Modest Midget — The Great Prophecy of a Small Man
((Not on label) LZAG004, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01Lionel Ziblat is an Israeli / Argentinean composer and musician based in Holland, and is the visionary and driving force behind Modest Midget, a four-piece touring band, although many more musicians and friends had a hand in creating this, the band’s first full length CD. The thirteen hook-filled cuts (which include four instrumentals) present art-rock in its most powerful form, seemingly drawing some inspiration from rock and pop influences like The Beach Boys, Beatles, Godley & Creme, Split Enz, Mike Keneally, Adrian Belew, and perhaps others. But that’s only half the story. Seamlessly blended in with this are the strong and unmistakable influences of jazz, a worldwide variety of folk styles, klezmer, modern classical, classic progressive rock, soundtrack themes and even touches of punk. The result is nothing short of brilliant, beginning to end. Ziblat is the main vocalist, and handles guitars, keys, bass, and a variety of percussion instruments. Also in the mix are some beautiful harmony vocals, kit drums, viola, violin, clarinet, a full family of saxophones, and much more including additional bass, keys and guitars. The orchestral sections might even remind a listener of the clever arrangement style of Frank Zappa on his classic albums like Waka/Jawaka. Seriously, there isn’t a dull spot on this disc anywhere, and surprises abound at every turn. This will definitely find a place high on my top discs of the year.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more
Canned Heat / John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'n' Heat, Historical Figures, Ancient Heads, & The New Age – If you don't dig the blues and you don't boogie, skip this review. Canned Heat's stock in trade was merging classic blues with rock, and in the late 60s nobody did it better, due in part... (2007) » Read more