Formed in 2011 with Mathew Spivack and Chris Childness, the band had several line-up changes with Kody Little departure and Calvin Merseal joining the band in 2013. At that period, the band went into a productive writing period. Kody came back to solidify things even further. The band has to rely on many musicians to play the keyboards because they don't have a permanent keyboard player. They had a lot of songs to record (more than 3 hours). The first album "Time of Departure" was the first of a trilogy around the story of Alan Quill struggling artist in this modern society. They played at the Progtoberfest III in Chicago, the second album "As We Were" was just ready for that festival. The music of Amalgam Effect shows some nice interplay between guitar and flute with a solid rhythm section. The influences of Jethro Tull and Rush can be heard but in the distinctive own style of the band.
Not only is Niels Pedersen a great bassist, but he puts a lot of care into his solo projects as well. Pedersen is joined by guitarist Ulf Wakenius for a slow, percolating version of "Our Love Is Here to Stay." Johnny Griffin's tenor sax joins in on the bassist's challenging blues "The Puzzle" and jousts with the string players for top solo honors on a vigorous workout of "You and the Night and the Music." Victor Lewis and Alex Riel share the drumming duties. A surprise guest is European pop vocalist Lisa Nilsson, who does a beautiful interpretation of Pedersen's "Those Who Were"; the leader discovered her by hearing one of her recordings on his daughter's radio. By far this is Niels Pedersen's most impressive release to date.