Issue August 27, 2014

Ancestors Tale

Ut Gret
(Altrock)

Forsooth, before D’Arkestra brightened the scene, yea, even before Liberation Prophecy foretold things to come, there dwelt a tribe of Grets. The members had jazz chops, ethnic influences ranging from klezmer to gamelan and beyond, and a love of progressive rock. The tablets of their musical notations have been transferred to 21st century media, with stunning results. Compositions by chief songwriters Joee Conroy (guitars, bass) and Steve Roberts (keyboards, mellotron[!]) range from the chamber pop of the title track (with guest Cheyenne Mize’s swirling vocals and violin) to King Crimson-esque moments in the 12-tone “Zodiac” to the heavy classical rock of “An Elephant in Berlin.” Myth-making aside, with a front line of clarinet (Steve Good) and bassoon (Jackie Royce), plus supple bass (Sydney Simpson) and multirhythmic drumming (Gary Pahler), Ut Gret’s music is simultaneously challenging yet engaging.