Pierre Bastien — Eggs Air Sister Steel
(In Poly Sons IPS 10-94, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01
An interesting album indeed. Each one of the thirteen instrumental vignettes presented here has its own unique character, all within a more-or-less experimental neo-classical context, with some faint hints of jazz, folk, and east Asian elements. While the credits don't say precisely what Bastien plays, one can deduce that it's primarily woodwinds (clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxes) from the fact that none of the listed guests are credited with these, yet they appear in almost every song. Among the listed guests are Françoise and Christophe Petchanatz (a.k.a. Klimperei) on piano, Denis Tagu on accordion, and the mighty Mecanium on various percussion instruments, vibraphone, and guitar. While nothing here could (even by a stretch of the imagination) be considered progressive "rock" (there are no electric instruments anywhere) – that should serve as fair warning to those with misguided expectations, the music herein is at its best playful, creative and extremely original, the kind that grows more meaningful with repeated listens. Recommended for those looking for something completely different.
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
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more