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Kerry Livgren - One Of Several Possible Musiks CD (album) cover

ONE OF SEVERAL POSSIBLE MUSIKS

Kerry Livgren

 

Crossover Prog

3.97 | 12 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Kerry Livgren is a master of composition, and his body of work with Kansas alone proves it. Kansas, however, was not known for their instrumentals (The two-minute exercise "The Spider" is the only one, and Steve Walsh wrote that). While this instrumental work may not be on the same level as Camel's The Snow Goose, it has several pieces which are excellent listens, and despite the time period, solidifies Livgren's place among the great progressive rock composers. It gives one pause to consider what these pieces might have evolved into had they been preserved for the later Kansas album Somewhere to Elsewhere or one of the Proto-Kaw releases.

"Ancient Wing" The beginning piece on this album has an uplifting introduction, but mainly serves an opportunity right off the bat to showcase Livgren's talents as a tasteful guitarist. The bass throughout sounds almost exactly like what would appear during the instrumental section of "Alt. More Worlds Than Known" on the Proto-Kaw album Before Became After.

"And I Saw, As it Were.Konelrad" This is probably the most dynamic and exciting piece on the album. There is the sound of brass instruments at first, followed by an extremely fast drum and bass beat that introduces Livgren's piano playing at his best. There is the sound of someone announcing "Red alert, red alert- this is not a drill," followed by electric guitar soloing. There are sound effects, additional keyboard, and further piano that make this track quite exciting. It ends with sound of newborn baby crying.

"Colonnade Gardens" Following a short brass introduction, Livgren plays some soulful electric guitar over some fairly cheesy 1980's sounding music (particularly the drums). After two minutes, the piece slows to a keyboard-based section over a lone snare drum. It is highly enjoyable, but could have used to more build, especially since the piece goes into a short harmonica section that leads into a second guitar solo all of a sudden.

"In the Sides of the North" These strings have an epic feel, making this sound like something that belongs in a grand war movie (perhaps Braveheart)- nothing short of beautiful.

"Alenna in the Sun" Several stringed instruments and a Grecian feel are what this is all about. There are some fantastic guitar leads on this one, as well as further piano soloing. The only trouble is that the main riff is overused; other than that, I have no complaints. It happens to be one of my favorites on the album, though.

"Tannin Danse" This piece has a tribal feel, with more primitive-sounding instruments. It probably represents Livgren's urge to be diverse on this album. There are a few interesting parts, but for the most part, it's decent background music, but nothing more.

"The Far Country" This piece sounds like it could have belonged in the Kansas discography (despite the instrumentation). Initially it makes me think of the instrumental section of "Journey from Mariabronn." Livgren uses the harmonica and the electric guitar as lead instruments throughout. It is neither the best nor the worst on this offering.

"Diaspora" Featuring more "world music" sounds and blending them with other synthetic sounds, this piece is a bit unique. It features a rare organ solo, again demonstrating Livgren's prowess on the keys.

"A Fistful of Drachma" Another excellent piece from this album, this one again features a sound similar to what will be heard on the later Proto-Kaw releases. Livgren gives us one of his best piano performances here, one that makes me think of "Distant Vision" from the Kansas album Somewhere to Elsewhere. Soon enough, there is a grand guitar solo that fades out with the song.

"Tenth of Nisan" It was on the tenth day of Nisan (the Hebrew lunar calendar) that the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River to begin their conquest of the promised land of Canaan, beginning with the seemingly insurmountable city of Jericho. Hence the music sounds like a royal procession, with a marching snare drum and a choir.

"Eerie Cove" The final track (a bonus track, it seems) has strong guitar work and wonderful keyboard passages, along with what sounds like an acoustic bass guitar. It has an intriguing middle section, laden with the sound of bass and clarinet.

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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