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ARABESQUE

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Arabesque biography
Just when you thought all precious rocks had been extracted from the old symphonic prog mine, comes this incredible gem which practically no one had ever set eyes on. How this band managed to go unnoticed for over thirty years is a mystery. What is not a mystery is that thanks to Shroom Productions - a Texas based label specializing in the re-issue of old lost treasures - the music of ARABESQUE will now delight thousands of new symphonic prog fans. The band members come from a working class suburb of Pittsburgh and were around from 1973 to 1980. Their music is complex, dynamic, well structured and expertly performed, in an early GENESIS-meets-CAMEL sort of style. The band consists of August Smarra on guitar and vocals, Jim Renda on drums, Tom Ketterer on bass, R.J. Ketterer on vibes and percussion, and Budd Kelly on keyboards and lead vocals.

Their album "Tales of Power", issued in cd format in 2002, is made up of recordings dating from 1973 to 1979. Following the great symphonic tradition, they have the fantasy-like lyricism of GENESIS, the instrumental ornery of YES (guitarist Smarra pulls out all the stops in true Steve Howe fashion), the vocal inflexions of STRAWBS' David Cousins (do we detect a slight Scottish, Fish-y accent here?), the ethereal magic of HAPPY THE MAN, and a touch of psychedelia ā la IRON BUTTERFLY. More than half the tracks clock in at 10 minutes + and all are well constructed and expertly performed. As for the production, it is not perfect but surprisingly good, considering the year these recordings were made.

Highly recommended to all progheads who thought they knew the whole symphonic catalogue by heart.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Best Of 1Best Of 1
Import
MONOP 2005
Audio CD$12.88
$15.60 (used)
ArabesqueArabesque
Import
Jvc Japan 1995
Audio CD$108.94 (used)
ArabesqueArabesque
Soundtrack
RCA Fs Imports 2004
Audio CD$22.83
$9.87 (used)
Traditional Arabic MusicTraditional Arabic Music
Import
Allegro Corporation 1995
Audio CD$15.58
$8.25 (used)
Complete Box: LimitedComplete Box: Limited
Import · Limited Edition
Imports 2014
Audio CD$181.64
$198.89 (used)
Friday NightFriday Night
Import
Mirumir 2015
Vinyl$18.78
$18.78 (used)
Billy's BarbequeBilly's Barbeque
Import
Mirumir 2015
Vinyl$15.59
$15.59 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Hassan Erraji & Arabesque Nikriz 1989 Riverboat Vinyl LP World Music Arabic EXC+ USD $17.59 Buy It Now 1h 55m
ARABESQUE Japan LP with OBI, INSERT, CABALLERO USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 42m
John Klemmer Arabesque vinyl LP album record USA AA-1068 ABC 1978 USD $18.89 Buy It Now 3h 17m
JOHN J. BECKER - Concerto Arabesque - CD - Import - Like New / Mint Condition USD $18.95 Buy It Now 3h 56m
Rare! Henry Mancini ARABESQUE movie soundtrack LP 1966 Gregory Peck Sophia Loren USD $18.96 Buy It Now 8h 28m
SEALED Arabesque Stereo 3-LP Humperkinck/Wallberg 'Konigskinder' MINT USD $16.25 Buy It Now 9h 30m
JOHN KLEMMER, ARABESQUE - LP RECORD USD $3.75 Buy It Now 11h 17m
Various / The Rough Guide to Arabesque (Regnet 1093 CD) CD Album USD $15.45 Buy It Now 11h 47m
HENRY MANCINI - Breakfast At Tiffany's//arabesque - CD - Import Best Of VG USD $14.49 Buy It Now 12h 13m
VARIOUS ARABESQUE 2002 RESTLESS 018777375320 USD $6.44 Buy It Now 13h 25m
Richard Thompson [Piano] - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ~ NEW CD (2008, Arabesque) USD $9.64 Buy It Now 13h 37m
ARABESQUE Friday Night Norwegian 45PS 1979 USD $9.71 Buy It Now 13h 39m
ARABESQUE (EUROPOP) - PLATINUM BEST NEW CD USD $46.98 Buy It Now 15h 38m
ARABESQUE Japan 1982 NM LP+Obi ARABESQUE IV USD $25.99 Buy It Now 15h 57m
ARABESQUE (EUROPOP) - PLATINUM BEST USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $25.74 Buy It Now 16h
John Klemmer : Arabesque - Audio Cassette Tape MCA Records US 1978 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 16h 32m
ARABESQUE FRIDAY NIGHT JAPAN 7" Promo white label EX VIP-2653 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 20h 12m
Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9 / Waldszenen, Op. 82 / Arabesque, Op. 18 (Audio CD) USD $27.74 Buy It Now 21h 53m
Sealed SANDRA-ARABESQUE Non-Stop Best Hits JAPAN CD VICP-60208 OBI+PS '98 issue USD $49.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Mozart Piano Concerto 24 27 Schnabel Arabesque PDO FULL SILVER USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE - Marigot Bay (deluxe edition) - Vinyl (LP) USD $32.98 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE - Midnight Dancer (deluxe edition) - Vinyl (LP) USD $31.63 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE Friday Night Norwegian 45PS 1979 Solid Centre USD $9.72 Buy It Now 1 day
Stephen Bacchus, Donald Quan, Danna & Clement - Persian Arabesque (New!) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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*** SCHÖNNING * LOCRIAN ARABESQUE # MEDLEY MDLP 6216 *** USD $12.50 Buy It Now 1 day
RONDO VENEZIANO - ARABESQUE - ITALIAN LP USD $8.80 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE Why No Reply JAPAN 7" NM WAX VIPX-1677 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
John Klemmer Vinyl LP Arabesque VG+ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
To Dance to the Whistling Wind-Eliza Garth, Jayn Rosenfeld CD (1998,Arabesque) USD $19.98 Buy It Now 1 day
2 LP BOX ARABESQUE Orff "KING & WISE WOMAN" Sawallisch SCHWARZKOPF PREY 8021-2L USD $11.85 Buy It Now 1 day
Satie Genevieve de Brabant etc (see cover), Dervaux **Arabesque 8053 stereo USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Suppé: Boccaccio Opera/Boskovsky Arabesque Recordings 2LP Box Set NM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MARTA DEYANOVA: ROBERT SCHUMANN SONATA FOR PIANO, ARABESQUE VINYL LP VG+ *RARE* USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN KLEMMER Arabesque ABC LP (AA-1068) OG '78 USD $2.75 Buy It Now 1 day
John Klemmer "Arabesque" LP USD $4.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Fremaux - Ibert/Honegger/Poulenc/Satie LP (Arabesque) NM/NM SHRINK USD $9.56 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque - Arabesque III CD (Marigot Bay) USD $10.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque V Billy's Barbeque CD USD $10.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque II Peppermint Jack CD USD $10.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque - Arabesque CD self titled s/t USD $12.49 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE Tall Story Teller Scandinavian 45PS 1982 USD $7.28 Buy It Now 1 day
DON SEBESKY compositional jazz BARTOK Stravinsky BACH Arabesque LP USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque IV Midnight Dancer CD USD $12.49 Buy It Now 1 day
TOMITA USA 7" 45 ARABESQUE NO. 1 on RCA 10083, 1974 USD $7.20 Buy It Now 1 day
EP ARABESQUE PARTIES IN A PENTHOUSE VIPX-1509 from Japan 0001 USD $4.80 Buy It Now 1 day
Miliza Korjus- Opera Arias & Songs By Adam/Alabiev/Delibes etc LP 8013 Arabesque USD $7.94 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque - Arabesque [New CD] USD $6.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Marty/Mesple/Runge/Orliac AUBER Manon Lescaut - Arabesque 8059-3L SEALED USD $30.60 Buy It Now 1 day
HENRY MANCINI Arabesque LP RCA Rec CR-10035 JA 1982 NM- IMPORT 00A USD $12.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Amy Beach: Fire-Flies (CD Feb-1999 Arabesque) BRAND NEW & SEALED female composer USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SKIN GAMES Your Luck's Changed 12" VINYL UK Epic 1989 4 Track B/w Arabesque USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
SKIN GAMES Your Luck's Changed 7" VINYL UK Epic 1989 B/W Arabesque (Sga4) Pic USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
SWEETBACK Arabesque CD Epic 1996 4 Track Promo In Card Sleeve With Inner USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
HENRY MANCINI Breakfast At Tiffany's And Arabesque CD European Bmg 1999 24 USD $5.68 Buy It Now 1 day
TALIESIN A Whiter Shade Of Pale 7" VINYL UK Mainline 1980 B/w Arabesque (ml1) USD $9.20 Buy It Now 1 day
999 Arabesque 7" VINYL German Line 1984 3 Track B/W Good To See You And Indian USD $13.46 Buy It Now 1 day
MARIO PIU PRESENTS DJ ARABESQUE Vision CD UK Nukleuz 2000 3 Track Vision 1 USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
Songs by Jerome Kern - Joan Morris/William Bolcom (Arabesque 6515) Vinyl LP USD $7.00 [0 bids]
USD $9.10 Buy It Now
1 day
MILIZA KORJUS (SOPRANO) OPERA ARIAS & SONGS ~ ARABESQUE 8013 LP ~ EX/NM USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque Dances of the Near East LP Orient exotic dance EX USD $18.37 Buy It Now 1 day
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Amy Beach cd Fire-Flies (1999 Arabesque) NEW SEALED female composer Joanne Polk USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Arabesque: 19th Century Harp Music (CD, Apr-1988, Hyperion) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
John Klemmer Arabesque Japanese vinyl LP album record promo YX-8509-A8 ABC USD $21.60 Buy It Now 1 day
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Rachmaninov # Trio Elegiague The Golub Kapian Carr Trio (Arabesque) CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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OST/ARABESQUE (HENRY MANCINI) (LIMITED GREEN VINYL) VINYL LP NEW+ USD $40.18 Buy It Now 1 day
ARABESQUE -SANDRA II Peppermint J JAPAN CASSETTE w/Pic Slip Case+Insert VCW-1678 USD $34.97 Buy It Now 2 days
ARABESQUE -SANDRA Best One '82 JAPAN CASSETTE w/Pic Slip Case+Insert VCW-30018 USD $99.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SANDRA-ARABESQUE 1st JAPAN CD VICP-2118 w/OBI+PS BOOKLET 1995 issue Free S USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ARABESQUE Hello Mr. Monkey Norwegian 45PS 1978 USD $12.14 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque - Arabesque IV (Midnight Dancer) JAPAN LP with OBI and LYRIC SHEET USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque - Billy's Barbeque (Arabesque V) JAPAN LP with OBI and INSERTS USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque - Why No Reply, Arabesque VII JAPAN LP with OBI and BOOKLET USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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Arabesque - Caballero (Arabesque VI) JAPAN LP with OBI and INSERTS USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque - Fancy Concert JAPAN YELLOW VINYL LP w/OBI and LYRIC SHEET, NM VINYL USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque III 3 Japan Cassette Tape VCW-10001 Sandra Marigot Bay High Life F/S USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days
London Global Connection: Arabesque by Various Artists (CD, Sep-2002, Restless USD $3.98 Buy It Now 2 days
Arabesque II 2 Japan Cassette Tape VCW-1678 Sandra City Cats Peppermint Jack F/S USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MARIO PIU presents DJ ARABESQUE The Vision CD USD $2.03 Buy It Now 2 days
Peretyatko, Olga - Arabesque CD New & Sealed USD $13.82 Buy It Now 2 days
Delius: A Mass of Life / Songs of Sunset / An Arabesque USD $10.90 Buy It Now 2 days
ARABESQUE 7" PS japan DANCE DANCE DANCE USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2 days
CHOPIN - COMPLETE WORKS VOL 4 - SCHERZI & VARIATIONS - OHLSSON - ARABESQUE USD $2.70 [0 bids]
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BACH-BUSONI - TOCCATA IN C MAJOR - CHOPIN - BALLADE ETC - IAN HOBSON - ARABESQUE USD $4.05 [0 bids]
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BACH-BUSONI - CHORAL PRELUDES - EDUARDUS HALIM - ARABESQUE 1990 USD $2.70 [0 bids]
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ARABESQUE - De Luxe Collection (2004) USD $5.00 [0 bids]
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SEALED ARABESQUE Kathleen FERRIER Unreleased Performances PEARS 8070 USD $12.85 Buy It Now 2 days
V.A. Power play LP Arabesque Boney M Ottawan etc Germany USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SIR CHARLES MACKERRAS--SULLIVAN: PINEAPPLE POLL--ARABESQUE [1980?] LP, FINE USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Orff/Schwarzkopf/Sawallisch Die Kluge 2 lps Arabesque USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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ARABESQUE discography


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

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

3.39 | 34 ratings
Tales of Power
2002

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

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ARABESQUE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The sole release from American symphonic prog basement band Arabesque that was recorded at band members' homes. The album, though released in 2002, was recorded in the mid 1970's. As a result of the time and place the album was recorded, it shows on the production. Luckily, though, the quality of the music saves it.

There are many lovable qualities to Arabesque's "Tales Of Power". The album art, for one, is intriguing and the music itself is incredible. The album contains 7 songs that span a total of almost 80 minutes and in this hour-plus musical journey there are no discernibly weak tracks. The musicianship is strong from all 5 members and the compositions, although following many of the symphonic prog cliches, are still very well-done. The musical influence of Arabesque lies in the great symphonic giants of the 1970's, most notably Camel, though Genesis and Yes makes their rounds in the album's sound.

"Tales Of Power" is perhaps the best lo-fi, self-released album in prog (that I've heard so far, anyway) and Arabesque, unlike many other small American prog bands from the time, is very good at avoiding sounding derivative. Overall, a pretty good little-known album that wouldn't be out of place in any symphonic prog collection.

 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ARABESQUE were an American Prog band from Pittsburg (Go Steelers!) who were never able to get a record deal so they created their own music over the years in a basement with 4 track tape.This is a compilation of those songs which were created between 1973 and 1979. Unfortunately the sound quality isn't top notch but man the music sure is. It's sad really that a label didn't give these guys a chance to do it right because they were a very talented group.

"An Epic : Krail Mountain" was started in 1975 but not completed until the next year. Again recorded on 4 track tape so it doesn't exactly sound that great. Nature sounds early then music followed by vocals. Spoken words 2 minutes in then keyboards and drums start to lead before it settles again.Vocals are back before 4 minutes. An impressive instrumental section from after 5 minutes to before 10 1/2 minutes. "Cobbler's Knob" is an instrumental and a top three track for me.This was the last tune recorded in the basement in 1979. Percussion to start as sounds come and go. Some nice guitar before 1 1/2 minutes.The drums are prominant followed by chunky bass 4 1/2 minutes in.The guitar is ripping it up a minute later. "We (The Farmers Song)" is simply a good song that could have been a single if shortened. Catchy and meaningful with excellent vocals. A top three. "The Forgotten Pond" opens with intricate sounds that come and go then it picks up and gets fuller before 2 minutes.

"As Novelty Wears..." is sort of a shot at the music business who at the time were only interested in disco and pop music because they sold records.This is really all over the place.Tempo changes galore as in "in your face" music business (haha). Good song. "Arcanum Of Atlantis" is the other top three for me.The sound builds and the tempo picks up.Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. I like this one a lot. A nice long instrumental section on this one too. "Except For Dreaming" is the first original song they created but it was under a different name and it has been spruced up. I like when it turns dark and fairly powerful 7 minutes in.The tempo then picks back up with guitar. Nice.

A good album that more importantly allows us to get a glimpse at a talented band doing what they loved.

 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars As Budd Kelly , former vox & keys of Arabesque has explained in his own review of this album, this is a collection of songs from 1974 to 1978. Which explains the variety of styles on this album.

This is sadly the only album from this American band, not to be confused with an Austrian metal band with the same name. The music comes across as a blend of Genesis, Yes, Cathedral, Strawbs and King Crimson. There is even some hints of ELP and the Canterbury scene here. The latter (ie Caravan) comes across on the instrumental bits of the most commercial catchy song on this album; The Farmer Song. A great song which breaks up the symphonic melancholy which ferments the rest of this album.

Although this album is pretty instant pleasing to the ear, I think this probably ages as fine wine. In other words; enjoy it over several decades and never ever let it fade away in the record collection. I have only been listening to it for a couple of months and I am not so sure if I am getting it. The music, as the blend of the great prog masters it is, is very good. I think most symphonic prog rock fans will find it very pleasing and a lost treasure. But maybe not a diamond. The music is very epic, but it does not take me the places I want to go. The music is also very intense and a bit fractioned, this being a compilation album.

Besides of this, this is a good album for those into the above mentioned bands. It really should be a treasure in the same vein as the Cathedral album from the same decade. I think this album is like a bottle of fine wine and it should be stored and listened to carefully over the next decades. I believe both myself and those who heed my advice will get a lot of pleasure from it in the future.

3.75 stars

 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by manofmystery

5 stars Seeing as ARABESQUE hail from da' Burgh (Pittsburgh for the lehman) this would be my home town prog band (give or take a 30 miles) and I must say; they don't disappoint. Easily some of the best vocals from an American prog band (a voice with character!) and true to the British well balanced instrumental sound that symphonic prog was built on, this band really had something cooking back in the late 70s. This is not the watered down, more pop friendly, Kansas' style American prog, this is the real deal. It is always a wonder how a band so clearly possessing top-of-the-heap chops can quitely appear and just as quitely disappear without releasing so much as an album during their active years. Either way, I am glad an album was eventually put together as this is a dynamite listening pleasure. The entire project is very alive with excellent composition, musicianship, and vocals with all the character of an English band of the time. This album should also serve as yet another example to the modern prog bands of how to fill an album full of 10+ minute songs without boring anyone. You know you;ve done a fine job when you release a full hours worth of music that seems to fly by like it was half that length and leaves you wanting more. While much different in style this is the best/most-interesting stuff I've heard thus far from an American prog band outside of Zappa (having not yet aquired any Yezda Urfa) and I don't see any way around giving them a 5 star rating, even if it is mostly because we have so little critical breathing room on a 1-5 star rating scale. More of a 4.5-4.7 star album it would be very unfair to round down (and wouldn't make much sense either) so 5 stars it is!
 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Arabesque is a forgotten band from USA progressive movement from the '70's. The album Tales of power is released in 2002 but containing recordings from 1973 to 1978. When I first listen to this album I was kinda shocked how '70's they sound, didn't know that this pieces are originaly composed in the '70's. After digging in their history I found out that they coudn't manage to put on market the album in first place, and Shroom records trace the album and re released him in 2002. The music Arabesque playes is eleborate symphonic prog with excellent musicianship, long instrumental passages and brilliant interplay between guirat and keys. Over this instrumental arrangements the warm voice of August Smarra make this album worth investigate if you are in this kind of music. Sometimes they remind me of Genesis or Camel but not a copy , they have their own sound. All the pieces stands as good , not a weak moment. So a good album, deserve 3 stars for sure.
 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by jmpk

3 stars This isn't a review, just a note from Budd Kelly , former vox & keys of Arabesque.

Since the release of Tales of Power by Rich Patz at Shroom , I've been really really appreciative of so many kind words about the music. Likewise I enjoy as well , the not so positive stuff too! It's all good, as we all , players and listeners alike, are part of a greater collective, a brotherhood/sisterhood in a great form of expression and communication - it's just great to share the music after so many years. Important to note regarding the recording, is that it's not a studio one. "Tales..." is made up primarily of early basement demos, with music recorded live in stereo (only 2 mics) onto an under-exploited Dokorder 4-track reel-to-reel. Vocals were then overdubbed with myself literally crammed into bassist Tom Ketterer's bedroom closet, clothes and all, with the door slid shut. Of the few other overdubs(BGVs and acoustic piano on the NOVELTY , synth & guitar jungle FX on the POND ) they were also in Tom's room , ac.piano and full band were in the Ketterer's basement. One track, as credited, is Live at Allegheny Community College to 2 track but perhaps is a live mic (2) and direct signal from mixer blend - , that would be Except for Dreaming (aka The Last Remake of Sredni Vashtar) the final version of the first song we ever wrote. Other points of post-Arabesque interest to anyone still curious : In summer of '81 I moved to State College PA and joined local favorites "RED ROSE COTILLION" (see redrosecotillion.com and jamie thompson. net) . We did a final, groovey version of THE FARMER SONG which became an RRC fan favorite. All live recordings from The PHYRST etc..

On a sad note, Arabesque drummer Jim Renda , dearest friend, died suddenly in November of 2005. He was a beloved gentle soul and a great drummer. Deeply missed every day by this arabuddy. More recordings exist and are in the Shroom archives. Three 16-track real studio tunes from 1980 as well as more basement demos. PLUS a huge archive of personal music from 1974-2006 from everybody in the Arabesque lineage: Schizm, Spectra, Jirus, Tuberunity, free-form jams and solo projects.....

I can be reached via Red Rose or Jamie Thompson or temporarily at [email protected] THANKS AGAIN for all the kind feedback -- BK.

The craft continues .....

 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by Trotsky
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With a ripple of organ appeggios an epic unfolds. And the epic tale is not just that of Krall Mountain, but that of this Arabesque album itself. Recorded over a period of years (from 1973-1979) this decent set of songs remained in the vault for a quarter of a century, only seeing the light of day in 2002. Remarkably Tales Of Power is on par with, and in the odd case, even stronger than, many more acclaimed lost American albums that I've heard.

Lead vocalist Budd Kelly (who is also the keyboardist) has a narrative vocal style that seems clearly influenced by Peter Gabriel, although his vocal timbre is closer to that of Dave Cousins of The Strawbs. Indeed the opening track An Epic - Krall Mountain seems like a multi-dimensional audition for a place in Trespass-era Genesis, with Kelly throwing in a fair bit of Banksian organ. There are also some decent synth moments and a bit of an overly frenzied guitar solo from August Smarra.

Other highpoints include We (The Farmer's Song) which is simply, a great rock song. Sure the sound may not have much depth (remember that this music sat on the shelves for a couple of decades), but the flow of the music and the melodies of keyboards, guitar and lead vocals are excellent. There's also As The Novelty Wears, which is more of a jazz-rock piece with Kelly moving to the electric piano, and the closer Except The Dreaming which has a mock-horror opening (they go through great lengths to create that sterotypical Gothic feel), then a gentle folk passage, and then a high octane jam to conclude it all.

It's not all plain sailing though. Like numerous other 70s symphonic American acts, Arabesque occasionally seem a little overly influenced by Yes. Also some of the songs could have used some editing. The instrumental Cobbler's Knob is definitely overlong. When it starts off with a nice little synth solo, one expects great things. One does not expect to have to listen to a series of mediocre passages for nigh on 11 minutes with scarcely any variation to speak off as keys and guitar alternate lead. Believe me the vibe playing of R.J. Ketterer doesn't add enough ... particularly during the last 6 minutes when a single riff just goes on and on!

Thankfully the other instrumental The Forgotten Pond is better, with a more memorable melody although even at just under 5 minutes, it seems to repeat itself, and indeed starts sounding a bit too much like Cobbler's Knob! Arcanum Of Atlantis is pretty decent and some great synth leads, but by this time, everything is a little too familiar.

Indeed, I must admit that I used to be a little bit more enthusiatic about this record. It's still pretty good, but I would definitely go for the essential Kansas, Utopia, Yezda Urfa, Pavlov's Dog and Cathedral albums before seeking this one out. ... 58% on the MPV scale

 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Altough I'm a proghead from 1975, I own a large collection and I write many reviews for this site, almost every week I discover progrock gems after reading the reviews on Prog Archives: Marsupilami, Red Sand, Rain, Indian Summer and... Arabesque, what a beautiful Seventies prog! The 7 compositions (most around 10 minutes) have a wonderful typical Seventies symphonic rock sound featuring compelling shifting moods, strong breaks and great soli on guitar and keyboards, fine assorted percussion (like Glockenspiel and temple blocks) and, last but not least, a good singer with a warm and distinctive voice. The music has echoes from early Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and Camel and often reminds me of the other great USA band Babylon (also Genesis-inspired) and some early psychedelic Floyd (Farfisa organ play). Despite this flood of references, Arabesque doesn't sound as a clone and manages to keep my attention for the whole CD, I'm delighted about this discovery!


 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by dalt99

3 stars Nice underground progressive rock group from USA that plays a very nice style similar to early Yes and Genesis (musical arrangements, drumming and guitar playing with a folky edge), Finch (the instrumentals are fairly complex with guitar jams and great frenetic drumming and bass work) and Kansas when the guitars add a crunch and heaviness to them. This is mid-American prog with an overall British folk feel. Warm music with complexity. The vocals are also very nice. The singer has a warm voice sounding like a late 60's folk singer more than a prog/rock singer but it really adds to the music not detracts. If you have a huge list of prog albums in your collection and you are looking for another nice addition to it, or are hungry for more classic 70's prog in the Yes/Kansas mode, get this album. You won't be disappointed. You may even be glad you did! 3 3/4 stars!
 Tales of Power by ARABESQUE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.39 | 34 ratings

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Tales of Power
Arabesque Symphonic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As a lover of progressive rock, it is always fulfilling when you get your hands on an old album from a band you had never heard of before and love the music... this is most certainly the case with 70's US based band ARABESQUE. This CD is really a collection of their early songs written between 1973 and 1978. Musically ARABESQUE draw musical influences from CAMEL, GENESIS and YES, but I must confess do carry their very own unique sound. Instrumentally these guys also dipped into the progressive rock bag of tricks with the addition of a number of unique toys... glockenspiel, bongos, e-bow, temple blocks and a host of cool analog keyboards (farfisa organ, mini-korg, Rhodes). Their songs are nice and long (all around 10 Mins) and are given lots of room to explore never sounding rushed or pushed.
Thanks to The Symphonic Team for the artist addition.

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