Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Nolan & Wakeman


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nolan & Wakeman Jabberwocky album cover
3.63 | 71 ratings | 11 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (5:57)
2. Coming to Town (2:55)
3. Dangerous World (6:54)
4. The Forest (4:22)
5. A Glimmer of Light (2:42)
6. Shadows (4:19)
7. Enlightenment (5:23)
8. Dancing Water (4:12)
9. The Burgundy Rose (3:55)
10. The Mission (4:32)
11. Call to Arms (6:37)
12. Finale (1:50)

Total Time 53:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Oliver Wakeman / keyboards
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, co-producer

- Ian Salmon / guitar
- Peter Banks / guitar
- Jon Jeary / acoustic guitar
- Pete Gee / fretless bass
- Tony Fernandez / drums
- Bob Catley / vocals - "The Boy"
- Tracy Hitchings / vocals - "The Girl"
- James Plumridge / vocals - "The Jabberwock"
- Paul Allison / vocals - "The Tree"
- Rick Wakeman / voice - "The Narrator"
- The Choir (Michelle Young, Michelle Gulrajani, Suzanne Chenery, Tracy Hitchings, Sian Roberts, John Jowitt, Dave Wagstaffe, Donald Morrison, Ian Gould, John Mitchell, Tina Riley & Clive Nolan) / chorus vocals

Releases information

Based on the homonymous poem by Lewis Carroll.

Artwork: Rodney Matthews

CD Verglas Music ‎- VGCD014 (1999, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy NOLAN & WAKEMAN Jabberwocky Music

NOLAN & WAKEMAN Jabberwocky ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NOLAN & WAKEMAN Jabberwocky reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars "The Jabberwocky" has been inspired by Lewis Carroll's novel "Through the Looking Glass". In this novel, Alice is looking for the meaning of a certain poem, called Jabberwocky. It's about a fierce creature in the woods, that threatens every being that trespasses its territory." This is a project that is the result of collaboration between Clive NOLAN and Oliver WAKEMAN. All the words, music and arrangements is done by Clive NOLAN and Oliver WAKEMAN, and they are both playing keyboards on this album. Oliver is the second eldest son of ex-YES keyboard player Rick WAKEMAN. On this album it is his son that is in the spotlight and Rick is handling the narration. Oliver is carrying his father's legacy with honour, and last year he did his first solo album called "Heaven's Isle". Clive NOLAN is well known in the progressive rock genre for his contributions in ARENA, PENDRAGON, SHADOWLAND and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. He's also been a session musician in various bands. This is a concept album that is almost like a musical fairytale with bombastic keyboard based symphonic rock, and a very impressive line-up. The singers and the musicians are really great and very skilled! Bob Catley have always been a great singer in MAGNUM and Tracy HITCHINGS is doing a wonderful work on LANDMARQ's latest release "Science of Coincidence". The music is a mix between the bands that the musicians and singers usually are playing in: LANDMARQ, MAGNUM, PENDRAGON and Rick WAKEMAN. The CD is packed in a beautiful cover with artwork by Rodney Matthews, who has done a numerous of covers before for MAGNUM and NAZARETH among others. There are a lot of great songs on this album and my favourites are the jazzy "Coming to Town" and the pompous and beautiful tracks "Dangerous World" and "Dancing Water". A very interesting and highly recommended album!
Review by Zitro
3 stars This is a symphonic and highly vivid concept album with a line-up of talented musicians including Peter Banks. Adam Wakeman is heavily influenced by Wakeman's narrated concept albums, and way of playing the synths. Clive Nolan plays like always : symphonic sountrack-style keyboard playing. With several vocalist, this album is like a prog rock opera. Instrumentally, it is very strong, and a surprise that it is barely mentioned in progarchives. It sounds like neo-prog.

The words of the album interpret a poem of Carroll which involves a story of a fantasy of a boy getting strength to defeat the jabberwocky which is either a monster or an imaginary fear that separates the boy with his girlfriend. Many characters including the girl gives courage to the boy to confront and defeat the beast. The album concludes with the boy and girl together.

1. Overture (5:57) is a majestic start of the album, full of symphonic arrangements, keyboard solos, and a solid vocalist introducing his fears, and desires to be with his girl. 7/10

2. Coming To Town (2:55) is a good rocker with a nice jazzy guitar solo that reminds me of Yes, and good keyboard work. 6/10

3. Dangerous World (6:54) makes the appareance of the beast, and with his sinister voice and harpsichord musical backing, he instills fear to the boy, while the girl gives him strength in a ballad-like musical passage. The Jabberwocky terrifying the boy afterwards. 6.5/10

4. The Forest (4:22) Begins with a march-like rhythm ripped off from "The Wall" and is augmented by choirs sung in latin. A strong instrumental break with impressive symphonic passages and a synth solo makes this song very memorable. 8/10

5. A Glimmer Of Light (2:42) An emotional ballad dominated by the voice of Tracy Hitchings and piano. 6/10

6. Shadows (4:19) This song instrumentally feels like paranoia and fear. Some of the keyboard riffs gives me imagery that the Jabberwocky is chasing the boy on the forest. It can also be just another overture. 7/10

7. Enlightenment (5:23) The tree gives advice to the boy, the song is concluded by a powerful guitar solo. 6/10

8. Dancing Water (4:12) This song is the boy contemplating and hearing voices from all characters. 6.5/10

9. The Burgundy Rose (3:55) Containing beautiful piano passages, this song is when the Boy and the Girl are confident. The lyrics "I don't feel small and insignificant" show that they are planning to defeat the beast. The second half has a strong instrumental work. 8/10

10. The Mission (4:32) An exciting song in which the boy sets his mission to kill the jabberwocky. Solos are everywhere here. 7/10

11. Call To Arms (6:37) A symphonic heavy piece with lots of background noises of war. Unfortunately, the repetitive latin choirs annoy me. The keyboard playing is at its best here though, especially the hammond organ solo. 6.5/10

12. Finale (1:50) is well ... the finale of the album, and sounds very similar to the overture. 7/10

A modern rock opera! I recommend this to any Arena/Pendragon fan, and any fan of keyboard-driven music!

My Grade : C+

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It will come as no surprise to learn that a Nolan and Wakeman CD contains a lot of keyboards, but there is much else to enjoy on this solid, if unspectacular concept work. The excellent playing of the two stars, plus others such as Pete Banks, is held up by the rhythm section of Pendragon's Peter Gee and Tony Fernandez from Rick's band on the drums. Vocalists include Tracy Hitchings and the lugubrious narration is from Wakeman Senior himself.

Obviously this is a concept album based on the Lewis Carroll poem, the production is powerful and this is an enjoyable listen for fans of the Wakemans and neo- prog bands such as Pendragon. It suffers slightly in places from "cheesy" keyboard sounds and I'm not too keen on the vocal style of Ms Hitchings. A solid 3-star "rock opera" album.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This project is one that Clive and I discussed a few times before it finally came to fruition. It tickled him to think of recording an album which featured Rick Wakeman talking instead of playing keyboards, and that also featured Oliver but not his more well known brother, Adam. This is a concept album loosely based around the famous Lewis Carroll poem of the same name, with Rick taking the part of The Narrator: Bob Catley plays the part of The Boy, with Tracy Hitchings as The Girl.

The album is very much in the same theme as concept albums of the Seventies. In fact it reminded me somewhat of Rick's own 'King Arthur'. This is due in no small part to the fact that Clive has successfully distanced his writing from his previous albums/bands/projects, so that this doesn't sound as if it is from Thin Ice. Also, by using musicians who are not normally associated with him (such as Peter Banks and Tony Fernandez) he has also created some space. The keyboards are very dynamic, with strong interplay, and the long instrumental passages work very well in an orchestral fashion. The result is an album that has to be listened to in its' entirety to get the full benefit, but it is worthwhile and very enjoyable. The booklet is well laid out and the use of Rodney Matthews as the cover artist also harkens back to another age and era. If you ever enjoyed listening to concepts in the Seventies (and who didn't?) then this is an album that you will thoroughly enjoy.

Feedback #58, May 2000

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars CLIVE NOLAN's colaboration with -Rick Wakeman's eldest son- OLIVER WAKEMAN begun through their meeting on a radio show of Mike Portnoy. WAKEMAN sent NOLAN some of his ideas on tapes and after a few meetings,they decided to join forces on an ambitious project.The two keyboardists worked on a cinematic and epic style of progressive rock,which was to be entitled ''Jabberwocky'' after the eponymous poem of Lewis Carroll.The work was released in 1999 on Arena's Label,Verglas.

Featuring a number of important guests both on vocals and the instrumental section, such as Peter Gee, Peter Banks, Ian Salmon and Tracy Hitchings, ''Jabberwocky'' ended up to be a grandiose keyboard-led album, borrowing elements from symphonic music, soundtrack music and neo progressive rock.A modern version of RICK WAKEMAN's early epic symphonic prog style is also a good comparison.The album is filled with the beautiful keyboard work of the two musicians,who change their approach all the time.Classical piano and new agey atmospheric synthesizers are combined with the guests' voices to create deep emotions of a tale-atmosphere to the listener.Some times a medieval/renaissance nostalgic color will come to surface,even some harpsichord is used for that aim.For thos who can't get a minute off the progressive rock board, don't hesitate:There is much of our beloved music in here with fiery solos and nice grooves by the guitar players,a very good bass work and some dynamic drumming.Finally I think NOLAN and WAKEMAN came very to close to achieve the project's purpose: ''Jabberwocky'' is an epic, story-telling tale of progressive rock with a good balance between keyboard-driven music and progressive rock.Both an interesting musical experience and addition in your collection!

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Although I 'm not often keen on this sort of rock opera, I was curious to discover this combined work from Nolan/Wakeman. Especially that I really like Clive's work within "Arena" and "Pendragon" and to a lesser extent "Shadowland".

Some friends / family are also helping here. Father Wakeman (yes, Rick) as well as Ian Salmon (bass player of "Arena" and "Shadowland"), Peter Gee (Pendragon). The music displayed here ranges more to the symphonic vein (in which it was previously featured on PA) than neo-prog although several musical genres are mixed here.

Bombastic during the "Overture", almost funky/jazzy during "Coming To Town" this album is consistent at least in the quality of the musicians. But this is just a normal thing IMO. Professionals just need to be at this level. Even Rick is truly credible in his narrator role. I also appreciate the vocal work from "Tracy Hitchings" in most of her parts.

The only minus point (but this often takes place with such a work) is that it sounds pompous at several occasions ("The Forest" for instance). Same comment about "Shadows" during which the ELP influence is obvious.

If you happen to be a keys freak, there are real good parts in here. Being synth or just piano. You should be delighted. But maybe that you would feel (at least I do), that in terms of compositions, the whole sounds a little weaker.

Anyway, "Enlightment" shines here; mostly thanks to a great . guitar solo! Not to mention the catchy melody and a sustained rhythm. My fave from this album but as in lots of concept album there are few standout tracks. It is more a whole than individual songs that are making the album grandiose or not.

In this case, I would just speak about a good album. So: three stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Journey to the centre of the... town?

Backed by an all-star cast, Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman create a bombastic, theatrical concept album. Those who like Rick Wakeman's classic Journey To The Centre Of The Earth album will most probably like this one too, or at least recognize the similarities between the two albums. It is actually rather remarkable just how similar Oliver's keyboard playing is to that of his legendary father. Rick himself is even present here, as the narrator of the whole thing. All the clichés of a fantasy-tinged concept album are present, but it is not too cheesy or overdone. Everyone involved are super professional and know exactly what they are doing. They are having fun!

The vocals are handled by Bob Catley from Magnum, Tracy Hitchings and a couple of others. Catley and Hitchings are great. And so are the keyboardists, of course, and the band backing them all. This is simply a quality product. But it still has somewhat limited value due to the very nature of the project. They are doing this for fun and this fun then spreads to the listener who is entertained. Once or twice, that is. The albums does not have any staying power. It is like a theatre play or movie - you may enjoy it while it lasts, but you almost never want to witness it again.

A pretty good album of its kind, but absolutely not essential

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars The first thing that jumped to my ears was the fact that I can't ditinguish Oliver form his father. I don't mean the keyboard playing, I mean composing. There's a lot of Criminal records, No earthly connection and 1984 here. Effectively Rick is credited on the album's cover, and having I liked the 3 mentioned albums I can say that this is enjoyable as well, even if it's not adding much to hwat Rick has already done in the past. The concept comes from "through the looking glass". I worked several years in Cheshire and I can appreciate the athmosphere. The less instrumental songs like the first half of Dangerous world, with the very nice voice of Tracy Htchings, are more in Pendragon's mood and this makes this album various enough. If you have room in your storage to retain this disc it's a good addition. Between 3 and 4 stars, I'll go for 4 to keep the average on 3.5.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I have been searching for a new real interesting thing in prog for a long time, finding no or small interest in recent bands like The Tangent, RPWL...I found this Jabberwocky with Rick's son and Clive Nolan from Pendragon and was expecting nothing special. I couldn't have been more wrong and I w ... (read more)

Report this review (#182610) | Posted by fairyliar | Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I really can say I know this record...very well. 1999 seems so far away in time, lots of memories. But to me, this album is timeless. The Ouverture contains the most superb melody I can remember, and with a destructive arrangement! The singers, beginning with Bob Catley and Tracy Hitchings, ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#93962) | Posted by scandosch | Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very interesting piece of music.I bought this because it was very cheap and I was very surprised when I listened to it.This is a kind of a symphonic musical tale with a fantastic line up including Rick Wakeman and Peter Banks.This is great music with fantastic keyboards and vocals.Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#5171) | Posted by | Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of NOLAN & WAKEMAN "Jabberwocky"

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


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: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.