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Ken Baird

Crossover Prog

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Ken Baird August album cover
3.68 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (3:21)
2. Trio (9:24)
3. Evening (4:20)
4. Song Of Summer (3:26)
5. August (19:53)

Total Time: 39:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Ken Baird / keyboards, guitars, drums, penny whistle, recorder, trumpet, vocals, composer

- Sue Fraser / vocals

Releases information

CD self-release (1996, Canada)

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KEN BAIRD August ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KEN BAIRD August reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars "August" marks the debut release for this Canadian keyboard talent, delivering some real sweet captivating symphonic prog. BAIRD is a highly skilled multi instrumentalist who plays a very mature and sophisticated music through and through. "August" opens with a highly memorable symphonic prelude which is richly and delicately permeated with acoustic guitar, flute and lush keyboards. Vocals are handled by Susan Fraser who brings a rich fullness to Barid's music. "August" is actually very atmospheric and would make the perfect addition to your Lava Lamp and jade plant. "August"'s instrumental inventory includes acoustic piano, synths, classical guitar, steelstring guitar, penny whistle, recorder, trumpet, drums and percussion. Lovers of symphonic electronic progressive rock will deeply love this album which blends elements of VANGELIS, RICK WAKEMAN, TANGERINE DREAM, Mike OLDFIELD and CODA. "August" is beautiful music that must be heard to be really appreciated...

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Probably Ken Baird's strongest album, his debut features more concise phrasings and a less forced Mike Oldfield inspiration. This can be felt from the very first track which is like a hybrid of "Ommadawn" and "Incantations", albeit substantially less well developed. "Trio" is, appropriately, a three part instrumental that is very pleasant as well, while "Evening" is predominately a piano solo that works in its simplicity, whereas Baird's later works tended to be shrouded in a sort of facade of complexity. The album has very few vocals, but on "Song of Summer", Baird's collaboration with Sue Fraser is gently persuasive. As to be expected, he goes against his better judgement in the "August" suite that really is a collection of less well formed motifs barely held together. Still, this is at times an august album that is definitely the place to start if you must pluck a Ken Baird album from the virtual close out bins on the web.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A great Canadian talent, Ken Baird usually composes his music residing in Dundas, Ontario.He had been a member of several small bands as a youngster, mainly playing keyboards, and has recorded some 200 cassettes and mini-albums between 1986 and 1996.Around the time he also started giving music lessons and decided to launch a first indepedent CD of his music, recorded during August 96', eventually entitled ''August''.In the album Baird performs all keys, guitars, drums, wind and ethnic instruments and also sings, helped only by female vocalist Sue Fraser.

The short OLDFIELD-ian introduction is beautiful, built around Baird's classical guitar and having a strong Celtic influence, while the long ''Trio'' gives an ideas of this man's unique talent.A great mix of Symphonic/New Age Music, Celtic Folk and Electronic Prog with superb work on keyboards, lovely flute themes and elegant acoustic moments.''Evening'' is a delicate piano tune with female choirs, background synths and an electronic vibe towards the end.In ''Song of Summer'' the OLDFIELD-ian influence becomes even more apparent.The only true vocal track of the album is another dreamy effort by Ken Baird, based on Celtic-influenced melodies with piano and flutes in the forefront and excellent both male and female vocals.The eponymous all instrumental 20-min. epic experience left me completely speechless, having a hard time to believe than one person composed such a fascinating suite.''August'' opens with the typical Celtic-influenced style of Baird's previous tunes, before exploding into a bombastic RICK WAKEMAN-ish Electronic/Symphonic Rock monument with unbelievable synth flights and flashy solos all over the place.The rest of the track is intricate Electronic/Celtic Prog Folk, with the music alternating between ethereal folky melodies and synth-based symphonic textures with comfort and confindence.

Fantastic debut with series of high-quality music themes.Highly recommended to all fans of instrumental Prog and especially those deep into MIKE OLDFIELD, STEPHAN CAUDEL or COLIN MASSON.

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