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John G. Perry - Sunset Wading CD (album) cover


John G. Perry

Canterbury Scene

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Tom Ozric
5 stars The first and foremost band to which John G. Perry is mostly associated with would be Caravan, as he would play the bass guitar and contribute some vocals to their albums 'For Girls who Grow Plump in the Night' and the live 'Caravan and the New Symphonia'. If I recall correctly, I have read that sometime in the 80's (?) John was involved in the designing of Bass Guitars for the famous company WAL. After Caravan, he found himself in 'Curved Air', to which he was credited with bass for their mediocre 'Midnight Wire' album (which I don't own anymore, and haven't heard for a decade). Having learnt in recent years of a proper solo release, 'Sunset Wading', I managed to acquire a nice Japan pressed vinyl for my collection and the music presented here is mostly impressive, highly instrumental, kind of incidental, short jams with some 'proper' songs. The musician list is delight to read through - Michael Giles (drums), Rupert Hine (keys) Geoffrey Richardson (viola/flute) and Morris Pert (perc) with contributions from Elio D'Anna (saxes/flute) and Carrado Rusticci (guitar) from the fantastic Italian prog band OSANNA (or NOVA, whom I haven't heard), Roger Glover (barely noticeable ARP synth) Simon Jeffes (Koto/arranger) and a string quartet. Right from the start, flowing water can be heard, with some soft piano, drums and bass guitar to which guest Beryl Streeter beautifully sings a short poem. How goes the Night? is a very atmospheric song featuring some great bass playing and rhythm, with some fine vocals from Perry. The tune itself really captures the essence of the night. The next few tracks are brief instrumental pieces, containing subtle, funky, jammy and brooding textures, all flowing along perfectly in an almost suite-like fashion. Side 2 kicks off with 'Dawn', which blends into 'Morning Song' and 'On The Moor' - incorporating background sounds recorded in the Lake District, Perry also reads a short poem. At times, the Bass playing is free, busy and meandering, but never self-indulgent. Geoffrey R's performance is particularly impressive. Recurring themes appear throughout, giving the album cohesiveness, and a flowing, almost conceptual theme to the project. The last track 'Sunset Wading' is an absolute stunner - blissfully serene and profound. I have no reason to attribute anything less than 5 stars to this, simply essential, lost gem of the Prog world.
Report this review (#98363)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A charming album that would deserve a better recognition. Helped by ex-KC Michael Giles, and two members of the Italian group "Nova", John G. Perry's unique album recalls the lyrical side of Canterbury school and develops an aerial (violin) and pastoral (gentle flute) mood. Some pieces are faded with nature's sound on this concept album dedicated to Mother nature. The music is not complex but sophisticated, elegant and features a rich instrumentation. Except the 7mn "Dawn", all the pieces remain short. Echoes of Gong Shamal's period can be heard. Gentle symphonic pastoral parts (in a Camelian mood) alternate with more muscular jazzrock flights and some very good spacey moments, such as the excellent "Morning song" or the more adventurous progressive experimental "Storm". "As Clouds Gather" strongly evokes Clearlight ("Symphony" period) by its ethereal space cosmic quality and features a thrilling flute. Very good production resulting in a satisfying sound quality with great sound imaging.
Report this review (#112632)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Finally, justice , in its proggiest form (better late than never) is rightfully served with the well-deserved entrance of this charming artist and his 2 solo albums, to the prog community. One of Prog's main attributes is the multiple usages and techniques displayed by some outright virtuoso bass players (Squire, Levin, Rutherford, Hopper, Tony Reeves, Mick Karn, Percy Jones, Pastorius etc...) who also stretch the boudaries of creativity and coalesce brilliantly with their fellow instrumentalists. John G.Perry is not a household name but he is scattered among Curved Air, Quantum Jump, Caravan and Anthony Phillips recordings and should be remembered mostly for this very original, dare I say, uniquely personal disc. In every progfan's collection that possess all the usual suspects, there are always a couple of "faves"that have seared the mind , for no obvious reason. Like Fireballet or Greenslade or Il Volo. I have Nova's Wings of Love and this vinyl jewel (both recently purchased on CD after years of searching) to venerate. I have no idea why these musical testimonies have so deeply impacted my soul. For "Sunset Wading" , it was the sheer calm and beauty emanating from the speakers, pushed gently along by the unmistakable wobbly fretless sounds of the WAL bass , the very English melodies provided by the genius of Rupert Hine's keyboards and Geoff Richardson's stellar string work. The sizzling guitars of Nova's (no surprise there) Corrado Rustici are simply spellbinding when in unison with bandmate Elio d"Anna's tasty flute and oboe. But let's get to the core: Michael Giles is rightly immortalized for his KC Mark I work , as well as a few sessions here and there but on Perry's solo albums , he just shines! The rhythmic content displayed here is astonishing, with the WAL expertly navigating the brushes, the taps, the rolls and the tingle ! I strongly suggest to listen to this gorgeously produced album , focusing just on the bass-drum interplay and you will see exactly what I mean.

From "How Goes the Night"'s intoxicating brew (similar to weather Report's classic "Boogie Woogie Waltz" to the final Title Track, the audiophile-fan is trekking through the English musical countryside, marveling at its verdant pastoral luxuriance. Don't miss out on this masterpiece.

5 wisps of the moor

Report this review (#115066)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars There seemed to be a connection between the bands BRAND X and NOVA in the past and we get members from both bands helping out John on his solo album here. Surprised to see Roger Glover add some synths on one track as well. Geoffrey Richardson adds viola and flute, Richard played with John when they were both part of CARAVAN's "For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night" lineup. By the way the music here sounds nothing like any of the bands i've mentioned. Haha. This is mature Canterbury music. How's that ? A lot of these tracks blend together and we hear water sounds quite often like we're by the lake. Oh ! Giles formerly of KING CRIMSON is on the kit.

"I Wait My Friend" opens with birds singing as the piano joins in and then some light percussion. Female vocals melodies join in before John's vocals take over before 2 minutes. "How Goes The Night ?" is a short intro of piano and drums for "Devoke Water" which is a cool track with a dark atmosphere. It ends with the sound of water and blends into "Birds And Small Furry Beasts". Piano, drums and flute join the water sounds. Check out the eerie violin before 2 minutes. "As Clouds Gather" opens with piano and bass as guitar comes in, flute follows. "Storm" opens with sounds that come and go. It's building and the drums are really prominant. Just an incredible piece of music here. It turns spacey to end it. "Ah Well, You Can Only Get Wet" is uptempo with guitar leading the way early.

"Dawn" opens with nature sounds. Violin before a minute. The tempo starts to pick up before 3 minutes with drums and a fuller sound. Piano joins in and there's so much going on. Great tune ! "Morning Song" has some good violin followed by spoken words and water sounds. "On The Moon" is a smooth sounding track. I like when the rain comes pouring down before 2 minutes. It blends into "Roundelay" as piano joins the rain. "Etude" has a good beat with fat bass lines. Violin joins in. The guitar / violin team rips it up before 2 minutes.Water sounds end it as it blends into "A Rhythmic Stroll" where piano joins the water. Synths, drums and violin on this one as well. "Sunset Wading" features some vocals and a beautiful soundscape. A perfect way to end it.

A charming record that is very well done.

Report this review (#220326)
Posted Monday, June 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars JOHN G. PERRY can be characterized as a nomad musician,playing bass for a great number of bands through the 70's.He began his professional career with Gringo being a member among those who recorded their only LP in 1971.After Gringo gave it up,he played bass for Spreadeagle on their 1972 work ''The Piece of Paper'' before joining Caravan as a session bassist both on "For Girls Who Go Plump in the Night" and "Caravan and the New Symphonia'' (notice that Gringo toured with Caravan in their early years).Perry was also a member of the Canterbury progsters Quantum Jump.At the same time while working with QJ, Perry found time to record his first solo work ''Sunset wedding'',joined by a number of great musicians like Rupert Hine,Michael Giles,Elio D'Anna,Roger Glover among others,while Perry himself handled the bass,piano and some vocals.

STYLE: The title says it all.A very smooth album with an impressive lounge feeling and influences from Jazz Rock,Canterbury Prog,Psych-, Classical- and even World Music.Hard to be compared the album features some hypnotic arrangements based on the combination of steady rhythms and various solos,coming from guitars,violins,flutes and keys.Some ethereal male and female vocals here and there make it even more atmospheric.The addition of ethnic instruments like marimbas and percussions is one of the most interesting stuff in here,while string arrangements are almost everywhere,yet they are so distinctive.I find myself often labeling ''Sunset wedding'' as a tribute to the prog sounds of the 70's,it is such an eclectic mix of styles.14 mainly short tracks scanning the variety of music in general.

SOUNDS LIKE/INFLUENCES: JOHN G. PERRY tried something so different than his work on his previous and current bands.The best way to describe this is like MIKE OLDFIELD joining the Canterbury scene from his early years in a less guitar-oriented style.File next to similar experimental artists like JEAN PIERRE ALARCEN or JOEL DUGRENOT.

PLUS: The best proof that a bassist is not just 1/2 of the rhythm section.This is definitely a great ''wedding'' (to play a little with the album's title') of prog music with a variety of different styles.Unique and very personal album.Very balanced work overall with nicely executed string,flute and keys arrangements.A lounge jazzy atmosphere of amazing beauty to be met.

MINUS: Some gears like a fine dose of interplays or a couple of guitar hooks wouldn't hurt...and this because the album is very smooth and cannot be listened at any time.It requires a specific relaxing mood.

CONCLUSION/RATING: I have listened to this album over a dozen times.Sometimes I find it quite soft,especially when I nedd something more dynamic...but again it happens that I get lost in its very original atmosphere for good.So,when needing something trully compelling yet quite calm at the same time,''Sunset wedding'' is your thing...3 stars,as an average of 2 and 4 depending on my mood.

Report this review (#331465)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A tranquil Canterbury album thrown together by John G. Perry after his brief tenure as bassist for Caravan. Thematically speaking, Sunset Wading indulges a little heavy-handedly in the sort of romanticisation of the countryside Mike Oldfield was also guilty of at the time, and I find myself agreeing with psarros that there seems to be a mild Oldfield influence at work here. I don't detect much Caravan in the compositions this time around - the mood seems a bit more melancholic, serious and thoughtful than Caravan's usual playful mode - but the album is nonetheless a great addition to the less musically frenetic and more laid-back and tranquil end of the subgenre.
Report this review (#548524)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Review Permalink

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