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Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt picture
Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt biography
PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS is a project that Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt founded and developed after or instead of HAPPY THE MAN, a classic and somewhat intriguing prog band these two artists also founded. So to say, PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS's light of appreciation can be tightly connected with the past records and the good glory of HAPPY THE MAN; meanwhile, this modern side-project is strongly based on anything but past references and rehashed music, except perhaps some vintage HTM sounds fans might find it hard not to mention.

The musical work in what's, for now, PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS's only released album shades a lot of art groove, moderately complex (or various) fragments and a light load of perfectly senseful music. The surprise is (in a bit of a way) that it was done over a couple of good years, the long period denoting how hard PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS reached its elegant, modern kind of essence. Withaker and Wyatt show both the old-school skills and the original impulse of modern rock and "new music, the album certainly having what to gain from being more of a "duo & guests" punch than just a simple work of art-rock. In the duo's vision, the share of a music based on favourite songs and several arrangements is very well at the edge of PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS's main course. Both Whitaker & Wyatt are particularly good at vocals & lyrics and at deciding what the feeling of a musical piece should be before properly composing it, otherwise each one's approach of multi-instrumentality (Whitaker playing guitars, bass and drums, while Wyatt is the more eccentric type, able to play keyboards, sax and flutes) is a part of the entire fusion.

Whitaker's career is most impressive, having formed three bands - Vision, One by One and Avalong - in the 70s, mid 80s and early 90s, respectively; after these, he stared as guest in the relatively progressive TEN JINN and other collectives (Carl Hupp Project), but mainly went solo. In the end, HAPPY THE MAN's reunion couldn't have been done without him. Wyatt became a composer and a producer after the end of the classic main band, coming back as a musician when he and Whitaker founded OBLIVION SUN, just as they did with PEDAL GIANT ANIMALS. Joining the duo are two main guests: Pete Princiotto, bassist and rocker, but essentially a composer and songwriter, and Chris Mack, percussionist with studies and with background work in ILUVATAR and other bands, including OBLIVION SUN.

Influences range, quotingly, from GENTLE GIANT...
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STAN WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
A Certain Whisper
3.90 | 20 ratings
Pedal Giant Animals
3.00 | 1 ratings
Under the Progwood Tree
3.50 | 9 ratings
Frank Wyatt & Friends: Zeitgeist

STAN WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


STAN WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

STAN WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Frank Wyatt & Friends: Zeitgeist by WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT, STAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.50 | 9 ratings

Frank Wyatt & Friends: Zeitgeist
Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt Crossover Prog

Review by arymenezes

3 stars Another great prog artist that passed away recently, january 10th, was Frank Wyatt. He was a member of Happy the Man and Oblivion Sun on all its discography, playing sax, flute, piano, synth, composing and eventually singing. A listener that have already heard these groups may argue that I didn't make a fine choice of review to honor him, because the above mentioned ones have much more superior works. I agree, but only partially. IMO, the best way to honour someone's memory, or legacy, is to make it in a fair way, what implies to comment on all his/her marks. The brilliant and the not-so-talented ones. And until now this album has no reviews on PA.

Approximately half of this album, like tracks 4 and 5, are medium; the other half, like the first and the 3rd tracks, are considerably more interesting.

To analyze this album's style and proposal it's better to divide it in two different parts.

One part goes from tracks 1 to 6. They're similar to the composing and execution found on Oblivion Sun's discs. A smooth and captivating Genesis-like sound, but not so inventive as the mentioned influence.

The other part of this work goes from tracks 7 to 10, which together becomes a 25:34 suite called Perelandra. This is the title of a book from irish Clive S. Lewis, first published in 1943, about an adventure on outer space. Lewis uses many greek references to build the story. Wyatt here went close to classical music, on its format and even on some instrumentation ? wind and chord instruments reproduced by the synths are widely present, such as some stunning tunes on piano. This section turns to me as a cross between HTM and Renaissance's songs that were near to classical music; like, for instance, in "Song of Scheherazade".

For this last contribution to prog rock from Frank Wyatt and friends, I'll give it a 3.4 star.

 Pedal Giant Animals by WHITAKER AND FRANK WYATT, STAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.90 | 20 ratings

Pedal Giant Animals
Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt Crossover Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars After the advent of their comeback album The Muse Awakens and a bunch of concerts, Happy the Man's main writers Wyatt and Whitaler found themselves unable to keep the momentum going for too long. All other HTM members had to devote themselves to their own musical and life projects, so Wyatt and Whitaker took advantage of the fact that they lived not too far away from each other and still wanted to to record tracks that had been left out of The Muse Awakens or new tracks that they had written shortly after. Before their current band Oblivion Sun was formed, there was this duo project called Pedal Giant Animals (guest drummer Chris Mack eventually will become Oblivion Sun's drummer). This 2006 is the result of this continuing creativity, and it is no HTM facsimile, indeed, despite the noticeable presence of some HTM signtature sonorities in some of the tracks. This album is really an intimate look into the most relaxing side of these two minds' creative souls. The romantic moods of 'Pink Sky' and 'Love' are a clear sign of the introspective side of the kind of art-rock these two guys are devoted to. They may remind us a bit of the ballads in the Better Late... album (the posthumous 3rd album by the classic HTM ine-up). 'Whole' is also very romantic, albeit with a stylish vibe that may remind us of a Baroque-meets-new age kind of stuff. Among these first four numbers is 'Chapter Seven', an effective rock that bears an undeniable appeal upon a not too fast 7/8 tempo. The duo's rockier side will be later on reappeared in 'Stumpy Shuffle', a progressive reinstallment of R'n'B atmospheres that stands out as the catchiest track in the album: it also includes the best Whitaker guitar soloing in the album. Like I said, this is no facsimile of HTM, but a testimony of two of the band's main writers who join together in the task of expressing themselves beyond the HTM standard while stating their own importance at defining the aforesaid band's legacy. So, may the listener be warned that they shouldn't expect to find refurbished versions of old tracks such as 'Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest', 'Knee Bitten Nymphs in Limbo', 'Ibby It Is' or 'New York Dream's Suite'. But there is also explicit complexity here: 'Mists of Babylon' traces a mixture of jazz-rock and fusion over an Arabic basis (a sepcial mention goes to the incredible sax solo, which seems to be exorcising ghosts of old Middle East emperors). 'The Leaf Clings. Quivers' and 'Turning My Head' bring us dreamy lyricism and controlled pomposity two things that turn out to be very HTM-ish as a matter of fact. After these colorful pieces comes 'Blue Sun', a candid, serene marriage of acoustic guitar and flute. 'Everything' returns to the duo's romantic side: it sounds as a typical USA pop-rock ballad from the 90s... except for the unusual 7/8 tempo. The album's last 9 minutes are occupied by the epnymous track, which once again reminds us of the Better Late.. album, more specifically, the song called 'The Falcon'. The combination of eerie orchestrations, fluid mood shifts and intimate atmospheres makes it a good demonstration of the album's most recurring spirit. All in all, "Pedal Giant Animals" is an excellent progressive opus tha tallows the HTM fan to get further acquainted with the musical visions of Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt in a purer and less negotiated form than in the HTM albums.
Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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