Unitopia hailing from Canberra, Australia originally released their debut album More Than A Dream in 2005, and now in 2007 Unicorn Digital has re-released it. It’s getting to be almost impossible to tell one neo-prog band from another, and Unitopia’s More Than a Dream vividly illustrates why. This Australian duo, with a mammoth supporting cast that includes brass, strings and orchestral arrangements, seemingly borrows its licks and vaguely apocalyptic lyrics from just about any and every prog rock outfit extant from the 70’s onward—and this doesn’t include what appears to be the group’s fervent desire to be the next Moody Blues, complete with the London Philharmonic in tow. As a consequence, one can hear fragments of Todd Rundgren and Rush, Peter Gabriel and Renaissance, Steve Hillage and The Alan Parsons Project, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree in virtually every song on More Than a Dream.
This instrumental electronic work is an one-man project, created by Frédy Guye who had lived in Switzerland. The original ultra-rare LP has been released in 1975 in a limited edition of 100 copies and was only available at concerts. "Journey Into A Dream" is still a very unknown gem, but should be interesting for everyone who owns records from early Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Ashra.
Here are the first two albums from pioneer smooth jazz unit Pieces of a Dream on a single disc. Produced and mixed by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Pieces of a Dream/We Are One combine soulful, tight arrangements, spirited and inspired playing, and a canny knack for grooves, Pieces of a Dream and We Are One endure as gems of the genre.
Darek Oleszkiewicz, a native of Poland and member of the music faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, makes his recording debut as a leader with this remarkable CD. Not yet thirty-years-old at the time of these sessions, the bassist shows surprising depth as a composer, arranger and soloist, with a gift for lyricism and a virtuoso technique reminiscent of Niels Pedersen. The first five songs are sterling duets with pianist Brad Mehldau (with whom he has worked in the past). The only standard, "You Don't Know What Love Is," evolves from a conversational duo improvisation, with both men avoiding typical approaches. His shimmering "Like a Dream" ought to have lyrics, while his "Blues for Eden" is very playful with hints of "Kerry Dance" worked into it. On two tracks, Oleszkiewicz leads a quartet with saxophonist Chuck Manning, guitarist Larry Koonse and drummer Mark Ferber. "Precious Moments" is an intricate composition that gives a strong indication of the leader's classical background.