Friday, May 6, 2016

Happy The Man - 1979 - Better Late...

Happy The Man
Better Late...

01. Eye of the Storm (3:58)
02. The Falcon (6:09)
03. At the Edge of This Thought (5:16)
04. While Chrome Yellow Shine (6:10)
05. Who's In Charge Here? (5:39)
06. Shadow Shaping (4:25)
07. Run Into the Ground (5:02)
08. Footwork (4:19)
09. Labyrinth (7:29)
10. Such A Warm Breeze (5:08)

- Kit Watkins / keyboards and flute
- Frank Wyatt / keyboards, sax, flute
- Stanley Whitaker / guitar, vocals
- Rick Kennell / bass
- Coco Roussel / drums, percussion

 In the infinte wisdom of the music biz, HTM was dropped from their label whilst recording this, their third (title) album during 1979. Cuneiform picked it up and Kit Watkins remixed the majority of it in 1989 to end an eleven year wait for this music to see the light of day. I've listened to this disc in my car, on my computer, a discman and my home system. The production is good, the extraneous noise doesn't overshadow the tunes and it has a airy quality that I enjoy. You'll not find a bad track.
The songs are evenly split between instrumental and vocal tunes. Stanley Whitaker's vocal tracks remind me of a bit of Greg Lake, with a touch of Jack Bruce. Nice. The highlights, however, are the wonderful instrumental workouts of Frank Wyatt and Kit Watkins magical interplay on keyboards and wind-instruments and Whitaker's understated guitar work. They mesh to create lovely textures and warm tones, nothing harsh here. Gently evolving sounds, lush keyboards (check out the download of "while Chrome Yellow Shine), swirling Holdsworthian slurred guitar lines and creative percussive under-currents.

Comparatively, Camel (Watkins was a mamber) is closest regarding similarities to this album, but Gentle Giant and softer fusionoids may find some worth here. If your interested in expanding your musical knowledge, you can't go wrong.

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