…not exactly prog per se, but proggish, with a good selection of songs…
POLLEN was a Canadian four-some that released only one album of symphonic progressive in the seventies. They were from the Quebecois progressive scene and were perhaps the most-known Canadian symphonic group with HARMONIUM but their music is much purely rooted in the symphonic genre than their countrymen, whose music is more folk-oriented. The group consisted of Jacques Tom Rivest (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards), Richard Lemoyne (electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards), Claude Lemay (keyboards, flute, bass, vibraphone, vocals) and Sylvain Coutu (drums, vibraphone).
Following two albums with a reconstituted L.A. Express, Bluestreak and Smokin' Section, Tom Scott returns to solo frontman duties on his Higher Octave Jazz debut, New Found Freedom, but he does so with a large number of guests. Those guests help broaden the styles of music available on the release, although Scott's own saxophone work remains a touchstone and everything on the disc will be easily programmable on smooth jazz radio. Indeed, the variety gives programmers many choices. Craig Chaquico, a fellow veteran of the 1970s rock scene and now a labelmate, joins Scott with some characteristic acoustic guitar work on the becalmed opener, "Feelin' It," after which adult contemporary singer Ann Nesby croons "You Are My Everything" while Billy Preston joins in on organ.
Václav Jan Krvtitel Tomásek wrote numerous songs and short piano pieces, genres in which his works predate those of his rather more famous near contemporary Franz Schubert by some years. Quite why they are so neglected today is a mystery as this enthralling new album from Renata Pokupic' and Roger Vignoles unfolds twenty-eight songs of a rare appeal. Perhaps we should not be surprised: Tomáek was one of the very few composers of Goethe settings to meet with the great poet's (relatively) undivided approval.