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Thread: New John Greaves album on Manticore

  1. #1

    New John Greaves album on Manticore

    When Greg Lake wanted me to be the artistic director of the renaissance of Manticore he was very precise:
    “I don’t want Manticore to be nostalgic but respectful and helpful of any great talent, old or new. We don’t want to be a progressive only label but open to any kind of music for progressive it is not a genre but an intention”.
    I’ve always felt a great honor to continue his quality control and tradition of perfectionism and creativity. And I am lucky enough to have trustable friends who help me and to share with projects: Regina Lake, Alberto Callegari at the amazing Elfo Recording Studios and Manticore artist Annie Barbazza.

    We try to realize what was, and still is, Greg Lake’s vision and production skills in new albums that are able to match his demanding standards. I was lucky enough to work with one of the most respected and talented British composers, Welsh-born John Greaves who is a true living legend in alternative music. He led the European avant-garde as a founder member of Henry Cow, one of the early Virgin Records more innovative and exciting bands, with Fred Frith and Lindsay Cooper, then his bass was the driving force in ensembles like National Health and Love Of Life Orchestra. He played with Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Michael Nyman, Carla Bley and Michael Mantler just to mention a few. His songwriting partnership with Slapp Happy’s Peter Blegvad gave birth to gems like “Bad Alchemy”, “How Beautiful You Are “ and “The Song”.

    Over the last years he recorded for French classical label Harmonia Mundi two album of composition upon words of Paul Verlaine and for Dark Companion a precious critically acclaimed live album called “Piacenza”. His new album “Life Size” features new compositions and the revisiting of old ones into a new, breathtaking contemporary and classy style, featuring some of the most acclaimed international musicians from King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk to Zeena Parkins, Himiko Paganotti, Lino Capra Vaccina, Annie Barbazza, Vincent Courtois, Valérie Gabail, Olivier Mellano and many others.
    “Life Size” is an album of stunning beauty and inner grace and sure will be a classic for the future, and intended to be the conceptual sequel of the critically acclaimed “Songs”, which, by the way, have been remastered at our Elfo Studios to the state of the art last year and reissued by Dark Companion Records.

    As always all recorded and mastered in a demonstration-like sound quality in audiophile premium purple vinyl and golden high-end cds.This first press will be of 1,000 cd and 500 audiophile coloured viny lonly.

    Max Marchini,
    Piacenza, Italy, September 2018

    https://shoutout.wix.com/so/74MRPluM...1a5865fe#/main
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  2. #2
    Very nice! Seems like an odd pairing to me (then again I am not that familiar with the Manticore label apart for the ELP releases) but anything Greaves is an autobuy for me.

  3. #3
    While a fanatic about Greaves' involvement with HCow, NHealth, the '76 Kew.Rhone album he did with Blegvad (in my top 25, I think) and his amazing Songs solo record from '97, I haven't paid too much attention to his work. I'm glad to see him still in action, and even on a label which issued titles by Stray Dog, K. Christmas and (ahem…) Thee Image. Oh well, I guess simply appearing on a label at all these days is no small a conundrum.
    "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. #4
    Scrotum, you must (and I emphasize MUST) check out his Verlaine Gisant album, its the closest thing I heard to HCow from recent years in terms of intensity.

  5. #5
    ^ I hear you, and I remember Cutler's enthusiastic support for it on release. So I'll be investigating for sure.
    "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

  6. #6
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flytomars View Post
    Scrotum, you must (and I emphasize MUST) check out his Verlaine Gisant album, its the closest thing I heard to HCow from recent years in terms of intensity.
    That was a very good album!

    Looking forward also for this new album. Greaves is one of my favourite musicians.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by flytomars View Post
    Scrotum, you must (and I emphasize MUST) check out his Verlaine Gisant album, its the closest thing I heard to HCow from recent years in terms of intensity.
    Oh that went under my radar

  8. #8
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Need to check that out
    Ian

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  9. #9
    Ok, re-reading my recommendation, I may have exaggerated regarding the intensity- it does have 2 or 3 songs that could have been pulled out of an HC album, but mostly it is a song-based album (infused with the HC DNA), so don't expect Shub Nigurath
    It is still one of my favourites from this side of the millennium.

  10. #10
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    I like the Verlaine Gisant album and I know nothing about Verlaine's poetry and I don't speak more than a dozen words of French. It just has that je ne sais quoi, you know? And there's about 1/3 of my French vocabulary right there.

  11. #11
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    I have Songs, which I really like, as well as Accident and Parrot Fashions. Also have the collaboration album Greaves/Cunningham. I might get this...
    Last edited by soundsweird; 11-06-2018 at 01:14 AM.

  12. #12
    John Greaves has recorded three records based on Verlaine poetry, which are all very good. He lives for a long time now in France and his French singing is really good. Btw on the new record are also two Verlaine tracks.

  13. #13
    I was underwhelmed by the first Verlaine album, but anything described as something of a Songs sequel sounds good to me.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
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  14. #14
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I was underwhelmed by the first Verlaine album, but anything described as something of a Songs sequel sounds good to me.

    Henry
    Latest Verlaine album called Verlaine Gisant (2015) is much better than the previous ones I think.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  15. #15
    Btw John Greaves & Annie Barbazza & The North Sea Radio Orchestra play Robert Wyatts Rock Bottom in concert in Piacenza / Italy the 30th of November

  16. #16
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    Btw John Greaves & Annie Barbazza & The North Sea Radio Orchestra play Robert Wyatts Rock Bottom in concert in Piacenza / Italy the 30th of November
    Wow! That would be really cool to see! (Of course I wont... )
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Since I am getting private messages and emails about this release, let me say that Manticore's distributor is someone we deal with frequently and we will be ordering and stocking this on vinyl and CD for folks in the USA.
    Steve F.

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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    Latest Verlaine album called Verlaine Gisant (2015) is much better than the previous ones I think.
    I would like to withdraw my earlier comment. I got the one with a green cover, and that's the second one, isn't it?

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
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  19. #19
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I would like to withdraw my earlier comment. I got the one with a green cover, and that's the second one, isn't it?

    Henry
    Yes, you are right.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  20. #20
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    kewl.
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  21. #21
    Hmmm, been giving it a few spins and not too enthusiastic about it- I guess it is a continuation of Songs as it has a collection of songs old and new in renditions which are more palatable, personally I prefer the original versions...

  22. #22
    I love it, personally. Not quite as good as Songs, but very strong... I thought.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  23. #23
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I love it, personally. Not quite as good as Songs, but very strong... I thought.

    Henry
    I think that at this point I even prefer this new album to Songs. I really love it.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  24. #24
    ^ To be clear, I dont think it is bad... just not my cup of tea -
    A collection of "greatest hits" done in a (to my ears) less interesting renditions.

  25. #25
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    For me this new album isn’t in the same league as Songs, but there are some gems as well as some material that didn’t click for me. Perhaps that will change after repeated listenings, but this is no Songs. I wish it was, but that’s my take.

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