Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Michael Giles - Progress CD (album) cover

PROGRESS

Michael Giles

Canterbury Scene


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
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.

Report this review (#116400)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In an interview done with Michael Giles at the time of the release of King Crimson`s "Epitaph" live album, done in 1997, Giles was asked about why this album, which was recorded in 1978, was still unreleased. He said that he was not satisfied with the album, and that he even looked for a record contract with a label but he didn`t get it then. He liked the songs but he thought that he still had to re-work some of them. Five years later, in 2002, this album was finally released, but I don`t know if he re-worked some of the songs. In fact, I think that the album was released as it was originally recorded, but I really don`t know.

With a list of tracks with titles which maybe suggest a "concept" on which a man goes on travel from the sunrise until he arrives to another place at night (I could be wrong, but even the cover design shows Giles waiting for a train with his packed drum kit), this is a very good album which fortunately was finally released in 2002. Even the main melody from the first proper song ("Departure") is reprised in the final song from the album ("Arrival") which also suggests a "concept", a cycle or a theme in this album. This album is very Progressive in some places (particularly in the title song "Progress", which is maybe the best from this album) and sometimes with a lot of influences from Jazz-Rock music. This album is more related to the "McDonald and Giles" album from 1970, sometimes sounding very close to that album, not only because of Giles`s very good drums playing, but also with the use of the saxophones and other wind instruments. There are also some influences from the original King Crimson, of course, but most of all this album shows how important was Giles in the original line-up of that band, not only for being the drummer, but also as part of the original sound of the band. In that interview he says that in King Crimson he mostly was an arranger and a composer of some parts of songs, suggesting some rhythm changes, and he also was one of the backing singers in that band. But, as I wrote before, this album is more related to his work in the "McDonald and Giles" album with Ian McDonald, another very important musican from the original line-up of the band, showing how influential were both musicians in that band. Greg Lake also said in one interview that when both left the band he did not want to continue with King Crimson because he considered that both musicians were very important for that band (this despite Lake and Giles appeared in the second album of the band more as guests or sessions musicians in a band which became mainly Robert Fripp`s band after that).

Giles in this album appears as a multi-instrumentalist, playing keyboards, a bit of guitar, and also singing very good vocals. And his drums and percussion playing is very good, of course. He even plays a drums and percussion solo in "Nightdream".

A very good contributor to this album is bassist Peter Giles, playing very good bass guitar parts with his very personal style and doing very good parts playing along with the drums. Both Giles brothers are very good musicians, but both remained in their musical careers playing and recording more as session musicians, with Michael appearing in a lot of albums from other musicians particularly during the seventies.

This is a very good solo album from Michael Giles which also shows that he also is a very good composer. The songs are played and linked one after the other with good continuity, and even some of them are "introduced" by the sound of cymbals and other percussion instruments. These "sound effects" work very well giving a very personal "identity" to the album.

Report this review (#1143298)
Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Review Permalink

MICHAEL GILES Progress ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MICHAEL GILES Progress


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives