Mystic Records MYS CD 142
2. Hallelujah Anyway
3. Large Afternoon
4. No Room - But A View
6. In The Night
7. On Suite
8. Lazy Days
9. May Fair
Music and lyrics by
except lyrics to Hallelujah Anyway by Patrick Woodroffe
John Young, keyboards, vocals
Tony Reeves, bass guitar
Chris Cozens, drums
Produced by Dave
Mixed by Chris Cozens, Dave Greenslade & Tony Reeves
Listening to the new Greenslade album Large Afternoon very fast tells you two things: Greenslade is out to make melodic music that 1. pleases the senses and 2. is meant to be listened to. The album requires close listening because otherwise a lot of the details are lost and the picture is easily simplified. There's a lot going on all the time. The music develops continually and the themes though repeated do not stay the same. No doubt Dave Greenslade has had his mind on the beauty of our surrounding nature when he has composed the music.
The more I listen to the CD the better it gets. Comparison with the older Greenslade material shows that the sound is now softer than for example on Spyglass Guest. The music stands well on its own, but if any outside comparisons have to be made my mind occasionally mentions Weather Report and Herbie Hancock.
The new members John Young (ex-Asia) on keyboards vocals, and Chris Cozens on drums (later replaced by John Trotter, ex-Manfred Mann Earth Band) fit well into the group. I think Young's voice is very similar to Dave Lawson's, so those who are familiar with the Greenslade of the past will feel at home with new album.
The opening track Cakewalk is a cinematic (or scenic) piece that fits well to the pictures of the covers. It is deceptively simple in its at first easy sounding theme and gradually develops into rewarding whole.
Hallelujah Anyway is more than anything a song that critisizes man's mistreatment of nature paraphrasing the first seven days as described in Genesis.
The title track starts off as a spirited rondo almost á la Mozart, and continues the albums melodic adventures. One of my favourites on this album. The next couple of tracks continue to reveal the album as one whole with beauty and melody as the central features. This does not mean that the tracks souns the same - quite the opposite.
The blues inspired In The Night just enhances this feeling, but changes the atmosphere slightly with a bluesy mood that is perhaps the closest we get to Colosseum here. While the album is musically very different from anything by Colosseum it's hard to escape the fact that In The Night could fit into Colosseum's repertoire as well. It would certainly sound different. It is one of the gems of this CD.
On Suite is similar to the title track and harks back to some Colosseum titles in the lyrics mentioning the daughter of time and valentyne. The synthesizer occasionally plays a saxophone sounding tune. Another fine Greenslade composition.
The title of Lazy Days fits well to the music, and this was the track that first got me thinking of Weather Report and other jazz groups.
The last tune May Fair has a celtic base in its melody and in that sense brings to memory parts from Spirit Of The Dance from Spyglass Guest. Befitting the title the track has a very physical bluesy central part.
Large Afternoon is all in all a very good debut for the second incarnation of Greenslade. It's well worth a listen - or rather many, as it grows on you with time.