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Band: Michael Gill

CD Title: “Blues for Lazarus”

Band Website:

Label: ProgRock Records

Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com

Release Date: 2010

 

The San Francisco Bay area has been home to ton’s of diverse talent for many years. So here’s another name you can mark up on the wall – Michael Gill - who has just released his debut CD entitled Blues for Lazarus featuring a pretty wide range of music from prog to blues to jazz. Gill (keyboards) is assisted by a host of talented individuals including Dave Weckle and Dave Koz well known to fans of drumming and saxophone respectively. This is a pretty eclectic set of tunes, some of which are musical interpretations of speculative fiction and there’s even an engaging version of Peter Gabriel’s “Here Comes the Flood.”

 

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.

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