Title - 'The Rarities Series: Volume 1'
Artist - Curved Air
Wow! Yup, that's about all I can say, because Curved Air are back (kinda sorta) on this incredible first volume of a rarity series tTapestry Of Propositions. This live album is an hour long version of the song Propositions with over a dozen of the improvisations which usually follow now cut together.
A slight recap for those wishing to know more, is that the brilliant, uber talented Curved Air are a pioneering British progressive rock group formed in 1970 by musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds, including classical, folk, and electronic sound.
The resulting sound of the band was a mixture of progressive rock, folk rock, and fusion with classical elements. However, did you know that along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air were one of the first rock bands after It's a Beautiful Day and The United States of America to feature a violin.
Indeed, Curved Air released eight studio albums (the first three of which broke the UK Top 20) and had a hit single with 'Back Street Luv' (1971) which reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart.
Over the following years the band broke up several times, they were even sued by their British label Chrysalis (1974), and with jail time hovering over them due to a HUGE tax bill owed, they just managed to pay that off also.
Curved Air, as a group were largely inactive for the next three decades but in 2008 founding members Sonja Kristina, Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Daryl Way and (briefly) Francis Monkman decided to get back together after a hiatus of 32 years. Over the next few years, the band went through a few personnel changes with signer Kristina and original drummer Pilkington-Miksa being the only original members left.
This revitalized the band, and back in 2012 they released a brand new live album, Live Atmosphere. One of my favorite albums (CD/DVD) of their in latter years, their music caught live was a pure, unadulterated joy to behold; as I'm sure all Curved Air fans can attest to.
The new musicians that stepped in for that live album were: guitarist Kit Morgan, bassist Chris Harris, keyboard player Robert Morton, and violinist Paul Sax, but here on The Curved Air Rarities Series: Volume 1 - Tapestry of Propositions the line-up is: Sonja Kristina (lead vocals – tracks 1 and 17 only), Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), Kirby Gregory (guitar), Chris Harris (bass), Robert Norton (keys), and Paul Sax (violin). Once again, the band come together to put their very own signature styles on the CA music experience and for that we are all so very grateful.
2. Norway Improv
3. St Albans Improv
4. Hull Improv
5. Edinburgh Improv
6. Kinross Improv
7. Wimbourne Improv
8. Wolverhampton Improv
9. London Improv
10. Milton Keynes Improv
11. Eastney Improv
12. Ilminster Improv
13. St Ives Improv
14. Poole Improv
15. Shoreham Improv
16. Norway Improv
17. Propositions (Reprise)
The Curved Air Rarities Series: Volume 1 - Tapestry of Propositions is a MUST-HAVE for fans of the band and improvisational music, in general. This album has been painstakingly compiled and produced by Robert Norton, it shows, and we care. I urge you to buy this CD today, sit back, kick back, close your eyes, and drift away into the sculptured classical Prog rock land of Curved Air.
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