YEAR: 2006
STYLE: Progressive Rock/ Jazz Rock/ Fusion
FORMAT: FLAC (Tracks + Log + Cue + Scans + 5% Recovery)
SIZE: 310 Mb
THE BAND: Tim Drumheller / keyboards; Rick Eddy / keyboards, acoustic guitar, poetry; Scott McGill / electric, nylon string Guitars; Vic Stevens / drums, percussion; Michael Manring / bass; Akihisa Tsuboy / violin
With a solid back-up such as the one provided by the threesome McGill, Stevens and Manning (usual partners in ceaseless jazz-rock album and projects), plus violinist extraordinaire Akihisa Tsuboy (KBB leader), the duo of Tim Drunheller and Rick Eddy could only have in mind a powerful A Triggering Myth album for this year 2006. And so they did: "The Remedy of Abstraction" is perhaps their most robust-sounding album to date. And that doesn't not mean at all that they left behind their ideology of jazz- oriented prog full of finesse and exquisite craftsmanship: what it means is that this same exquisiteness portrays now an invigorated feel, a more energetic approach. That being said, the two keyboardists' input stands as the ensemble's main core, with the enthusiastic guests elaborating a continuing solid complementation for the basic harmonics and melodic lines. As always, the references to Happy the Man, Gilgamesh and National Health are there, with added touches of mid-70s Return to Forever and Gentle Giant's academic side. 'Now that My House Has burned Down, I Have a Beautiful view of the Moon' (a long title that inspired the artwork) kicks off the album with an air of sophistication and strength. With a little more of sophistication and just a little less of strength, the title track emerges as a flow of evocative melodies. The leads played by guitarist McGill and violinist Tsubay help to bring some extra energy into the warm colors provided by the synthesizers' main lines. Still more warmth, this time seasoned with gentle melancholy, is in the aptly titled 'Her Softening Sorrow', which is typical ATM exploring their gentler side. The legacy of Canterbury's legend Gowen comes to mind whenever the ATM guys display their melodic sense with this sort of depth. 'Not Even Wrong' feels more related to Jean-Luc Ponty's 70s albums with a touch of Mahavishnu Orchestra: this is the perfect excuse to let Tsubay, once again, provide excellent violin flourishes to the front, at times. Tracks 2-4 are, IMHO, the apex of the album, although it is fair to say, indeed, that the repertoire keeps a high musical standard all the way through. The excitement found in this piece will soon be reprised in 'Shakespeare's Strippers', where McGill takes the leading role somewhere in the middle, doing a well-accomplished Holdsworth impersonation in an amazing solo. McGill is appropriately replicated by the synth during the last part, making it one of the most explosive passages in the album. Between these two tracks, 'Rudyard's Raging Natural' offers a recapitulation of the first two numbers' articulated sophistication, while 'The Eisenhour Slumber' retakes sonic ventures into melancholic moods. 'When Emily Dickinson Learned to Lounge' sort of prolongs this melancholic vibe, but it also includes some disturbing dissonant keyboard input that creates an interestingly uneasy atmosphere, like some sort of delicate prelude to a mysterious nightmare. The last 2 ½ minutes are filled by the closing number, 'The Last Resort', which serves as a playful epilogue (something that Kerry Minnear would have written after listening to Canterbury for three hours in a row. so to speak). General balance: "The Remedy of Abstraction" is one of the most accomplished recordings of 2006, and it sure will keep the good fame of ATM among prog-connoisseurs and jazz-rock fans worldwide intact, or even enhanced. A masterpiece, indeed!
Track Listing:
View of the Moon (5:11)
The Band:
Tim Drumheller / keyboards
Rick Eddy / keyboards, acoustic guitar, poetry
Scott McGill / electric, nylon string Guitars
Vic Stevens / drums, percussion
Michael Manring / bass
Akihisa Tsuboy / violin