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Tyburn Tall - Live ... And Passion CD (album) cover

LIVE ... AND PASSION

Tyburn Tall

 

Heavy Prog

2.39 | 3 ratings

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ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Live...and Passion" is a quite unusual live album recorded in 1996 by shortly re-united heavy-prog German band called Tyburn Tall. To be more interesting it seems that it was only some kind of anniversary concert and the band never played again after it was over. It's really a pity 'cause this performance was quite good especially taking in consideration that most of these musicians seem to already quit music industry when they were playin' it. So we can call it Tyburn Tall's "last stand"!

Anyway "Live...and Passion" concert disk includes live version of 2 songs from TT's debut album, 2 completely new compositions & 8 covers of well known prog-rock or mainstream rock artists.

1. "Fanfare for the Common Man" - album starts off with Aaron Copland's classical composition which became famous after ELP's prog-rock version placed on "Works Vol. 1" LP. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with original so I can only say that it's very similar to ELP's highly energetic version but it's significantly shorter. Anyway I would never guess that's Tyburn Tall here, sounds very much like symphonic power trio (synthesizer, bass, drums) not heavy-prog formation from their 70s days. P.S. Reinhard Magin's keyboard sounds almost completely the same like Emerson's Yamaha GX-1!

2. "Peter Gunn" - jazz standard which has been also often played by Emerson, Lake & Palmer in their late 70s concerts. I can't hear any "original touch" of Tyburn Tall but that's ok. Synthesizer sounds very similar to Yamaha GX-1 again.

3. "America" - Leonard Bernstein's fantastic classical composition is the next track here. It's also very faithful to Emerson's version (played be him in 60s during the years in "The Nice") but it's shorter. For the first time on this recording we can hear Magin's Hammond organ skills. They seem to be as good as back in 70s!

4. "In The Hoof of The Cities (Broken People)" - it's the first track where they start to sound like hard rock/heavy prog band, not keyboards-oriented symphonic trio. In fact "In The Hoof of The Cities" is just a new version of "In The Heart Of The Cities" from their sole studio album (dunno why they changed the name of this song?). Anyway I don't like it too much, instead of bashing organ from the original one we have only piano here which sounds totally out of place for me. Better stick to previous version.

5. "I Am America Too" - another track from studio album which has been completely re-arranged for this concert. Instead of powerful organ-drenched tune from "Tyburn Tall" LP, we have a rather lame ballad here. No organ again, only simplistic piano & some occasional burping synthesizer sound. Klaus Fresenius tries to sound "soulful" but after all it's more like a gospel song here. And as far as I have nothing against gospel songs (I'm a christian after all!), I don't think it suits prog-rock concert...

6. "Brandenburger Concerto no. 3" - my favorite piece of thee album! Truly amazing version of Bach's composition which was also covered by first band of Keith Emerson - The Nice. I don't know, maybe it's because of better production technique but I really prefer Tyburn Tall's "Brandenburger Concerto" than The Nice's one! Magin's Hammond C3 organ sounds just beautiful here, very deep & powerful. His synthesizer also mimic string orchestra very well.

7. "Black Magic Woman - Gypsy Queen" - I've read that "Black Magic Woman" was written by Peter Green, but I'm only familiar with famous Santana's version. Tyburn Tall's attempt on this classic song is rather good. Nothing very original, Cirillo and/or Gallo can't match with Santana's guitar skills of course but overall it's really OK cover. I also like this warm Hammond background similar to Gregg Rollie's performance.

8. "I'm a Man" - another cover, this time of R'n'B song written by Spencer Davis Group. I don't know if original is better (never listened to it) but I surely don't like Tyburn Tall's version. Sounds very amateurish and messy. Guitar/organ quasi-interludes in the middle are disjointed and tiresome. I'm not a big fan of R'n'B too (except good old Graham Bond of course!) so maybe it doesn't let me appreciate this song.

9. "Prelude" - heavily classical influenced composition written by the band (only available on this very album) which sounds more like collage of fragments taken from some other artist's work (but I'm not sure about it). Lots of digital sounding piano & eerie guitar solos. Halfway between Rick Wakeman & Pink Floyd. Nothing spectacular or original. However I like the middle part where Reinhard Magin switches to his trusty Hammond C3 to play brief fragment of J.S. Bach's "Fugue". It's a pity it lasts so short.

10. "Gimme Some Lovin'" - another song originally written by Spencer Davis Group. This one sounds more mature & enjoyable. Klaus Fresenius sings melodic, Stefan Kowa's bass is booming just as it should and Magin adds some heavy organ chops. Not bad at all, but female, soul-like choruses are disgraceful! Especially those gospel like screams in the middle are awful.

11. "Child in time" - Deep Purple's "Child in Time" is definitely my favorite heavy prog epic along with Uriah Heep's "July Morning". Tyburn Tall's cover is really a top notch work, fully professional. Magin perfectly imitate Jon Lord's famous organ melodies, while guitarist tries very hard to play as crazy-fast solo as Blackmore did. Even Klaus Fresenius is in a perfect shape here 'cos he's vocals are truly great, maybe not matching Ian Gillan's but still very solid. Only the last 3 minutes are strange, instead of famous crescendo of wild instrument's and orgasmic screams, we have a long improvised guitar solo which incorporates many well-known themes (even "O Sole Mio" :-).

12. "Friday" - last song is Tyburn Tall's own composition called "Friday". In the beginning it sounds like some soft-rock ballad with acoustic guitar & background organ waves, but later reminds me Uriah Heep's work, especially high-pitched harmony vocals. Something like "The Wizard". Not very memorable but it's a pretty decent ending.

Overall it's a very inconsistent work. Seems that these guy's main idea was to please everybody, so we have pompous organ/synth-driven instrumentals ("Brandenburger Concerto no. 3", "America", "Fanfare for the Common Man"), jazz standard ("Peter Gunn"), R'n'B/pop songs ("Gimme Some Lovin'", "I'm a Man") and heavy-prog epics ("Child in time"). All in all this concert is too disjointed, sound like victim of copy-paste formula, it's just lacking any clear direction. Maybe if they decided to include more of their own material like my favorite "War Game" from their debut LP, it would be better. In general it's not so bad, there are many very entertaining moments (especially those organ runs are great), so I can give it 3,5 stars.

Best track: "Brandenburger Concerto no. 3"

3,5 stars from ozzy_tom

ozzy_tom | 3/5 |

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