Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Martin Orford - Classical Music And Popular Songs CD (album) cover


Martin Orford



3.62 | 58 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars It has been far too long in coming, but since Widge is in one or two bands, and does the odd bit of touring along with running a record label I suppose he has an excuse. Seriously, this is a solo album that many progheads have been looking forward to. No lyrics in the booklet, but a bit about each song and also the players. Martin has gathered around him musicians he has been playing with for years, so Dave Kilminster and John Wetton join him from, um, John Wetton, while the rest of Jadis are here and the rest of IQ, but only the final song has a 'complete' band line-up as Jadis play out with an instrumental. While Martin provides most of the vocals, John guests on one while Peter Nicholls guests on another.

The album opens with long held-down keyboard chords, with some lilting flute over the top, then some mandolin touches (all played by Martin) leading us gently into "The Field Of Fallen Angels". This soon goes into some Rush-style runs (with some great bass from JJ), then into a bombastic Jadis-style number. Martin is a great vocalist in his own right, as anybody who has caught him on a solo show will know, and it is wonderful to hear him on CD not just providing backing vocals. The song develops into a much more intricate keyboard-driven piece without ever losing the central theme before switching tracks altogether into a more acoustic piece.

By the end of that, I knew that this album was a winner. Up next was "A Part Of Me", which Martin co-wrote with John Wetton who provides the vocals. A fairly laid-back beginning with a repeated piano motif gave no hint of what was to come. It turns into a song that Asia would have been proud of, layered vocals and Gary Chandler and Dave Kilminster locking horns on guitar. A speeding keyboard/guitar harmony shows just how well these players understand each other. This song in itself is enough to make me want to grab each of you by the scruff of the neck and force you to buy this superb album.

There is the superb solo instrumental of "Quilmes" which Martin performs as a solo piece when on tour with John Wetton, or "Tatras" which is Martin's classical number. There is "Fusion" which used to feature in gigs by The Lens so lead guitarist on this is Michael Holmes. This is a fun uptempo number with some great guitar leads. Oh shit, I could write about this album forever. I love it. If I have just time to mention one more song, then it ought to be "The Overload" which Martin co-wrote with Peter Nicholls who guests on vocals and is the closest thing to an IQ-style song on the CD. .

A great album from one of the nicest guys in the business. .

. Originally appeared in Feedback #60

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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

Share this MARTIN ORFORD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

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.