Band: Michael Gill
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2010
Blues for Lazarus features nine tracks that as I said cover a lot of musical ground. It’s clear that Gill isn’t in the mood to be pigeon-holed musically. Track one is perhaps the most on the proggy side. The appropriately named “Merlin’s Journey” [8:09] starts off with synths taking the lead developing a rolling melody for the first two-minutes before things pull back for vocals, piano and cello to take the lead and set the lyrical tone of the story. Things build to a stirring climax and the song ends with a grand flourish. Track two, the title track “Blues for Lazarus [6:39] is a bluesy number with a small combo feel where the emphasis is on piano and the gravely vocals. The saxophone takes the lead in the middle of the piece injecting a little more soul. Frank Herbert’s novel Dune provides the inspiration for the instrumental “Arrakis” [8:06] and here the music takes a decidedly jazz-fusion twist with synths, guitars, and saxophone all trading off time in the spotlight. Yet another interesting track is Gill’s cover of the Peter Gabriel song “Here Comes the Flood” [3:57] here presented with vocals compliments of Callie Thomas. The song is translated really well offering a kind of poignancy where the piano and sax create a yearning that plays well against the vocals.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different,Blues for Lazarus is a good place to start. Michael Gill has put together a unique set of tunes that touch a lot of right notes. It also pushes the envelope a little so if you think you’ve been stuck in a rut and need to break out this might be the disc to do it for you. Fans of light jazz influenced prog will find much to enjoy and appreciate here.