Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 50 of 50

Thread: FEATURED CD - Gryphon : Red Queen To Gryphon 3

  1. #26
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    southern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,443
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I personally think their version of "The Unquiet Grave" is the most beautiful rendition of the song outside of strictly folk music surroundings. It's just utterly gorgeous.
    Agreed.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  2. #27
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3,198
    I have that weird collection Sanctuary put out which had almost all of their Transatlantic output on it in a jumbled order. This album was on there in its entirety, thankfully, and it's the material I returned to most. 'Opening Move' I remember being a particular favourite.

    I recall it being mentioned here that one of the band was quite dismissive of this period when someone went to a reunion gig recently. I would imagine that interest in them now is more or less from this period only!

    I don't think the early folk stuff grabbed me but then I'm not much of an English 'trad' folk fan in the first place, so maybe I'm the wrong person to comment. My interest in English/British folk is almost entirely mid-late 60s, Fairport/Sandy Denny, Jansch/Pentangle, John Martyn etc.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    their debut is almost avant-garde, like Univers Zero's music on 1212 and Hérésie would be.
    Well, I was rather thinking specifically of the closing track from Red Queen ("Chess Mate", I believe?), but the debut and the "Midnight Mushrumps" piece (which was in fact a ballett suite written for a performance of Willy "Shaky" Shakespeare's The Tempest) probably displayed the band at their upmost formalistic peak. I don't think their near-avant-garde approach was anything particularly intentional, though - 'Chamber-rock' certainly hardly existed albeit the Third Ear Band's Macbeth came out in '71.

    But stuffs such as this, still:

    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I actually have a soft spot for their debut, which has some stupendously fun material on it. Midnight Mushrumps is solid, but a bit less engaging than both the debut and Red Queen to my ears. Raindance was the first one I heard, and while there are some great ideas and fine melodies there, it's altogether too uneven to really make a mark. I prefer Treason to that one.
    Close to my feelings as well, minus Treason which I haven't heard. Although Raindance is uneven, the final 15 minute track is as good as anything on Red Queen. Great band.
    ProgEars and other prog posters & prints: http://www.michaelphipps.net
    .*AWAKEN*. gentle
    MASS -touch-

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I personally think their version of "The Unquiet Grave" is the most beautiful rendition of the song outside of strictly folk music surroundings. It's just utterly gorgeous.
    Absolutely! The passage "in the graveyard" with the crumhorn and percussion is spine-tingling.
    ProgEars and other prog posters & prints: http://www.michaelphipps.net
    .*AWAKEN*. gentle
    MASS -touch-

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I recall it being mentioned here that one of the band was quite dismissive of this period when someone went to a reunion gig recently. I would imagine that interest in them now is more or less from this period only!
    That's about my recollection as well. I believe they focused most on their first two albums and then did a sort of medley from Red Queen. I think it was the mix of folk instruments with electronic keyboards and electric guitar and bass that they were dismissing and were trying to get back to more of an acoustic-only sound. Too bad. I was actually in contact with the guitarist about doing artwork for a forthcoming album but he didn't think a new release was too likely at that point.
    ProgEars and other prog posters & prints: http://www.michaelphipps.net
    .*AWAKEN*. gentle
    MASS -touch-

  7. #32
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    All around the world. On land and in the sea.
    Posts
    339
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I don't get the comparisons to Yes. I feel these guys do Symph better than Yes and they are more original/less typical
    My point exactly.
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

    colouratura.bandcamp.com

  8. #33
    Gave this a fresh listen tonight. I like the album, but I have to say this spin didn't blow me away. It's good, but not a jaw dropper by any means. Maybe I was negatively influenced by my wife who was constantly criticizing Gulland for being flat on the bassoon.

    Anyway, this and Raindance remain my two favorite Gryphon albums. I think Treason is only so-so, and really have no interest in the first two.

    Bill

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ProgArtist View Post
    Close to my feelings as well, minus Treason which I haven't heard. Although Raindance is uneven, the final 15 minute track is as good as anything on Red Queen. Great band.
    Gryphon are a pretty amazing band in that they have never made a “bad” album. Treason is probably their least “special,” in that it’s a straight-up symphonic prog album, with barely any of the Medieval folk feel that made Gryphon Gryphon, but it’s still a worthwhile listen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Two of Gryphon's members were graduates from the Royal College of Music, and Richard Harvey especially excelled as film musics composer after his work in the band. He created some absolutely outstanding folk tunes and themes for several prominent British TV-series (for instance the P.D. James Adam Dalgliesh procedures and the excellent Spyship with Tom Wilkinson (in 1983, one of his first major roles).

    I specifically remember Harvey stating his respect for Jethro Tull, but claiming that he hadn't really heard much 'symphonic rock' music other than these and The Moodies and Krimson. The interesting part from that interview was that he also kept telling about the tour with Yes and how he didn't actually know them before Graeme Taylor (Gryphon guitarist) introduced the name. Together with Robert John Godfrey and Kerry Minnear, Gryphon (and Harvey, Taylor and Brian Gulland in particular) were arguably the most formally accomplished composers/performers in British 'symphonic' progressive rock music of the 70s.
    I’d throw the underrated Francis Monkman in with that list. Like Harvey, he had a background in formal, classical music and also like him, he spent some time later on doing audio library and soundtrack recordings. Funnily enough, Energism, an album he originally recorded for the Bruton Music library, was reissued by Innovative Communications (Klaus Schulze’s label)!
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  10. #35
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,343
    I adore this album, and the two before this. Talk about musicianship - top shelf here. Amazing, contrapuntal compositions that Bach fans would dig if they were lucky enough in the unlikely instance to even be cognizant of their existence. The production on Red Queen is really something special too, and you have to think about those days before being able to fix flat notes via software, etc , especially playing some of these older acoustic instruments. Its not only sufficient, but its fucking stellar. Without a total command of every facet of playing, rehearsing, recording, producing, etc music like this could come off as cheap or just poorly executed, or without the proper "eyebrows" to make it truly shine, but of course its not the case here. In terms of composing, nothing more to say than utter erudite lads that REALLY know their English historical vocabulary and to have the audacity to update it into modern times without ever losing the ideals that this music was built upon hundreds of years ago. I don't have enough kind words and respect for this band. This is stuff to rejoice that we are lucky enough that it even exists, especially fans who love and appreciate early music (meaning music from the medieval, renaissance, and even baroque eras in western Europe).

    BTW, the live albums also demonstrate that these guys were the real deal and not some patchwork musical quilt with the help of some fancy engineer.
    Last edited by chalkpie; 01-30-2016 at 07:00 AM.

  11. #36
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,343
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Gave this a fresh listen tonight. I like the album, but I have to say this spin didn't blow me away. It's good, but not a jaw dropper by any means. Maybe I was negatively influenced by my wife who was constantly criticizing Gulland for being flat on the bassoon.

    Bill
    I'd like to know where she thinks he plays flat - I'm a trained classical musician of 30+ years and shit like that really bothers me if its apparent, but I don't hear it on this record.

    For instance: Listen at 8:45 on in "Opening Move" where the bassoon is completely exposed - his intonation is pretty dead-on, or within a 97% or higher accuracy rate.

    Another very exposed bassoon part: 3:10 in "Lament" - this part would be painful to endure if he was flat, but again to my ears he is running in the upper 90's if you had to rate his pitch accuracy. I've heard professionals in the Berliner, Vienna, Cleveland, etc play with shoddier pitch in the double reed section.

    So maybe use your own ears and judge for yourself
    Last edited by chalkpie; 01-30-2016 at 07:23 AM.

  12. #37
    Listening to Crossing the styles right now. Alas most songs on their first 4 albums are spread in random order over 2 CD's.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I'd like to know where she thinks he plays flat - I'm a trained classical musician of 30+ years and shit like that really bothers me if its apparent, but I don't hear it on this record.

    For instance: Listen at 8:45 on in "Opening Move" where the bassoon is completely exposed - his intonation is pretty dead-on, or within a 97% or higher accuracy rate.

    Another very exposed bassoon part: 3:10 in "Lament" - this part would be painful to endure if he was flat, but again to my ears he is running in the upper 90's if you had to rate his pitch accuracy. I've heard professionals in the Berliner, Vienna, Cleveland, etc play with shoddier pitch in the double reed section.

    So maybe use your own ears and judge for yourself
    Honestly, I don't hear it so much either. Virtually the second the bassoon appeared in Opening Move, she thought it sounded flat. Not every note, but some notes, and apparently some quite prominently so. It happened a couple of more times in that piece, then sporadically through the album she would mention it. I never caught the moments she was referring to, and when I focused on it I never heard anything that sounded flat to me.

    She also is a classically trained musician and often hears things I don't, both positive and negative, and particularly in woodwinds. So I don't doubt she is hearing something, but I don't particularly hear it. She and I also have pretty convergent musical taste, but when I told her I wanted to spin Gryphon last night, she was like, "if we must." She's just not a Gryphon fan, I'm afraid.

    Bill

  14. #39
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,343
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Honestly, I don't hear it so much either. Virtually the second the bassoon appeared in Opening Move, she thought it sounded flat. Not every note, but some notes, and apparently some quite prominently so. It happened a couple of more times in that piece, then sporadically through the album she would mention it. I never caught the moments she was referring to, and when I focused on it I never heard anything that sounded flat to me.

    She also is a classically trained musician and often hears things I don't, both positive and negative, and particularly in woodwinds. So I don't doubt she is hearing something, but I don't particularly hear it. She and I also have pretty convergent musical taste, but when I told her I wanted to spin Gryphon last night, she was like, "if we must." She's just not a Gryphon fan, I'm afraid.

    Bill
    OK, so two against one - we win

    I mean even if there were a few notes here and there (which like I said would even be stretching it, although perhaps not entirely out of the question), there are so many other great aspects of this music that I think it would be a shame to dismiss it based on that fact alone. Now if you plain don't dig the vibe or style, then that is a different thing altogether. I don't know these guys at all, but from my perspective I would say that they are pretty near perfectionists in their presentation of this music. Live too - these guys are the real deal.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    OK, so two against one - we win

    I mean even if there were a few notes here and there (which like I said would even be stretching it, although perhaps not entirely out of the question), there are so many other great aspects of this music that I think it would be a shame to dismiss it based on that fact alone. Now if you plain don't dig the vibe or style, then that is a different thing altogether. I don't know these guys at all, but from my perspective I would say that they are pretty near perfectionists in their presentation of this music. Live too - these guys are the real deal.


    She had a good laugh about this exchange. She had to admit that he is largely on pitch, but maintained she heard some times when felt he was flat, enough to bug her. I said it was likely that she just doesn't like Gryphon, but she said she doesn't hate it, but it's not her favorite. I may take Red Queen in the car with me some time to give it a very close listen, I'd like to get a little more familiar with the second and third movements.

    Bill

  16. #41
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,343
    BTW, that's awesome that your wife plays bassoon. I love that instrument - and English Horn and Oboe - played properly of course

    I'm a string player, but I have a whole new appreciation of double reeds after having "trying" bassoon in school - wicked hard! Clarinet I found to be much easier.

    Red Queen is not an instant gratification type of album IMO - it took me a bunch of spins over a few years to really start hearing it all. Midnight Mushrumps is an easier listen to my ears, but I adore both. I am a huge early music fanatic (been a staple of my musical diet for over 20 years now with a few hundred titles), so this band really does it for me.

  17. #42
    My wife is actually a sax player. She has played bassoon and loves it, second only to baritone saxophone. She says its a really fun instrument to play, but she hasn't spent a large amount of time on bassoon.

    I loved Red Queen the instant I heard it and was thrilled when I found it on CD. Not sure why it didn't blow me away the other night, which is why I want to give it a close spin some time soon - perhaps on my way to band rehearsal next Wednesday night.

    Bill

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by ProgArtist View Post
    Close to my feelings as well, minus Treason which I haven't heard. Although Raindance is uneven, the final 15 minute track is as good as anything on Red Queen. Great band.
    Agreed. Raindance isn’t as consistently good as its precursor*, but I think “(Ein klein) Heldenleben” is their high water mark as a band! Absolutely first-rate piece!

    *I can listen to Raindance from beginning to end. I’d say the cover of “Mother Nature’s Sun” is a bit unnecessary, and I could definitely see people disliking their English whimsy on “Fontinental Version” and the song with the long, French title. But I don’t ever get the urge to turn it off or skip past anything. Weirdly, the title track is almost an ambient piece! I don’t think they ever visited that territory before or since.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  19. #44
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Moscow, RF
    Posts
    306
    I love Fontinenal Version...my favorite thing on Raindance..Red Queen is rather enigmatic, their most complex album. - I agree with reviewer of Oldfield's influence, or maybe not influence, but similar approach..The best track I think is Checkmate - amazing stuff.

  20. #45
    Member bill g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Near Mount Rainier
    Posts
    2,316
    I've noted a few moments where Gulland seemed just slightly flat on the bassoon, but it wasn't enough to mar my appreciation for the music. I know I'm much more flat when I try to sing! I really enjoy 'Red Queen', and it is my favorite Gryphon album, though I love the earlier 'Juniper Suite', as well as Richard Harvey's compositions on 'Raindance' (the title track and the epic finale) I rather like 'Treason' too, but for me it lacks the depth for appreciated repeat listenings beyond just a few. 'Spring Song' is certainly nice. My favorite track on 'Red Queen' I think has always been 'Lament'. Lovely recorder section, quite poignant.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I’d throw the underrated Francis Monkman in with that list. Like Harvey, he had a background in formal, classical music
    Monkman definitely belongs there, as do Mont Campbell and Lindsay Cooper if we are to move somewhat outside of the 'symph' idiom.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  22. #47
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,343
    Listening to the first Gryphon LP (on CD)....music aside for a minute, the actual production on this album is pretty stunning. 1973? Dark Side always gets the nod (as it should) but the sound on this is equal imo. Different tunes for sure, but the clarity and overall punch and texture is so killer.

    The album was produced by Lawrence Aston and Adam Skeaping, and engineered by Skeaping and Nick Glennie-Smith. It was recorded at Riverside Recordings and Livingston Studios. Never heard of these cats but hats off.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it was wicked of you big dead boy
    Suddenly just went to sleep
    Well here we are..." - Tim Smith (1961-2020)

  23. #48
    I had dismissed this first one as not really suitable to my taste, but it's quiet good actually, stuff like Estampie, you know.

    The one thing that spoils it is involuntary associations with ridiculous Monty Python's choreography...

  24. #49
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Utopia
    Posts
    2,849
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    The album was produced by Lawrence Aston and Adam Skeaping, and engineered by Skeaping and Nick Glennie-Smith. It was recorded at Riverside Recordings and Livingston Studios. Never heard of these cats but hats off.
    I know Adam Skeaping more as a musician specializing in early music than as an engineer. He played on those old Shirley & Dolly Collins albums like Anthems in Eden and Love, Death & the Lady.
    New album THE HIPCRIME VOCAB available now!
    https://michaelpdawson.bandcamp.com

  25. #50
    Nick Glennie-Smith played keyboards with Wally, and was a session musician on a whole bunch of albums. In the 90s he went into movie soundtracks, often in collaboration with Hans Zimmer.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •