A spinoff of its parent magazine, Classic Rock Presents Prog takes a look at progressive music and the artists who weave them together. Each issue takes a soul-searching foray into the hearts and minds of the heroes of rock, reviewing both new and old releases. Building upon the history of some of the most genre-defining pieces ever devised and those who followed who continue to refine, revolutionise and completely discard the formulas of those who came before. Reflecting on the proud genesis of this unexpected genre, Classic Rock Presents Prog is an able tutor for those in the dark about the evolution of progressive music, and a tonic for existing fans.
All of King's recordings for the Bobbin label are on this 22-track disc, including everything from his 1959-1963 singles for the label and previously unissued alternate takes of "Why Are You So Mean to Me," "The Time Has Come," and the previously unissued "Blues at Sunrise." While these are decent journeyman urban blues/R&B, they're not up to the level of his subsequent recordings for Stax. Albert King just sounds too much like the records another King – B.B. King, that is – was making during the same era. There are similar horn arrangements and alternation of stinging guitar with smooth, confident vocal phrasing. It's a tribute to Albert King's abilities, in a way, that it does sound confident, and not the work of an imitator, despite the similarities.
CAROL WILLIAMS, from Montclair, New Jersey, was the first female singer to sign a solo recording contract with the legendary disco label Salsoul Records. With Williams vocal audition trumping all other hopefuls, allied with her extensive experience in the industry due to being an integral member of soul groups The Geminis and The Del-Rios, she was the obvious choice for the label who were looking for their equivalent of Gloria Gaynor who was riding high at the time with the success of her disco smash “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Williams soon got to work with legendary producer and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Montana, Jr. and his incredible Salsoul Orchestra, contributing not only several track selections but also co-writing three of the cuts on her debut offering.
If The Hurting was mental anguish, Songs from the Big Chair marks the progression towards emotional healing, a particularly bold sort of catharsis culled from Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's shared attraction to primal scream therapy. The album also heralded a dramatic maturation in the band's music, away from the synth-pop brand with which it was (unjustly) seared following the debut, and towards a complex, enveloping pop sophistication…
The mid-Michigan based trio Organissimo is not your garden variety, grandfather's organ combo. Yes, they pay allegiance to Jimmy Smith and the forefathers of the B-3, but these musicians, particularly guitarist Joe Gloss and organist Jim Alfredson, are younger and have the audience of their generation in mind. Easy comparisons to Medeski, Martin & Wood, Soulive, and the Brothers Groove can be made. The difference maker is veteran drummer Randy Marsh, who has played his share of bop, soul-jazz, rock, funk, and commercial music, not to mention being a fan of Frank Zappa.