Clearlight is a French progressive rock band from the 1970s, although their best known work was produced in England, and released by a major British record company. While progressive rock is an appropriate overall genre for the band, much of their work delves into other genres including psychedelic music, jam band music, symphonic rock, space rock, jazz fusion, and new-age music.
Shawn Phillips is my guru, a spiritual guide if you will. After listening to this album I am always infused with energy and good will and feel I have the strength to carry on no matter what is pulling me down in life. Shawn is my candidate for the most overlooked / underrated musician of our time, he’s an extremely fine musician and vocalist with an incredible vocal range that will blow your mind.
Over the years Mr. Phillips has worked with Peter Robinson quite a bit, you might know him from Quatermass (the band). Peter Robinson shines quite a bit on Rumplestiltskin's Resolve, another Quatermass alum (John Gustafson on bass) shows up on the “Spiteful” track.
The follow-up to the breakthrough Headhunters album was virtually as good as its wildly successful predecessor: an earthy, funky, yet often harmonically and rhythmically sophisticated tour de force. There is only one change in the Headhunters lineup – swapping drummer Harvey Mason for Mike Clark – and the switch results in grooves that are even more complex. Hancock continues to reach into the rapidly changing high-tech world for new sounds, most notably the metallic sheen of the then-new ARP string synthesizer which was already becoming a staple item on pop and jazz-rock records. Again, there are only four long tracks, three of which ("Palm Grease," "Actual Proof," "Spank-A-Lee") concentrate on the funk, with plenty of Hancock's wah-wah clavinet, synthesizer textures and effects, and electric piano ruminations that still venture beyond the outer limits of post-bop.
The legendary concert tribute to Franco Battiato by Gates of Memory, Which Has Been Held at the Teatro Dante in Castellanza on November 26th 2010, is finally released on CD and DVD. The group features musicians of the early historical works of Franco Battiato: Gianfranco D'Adda and Mario Dalla Stella, as well as newcomers such as Paul "Ske" Botta (Yugen, Not a good sign), Mauro Galbersanini, Roberta Pagani and Carlo Cilibrasi…
Trombonist Julian Priester, after playing with many different groups, including those of Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Max Roach, and Duke Ellington, was a member of the Herbie Hancock Sextet during 1970-1973. Hancock's intriguing ensemble went from funk to free blowing, and in its later period was experimenting with synthesizers. On Love, Love, Priester continues in that vein. The two lengthy improvisations are mostly on one-chord repetitive rhythmic vamps stated by the bass, featuring sound explorations and plenty of electronics. Only on the last half of the second medley does Priester himself emerge a bit from the electronic sounds. One is reminded of Bitches Brew, since that is an obvious influence, but also Hancock's group and Weather Report. The music develops slowly, but listeners with patience will enjoy the blending of the many different voices in this unusual musical stew.
Les Contes du Singe Fou (roughly translated, Tales of the Mad Monkey) is a progressive rock album by Clearlight, released in 1976 on Isadora Records in France. Returning again to France, Clearlight turned to conceptual space rock with science fiction lyrics. (The lyrics do not have anything to do with a mad monkey, however.) Les Contes du Singe Fou is the only Clearlight album in which vocals and lyrics play a significant role. In reverse of the previous album, the title is in French, but all lyrics are in English. This is not apparent from the cover, which contains no song titles on the outside. English Lyrics with French translations are printed on the cover's gatefold. Musically, the album contains psychedelic, new age, and jazz fusion elements.