Pollen — Pollen
(Kozak/Mezzo K02502-2, 1976/1994, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-10-01The Canadian symphonic progressive scene is one that unfortunately has avoided CD reissue except for the occasional release such as Harmonium, Spirit of Christmas, and the much harder to find Opus 5. There is a great deal of excellent to be reissued form this country, and Distribution Mezzo has risen to the task with plans for reissue of Maneige third and fourth and Sloche's two albums. Pollen is the first of the 70s reissues and was a smart choice, it should appeal to most fans of the vein. Pollen are a quartet led by multi-instrumentalist Tom Rivest who plays bass, some guitar and often keyboards. In fact three out of four musicians double on keys — various analog synths, clavinet, piano, and others. Comparisons can be drawn to other effective dual-key groups — Corte dei Miracoli and Argentines Pablo "El Enterrador" act as decent pointers. Obviously much closer in style would be the inevitable influence of the Anglo-prog bands — Yes and Genesis in particular — the dynamics, melodies, and general feel are remarkably familiar. As with bands like Sloche and Maneige, there is a strong French influence similar to groups like Carpe Diem or Dün, that give it a more European feel. I suppose original isn't the word to use, especially for 1976, yet this is definitely another great album in this vein. Many would call this a classic — I find the first side (especially tracks 2 and 3 on the disc) to be a little too laid back to give it that award. Regardless, this is essential music for the symphonic connoisseur — those looking for more originality might look elsewhere. I still have a soft spot for albums like this.
Related artist(s): Pollen
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