax EX-2413 , 2012, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-07-03
Check out the subtitle: "Songs written by Mike Keneally & Andy Partridge." There you see the reason I had to have this. Keneally is a consistently interesting songwriter, guitarist, and singer, and Partridge is simply one of my all-time favorite songwriters — his body of work with XTC stands easily among the greats. Barring a few minor bits, Partridge doesn't appear on the CD other than as a co-composer; the performances are by Keneally and a select group of players including Marco Minnemann, Nick D'Virgilio, Brian Beller, and others. The songs bear the unmistakable Partidge stamp, from the quirky melodic jumps to the clever lyrical turns. Of course, those qualities aren't unknown to Keneally, so it's really a match made in my musical dreams. It's a simply stunning collection of pop songs beautifully realized, much like Keneally's Wooden Smoke crossed with a later XTC gem like Nonsuch. A number of Keneally solo compositions (mostly instrumentals) fill out the set nicely, providing the perfect complement to such wonders as "It's Raining Here, Inside" and "You Kill Me." This is what happens when the talents of a skilled progressive musician are turned towards shorter forms — if only the other progstars who tried their hands at pop had been as successful.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more