Monday, March 25, 2013

Wave Mechanics Union, Further to Fly

Sometimes you get a surprise. Sometimes you get an album that lays out so naturally you don't think how unusual it is until you've listened a couple of times. Then it hits you. The album by Wave Mechanics Union, Further to Fly (HX Music) did that to me.

It's a collaborative big band of talented arrangers, musicians, and singer Lydia McAdams. Jon Anderson of Yes makes a cameo appearance, too. They've taken some prog rock goodies and given them a big-band arranging spin. We've got 30 very good musicians here, including some string players, doing Paul Simon, Ben Folds, Suzanne Vega, Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan and more.

The arrangements are by Ryan Fraley and Ralph Johnson and they are something else. "Third Stone From the Sun" for big band? Yes! The arrangements pop, the band is pretty hot and Lydia McAdams has a very charming, pretty yet subtle instrument-voice.

This is a hoot! And a great idea that comes off wonderfully well.

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