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Jane - Tribute To Peter Panka CD (album) cover



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erik neuteboom
4 stars

I have always loved Jane their pleasant sound, I got familiar with it when their legendary 2- LP Live At Home was released, late 1976. OK, it's simple, the lyrics are almost hilarious and the German accent is very obviously but their blend of bluesrock, melodic rock and Heavy Prog often carries me away to a .. 'Progressive Blues Heaven', especially because of the unique combination of pleasant keyboard layers, moving electric guitarwork and warm vocals (often with a melancholical undertone). When I heard about the terrible news that Peter Panka had passed away on June 28th 2007 (only 59 years old) I felt very, very sad. It's great that only a few months later (on November 23rd) friends and fellow musicians organised a Tribute To Peter Panka tour, this concert is from Hannover. The line-up consists of the original members Charly Maucher (bass and vocals) and Werner Nadolny (keyboards), veteran Fritz Randow (drums, once Eloy) and the gitarists/singers Klaus Waltz en Arndt Schultz.

During the concert the emphasis is on the tracks from the Live At Home 2-LP: the opener All My Friends (warm organ sound and wonderful bluesy guitar), Fire Water Earth & Air (beautiful work on keyboards like the string-ensemble sound and Hammond organ and tasteful solos on guitar and synthesizer), Rest Of My Life (very compelling), Daytime (melancholical undertone and strong build-up to an emotional climax with lush keyboards, sensitive guitar and heavy drums), Windows/Spain (Jane at their most progressive including lots of improvisations like an impressive part featuring a kind of 'guitar wall' supporting a psychedelic inspired synthesizer solo on the Moog Liberation), Wind (fluent with organ and propulsive guitar and drums), River (featuring former bass player Martin Hess who looks like a cross between Arthur Brown and Keith Richards), Out In The Rain (including acoustic guitar, delicate interplay between bass and a strings-sound and a moving guitar solo) and Hangman (tasteful guitarwork like early Wishbone Ash and a flashy synthesizer solo). Everything during this concert gets musically an extra dimension because of the way the musicians show their appreciation for Peter Panka, very touchy! The song Tomorrow, from the latest album with Peter Panka, sounds as a modern variation on the early Jane sound, very distinctive and tasteful and during So So Long the stage is crowded with all musicians that joined Jane on this concert like Martin Hesse, drummer Nossi Noske (once Birthcontrol), Peter Panka's daughter Denise Panka (on the socalled 'Stand-Tom') and band members of Harlis (2 songs with pleasant bluesrock between the Spencer Davis Group and Eric Clapton), Jon Symon's Rockballett Warlock (2 songs, once Peter Panka played with them in front of 100.000 spectators!) and the Jutta Weinhold Band (composition Silence, not really my cup of tea).

The Bonus Material on the 2 DVD's contains backstage footage, tour camera work during the Tribute To Peter Panka Tour 2007 from Germany and Belgium and short interviews with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker from Scorpions, Martin Hesse and drummer Fritz Randow (Jane, once Eloy).

This is not typical progrock but in my opinion this 2-DVD is a historical German Progressive Rock document and a very impressive tribute to Peter Panka with lots of great musical highlights, not to be missed by the many Jane fans.

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Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink

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