Phantom 5 is the new band featuring singer Claus Lessmann (Bonfire) with guitarists Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max), Robby Boebel (Frontline, Evidence One), drummer Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart) and bassist Francis Buchholz (Scorpions, Michael Schencker). Truly a German Hard Rock super group. Highly recommended for all fans of European Melodic Hard Rock!
For better or worse, Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of Gaston Leroux's gothic horror/romance novel has done for stage musicals what Spielberg's Jaws did for fish stories, with worldwide sales of its original cast album approaching 25 million. While director Joel Schumacher's film turns on his typically ambitious visual verve, its new film soundtrack recording has been paradoxically focused in scope, yet beefed up dynamically via the brawny presence of a hundred piece orchestra and The London Boys Choir. This double-disc version showcases all of Phantom's songs, with Gerard Butler imparting a welcome, youthful sensuality to his Phantom, making a fine foil for Emily Rossum's ever-conflicted Christine. Original show orchestrator David Cullen has fashioned compelling new contemporary arrangements to frame Webber's songs–which now conclude with the lilting, upbeat new ballad he wrote for the film, "Learn to Be Lonely," sung by Minnie Driver's Carlotta.
Mark Lanegan wrote most of the songs for Phantom Radio on his phone. He’d write drum parts, add synths and guitars, and then bring the results to Alain Johannes, his frequent collaborator from Queens of the Stone Age, who built the real tracks in his West Hollywood studio. By emphasizing different heavy sonic territories, from echoes of Angelo Badalamenti (“Torn Red Heart”) to trip-hop (“The Killing Season”) and ‘80s new wave circa Echo & The Bunnymen (“Floor of the Ocean”), Lanegan has broken past the deliberately monochromatic sounds of his youth. The five-track limited-edition vinyl EP No Bells on Sunday is included.
Protocol II arrives fourteen years after drummer Simon Phillips' last leader date—the hard bop and post-bop based Vantage Point (Jazzline Records, 2000). And it comes approximately a quarter century after the original Protocol (Music for Nations, 1988)—a true solo date that had Phillips covering all the instruments, filling in the space around his calling-card drumming.
A professional musician from the age of 12, Simon Phillips' drumming sound and style is instantly recognizable. He's toured and recorded with just about every major rock and pop act imaginable; from Mick Jagger, The Who and Toto to Judas Priest, Mike Oldfield, and Joe Satriani. Protocol 3 is real-deal jazz rock. No avant-garde trappings, smooth jazz noodling or proggy pretensions (well, maybe a little bit of the latter) here.
Unhappily married Scott Henderson spends the evening on a no-name basis with a hat-wearing woman he picked up in a bar. Returning home, he finds his wife strangled and becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Every effort to establish his alibi fails; oddly no one seems to remember seeing the phantom lady (or her hat). In prison, Scott gives up hope but his faithful secretary, 'Kansas,' doggedly follows evanescent clues through shadowy nocturnal streets. Can she save Scott in time?