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JOHN G. PERRY

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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John G. Perry biography
JOHN G. PERRY is best known for his session work, most notably in CARAVAN on "For Girls Who Go Plump in the Night" and "Caravan and the New Symphonia," but he has performed with many other Prog and non-Prog artists. PERRY was actually born in the United States, but both of his parents were of British descent and only there because his father was involved in military training. Soon, his family moved back to the UK, and as PERRY grew up, he became more interested in music.

His first "career" in music was as a member of various UK garage bands (GRINGO, UTOPIA (Not the Rundgren project of course!), etc...). GRINGO actually toured alongside CARAVAN, as an opening act on the "In the Land of Grey and Pink" tour. Thus, the two bands got to know each other quite well. They also opened for BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, around the same time. One day, Pye HASTINGS gave PERRY a call, asking if he would like to become a part of CARAVAN. The rest is history as we know it. After leaving CARAVAN, PERRY went on to form QUANTUM LEAP, while working as a session artist (he evene was a member of CURVED AIR for a short while). PERRY released his first solo album, "Sunset Wading" (with Rupert Hine and a slew of guests), in 1976. Canterbury new age is the best way I can describe it, with some jazz fusiony textures. It's very impressive and introspective! After releasing "Sunset Wading," PERRY continued to do session work, along with recording some library music for television and movies.

Another album, "Seabird," was released by Voiceprint in the 1990's, which I have not heard. I think it was recorded in the 70's, but not released until the 90's.

PERRY's work is recommended to Canterybury officiandos and those searching for hidden Prog obscurities.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
JOHN G. PERRY is a key figure in the Canterbury scene., and his solo material is worthy to be included on Progarchives.



Discography:
Sunset Wading, studio album (1976)
Seabird, studio album (1994)

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JOHN G. PERRY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 28 ratings
Sunset Wading
1976
4.58 | 5 ratings
Seabird
1994

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JOHN G. PERRY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seabird by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.58 | 5 ratings

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Seabird
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Hibernating Canterbury gem

Sometimes I find it unbelievably baffling to hear some of the albums that were rejected back in the day. I guess I can see what may have driven the record companies to refrain from putting prog rock albums out during the height of punk and disco, even more so if the record had clear connotations with the abstract and unfathomable part of the progressive universe, - BUT if the album itself was a combination of fantastic song-writing beautifully backed up by some fantastic musical acrobatics, I fail to see the logic. Cue John G. Perry´s second outing Seabird. This album was recorded in 1977, but remained unreleased and kept in the dark for nearly 2 decades. What a waste I say!!! This Canterbury bear has had its fill of sleep, and you may want to greet it welcome coming out of its long and fruitless Sleeping Beauty stint. While Perry may have been considered a second fiddle to many at the time, such as some unfairly look upon John Wesley who backs up Porcupine Tree in their live setting, he proved his remarkable talent for writing pensive and to the point songs with his first solo record called Sunset Wading. On this one, he elaborates on the musical ideas and though many of the tracks here are simple in structure and almost naive in expression, they wield an uncanny power to seduce you. In fact I feel Seabird has a lot of similarities with the song writing of Caravan, which come to think of it isn´t that big of a surprise, seeing as Perry played on their For GIrls who grow plump in the Night album.

On Seabird Perry is helped out in the studio by such magnificent musical enforcers, that anyone in to the Canterbury sound or indeed the melodic side of fusion, should immediately start sponsoring an erected tent pole in their trouser department. I mean, Michael Giles, Rupert Hine, Morris Pert, Geoff Richardson and an enthusiastic Simon Jeffes behind the arrangements. Like the aforementioned Caravan album, this album also plays around with a meaty and funky sound. Together with the arrangements that sweeten the flavours slightly, though without becoming overripe and sticky like jam,- the balance of raw reeling funked up Canterbury with small touches of the whimsical - the high reaching tender sensibilities of the orchestral arrangement coming from the back, - is a true winner here.

About the instrumentation here, there is no surprise - everyone involved sound very much into the thing, and furthermore employ a spirit of togetherness as if they all were a band, which is a bit far fetched as each of these musicians were famous for not being famous band members. They were the session men of the Canterbury scene. This is perhaps why the album never amounted to anything - let alone a release, and as I stated earlier, that is truly a shame.

The fretless bass playing of Perry is inspiring, gentle and booming like a singing rubber band of exuberance. Michael Giles adds his original way of bouncy off kilter rhythm enhancements, whilst still being enormously tight and with it. Geoff Richardson, as always, is just wonderful on both the viola and flute - and helps generate some of the same atmospheres as he did on Caravan´s Girls getting chubby overnight album. Morris Pert conjures up mysticism and spice with his percussive talents and breaks the otherwise smooth surface of the music. Elio D'Anna off the band Nova sports the occasional saxophone tweets, which are tastefully used in accordance with the wide scope of what the specific track is on about. Another guy from Nova perfects this Italian duo: Corrado Rusticci, and boy does this dude shine on the guitar. With a blistering solo that sounds like wobbling star-shine fire on the first cut, -people should get ready for a terrific ride with Corrado under the bonnet, although as all the other instruments here, he is only put to real use when most effective and apt, which rather reflects the subtle splish splashes of piano playing and slowly emanating keyboard work from Rupert Hine.

I´d recommend this album to anyone into the melodic aspirations of Caravan, and if you thought the albums of said band were unnecessary and flat sounding from around the same time - then Seabird should come as a brilliant surprise to you. Furthermore, if you haven´t veered into the somewhat sneaky and on occasion mad bizarro world of Canterbury, this album should serve as a welcoming and embracing start to what hopefully will be a successfully guided tour into English eccentricity and music with a sense of humour.

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Seabird by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.58 | 5 ratings

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Seabird
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by tmay102436

5 stars I finally got this!!! As other forum members know, I have wanted this forever.

I won't go into the description, as tszirmay has already done a beautiful history, outline, and playful commentary on this master work. I will say, that if you like English, Caravanish, pastoral (but with guts) settings, this is the album for you. Perfectly recorded, produced and arranged. The instrumentation is quaint and exquisitely played. The vocals are those that make English bands so personal and yet professional. The small amount of spoken word is done with the beautiful/playfull English signature.

A note must be said here - anything Rupert Hine touches is wonderful. He is the finest of producers and musians one could ask for. Mix that with a true writer and dreamer in Mr. Perry and you get this absolutely essential record.

Hopefully Voiceprint, or one of the new companies doing remasters, will release this again so that others can enjoy this beautiful work.

The English continue to inspire after all of these years - it must be The Real Ale!

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Seabird by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.58 | 5 ratings

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Seabird
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars This British band was touted as a super group to be called Sunset Wading (title of Perry's first solo album), even set to tour with French band Pulsar in the late 70's but never really materialized because of bad management and the impending arrival of punk. Yes, it started out as a John G. Perry solo project, he of Caravan, Anthony Phillips and Quantum Jump fame, a bassist extraordinaire using the WAL, a hand-made fretless wonder that has an astonishing tone. Under the guidance of the supremely talented and connected keyboardist / producer Rupert Hine, many of Europe's most talented progressive musicians eagerly signed on to participate. The fabulous Michael Giles of KC on drums, the equally legendary Geoffrey Richardson of Caravan on viola and flute , the most accomplished percussion session man ever in Morris Pert of Brand X fame, the duo from Italian group Nova: Elio D'Anna on saxophone and flute as well as the thunderous Corrado Rustici on lead guitar. That first classic album "Sunset Wading" is rightly considered as perhaps the finest example of Brit prog-jazz rock ever to be "undiscovered", a little gem that only too few have ever discovered. "Seabirds" is the second chapter, also recorded at the illustrious Trident Studios in London, arguably one of the finest temples of creation in the 70's. What characterizes their brand of distinctive music is the overpowering influence of strings arranger Simon Jeffes (Penguin Café Orchestra, Ant Phillips, Caravan, Quantum Jump, Hine, among many others) with Richardson's viola up front and center, leading the charge. With a rhythm section comprising the cymbal -savvy Michael Giles, Pert's inventive frills and the fat wobbly bass of the main man, the percussive side is perhaps one of the finest ever anywhere. Hine stays in the background allowing Rustici and D'Anna to solo when necessary or called for.

The whimsical introduction "Uncle Sea Bird; His Nibs" is a rousing little flute/oboe/viola ditty, playful and true to that unpretentiously precious Canterbury style, the percussion work in particular simply bedeviling.The 9 minute epic "The Art of Boeing" (what, the aircraft ?) is a disjointed collage that is maliciously held together by the massive string arrangements and the rhythm section , as the inventive piano scours the horizons while Perry's rather pleasant voice spins a tale. Again, the sheer textural quality of the musicianship here is spell binding, with the spot lit WAL creating a fair amount of havoc; wow, my kind of bass player! The next two joined pieces offer a tone that gets a tad experimental with some dissonant sonics, weaving a shimmering expanse, enough teasing foreplay until the gloomy bass and drums gets cooking, seductively searching for that funky jazz furrow. That zipping groove suddenly appears out of the blue with the joyously brief "Uncle Seabird's Finest Hour", with monstrous Hohner clavinet work (another classic 70's prog keyboard sound) and an all around splendid touch. Hey, let's have another aviation innuendo with splendid "The Lockheed Lizard" a tune that illuminates a hypnotic percussive-vocal jungle theme, a lush runway supplying the takeoff for a magical Corrado Rustici guitar sortie, full of rustling jazz chords. Humor, you ask? How about this fine example! A tune titled "Obsoletely True", a flute-laden spoken-vocal oddity that suddenly explodes into this immense joyride full of whimsy and spirit, the walls of strings giving it an even more British sound, all with truly remarkable ease. The nearly 7 minute two-part finale possesses some very clever innuendo-laced lyrics ("Alice in autumn.clothes of air , Blue bird adventures..what to where, Oboeing over..flutes away, Sorrowful penguins..Sad café. There was nothing to do but jive, But by Jove, I jove!") and the most playfully confident music you will ever hear anywhere.

Simply timeless and original

5 windswept droppings.

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by oliverstoned
Special Collaborator 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.

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 Sunset Wading by PERRY, JOHN G. album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 28 ratings

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Sunset Wading
John G. Perry Canterbury Scene

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

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.

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