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Morgan - Nova Solis CD (album) cover

NOVA SOLIS

Morgan

 

Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 57 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars Many years ago I got this CD to review, nobody knew what to do with it, and in the end they handle it to me, due to the amount of Hammond organ.Morgan was an UK four piece band, founded in 1971 and featuring Morgan Fisher (keyboards), Tim Staffel (vocals, tambourine and 6 ' and 12-string acoustic guitars), Robert Sapsed (electric fretless bass) and Mo Bacon (drums and percussion). Before Morgan signed a contract for their debut album at the Italian RCA office, ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald shortly joined Morgan. Morgan Fisher later joined the Third Ear Band and Mott he Hoople. And about Tim Staffel, once he played in Smile in which he was replaced by Freddy Mercury, the rest is history! In the wonderful 16-page booklet you can read the story of Morgan, it's interesting and a bit weird, just like Morgan their sound.

My first musical impression of Morgan is that they sound like bands from the Early British Progressive Rock Movement. These bands (from Rare Bird, Beggar's Opera and Greenslade to Fantasy, Gracious and Spring) were inspired by the sound of legendary late Sixties formations like The Moody Blues, Procol Harum and The Nice. The music delivers pleasant work on guitar and vintage keyboards, especially the Hammond organ and Mellotron. But there is also an important role for the vocals and a melodic structure. The main differences between the aforementioned formations and Morgan are the variety and the avant-garde element. That's also the reason that Morgan didn't succeed to get a contract in the UK, despite their serie of concerts in the London music temple The Marquee.

The first three tracks sound melodic and varied. Fat synthesizer flights evoke ELP and Banco in Samarkhand The Golden, from mellow with twanging acoustic guitar and warm vocals to a slow rhythm with Hammond organ and piano in Alone. And from swinging to bombastic with a very tasteful keyboard colouring (piano, spinet, organ and synthesizer) in War Games. But then starts the epic composition Nova Solis ' A Suite, divided into nine parts. It's an adventurous musical journey that will bring you from 24-carat symphonic rock to avant-garde. Very interesting but you have to be up this kind of music: the one moment you hear a fluent rhythm with swinging piano, an Emersonian organ or synthesizer solo or acoustic guitar with vocals, the other moment you hear weird sounds, a jazzy piano solo that culminates into avant-garde or experimental synthesizer work.

According to the liner notes Morgan was ahead of its time, I am glad that this remastered CD gives the progheads the chance to listen to this very interesting, genuine progressive rock band from the early Seventies. And it's no coincidence that the band was asked to attend the Italian RCA office and later had success in Italy. Because their sound matched perfectly with the more adventurous and varied Italian progrock in the early Seventies.

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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