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July 31, 2015

Guitar Virtuoso and Composer Stephen Duros To Release Highly Anticipated Concept Album ‘AEAEA’


“This sense of balance between aesthetics and virtuosity is a real measure of talent, and this album displays plenty.” - Culture Court

Oakland, CA - Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, guitar virtuoso and composer Stephen Duros will be releasing a concept album titled ‘AEAEA’ on July 31, 2015! The rippling, rhythmic sounds Stephen Duros coaxes out of his nylon string acoustic guitar has roots in the traditional sounds of flamenco, but he's developed his own style. Bluesy bent notes with a hint of Asia and the Middle East in their tone, octave melodies and rhythms that include suggestions of jazz, reggae, pop and Arab music join the familiar pulse of flamenco's gypsy rumba in his emotionally satisfying compositions.

Stephen Duros performed with Ottmar Liebert from 2006-2009. His playing is featured on Ottmar Liebert’s Grammy nominated album ‘The Scent of Light’ and on his own three solo albums ‘Miranda’, ‘Urban Flamenco’ and ‘Thira’, which won Duros a place on the Grammy Ballot for a nomination in the Best New Age Album of the year category. He has worked with Billboard top 10 World Music artist, Lawson Rollins as the associate producer on the “Urban Trilogy” section of Rollins’ newly released album ‘Traveler’. He also plays in a band called “Path of Light” with Haitian percussionist, Jeff Pierre.

Duros explains that the concept behind the album is, "to recount a musical journey or odyssey. The album tells a story, much like a book does.  Instead of songs, the album has 12 chapters that are filled with twists and turns in the place of traditional songs. If listened to continuously, all the music connects into one long piece. The album title 'AEAEA' (ee-EE-a) is actually a mythological island found in the Greek poem 'The Odyssey'.  The album isn't about that island per-se, to me it was more of a great starting point for the journey.”

On ‘AEAEA’, Duros played the flamenco, electric and bass guitars, oud, keyboards, percussion, palmas and drum programming. Andrew Reissiger played the charango and also co-produced the record along with Duros. Louis Romanos played the drums and percussion, Gary Moser played the riq and darbuka, Jeff Pierre played a conga solo and the album also features a special guest electric guitar solo by Nouveau Flamenco pioneer, Ottmar Liebert.

Says Duros, “I came up with the first 10 minutes of 'AEAEA' in late 2011, shared it with Ottmar and he was really intrigued by not only the music, but also the concept. He suggested that I continue the journey and see where it goes without worrying about staying in the traditional boundaries of song length and I loved that idea. It was total musical freedom, no boundaries and the writing process was addicting. I do most everything in my home studio from writing, playing, engineering, you name it. Some great musicians also played on some of the sections including an amazing trippy electric guitar solo by Ottmar. I was thrilled he played on the record, he’s such a great musician and friend, I’ve learned so much from him over the years.”

Duros has also been the head lighting designer for the Grammy award winning band Toto from 1999-2014. His lighting work is showcased on Toto's 35th Anniversary – Live in Poland DVD. Also an artist, his cartoon work is featured on on Steve Lukather's signature pedal ‘The Luke’ made by the award winning pedal company, ToneConcepts.

“Stephen Duros is not only one of the most gifted guitarist musicians I know, he is also a renaissance man in that everything he touches in art, music and beauty becomes his own. You hear it in his playing... and my God he is also the best rock ’n roll lighting designer I have ever worked with at the arena level.  He did the lighting for our TOTO Live in Poland DVD which went # 1 worldwide in 2014 and is a total pro with humor, love and passion screaming for his work in any and all of these areas. When I heard his music I was floored because not one person could have all this diverse talent and soul.”  - Steve Lukather, 2015

“You can dig this, people. Romanticism and the call of history, lost civilizations, dream chambers and the effigies of Kings.”   - Culture Court

To purchase Stephan Duros 'AEAEA' CD:
http://www.amazon.com/Aeaea-Stephen-Duros/dp/B00YH4XDJU
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/aeaea/id1023547179

STEPHEN DUROS - AEAEA: “Chapter II” video on Vimeo:



For more information: http://www.stephenduros.com/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

July 29, 2015

AndersonPonty Band Featuring Music Icons Jon Anderson & Jean Luc Ponty To Release New CD/DVD “Better Late Than Never”


Los Angeles – One of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2015 by the AndersonPonty Band, featuring music icons Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty, is scheduled to hit the streets early Fall 2015! “Better Late Than Never” is the new album taken from a live performance, and enhanced with innovative production. The package includes a bonus DVD featuring outstanding performances by the band captured in September 2014 at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado.

The AndersonPonty Band has created some breathtaking new musical compositions. “Better Late Than Never” also showcases rearrangements of classic YES hits like “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, “Roundabout” and “Wonderous Stories”, as well as some of Jean Luc Ponty’s beloved compositions, with Jon’s lyrical vocals and melodies enhancing the music and creating a very special and unique sound such as “Infinite Mirage” a new song incorporating Jean Luc’s classic tune “Mirage”.

YES’s original singer/songwriter for 35 years, Jon Anderson has had a successful solo career, which includes working with such notable music artists as Vangelis, Kitaro, and Milton Nascimento. International violin superstar Jean Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of his instrument in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music. Together these two music legends have formed a musical synergy that is unparalleled!

“A breakthrough feeling came as I sang with Jean Luc’s music, to be in a band again is very exciting on many levels, we will play and sing our way around the world and have fun, for music is pleasure, music is all that is.” – Jon Anderson

“Collaborating with Jon who is such a creative singer/songwriter is unlike any project I have done before. I knew that we had plenty of musical affinities to make it work, but the result is way beyond my expectations. It is also a lot of fun to reunite with these excellent musicians who played with me in the past, they really put their heart in this project and with Jon’s creative input we are not just rehashing the past but giving a new life to the music we started developing decades ago.” – Jean Luc Ponty

The AndersonPonty Band also includes Jamie Glaser on guitars – well known guitarist who has worked with Jean Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, Bryan Adams and Lenny White; Wally Minko on keyboards – virtuoso player and composer who has performed and recorded with many worldwide stars including Pink, Toni Braxton, Jean Luc Ponty, Tom Jones, Gregg Rolie and Barry Manilow; Baron Browne on bass who has played with Steve Smith, Billy Cobham and Jean Luc Ponty; and Rayford Griffin on drums and percussion, who has played with Stanley Clarke Band, George Duke, Jean Luc Ponty and Michael Jackson. The band visit the music created by Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty over the years with new arrangements, virtuosic performances and new energy.

Jean Luc Ponty was originally approached by Jon Anderson with the idea of working together as far back as the 1980’s. Now 30 years later the dream has finally come to fruition! In support of the new release, a world tour is currently in the works. Also, a videography documenting the making of the “Better Late Than Never” album will be released along with videos and performances.

AndersonPonty Band tour dates:

OCTOBER
10/27 – Philadelphia – Keswick Theater
10/29 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie
10/30 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse

NOVEMBER
11/1 – Pittsurgh – Carnegie Theater
11/3 – Chicago – Arcada Theater
11/4 – Milwaukee – Milwaukee PAC
11/6 – Detroit – Detroit Music Hall
11/7 – Toronto – Danforth Music Hall
11/10 – Washington, DC – Howard Theater
11/11 – Long Island – Paramount Theater
11/13 – NYC – Ethical Culture
11/14 – Boston – Berklee Performance Center
11/17 – San Francisco – Regency
11/18 – Sacramento – Crest Theater
11/20 – Los Angeles – Saban Theater
11/21 – Scottsdale – Talking Stick

For more information and forthcoming tour dates visit the official AndersonPonty Band website: http://www.andersonpontyband1.com/
AndersonPonty Band Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/andersonpontyband1?fref=ts

Jon Anderson official website: http://www.jonanderson.com
Jean Luc Ponty official website: http://www.ponty.com

Manager: Jim Lewis, andersonpontyband@gmail.com

Booking agent: APA
O: (212) 205-4328 | C: (310) 895-6144 | F: (212) 245-5062
JLashnits@apanewyork.comhttp://www.apa-agency.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com
(interview requests contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR)

Photos: Ioannis (artwork – top), Deborah Anderson (photo of Jon Anderson – top)

July 26, 2015

Progressive Rock: Landmarq-Roadskill

Release Date: 9th June 2015
Label:  Synergy Records

This new release by the band Landmarq, is the live CD/DVD Roadskill recorded at the De Boerderij in the Netherlands as part of the 2013 tour. The release can also be viewed as another part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, along with the previously reviewed Origins, A Landmarq Anthology 1991-2014.

The Landmarq band at the time of the concert tour was Tracy Hitchings (lead vocal), Steve Gee (bass, bass pedals + backing vocals), Uwe D’rose (guitars), Daniel Martin (drums) and Mike Varty (keyboards + backing vocals).

Roadskill, the CD, is an 8 track album with a playing time only a couple of minutes short of the 80 minute maximum that a CD can hold before the quality falls away (77:47). The DVD has a couple of extra tracks in addition to the contents of the CD. The longest track on offer on Roadskill is the 3 part “Calm Before The Storm” at 16:33 minutes and the shortest is “Stormbrewing” at under 2 minutes (1:36). All of the tracks are taken from the 2012 release by the band, Entertaining Angels.

The opening track on the Roadskill CD is “Turbulence” (10:47) and is heralded by a short burst of applause from the crowd ensuring you are aware this is a live recording. The track is quickly into a chunky guitar riff plus “strings” before the voice of Tracy Hitchins soars above the music. The sound quality is phenomenal and the track seems to have a higher intensity than the studio version. There is a terrific keyboard passage in the second half of the track. This is a superb opening track to the album.

Up next is “Personal Universe” (9:14) and is an almost note/pitch perfect replica of the studio recording. The guitar, wielded superbly by Uwe D’rose, gets a chance to shine just after the halfway point. This is another winning track and fades out to be replaced by “Glowing” (11:51). Although the studio version of this track is in two parts separated by another track the live version is a single entity. Once more the clarity of the recording and the skills of the musicians shine through as the live track is almost indistinguishable from the studio version.

The short “Stormbrewing” (1:36) follows with some stunning piano playing from Mike Varty and leads into “Thunderstruck” (14:02). Uwe gets another chance to show his guitar skills as the tracks builds in intensity before Mike’s keyboards join the fray. On this track there is a slight hint that Tracy’s voice sounds slightly forced, but this track is a majestic slice of progressive music.

There is almost a malevolent wave of sound at the outset of “Calm Before The Storm” (16:33) and then it is into chunky guitars and soaring keyboards, supported admirably by the thumping bass and drums of Steve Gee and Daniel Martin. Again, the sound of the live track is probably as near to studio quality as you can imagine, and this is achieved by the band “doing everything just right.” The vocals are handled superbly by Tracy and are always to the fore in this track. The final part of the track, “Into The Abyss,” is a chance for the band to flex their collective muscles and they certainly take the opportunity so to do.

The final track, “Entertaining Angels” (8:07) is the title track of the 2012 album release. Starting with some very enthusiastic audience appreciation, the atmospherics of the track just build with the addition of a simple electric guitar theme which is very relaxing and shows Uwe in his more melodic stance. Slowly the track builds with bass, drums and a guitar riff that announces the arrival of the vocals by Tracy. This is a very good choice of ending track as it is a very gentle paced entity. Some excellent piano, and what sounds like a saxophone, propel the track to its finale. A track which makes you want to go back to the beginning and start again.

This is Landmarq at their live best, with the music being as close to the studio sound as you can get, while still injecting an intensity that is only possible with a live performance. All the members of the band should take a bow (I’ve not viewed the DVD, but maybe they did), as I think I have just heard the best live recording since my all-time favorite, for quality of sound, and that was from 2005, Maximum Minimum by Kraftwerk.

No new music from Landmarq, but Roadskill is an excellent addition to their catalogue and should certainly enhance their, still growing, reputation. Give Roadskill a few listens and smile as you hand over your money to add the album to your collection.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Turbulence, Thunderstruck, Calm Before The Storm

Tracks:

CD Disc
Turbulence
Personal Universe
Glowing
Stormbrewing
Thunderstruck
Prayer (Coming Home)
Calm before The Storm i)   strange but beautiful
                                      ii)   spiderman
                                      iii)  into the abyss
Entertaining Angels

DVD Disc

Mountains of Anglia
Turbulence
Personal Universe
Glowing
Stormbrewing
Thunderstruck
Prayer (Coming Home)
Walking On Eggshells
Calm Before The Storm  i)   strange but beautiful
                                        ii)   spiderman
                                        iii)  into the abyss
Entertaining Angels


Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
July 26, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

July 21, 2015

Greg Lake's Legendary 1981 Performance At the Hammersmith Odeon In London To Be Issued On CD & Vinyl


Los Angeles – Purple Pyramid Records will be releasing legendary Greg Lake's live album from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, November 5, 1981, featuring guitar hero Gary Moore on CD & vinyl! The concert recording features ELP and King Crimson classic tracks such as “Lucky Man”, “Karn Evil 9”, “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “In The Court of The Crimson King”, as well as songs from his critically acclaimed first solo album from 1981. As a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Greg Lake has been a major force in music for over 40 years. He has long been considered a legendary voice and musical powerhouse whose impact changed the landscape of rock and roll. Many simply refer to him as “The Voice”.

The Greg Lake Band made its live debut on one of the biggest stages available to it, the annual Reading Festival in England in August 1981. Much of the set was new to the audience – Greg's first solo album would not be released for another month. But the band received a wild reception regardless, and there were enough old favorites on display to ensure the fans remained happy…including the show opener “Fanfare for the Common Man,” truly one of the most effective showstoppers ever to have opened a concert.

The band's full tour kicked off in October. Purposefully, Lake demanded smaller venues, the theaters and universities that truly represented a refreshing change from the monster domes he'd visited the last time he hit the road in 1977 with ELP. The string of shows launched in Wales, at Aberystwyth University, then moved onto Cardiff University, Dunstable Queensway Hall, Norwich University, Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, Newcastle Mayfair, Glasgow University, Edinburgh Playhouse, Sheffield Lyceum, University of Kent Canterbury, Birmingham Odeon, Leicester Polytechnic, Bournemouth Winter Gardens, Exeter University, St Austell Cornwall Coliseum, Crawley Leisure Centre and, finally, London's Hammersmith Odeon.

It was not an extravagant performance - no lasers, no levitating keyboards, no priceless Persian carpets. The myths and legends that surrounded ELP when they toured were all firmly locked away. The Greg Lake Band toured like a band, and on stage they simply took up their positions and played. Brilliantly.

That last date on the tour is where this disc was recorded, in front of 2,000 fans who now had every note of Greg's new album memorized, and the rest of the set firmly entrenched in their DNA: the snatch of “Karn Evil 9” that eased out of the opening “Fanfare”; “Love You Too Much,” the song Lake co-wrote with Dylan in what remains another of the tantalizing collaborations of the age; “Retribution Drive” and “The Lie” from Greg Lake. “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “The Court Of The Crimson King,” from Lake’s stint with King Crimson, wrapped up the evening in positively rhapsodic fashion, and, finally, “C'est La Vie,” from ELP's Works. (The version of this track included on the CD is taken from a show in New York City 1981)

“A single night at the tail end of a single tour, alive with promise, bristling with presence. And welcoming back some new friends, too” - Dave Thompson, writer

Tracks:
Medley: Fanfare For The Common Man / Karn Evil 9
Nuclear Attack
The Lie
Retribution Drive
Lucky Man
Parisienne Walkways
You Really Got A Hold On Me
Love You Too Much
21st Century Schizoid Man
In The Court Of The Crimson King
Bonus Track: C'est La Vie (Live in NYC 1981)

To purchase:
Pre-order the CD: http://flyt.it/GregLakeCD
Pre-order the Vinyl: http://flyt.it/GregLakeLP
Pre-order the digital: http://flyt.it/GregLakedig

Greg Lake's official website: www.greglake.com

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com

CLEOPATRA RECORDS, Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025
www.CleopatraRecords.com

July 20, 2015

Audio Fidelity To Release Mahavishnu Orchestra's “Birds Of Fire” On Limited Edition 4.0 Quad SACD


“...sets out to further define and refine its blistering jazz-rock direction.”

Camarillo, CA - Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity is releasing the classic fusion album Birds of Fire by the Mahavishnu Orchestra as a limited edition Hybrid 4.0 Quad SACD. Birds of Fire is Mahavishnu Orchestra's second album. It was released in the first half of 1973 and is the last studio album released by the original Mahavishnu Orchestra line-up before the group dissolved. The album became a major crossover hit, rising to number 15 on the pop album charts, and it remains the key item in the slim discography of the first Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Although it has much of the screaming rock energy of the band's first album, Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire is audibly more varied in texture, even more tightly organized, and more musical in content. A remarkable example of precisely choreographed, high-speed solo trading - with John McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman, and Jan Hammer all of one mind, supported by Billy Cobham's machine-gun drumming and Rick Laird's dancing bass.

Birds of Fire consists solely of compositions by John McLaughlin. This includes the track “Miles Beyond (Miles Davis)”, which McLaughlin dedicated to his friend and former bandleader. The SACD booklet features a poem entitled “Revelation” by Sri Chinmoy.

1. BIRDS OF FIRE
2. MILES BEYOND (Miles Davis)
3. CELESTIAL TERRESTRIAL COMMUTERS
4. SAPPHIRE BULLETS OF PURE LOVE
5. THOUSAND ISLAND PARK
6. HOPE
7. ONE WORD
8. SANCTUARY
9. OPEN COUNTRY JOY
10. RESOLUTION

Produced by The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Stereo CD & SACD mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
4.0 Analog to Hi Def DSD Digital Transfer:Gus Skinas
Quadraphonic Sound Supervision: Harold J. Kleiner
Quadraphonic Re-Mix Engineer: Don Young

Audio Fidelity’s Hybrid Super Audio CDs offer three layers on the same disc
o    Single layer  2-channel stereo
o    Dual-layer  - SACD
o    As an added bonus Surround Sound 4.0 all in one disc
Every Audio Fidelity Hybrid MULTICHANNEL Surround Sound SACD is compatible with all standard CD players.

For more information: www.audiofidelity.net
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com