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Michael Giles - Progress CD (album) cover

PROGRESS

Michael Giles

 

Canterbury Scene

3.86 | 30 ratings

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Alucard
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Michael Giles recorded 'Progress' in 1978 (even so the record was only released in 2002) mainly with the help of musicians from the Canterbury scene in particular multi- instrumentalist Geoffrey Richardson ('Caravan'), who is also the only musician playing on all the tracks but the two track where Giles plays all instruments . Among the other musicians playing on the various tracks are Dave Mc Rae, Jimmy Hastings, John G.Perry and Ray Warleigh, a Who's Who of the Canterbury scene influencing obviously the sound. BTW there is an interesting paralelle to Perry's solo record, 'Sunset Wading'with a similar athmosphere.

The record opens with 'Sunrise' a short athmospheric track for piano and guitar followed by 'Departure' a funky up-tempo track featuring Giles on hi-hat and Cymbals over an E-piano pattern and some distorted guitar by Richardson. 'Rolling' remains in the funky area with a trademark crash cymbal counterpoint that Giles used already in th KC times and an overall mood that reminds KC with a funkier edge featuring a treated trombone solo by Blakesly and an E-piano solo by Mealing. .seguing into the short 'Daydream' a beautiful rubato track for E- and acoustic piano, bass an flute.

'Moving' another funky track featuring Giles on vocals over brother Pete's driving bass line and a great instrumental passage for bass , drums and e-piano that reminds 'RandomHold'. 'Midsummer Day' a duet for Giles & Richardson with both musicians playing guitar, a nice repetitive pattern with a great flute melody on top and moody vocals by Giles reminding 'Camel' and again the crash cymbal on counterpoint : the most original track on the record. 'Progress' a heavy funk featuring a horn section reminding Carla Bley again with a pile driving bass-line by Peter Giles and aggressive vocals by Michael reminding again 'Random Hold'.

'Sunset' starts with a great neo-classical piano intro followed by a short beautiful flute theme, doubled on vocals by Catherine Howe, establishing a delicate jazzy tune not unlike some 'Caravan' tunes, especially when Richardson enters on viola : the most beautiful theme on the record. On 'Shunter ' Giles plays all the instruments himself , a repetitive piano pattern with a lead synth sound on counterpoint against a walking bass-line : another great track with stunning dynamics.

'Rocking' another heavy funk introduced by Giles on clavinet with a funky horn section and a Klezmer like clarinette melody on top. 'Nightdream' the second solo effort by Giles for percussion , not really necessary and leading with a crash cymbal stroke into .. 'Arrival' the end of the journey, driven by a rolling rhythm with a trumpet melody on top again doubled beautifully by Catherine Howe on vocals, over a great fat bass line by Peter Giles and a short guitar solo by Richardson leads into the melody sung this time by Howe and ending and outstanding Canterbury record.

Alucard | 4/5 |

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