Uncompromising and never suffering fools gladly, George Frayne had all the rights to be called Commander Cody, after a sci-fi character, but first of all he was an authoritative piano player and the leader of HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN – a pioneering country rock collective who ruled the waves in the late ’60s and early ’70s with the likes of “Hot Rod Lincoln” where Frayne’s boogie-woogie expertise shone ever so brightly before breaking up and allowing George to fly solo from 1977 onwards.
On-stage, the American artist – artist in many aspects, as Frayne proved to be a top-notch painter as well as pianist and singer – was amazing, as documented on such albums as "Live From Ebbets Field" and he played almost to the very end, which, unexpectedly, came too early. Today, after a short illness, the Commander passed away, aged 77. Opinionated, as our message exchanges suggested, George will be sorely missed.
If you can’t talk about Chris Jagger without mentioning his older sibling, that means you don’t know Chris’ records which offer an inebriating mix of blues, folk and pub rock, yet you’re finally allowed to bring up Mick – who quietly graced his brother’s albums from the very beginning, from his 1973 eponymous debut – now, when the junior Jagger’s “Mixing Up The Medicine” is out. Comprised of the tracks he co-penned with longtime friend, pianist Charlie Hart, and featuring such luminaries as Dylan Howe on drums, the venerable Neil Hubbard on guitar, and Mick.
CHRIS JAGGER – Mixing Up The Medicine
Mick is helping Chris voice opener “Anyone Seen My Heart?”: one of three pieces the latter based to poems by Thomas Beddoes, early 19th century writer and physician. Still, it’s a good-vibe album that has a lot of funny cuts – and serious ones, too, including the very fitting “Hey Brother” blues.
1. Anyone Seen My Heart?
2. Merry Go Round
3. Love’s Around the Corner
4. Talking To Myself
5. Happy As A Lamb
6. A Love Like This
7. Loves’ Horn
8. Wee Wee Tailor
9. Hey Brother
10. Too Many Cockerels
Despite his impressive stage presence and a no less impressive pair of pipes, Peter Goalby has always been perceived a secondary singer in famous ensembles the vocalist served in: TRAPEZE and URIAH HEEP – although, if not for him, the former could hardly survive in the mid-’70s and the latter would hardly see a resurgence in the early ’80s. Strangely, the veteran never really thought about starting a solo career and never took any such attempt further than a few singles which preceded his aforementioned stints; still, there was a plan to issue the warbler’s self-titled album in 1990, before retiring for good. It never panned out, and aficionados had to deal only with what leaked onto bootlegs, marked as demos – but finally the wait is over.
For all the wonderful works RENAISSANCE recorded in the ’70s, “Scheherazade And Other Stories” from 1975 remain the English ensemble’s finest offering – featuring, alongside other classics, their most magnificent ballad “Ocean Gypsy” and the side-long “Song Of Scheherazade” suite. Long overdue for remastered reissue, this album will finally see the expanded, clamshell-box edition on November 26th, wherein the the second disc contains the concert document from 1976 and a DVD not only the platter’s surround and a high-res stereo mixes but also a previously unreleased live video film – with three precious songs shot as a promo. There was a talk about the inclusion of studio out-takes as well, which doesn’t look to be the case now, as the sole bonus track on CD is a single version of the aforementioned serenade.