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GLASS

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Glass biography
GLASS is a Progressive Rock trio from the Pacific Northwest who have blazed the path for alternative instrumental music in that area and beyond, since their inception in 1970. As one of the first Progressive bands in Washington State, GLASS made a name for themselves across college campuses and coffee houses, weaving their unique blend of English progressive influences (i.e. ELP, YES, SOFT MACHINE) into impressive concerts.

In the mid 70's members of the band made their way to England, the birthplace of their musical roots. Demo tapes in hand, they garnered attention from several British management agencies and a few record label A&R people. But their goal of being signed to a European record label was not forthcoming and they returned home in the summer of '75. Back home in The States they persevered writing new material, weathering member changes and opening minds with their visionary sound. Unfortunately, they weren't able to break into the commercial music scene of the day - their location and music being somewhat removed from the mainstream back then - and the financial rewards necessary to keep their artistic endeavor alive were not forthcoming.

In 1975 the original lineup of Greg Sherman, his brother Jeff and drummer Jerry Cook disbanded. In 1976 A last ditch attempt to keep the band alive was mounted and longtime friend and drummer Paul Black was brought in to replace Jerry. After a career move to New York City that summer, a subsequent string of non-eventful performances there and one final studio recording with Jerry back in Seattle the following year, GLASS finally called it quits.
Fortunately for the music world, their permanent retirement was not to be. In early 1999, after a decade of watching the Internet - driven International Progressive Music Scene grow, the original members of GLASS decided that perhaps the world had now caught up with them. Meetings ensued throughout that year, old master tapes resurfaced, archiving was done and the resulting triumph was the CD "No Stranger to The Skies" on their own independent label Relentless Pursuit Records. The album is a brilliant retrospective that includes material spanning the length of their early career. The CD set has done so well that in May of 2004, the French Progressive label Musea Records re-released it worldwide through retailers and major online music sources such as Amazon.com. Finally, the goal they sacrificed and struggled so hard for in the '70s was realized. Th...
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GLASS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GLASS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 13 ratings
No Stranger To The Skies
2004
3.36 | 12 ratings
Illuminations
2005
3.07 | 8 ratings
Spectrum Principle
2010
3.06 | 26 ratings
Palindrome
2014

GLASS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
Live At Progman Cometh
2007

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GLASS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Palindrome by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.06 | 26 ratings

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Palindrome
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars This is a totally different prog album which is labeled symphonic prog. The American band "Glass" seams to have been around for a long time but their records are made in the twentyfirst century. "Palindrome" from 2014 is their fourth effort and it has a pleasant cover with an old house with a nice red colour. "Glass" is a trio made up by Greg Sherman, Jerry Cook and Jeff Sherman who are playing a lot of instruments such as mellotrons, synthesizers, drums, guitars and basses. The music though is heavily synthesizer driven.

It starts promising and ends terribly. In the beginning of the record I like what I hear. It's something unique I have never heard before. "No Sanctuary" is a track dominated of a church organ and this modest and fine track don't force the listener to anything. I like its unassuming way of get into me(7/10). "Satori" (6/10) and "One"(6/10) are also pleasant recordings of fine small melodies and sincere instrumentation. But the music is quite monotonous if you continue to listen and it becomes more and more of just an alternative sound wall where the band experiments with small music. The worst example is the terribly long "Arrhythmia Linger Longer"(2/10) and many of the others are just as boring to hear. In my opinion the most of this record is quite meaningless. Though must I say as a defence, the bright moments of the record are very fresh. The music of "Glass" is fefinitely something new. It's definitely not modern symphonic prog such as Glass Hammer of Spock's Beard. Neither is it like the seventies finer examples or organ rock a' la ELP. This is something totally unique that could give it one more star just for that. In my ears though, boring music with potentials. Two stars!

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 Palindrome by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.06 | 26 ratings

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Palindrome
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars Commendable effort in attempting to recreate early 70's Canterbury feel, but sadly, the end result falls rather short of expectations. Obviously, the band must have heard of Soft Machine, and perhaps even of Matching Mole, but the reality is that with even Hugh Hopper guesting, the music reminds of less memorable moments of those peers released 40 years earlier.

Back then when the release of every album was eagerly awaited and sometimes pre- ordered, artists could afford to indulge in longer, meandering compositions. Side long tracks building up slowly, then concluding without much substance in the middle were accepted then. Fast forward 40 years and with the glut of music is now available, such approach no longer seems to be adequate.

I gave this album a few spins and it had grown on me - if only marginally - but failed to leave a lasting impression. GLASS appears to have fallen in the trap of not realizing that an indulgent approach is no longer sufficient to raise much admiration. Those days are over.

The use of an old church organ in France at the start is a clever choice. Unfortunately, it fails to take full advantage of the full potential of the rich timbre of such instrument would have afforded. The end result is akin to a half-cooked gourmet meal that already smells good, but left unfinished.

Following that, we reach indulgence territory of often aimlessly meandering sound with the odd, livelier passage thrown in. A Ratledge-like riff on keys is frighteningly close to what has already been released by Soft Machine and it has raised my eyebrows. Not sure what to make of it, is it a tribute to SM, or blatant copying?

"Palindrome" is a mildly enjoyable work, nothing disturbing there, but boredom sets in early in the scene. I appreciate the intent, but this work is amongst the least memorable associated with Canterbury. I can't go above a 3 star rating here.

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 Palindrome by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.06 | 26 ratings

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Palindrome
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by rcarlberg

5 stars The use of a real church pipe organ -- an 1849 Whalley-Genung in the First Presbyterian Church of Port Townsend to be exact -- recalls Minimum Vital from France (or their more- recent derivation, Vital Duo). The long sinewy melody lines remind of Ratledge-era Soft Machine. The recording quality is intentionally vintage, recorded partly in the aforementioned church and partly in a converted barn in Port Townsend, directly to a Revox A-77 two-track. Instruments include analog synthesizers and vintage keyboards such as the Mellotron and Fender Rhodes piano, plus a mind-boggingly huge drumkit.

If you're familiar with Glass's music you know they sound like nobody else -- epic and hypnotic at the same time, tuneful and repetitive. This their seventh release continues the patented "Glass sound," but with the added benefit of a total rethinking of modern recording techniques.

It might take several spins to adjust your ears, as this CD sounds like nothing else on the market. The effort will be richly rewarded however with a glimpse of the musical vision of the world's most distinct symphonic progressive trio.

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 Spectrum Principle by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.07 | 8 ratings

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Spectrum Principle
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Spectrum Principle from 2010 issued at same Musea keep the music on same coordinates as on Illuminations, no big improvements here, same instrumental album with ocasionaly some spoken words and good symphonic prog arrangements. This is not a spectacular album at all, the pieces goes very well here, the atmosphere is very sumbre but is well played with some good ideas overall like Apahy or Saturation, all has same level not highlights not lower points, only ok most of the time. The musicians handles very ok the instruments, the arrangements suffers in some more colorfull passages or maybe they need some more up tempo apieces not to be at the end of the album alsmost sleepy. In the end a good album for sure, same as previous one, 3 stars ok most of the time but nothing really is excellent and inovative here. Symphonic prog fans can take some spins , Glass is one of the unnoticed bands coming from USA from this genre.

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 Illuminations by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.36 | 12 ratings

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Illuminations
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Glass from USA has a very long career with up and many downs and their first incarnation dated from mid '70's. I know this band for some years and now I decided to give some spins of two of thir albums I have. One of them is Illumination from 2005 issued by Musea. Well, the intro Overture is really nice, lots of keybords and elegant arrangements, really good and the pieces flows very good from one to another. The album has 3 sections first is The Secret Life Of Aqua J. Long who contains 3 pieces, the best from the album, at least for me, is the most up beat part of the album with strong musicianship, mellotron and very good drums. The second section is Electronic Synaesthasia who has 3 pieces, this is the most calm and mid tempo almost slow pieces of the album with space atmosphere, jazzy interplays, ot band but nothing really great as the fist part of the album. The third section Alchemy Of The World who has 6 pieces is the most experimental in arrangements, from jazzy arts to symphonic moments all in good measure just to be pleasent for the listner, not bad at all but again not the best part of the album. All in all an intresting symphonic/space album with good passages,, but I don't think is quite impressive overall, has some very nice moements and musicinship is great in some parts, but because the most of the album is almost mid tempo to slow I can't give a very big rate and many stars, to me is a 3 stars album, good but far from being really excelent.

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 No Stranger To The Skies by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.16 | 13 ratings

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No Stranger To The Skies
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Glass were a woefully unsung - or perhaps I should say unknown - group of heroes that made a go of it after seeing Soft Machine open for Hendrix in Seattle, 1968. They'd been the cover band Outcasts earlier that decade when Greg and Jeff Sherman [keys & bass/guitars] drafted drummer Jerry Cook but intrigued with the liberties taken by British art bands, they began focusing entirely on original work. After many trials and tribulations, nothing was ever issued until finally in 1999 old tapes were retrieved and mastered for release in 2001 on their own Relentless Pursuit label, saving yet another important prog band from oblivion and securing this trio's impressive accomplishments for the record book.

No Stranger to the Skies is a 2 CD set of handpicked numbers from their heyday in the mid '70s, disc one from the studio and disc two a semi-live collection. The retrospective starts with a tingle and a jazz riff from Greg Sherman's electric piano doubled by mellotron washes that build in concentric circles around the rhythm core, the group taking its time with development punctuated by deliberate changes of direction. Limits in the production are evident but not much more than the early Greenslade recordings and this 9-minute opener makes up for any aural flaws with impressive theme extension. 'Give the Man a Hand' establishes a less developed jazz-fusion approach reaching a grand piano solo from Sherman, and 'Domino' is the essence of gradual as it sneaks through a web of twined keys showing the Softs' influence and a general fondness for the Canterbury sounds of National Health, Gilgamesh and even Quiet Sun. 'The Myopic Stream' is Aaron Copland meets a fusion ensemble and 12-minute 'For Ursula Major and Sirius the Dog Star' is a bit disjointed but comes together with rashers of synths and piano strewn together. Disc two features the half-hour 'Broken Ears' suite which if you can get through the almost imperceptible opening five minutes blossoms into an escapade of hot symphonic jazz that twists down a road of bass, mellotron, synths and drums, faux Elizabethan play, slow-moving acoustic guitar ramblings and general strangeness. 'Changer' follows, a satisfying keyboard/bass/drums bit that brings to mind Mike Oldfield's early stuff, and 'Patrice Mersaults Dream' is twelve minutes of exactly that.

Somewhat underdeveloped for what they were trying to do but with huge untapped possibilities, Glass was clearly on the right track and was just a bit too late on the scene to have the time to evolve professionally (and probably would have done better in Europe had they released a proper record). Further, there are passages here that may make you drowsy or even check your email and for that there is little excuse. But overall the reemergence of Glass as a significant U.S. prog band is gladly received, the unearthed work small but historically relevant, and their appearances at modern Prog music events welcome.

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 Illuminations by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.36 | 12 ratings

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Illuminations
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I'm so glad I have this record. I heard a couple of the songs from this record on Progrock Radio, and I would always check to see what band was playing because I liked the songs so much. So I decided it was time to search for and purchase this record "Illuminations". Check out the biography of this band, as their story is really interesting.

The first song "Overture" is one of the best on this record, a really melodic song with mellotron right off the bat ! Nice ! Light drums and hammond organ provide a beautiful, catchy soundscape.The next three songs are part of a section called "The Secret Life Of Aqua J. Long" a nickname for Jerry the drummer from their teens.This section starts with "Astral Transascension" that starts out very spacey with keys and synths that are eventually joined by bass, light drums and mellotron. Great tune ! "Isle Of Dyslexia" features Hugh Hopper from SOFT MACHINE playing fuzz bass with tape loop samples. Some keys are added as well in another spacey song. "Medicine Man" was originally going to be on Jerry's (the drummer) solo record and so it's no surprise that this song features some amazing drum work, with some spoken words and gong added to this vey good song.

The next section is called "Electronic Synaethesia" and consists of three ambient songs. Starting with "The Hidden Room" a very atmospheric, spacey tune with keys and piano strings providing the soundscape. This song blends into the next song "Crossing" a jazzy song consisting of grand piano, drums and samples. The last song of this section is "My Tantric Gatito" featuring an incredible bass solo throughout, along with some samples. The next section is called "Alchemy Of The World" consisting of six songs and starting with "Eclypse" a beautiful song not unlike "Overture" with lots of great hammond organ and some fantastic drumming. This song blends into "Wanderlust" with the same melody except grand piano is added. "Eternity" features hammond organ and waves of mellotron. Great ! "Reprise" is a reprise of "Wanderlust".

"Delirium" is a funky song with samplings of voice messages from answering machines. "Falling" has some amazing piano melodies ! The final two songs stand on their own, starting with "Slightly Behind All The Time" with Fender-Rhodes piano and synths in this uptempo song that is one of my favourites from this record. The final song "Gaia" features Richard Sinclair doing vocal melodies, and Phil Miller playing lead guitar, these two guys from CARAVAN add some diversity to this already amazing album. There is some fuzz bass in this song as well.

This is highly recommended and easily a four star record.

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 No Stranger To The Skies by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.16 | 13 ratings

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No Stranger To The Skies
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Glass was a musical project by the two brothers Jeff and Greg Sherman (with Paul Block on drums) in the Seventies. The sound is based upon a wide range of vintage keyboards like Fender Rhodes piano, ARP 2600 synthesizer, Baldwin electric piano, Elka string-ensemble and the unsurpassed Mellotron. In 2004 Musea released this 2-CD featuring material recorded between 1973 and 1975.

The climates on CD-1 entitled "The studio sessions" alternates from mellow with lush Mellotron (flute and violin) and acoustic guitar to more up- tempo featuring fat synthesizer (some flashing runs) or swinging with clavinet or jazzy piano. The music from Glass sound pleasant but also very simple and dated. The CD-2 entitled "The live recordings" is more dynamic, especially the drumming from Jerry Cook sounds propulsive. Some tracks contain fine Mellotron waves and acoustic guitar but the compositions have less structure and even tend to sound a bit boring at some moments. Nonetheless, this is pleasant prog for the vintage keyboard aficionados.



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 Illuminations by GLASS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.36 | 12 ratings

BUY
Illuminations
Glass Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In 2004 Musea released a 2-CD from the USA keyboard driven band Glass entitled "No stranger to the skies" including studio - and live recordings between 1973 and 1975. After more than 30 years Glass decided to make a new CD , here is there brand new album entitled "Illuminations" (the back cover picture shows illuminated Paris by night featuring the river Seine and the Eifel Tower). You can divide this mainly instrumental album into three different kinds of music.

First progrock with vintage keyboards like "The secret life of Aqua J. Leng" (dynamic with strong drums and wonderful Hammond and Mellotron), "Eclipse" (fluent rhythm and bombastic climate with lush Hammond and powerful bass pedals) and "Slightly behind all the time" (pleasant mid-tempo delivering floods of Hammond and a spectacular synthesizer solo).

Second songs with an ambient climate like "The hidden room" (dreamy), "My tantric gatito" (clavinet, flageolets and sound samples) and "Crossing" (fat sequencer sound, jazzy piano and sound samples evoking Tangerine Dream).

And third more experimental tracks like "Isle of dyslexia" (fuzz bass from ex-Soft Machine member Hugh Hopper and tape loops), "Medicine man" (percussive climate featuring hi-hats, temple blocks and timpani), "Delirium" (Hammond waves blended with voice messages samples) and the a bit cacophonic track "Gaia" (featuring 'Canterbury veterans' Richard Sinclair and Phil Miller), a blend of piano, a meditative voice and fiery electric guitar.



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Thanks to erik neuteboom for the artist addition.

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