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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gordon Giltrap Band

Peacock Party: Remastered & Expanded Edition

Review by Gary Hill

I like this set a lot. It lands mostly in the progressive rock meets fusion territory, but there are some other things going on here. There are a couple songs with vocals (well, more than that if you count the non-lyrical ones), but they are bonus tracks. I think they are among the best pieces here, though. Ian Mosly of Marillion fame handles the drums on the album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Headwind - The Eagle

I love the fast paced, but mellower prog rock motif that opens this. The cut sort of powers out from there as it moves forward. It has some fusion in the mix, but is much more progressive rock than jazz. Although this instrumental doesn’t go all that far from its origins, it manages to change things up enough to keep it very interesting.

Magpie Rag
It almost seems like bluegrass, folk and funk are combined here. That said, it gets plenty of progressive rock in the mix, too. In some ways, this seems like something Steve Howe might do on one of his solo albums.       
Hocus Pocus
There is a lot of fusion merged into this number. It’s upbeat in tempo and tone. It’s also got some great melodic moments. I love this instrumental, really.
Turkey Trot - A Country Bluff
As you might guess from the title, this has some hints of down home country music and Southern rock. It’s set more in the fusion vein, though. It’s another killer piece of music.
Tailor Bird
There is a real baroque kind of vibe to a lot of this. Yet, it’s also another that has some moments that make me think of Steve Howe. This is playful and entertaining. Comparisons to Rick Wakeman wouldn’t be out of the question, either.
Black Rose - The Raven
This piece is pretty amazing. It moves from intricate, sedate and stripped down music to soaring stuff that’s symphonic and rather jazzy. It’s such a dynamic and diverse piece. It’s one of the more complex numbers here, but yet it flows so well that it never really seems like it.   
Birds of a Feather
Mellow acoustic tones start this and move it forward. It gets a more powered up jazzy sound as it continues later.
Jester's Jig
This is very much a jig, combining folk music, Celtic sounds and the usual suspects on the disc. It’s a lot of fun.
Gypsy Lane
There is a lot of folk music in this. It’s a fairly gentle piece with some memorable melodies.
Party Piece
Energetic and fun, there is a lot of fusion on this. It’s another where some of the guitar soloing makes me think of Steve Howe a bit.
Chanticleer
After a tentative introduction this moves out into a bouncy little jam that’s part jazz and part folk music. It gets some surf in the midst of it later, too. There is some tastefully intricate guitar built into this at times. It’s taken through some unexpected shifts and turns.
Dodo's Dream
I really love the lush intricacies of this. It has a lot of pure progressive rock built into it. It’s also got some crunchy guitar soloing later in the piece. I love the saxophone on this, too.
Shel-Em-Nazam
This is the first of four bonus tracks. Although without the keyboard emphasis, this song really feels (right down to the vocals) like something that might have come from one of Rick Wakeman’s classic albums. It’s a killer tune.    
Bella Donna
This one has female vocals. It also has a great melodic progressive rock sound. It’s an energetic number that works really well and features some tasteful soloing. There is some really powerhouse jamming later in the number, too.   
Birds of a Feather (1st Version)
Here we get an alternate take on one of the earlier songs.
Headwind (Single Version)

The closing cut is a single version of the opener. It makes for a nice bookend, despite being a bonus track.

 
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