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The Psychedelic Ensemble


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The Psychedelic Ensemble The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur album cover
4.00 | 147 ratings | 6 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture - Into The Night (7:54)
2. The Quest (4:54)
3. The Secrets Of Your Mind (5:46)
4. The Benefaction Of The Noble Wizard (5:06)
5. Listen To Me (6:10)
6. Stones To Flowers (1:30)
7. Magicking (2:30)
8. The Riddle (7:55)
9. Dream And Premonition (4:22)
10. Strange Days (6:37)
11. End Of Days - Epilogue (10:53)

Total Time 63:42

Line-up / Musicians

- anonymous /composer, performer, producer

- undisclosed guest musician / fiddle (8)
- undisclosed guest musician / falsetto voice (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Sam Del Russi

CD Glowing Sky Records ‎- GSR-DMJ-07 (2011, US)

Album includes poetry, lyrics, liner notes, and extensive original artwork

Thanks to Psychedelic Ensemble for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur ratings distribution

(147 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Thanks again to Sunhillow and Does anyone recognize how lucky we are to have The Psychedelic Ensemble in our lives? Three top notch albums in three years--and all conceived, composed, performed, and produced by one guy! Has there ever been a solo composer/performer who has produced music of this quality? And people: This Is The Best of all the Psychedelic Ensemble releases. It is utterly astounding! Time after time I am blown away by the emotion, the virtuosic performances--on many instruments--and the incredible clarity and engineering of this production. There are many times on this album that I am hearing an instrument solo, duelled by another, then a third! a FOURTH! even a fifth instrument gets into the act--all playing top notch riffs, talking to each other through the fire of their instruments. Astounding! Amazing!

God! I hate these reviews and the inability to get my excitement and enthusasm across. This, not "Shattered ..." or "Visions" or "Grace for ..." or "Ghosts" or SKE may be the Album of the Year!! Certainly the year's Best Album That Nobody's Ever Heard! There is no keyboard player on the planet that can compare to this guy's power and versatility.

The album opens with a cacophony of beautiful world sounds: bells, sitars, church organ, fuzz guitars and so much more, before it kicks into a great rocker with such a fullness of sound. 1. "Overture: Into theNight" (9/10) is such a 'complete' well-thought out, well-constructed song (much like many of the BIG BIG TRAIN compositions of recent years)--which sets the stage for a whole album of absolutely TOP QUALITY music. The 5:54 mark gives the first real introduction to the ride you're in for: amazing soli, multiple instruments dueling (in this case like STEVE HOWE and RICK WAKEMAN in their finest hours).

The instrumental, 2. "The Quest" (4:54) begins with a STARCASTLE/ROBIN TROWER sound until the main themes are played simultaneously buy guitars and multiple keyboards. Love the 'bubble bass' sounding not unlike fretless master PERCY JONES. He even gets a solo (an awesome one at that!) at the 2:40-3:10 span. Return to STARCASTLE/YES sound. Awesome energy! (9/10)

3. "The Secrets of Your Mind" (5:46) opens with a bit slower pace but with exciting 'bubble' JACO PASTORIUS-like bass patterns. Vocals are rather high and etheric--somehow similar to JAMES TAYLOR--with some really well-constructed intricate harmonies. The long solo section has more laid back and layered approach to multiple instrumental soli--electric and acoustic guitars, electric and acoustic keyboards, GENIUS! Absolute genius!! (9/10)

Next is the mind-bending church organ song, 4. "The Benefaction of the Nobal Wizard" (5:06). This was my first experience while listening to this album of goosebump and awe. It starts simply, unassumingly. Then, suddenly a full organ chord is added. Then, second hand and bass pedals. The effect is humbling, truly humbling. Not unlike Wakeman's intro to Yes' "Awaken" combined with the the traditional Yes intro, Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite"--but with more emotion. (10/10)

5. "Listen to Me" (6:10) brings us back to Earth--but at fairly high speed--and with some incredible keyboard and guitar work--the level of instrumental performance has just been turned up to 11! Vocals are the ONLY weak point here--and they aren't bad! (9/10)

The all-too-brief 6. "Stones to Flowers" (1:30) brings us back to the BEATLES/MAMAS & THE PAPAS 60s before gently fading into a dreamy BBT-like vocal collage. (5/5)

7. "Magicking" (2:30) presents a beautiful, sensitive, virtuosic acoustic guitar duet. Somewhat reminiscent of "Mood for a Day" but moreso of Brother Ape's gorgeous BILL EVANS-like "In a Rare Moment" from 2010's In A Rare Moment of Insight. (10/10)

8. "The Riddle" (7:56) puts speed and multi-instrumental soli back in our faces in a BIG way! My favorite song on the album, it is full of such hauntingly beautiful melodies--every vocal, instrument's sound, instrumental solo is of such high adrenaline pumping value that I don't think even JAN AKKERMAN could do it better! Amazing song. I've listened to it over and over--and have had such joy trying to imagine playing all of the soli, imagining the level of extreme genius that could compose and perform at such a high level. TPE simply cannot be human! (10/10)

Then--GET THIS--"The Riddle" is followed by a truly rare and amazing song of deft skillmanship:

The bass performance on 9. "Dream and Premonition" (4:22) is jaw-dropping in a JACO PASTORIUS way. A song if you heard you would not soon forget! (10/10)

The vocal harmonies and guitar and flutes on the JETHRO TULL-like 10. "Strange Days" (6:38) are wonderful. Not unlike 2010's CICCADA release, Garden of Earthly Delights, like getting a fresh dose of great TULL! (9/10)

The album's closer, the 11-minute epic, 11. "The End of Days: Epilogue" (10:53) is interesting for its emotional Richie Havens-like lead vocalist, high paced frenetic drumming ( la BROTHER APE), and of course, amazing interplay of what seems like an infinite number of keyboards and guitar. Great BIG BIG TRAIN feel to it. (18/20)

A five star album; A TIMELESS MASTERPIECE. (No arguments accepted.)



Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Psychedelic Ensemble have released a number of albums and their latest is a superb example of modern Neo Prog. "The Dream of the Magic Jongleur" is the vision of the one man multi instrumentalist who remains anonymous and proudly enigmatic. His style is extreme psychedelic at times sounding like the acid rock of the 60s such as on 'Overture Into the Night', a blistering keyboard driven master work.

The bass is incredible on this album and really glistens with creativity on 'The Quest'. Each track sounds different, the vocals are pleasant and there are even shades of quasi-Neo on tracks such as 'The Secrets of Your Mind'. The harmonies are terrific and the music is organic, and creative at all times.

'The Benefaction Of The Noble Wizard' begins with piercing cathedral church organ, reminding me of one Wakeman. Even the melody is like Wakeman. One can imagine a royal procession making their way down the aisle. The pipe organ is joined by bass pedals, and "rollerball" atmospheres. Hmmm, church was never like this.

'Listen To Me' has a guitar intro, striking after the church organ. A very nice funkadelic rhythm locks in with spacey keyboards, and glorious Happy organ sounds. The vocals return, interesting lyrics; "gather ye round, hear ye what I found, my magic is on display to all, I've got a tale to sing to you, now listen to me." The lead break is great. The tale continues of a Wizard of dreams where it is said the dragon dwells. The flute sound and lute is as medieval as Gryphon. The keyboard runs are stellar on this, a definitive highlight.

'Stones To Flowers' is a short thing sounding like the 60s are back. A throwback to the flower power scene.

'Magicking' is a wonderful twin acoustic virtuosic guitar solo. The harmonics are beautiful, so good to hear at the end of the day as night falls.

'The Riddle' is an 8 minute labyrinthine journey into mystical musicianship. The keyboard runs are frenetic, the vocals are multi tracked and beautifully harmoinised, the percussion is deliriously sporadic and the soloing is incredible. The synergy of dynamic tension and release, instruments competing and warring against wild time sigs, is masterful. This is a quintessential highlight not to be missed.

'Dream And Premonition' brings things into a dreamy soundscape, a bass solo over an ambient keyboard pad. It builds into some awesome dramatic blasts and bass guitar heaven. One of the best basslines I have heard.

'Strange Days' is quite strange, acoustic chord progression and a flute sounding like Ian Anderson dropped by or a chat. The vocals are even a bit like Anderson; "strange days indeed, am I lost in a dream, these are strange days it seems, like the darkest of dreams." There is an angular guitar over a keyboard solo and gorgeous flute embellishments. The lead break is good but mixed a little low. I love that shimmering Hammond though. Then a louder guitar break and keyboard run chimes in. It is a relaxing journey and definitely well worth listening.

'End Of Days ? Epilogue' is an 11 minute romp to finish this incredible album. It begins with esoteric effects, a bell chimes, a grand lead guitar is heard, reminds me of Pink Floyd but it is very regal pop rock. The heaviest riff crunches in with lighning fast key runs answering. I love that off kilter time sig and heaviness. The music is so dense it needs to breathe and so the sig is fractured with a new sig, speedy percussion and steady vocals; "the sea is churning blowing over me, the stars are burning blazing down on me, and it seems like end of days." The next key run is very techno and way of the scale. As good as Jordan Rudess running over his continuum. The musicianship is exemplary.

I am glad I heard this and it was a prime example of a one man genius, a vision and virtuosic skill doing what he loves; creating a compelling album of glorious prog. Some parts could be improved, and more musicians would augment the overall feel, maybe some guests vocalists, but this is excellent psych prog by any standards.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I was fortunate enough to get a physical copy of this album from the man who is the creator of THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE. I can't tell you his name because he has chosen to remain anonymous, but I have talked to him. He told me that with his music he tries to retain the spirit of classic Prog while introducing those Classical and Fusion influences that he has studied over the years. I have to say that this is a classy release with lots of info in the liner notes with lyrics and a discussion about the album's concept. Also there are some beautiful pictures which are related to the story. I've made it no secret that i'm not really into concept albums but this is one I can get lost in. As far as the music goes my only complaint is that the synths are very dominant at times. I love spacey synths but these are more in the style of Rick Wakeman showing what he can do. A minor complaint and one that is about my tastes only. I actually feel the same way about the synths in "Romantic Warrior" by RETURN TO FOREVER. Not bad company right ? The compositions here though have left me shaking my head in appreciation. This isn't what I was expecting at all. This isn't what i'd call Neo, in fact I thought of YES more than any other band. A lot of these tracks blend into one another as well.

"Overture-Into The Night" opens with church bells and atmosphere before it kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals follow then synths. Atmosphere and vocals then lead before a beat and lots of synths take over. Atmosphere and church bells end it. Great start ! It blends into "The Quest" which opens with the church bells still ringing from the previous track before synths come in swirling as we get some bombast. The guitar makes some noise in a good way and the drums seem to be all over the place. It settles late with atmosphere and blends into "The Secrets Of Your Mind". Vocals lead with a beat and synths before a minute. Church bells ring briefly after 2 minutes then we get some guitar. Vocals are back before 5 minutes. "The Benefaction Of The Noble Wizard" reminds me of Wakeman as the organ leads throughout. "Listen To Me" opens with guitar before drums and synths kick in along with bass. Vocals join in and it eventually blends into "Stones To Flowers" where it settles down with vocals and picked guitar.

"Magicking" is led by intricate guitar then we get "The Riddle" where we hear some fiddle along with synths and more. I like this one a lot. "Dream And Premonition" has some powerful atmosphere and it turns experimental and dark before kicking in somewhat.Great stuff ! "Strange Days" is another killer tune. Strummed guitar, flute and vocals lead early. Very cool.Synths after 3 minutes. Drums, organ and guitar follow and check out the passionate backing female vocals. "End Of Days-Epilogue" ends it and what a way to finish ! This is my favourite track and the longest at almost 11 minutes. It's raining as the thunder booms. Church bells and atmosphere follow. A heavy soundscape takes over before 2 minutes. So good.Vocals and more later. The synths rip it up 4 minutes in. Lots of synths as it brightens late.

This is one of the more interesting albums i've listened to this year and a solid 4 stars.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US-based outfit THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE appeared more or less out of nowhere in 2009, a one man project whose creator prefers his endeavors in the field of progressive rock to stay anonymous. "The Dream of the Magic Jongleur" is his third full length production and was released in 2011.

The Dream of the Magic Jongleur" is an impressive creation, especially since it has been conceived, developed and recorded by a single person. And while some friends do help out with some details, this is the vision of one man. A man with a strong and deep affection for yesteryear's brand of symphonic progressive rock, and who has tried and, at least to my ears, succeeded in crafting a disc filled with music that should find strong favor among others who share his fascination, in particular for the sophisticated varieties of it.

Review by Progulator
4 stars First off, who is this guy and why does he want to remain anonymous? The Dream of the Magic Jongleur seriously took me by surprise and knocked my socks off. Apparently this anonymous bard plays just about everything on the album, and it's all amazing. Ultra spacey synths everywhere, brilliant layers of vocal harmonies and intertwining keyboard and guitar leads and melodies make this album a fantastic listen. What we basically get here is an amazing blend of jazz fusion (reminds me very much of Return to Forever's first album) with northern European folk overtones joined together by hyper-spacey symphonic prog arrangements. All the notes and chord shifts count on this record. The leads are fantastic, the tone is gorgeous and the runs are fun and expressive. On songs such as the Overture, you get this great vocal like dialogue going on between keyboards and guitar leads, in a Borg Sex kind of way (for the Satriani fans out there). The vocals are fantastic (somehow recalling a bit of Jethro Tull?), making you enjoy the entire composition rather than skipping straight to the keyboard solos. For all the comparisons to other bands, I didn't feel like the album was a rip off in the least bit. This is just fantastic symphonic prog. Period.

Latest members reviews

5 stars With so many once-great prog bands releasing an increasing number of disappointing albums, it is a rare treat to find new bands with that "classic prog" sound making fresh and exciting music. One such band, The Psychedelic Ensemble, has been making quite a name for itself lately. This anonymous one- ... (read more)

Report this review (#613526) | Posted by Slamphear | Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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