Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Spirits Burning With Clearlight, Richard Niles & Esquire

U.K. progressive rock band Spirits Burning are releasing their second album with Clearlight, featuring the members of Gong and Hawkwind. The new album titled "The Roadmap In Your Head" is a space-rock adventure that takes you on a sonic journey that will have you expanded your opinion of progressive music. The new fourteen-song release begins with the Middle Eastern-infused sounds of the title song, as the music slowly takes control of your mind. The music of "The Birth Of Belief" takes you on a electronic-jazz journey into the outer marks of time and space. The guitar solos of "Coffee For Coltrane" keep the music exciting and energetic, while the thirteen-minute "Fuel For The Gods," relaxes and elevates your senses. The album finishes with the jazz fusion of "Black Squirrel At The Root Of The Staircase" and the cool tones of "Deja Vu," before closing with "Roadmaps (The Other Way)" written and sung by Gong legend, Daevid Allen who passed away in 2015. To find out more about Spirits Burning and Clearlight's latest release "The Roadmap In Your Head," please visit spiritsburning.com.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist/arranger Richard Niles has assembled one of his largest ensembles for his latest album "Bandzilla Rises." His 14-piece band and 9-piece vocal group help Niles create some outstanding jazz fusion pieces on his latest release. The new 14-song set begins with the funk infused horns of "Live As One" and continues with the R&B/jazz groove of "You Can't Get There From Here." Niles delivers a smooth guitar solo during the seven-plus minute "L.A. Existential," while his chorus of vocals work as one on the funk/pop delivery of "Stone Jungle." The classic big band jazz sound of "The Alligator From West 15th" and the smoky, blues of "Welcome To My World" showcase the strength in Niles' songwriter as he portrays all these emotions through his music. The album closes with the angelic voices in "Tip For A Toreador" and the up-tempo jazz fusion of "Why Is This World So Strange?." To find out more about Richard Niles and his latest release "Bandzilla Rises," please visit bandzilla.net.

Female-fronted progressive rock band Esquire have released their third album titled "Esquire III - No Spare Planet" after almost a twenty-year hiatus. Lead singer Nikki Squire (first wife of Yes bassist Chris Squire) worked with her co-writer Nigel McLaren right up until his untimely passing in 2015 and the Squire completed the album alone. The new nine-song release begins with the eight-minute space-rock journey of "Ministry Of Life" as you feel baptized by the music washing over you. The music turns electronic on the more pop/rock oriented "She Said," before moving on to a classic Esquire feel of "Human Rhythm." The album continues with the enlightenment of "It's Over," as the music is bright and uplifting, before finishing with the Genesis-like prog/rock sounding "Stay Low" and "Heaven Blessed." To find out more about Esquire and their latest release "Esquire III - No Spare Planet," please visit esquiretheband.com.

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