Hand Written Set List Provided By Jamie Dunlap to Two attendees
Intro leads into One Is Everything - KS demo entitled" One", on which JA has introduced a vocal arrangement to a rearranged version of JLP's "Rhythms of Hope". Jamie Glaser confirmed on the 6th January he had been working on this piece and it is now named "One In The Rhythms of Hope".
Time and A Word - The final piece played at the concert was Remembering Molecules but may have included lyrics scatted from Time and A Word.
One piece included a drum solo which received favourable comments from a number of attendees.
Summary of songs/pieces played at Aspen.
1 New piece entitled "Aria".
1 Piece by Boom Crash "Soul Internal".
There are two pieces which have appeared within the Kick-Starter marketing that are worthy of mention.
True Messenger - Cosmic
This demo is arguably the strongest instrumental offering which includes a discrete performance of chants from JA. This follows the pattern of other pieces in that its origins lie in a similarly named JLP piece the title track from Cosmic Messenger. JG confirmed 18/01/15 that he is not currently working on this piece. The repeating melodic motif is played much faster as a light intro to I See You - Messenger and then related vocally in a slowed down form in the final refrain.
Better Late Than Never
A very late demo which relates to Jon's feelings about working with JLP. I suspect this is a diary piece rather than a serious part of the collaboration.
Note Updated September with a commentary on each individual piece. Please see my most recent blog entry for my review of the DVD.
CD or DVD Tracks Confirmed (9)
Intro. 1.17 An overture from the band minus JLP and JA which quotes from amongst other pieces JLP's Infinite Pursuit.
A for Aria. 3.22 A reflective reaching out performance by Jon of a new stately slow piece.
Infinity Mirage. 3.48 Very much the JLP tune with a vocal narrative taking the keyboard melody.
Owner of A Lonely Heart. 5.04 A more funky warmer version of the original.
Renaissance of The Sun. 6.36 Once again very much the JLP original with a vocal narrative from Jon on which he also plays Harp.
Roundabout. 5.27 An energised warm version where the drums really swing.
Soul Eternal. 4.58 A mid tempo grove with nice block vocal support. Having heard earlier versions this shows what the Atlantic Years Band brings to the table.
Listening With Me. 5.39 Very close to the original instrumentally.
And You And I. 3.00 The opening segment is close to the original.
Wondrous Stories. 4.01 A jazzy smokey accompaniment underpinning Jon's original interpretation.
Tracks Confirmed As Work In Progress (3)
Egocentric Molecules (Though not on the set list under this title but was confirmed by Jamie Glaser as played as the final song). The ascending exciting section from this piece does not appear in the samples it may have been incorporated into a new ending for Roundabout or discarded. Note This piece is played over the closing credits to the DVD and is the "bonus track" on the Japanese only release and renamed Re-Remembering Molecules and is credited to Anderson/Ponty.
I See You - Messenger.3.50 A sophisticated studio version of the KS demo with quotes from Cosmic Messenger, Don't Kill The Whale and Your move.
New New World. 3.46 It almost sounds like a speeded up remix of the version on Survival with more up front guitar riffing and additional vocal sections, very much a studio track feel to it.
One in the Rhythms of Hope. 4.34 Some nice vocal and instrumental additions to the original musical ideas.
Tracks confirmed following release of download (1)
Time and Word 5.30 an empathetic reggae arrangement from the instrumentalists.
Overall a warm engaging set of performances with great playing particularly from Jean Luc. Jon's voice is captured better than on any recordings of recent years and he is singing with a cleaner clearer vocal sound than Living Tree, Survival and Open.
Live Snippets Shown of the Video
A list of tracks has now been released to Investors which will be available in different combinations depending on whether vinyl/CD or DVD. The total number 13 corresponds with previously released remarks.
So five Yes pieces and four vocalised Jean Luc Ponty make up the bulk of the programme together with a couple of new pieces and a couple of J.A. solo tracks.
Update 13th August 2015
Amazon UK are now offering 'Better Late Than Never" due on 25th September. Other sites have a commentary which refer to an accompanying one hour 10 track DVD. The DVD performance is shorter than the CD performance and several pieces are CD only. "Intro" is not defined as a track in the marketing kit and the CD contains three pieces which are CD only. The DVD does not include 'I See You Messenger', 'New New World' or slightly surprising "And You and I".
Following on from the Liaison's release commentary and considering, Billy James press kit and Jamie Glaser's comment that "he isn't on the DVD" it would appear the carefully constructed CD is the premium "finished" offer and the "bonus DVD" is an interesting artefact which provides a step along the way to the final product which is the CD. The one hour DVD running time includes artists interviews so I expect it to have a "rockumentary" feel to it rather than be a highly sophisticated thorough going presentation of the "Aspen Concert". Note The DVD is offered as a bonus (free in Europe) and whilst the 10 performances are anchored in the Aspen performance they like the CD benefit from the substantial post concert work so as the director of the video suggest one should not look for synchronisation between the Audio and Visual track and instead just seek an impression from the DVD and on that basis the DVD works well.
At £13.99p for the CD and DVD it looks like very good value for money. Note Amazon have reduced the price post release to £9.99p and I have received a refund of £4.00p as part of their guaranteed best price arrangements.
Update 8th September 2015
With the welcome release to the Investors of the digital download a number of recurring themes are emerging around the internet.
I am not familiar with Jean Luc's work is it still available ?
Much of it is on U Tube but last year in the wake of the concert I purchased all of the JLP based material performed at Aspen, or included in demos, on I Tunes and it makes for a great selection in anticipation of the CD release.
My I Pod listing which I played around with is sequenced as follows :-
Rhythms of Hope - CD
Stay With Me - CD
Jig - Concert
Mirage - CD
New Country - Concert
Cosmic Messenger - Demo
Renaissance - CD
Infinite Pursuit - CD (Theme included in Intro)
Enigmatic Oceans Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Concert
Egocentric Molecules. CD (Japanese Bonus Track)
As Jean Luc said there is great synergy between himself and JA several of these uplifting highly disciplined complex pieces echo the feel of much from Fragile. Other pieces broaden the palette, JIG moves into a Calypso feel and New Country into an Irish Jig but at a very sophisticated and evolved level.
Update 14th September
In one exchange Jamie Glaser indicated the re imaginings were so unique musically that the copy right of the new versions went beyond the original copy right. Details of the credits are beginning to emerge and to date the Yes pieces quote the original writing combinations and Jon receives a credit for his lyric writing on Jean Luc's pieces. Because 11 of the 13 pieces are "covers" whilst I am looking to engage with the music as a unified and complete project inevitably one will be looking for a payoff from the new verses the original.
Update 23rd September
Sean McKee who produced the DVD has confirmed that the sound track includes Jamie Glaser's performance but the concert footage Jamie Dunlap. He has confirmed there are work arounds for the disconnect but detailed analysis by enthusiastic fans would still reveal some in consistencies and lack of co-ordination between the visual and the audio. In addition as he did not film the concert he took the raw material and produced it and in particular he had to work around some non functioning back projection on certain pieces.
Quite separately Sound Cloud includes a full length version of the single "I See You - Messenger" which whilst it sounds like a very studio bound piece, closely follows Jamie Dunlap's string arrangements from the original demo.
Update 25th September CD/DVD received !
Full review to follow now at the head of my blog. However given Jean Luc's remarks in the late summer of 2014 to the Herald De Paris that the rehearsing and concert at Aspen was to generate a calling card for a world tour I watched the DVD this afternoon. For me they have achieved what they set out to with the DVD, it is indeed the perfect encouragement to buy tickets to an Anderson/Ponty concert. The highlights for me were "Soul Eternal" a piece that has been on Sound Cloud in its original form for many months, which the band have transformed into a major concert piece and "Renaissance of the Sun" quite beautiful with wonderful piano playing from Wally Minko.
Update 16th October
Jamie Glaser is providing a stream of information from rehearsals and some super pictures. He has not been provided with the go ahead to release the set list, probably because it is a moving target, however all of the CD will be played and they have been rehearsing "Jig" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" so they could follow the format of the Aspen concert begin with two blocks of three pieces One/Aria/Disgrace then Listening/Word and Jig. The twofer of Mirage/Eternal and finish with Messenger/Owner. Then an intermission the acoustic set (Wondrous/Distance/Renaissance) and then rousing finish of NNW/Roundabout/Molecules. Given the reflective mid tempo feel and ability to stretch out on Independence that may make it into the the first set and there is the never identified "Ever Country" from Aspen to consider which I suspect opened up the acoustic set and Enigmatic and Trooper. We will soon find out !
Update 23rd October First Report of the Set List
The early concerts show the band is on the move with embellishments on the Aspen material. Long Distance Runaround has a wonderful groove from the rhythm section, it starts in the same key as the 1975 acoustic version with the band riffing the main melody before Jon enters. And You and I goes into a new section where Wally introduces the Bruford/Squire written crescendo which they play out with, it took the audience by surprise as they gave the song applause after Jon's vocal section. New New World begins with an opening salvo from Rayford on the gong and is paced better than the CD recording. We now know for certain Jon's son and his cousin wrote I See You Messenger which explains the atypical verse structure after the various Yes song quotes. Under Heavens Door has some nice banjo picking and a simple rhythmic shuffle from Rayford which gives it more personality. All in all this is a band with a wide stylistic bandwidth who can playing anything with authority and are growing the music as the touring gets going. The high light for me is a stunning performance of Renaissance.