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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gentle Giant - Octopus

The last album to feature big brother Phil Shulman of the Shulman brothers, Gentle Giant's fourth album went into a virtuoso mode and going a little further with their arrangement and compositions. They went ahead and got the Prog wagon almost rolling, but with the roots of classical music, heavy rock, traditional jazz, and a sense of humor that was almost strangely strange.
They crystal with baroque italian symphonic music that went with the fusion technique of The Advent of Panurge and The Boys in the Band. Think of Me with Kindness goes into a mystical ballad transition while they go a little proto hard rock on A Cry for Everyone with Gary Green's guitar work and Kerry Minnear's keyboard work. A Dog's Life is an acoustic folk ballad set to a string quartet and odd little notes to the keyboard making more crazy like Mozart made a 13-minute suite of mellotronic bliss. Knots, an odd little number has the Shulman bros. and Gary Green and Kerry going barbershop and then go funky/buckwild with the 18th century classical rocker of Raconteur Troubador. The finale of experimentations on River sets it up into a Hancock fusion style that ends with an improv from the band.

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