Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy The Man - 1997 - Live

Happy The Man 

01. Service With A Smile (4:04)
02. Starborne (4;45)
03. Open Book (6:33)
04. Hidden Moods (4:09)
05. Morning Sun (4:34)
06. I Forgot To Push It (3:37)
07. Ibby It Is (8:38)
08. Nossuri (The Moon, I Sing) (6:24)
08. I Carve The Chariot On The Carousel (5:12)
09. Stealing Pipes (4:35)
10. Knee Bitten Nymphs In Limbo (5:20)
11. Mr. Mirror's Reflection On Dreams (9:23)

- Rick Kennell / bass
- Coco Roussel / drums, percussion
- Stanley Whitaker / guitars
- Kit Watkins / keyboards, flute
- Frank Nakahara-Wyatt / saxophone, keyboards

Recorded in the late seventies, this live album is made of songs exclusively selected from their first two albums (thank god). It almost took twenty years to release these recordings, after a compilation album (1989) and a effort which consisted of unreleased tracks (1990).
Several tracks selected are on the symphonic side of their work and are quite enjoyable. The "Genesis" influence is on the forefront, and therefore, this first part of the album has all my sympathy.

The mood switches to the jazzy flavours with "I Forgot To Push It". Some sort of useless jam IMHHO. But it is immediately followed by a good track of this live recording "Ibby It Is" from "Crafty Hands". Interms of influences, the jazzy feeling is dominating the second half of this set.

The tracks which have been selected are purely instrumental (which is anyway the majority of their work). This is probably a major factor in the "coldness" of this live set. And it is not the emotionless introduction to some of the numbers that will bring some warmth. Very intimate and confidential.

Music execution is well performed of course, but this is all but normal. What I miss is a bit more passion in the way to interact with the audience. It is as close to nothing. Complex music played by skilled musicians. OK. But at times it isn't enough.

As such, you'd better grab their two corresponding studio albums even if this live set is a good summary of those.

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