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Gryphon - Red Queen to Gryphon Three & Raindance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.24 | 27 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars If you like folk prog with influences from Early Music and seldom heard instruments like bassoon, recorder and krumhorn, you ought to know Gryphon already, but if you don't have their music yet, buying this mid-price twin edition is the best move. The sheet includes also brief history and photos of the band. Hey, they have toured with YES!

Red Queen to Gryphon Three (1974) is their magnum opus, an instrumental four- piece consept about a chess game. It's a gorgeous, well-crafted composition including both sudden turns and romantic peaceful sections but never missing the focus or being complex only for the heck of it. Instrumentation is lovely, especially the use of reed instruments makes this a special album. Even the most demanding art music connoisseur can value it high.

Raindance (1975) is very uneven, but not to the point that would make it an unwelcome pair here. (Since RQtoG3 is a definite 5-star album, why not grant this with full rate too.) The final number, 16-minute 'Ein Klein Heldenleben' continues the style of RQtoG3, though it's not as good. Before it there are some short tracks that taste badly like fillers. Drummer David Oberlé is a decent low-key singer but the band really wasn't at their best in SONG-writing. (First albums included traditional songs like 'Unquiet Grave' that no doubt are an essential part of Gryphon's charm.) My favourites in Raindance are the instrumental title track, fresh like rain, and the Beatles cover 'Mother Nature's Son'. I even prefer it to McCartney's original on White Album.

Matti | 5/5 |


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