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MINOR MASTERPIECE

Colin Tench Project

Crossover Prog


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Colin Tench Project Minor Masterpiece album cover
4.04 | 69 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. See How She Runs (4:46)
2. Darkness Falls (2:33)
3. Didn't Even Wanna Do It. Did It Anyway (7:30)
4. He's Gone (1:31)
5. Waiting for Gordo (4:01)
6. Still Solemn After all These Years (1:51)
7. Gran Finale (4:26)
8. Welcome to Your World (4:48)
9. Squeaky Door Time (3:07)
10. Under the Conker Tree (2:51)
11. Viva Vitale (3:11)
12. Your Song is a Nightmare (4:00)
13. Now Get on Your Way (5:18)

Total time 49:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Colin Tench / guitars, piano, backing voices
- Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales, Camel, Red Bazar) / vocals
- Joey Lugassy (2 time Emmy nominee & BunChakeze) / vocals
- Gordo Bennett (GorMusik) / all orchestral instruments
- Petri Lemmy Lindström (Corvus Stone, Progeland) / bass guitar
- Joe Vitale (Joe Walsh, Barnstorm, CSN) / drums & percussion

Very special guests:
- Christo Pellani (Air Supply & more) / percussion & drums
- Eddie Young / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Sonia Mota

Format: CD, Digital
December 24, 2017 (Digital) January 30, 2018 (CD)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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COLIN TENCH PROJECT Minor Masterpiece ratings distribution


4.04
(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

COLIN TENCH PROJECT Minor Masterpiece reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It's Christmas time, by gosh and by golly, and here comes Santa, only the sleigh has been commandeered by Colin "Mad Yeti" Tench and is being pulled by thirteen granny prog tracks. In the back are several helpers, elves who are chucking digital copies of the new Colin Tench Project album "minor Masterpiece" to the crest of the new fallen snow below.

Look! There's Finland's busiest bassist, Petri Lindstrom handling the low end gifts. There's Gordo Bennett orchestrating his horns and strings, G-string tautly in place. Then on one side we see Peter Jones shouting sarcastic remarks in a disgruntled British gentleman's tone, while on the other side we find Joey Lugassy has brushed off the dust of his bunch of keys, his long curly locks blowing in the crisp winter air and his warm voice bringing a glow to the hearts of granny proggers everywhere. And thumping away in the back is drummer boy Joe Vitale, looking vital and invigorated as he beats his skins for the Yuletide Fest.

Now, before we delve into this much-anticipated (*citation needed) second offering from CTP (Cheese Tomato Paste for those of you not in the know), let's briefly take a look at what is different this time round and what remains familiar. The debut album, elegantly entitled "Hair in a G-string (unfinished but sweet)" was a project that was begun a few years prior, when Colin was just getting back into playing the guitar after a very long hiatus. But just as the initial compositions were starting to take shape, he became busy with Corvus Stone and then a good number of other projects before he was finally able to return his attention to his own project. To see it all come to life as wonderfully as it did, he enlisted the help of nearly two dozen musicians! The album was comprised of a suite in four parts, some very catchy songs, some acoustic instrumentals, a couple of reworked Corvus Stone themes, and some of the earliest compositions for the project. The album was so long that the final track had to be made a bonus track for download only as it would not fit on the CD!

For "minor Masterpiece", Colin has kept things a little simpler. First of all, the band is made up of six main members (those merry-making men mentioned above) and two special guests: Eddie Young on cello and Christo Pellani on drums and percussion on one track. It's all fresh material, and the album clocks in at just around 50 minutes, so for those who can't sit through a full CD of music without a potty break, this should be discomfort-free.

For those who loved the first album, you'll be glad to know that with Gordo Bennett, Peter Jones, and Petri Lindstrom on board again with Colin, much of what made "Hair in a G-String" taste so good, er, sound so good is still present here. Also, there is a wonderful catchy but intelligent single in "See How She Runs", a running theme in tracks two to seven, a beautiful acoustic instrumental that at times hearkens back to 69/70 Pink Floyd, an orchestral instrumental that has properly earned its place on the album and not as a download special bonus track, and some entertaining, upbeat rock. Naturally, Colin adds some Spanish flare (because he's secretly an English Mexican) accompanied by some Latin rhythms while other exotic "world music" melodies easily slip from his strings, and Peter Jones shows off his inimitable talent for theatrical and comedic vocal improvisation.

New to the roster are Joey Lugassy and Joe Vitale. Joey, a two-timer when it comes to Grammy nominations, joined Colin way back in the 80's for vocal duties on the BunChakeze album "Whose Dream" and he comes back to take the mic for a few tracks here: "Darkness Falls", "He's Gone", and "Welcome to Your World" and sharing vocals with Peter on "Now Get on Your Way". Joe Vitale, who plays with Joe Walsh and has played with Crosby Stills and Nash, sits on his stool and deftly handles his drum sticks without a turkey in sight.

Without a doubt, this is a CTP album in sound, style, attention to detail, lyrical significance and humour. Side one is mostly tied in a theme while side two also seems to have some tracks at least sharing a story. For example, "Welcome to Your World" begins with "Now you like to do it your own way / But afraid they might not approve / Fly above them, seduce them, inspire them" while "Your Song is a Nightmare" tells a story that sounds like it's from the point of view of a very critical judge for X-factor: "That's your song? Oh, my word, I've never heard such a load of cobblers! How did you think that we'd waste our time on this trash you dare to bring us?" But this Nightmare song seems to also tell the story for many artists, particularly prog artists because the judge asks to know what the genre is and later complains that they've listened for "over ten seconds" and judged that the song is too long! When the lyrics to the final track "Now Get on Your Way" reveal themselves to be a reprisal of the lyrics to the opening track "See How She Runs" there's a message suggested. Though "See How She Ruins" is actually a kind of open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May about Brexit, connecting them to the judge in an X-Factor-like show almost seems to imply a show business similarity to the political arena. But perhaps I'm reading too much into this.

Some eyebrow raisers here are the humorous but lyrically vague rocker "Didn't Even Want to Do It. Did It Anyway" (which is the first time, I think, I've seen a period in a song title). Peter Jones delivers a soulful American style vocal and adds lots of humour to the song in little quips here and there. And yet there's a lyrical theme that possibly relates to those previously mentioned tracks on side two. The music is also especially effective as it follows the slow and sombre "Darkness Falls". Another curious track is "Squeaky Door Time", a rollicking instrumental that features, you guessed it, a squeaky door! Also, you'll catch some beautiful orchestration in "Now Be on Your Way" and "Waiting for Gordo" by Gordo Bennett. Gordo flexes his orchestral muscle throughout the album to beautiful effect!

Though not as long as the previous album or any Corvus Stone albums, "minor Masterpiece" is a treat of a variety of styles and approaches. Colin is often inspired by the early seventies for the diversity and daring of the music of that time and it shows on this wonderful new offering from CTP. It's a worthy successor to the hairy string album. This may not be everyone's cup of eggnog; I often feel CTP and Corvus Stone albums are best enjoyed on their own. Like a Tim Burton movie, there's a certain uniqueness/madness that you have to accept. Colin and Co. put a lot into their music. This is no easily chewed, swallowed and digested piece of gingerbread. It's a savoury meal that requires proper mastication to fully appreciate. A good glass of wine might help, figuratively or literally.

Oh, and special mention must go to the Fantasiastic artwork of Sonia Mota. I'm really looking forward to seeing the artwork in the digipak when it comes out.

Catch the official download release on December 24th and be ready for the CD on January 30th (because why wait until the absolute last day of the month!). Warning: this album becomes even more enjoyable with repeat listens.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Just before Christmas I got my act together and sent my Christmas note to all the record labels, PR companies and musicians I am involved with. One of the first responses I had was from Colin, and we swapped emails over the next couple of days ? me taking the piss out of him being so cold, and him responding to my comments about the wonderful summer we were having by saying "Now I must go out and drive about in the snow a bit. Hotness is for losers! Ha ha". The last email he sent me, received here on Christmas morning, was signed off "Colin from the North". It was an incredible shock to hear that only four days later he had passed away from natural causes, and to be honest I still can't believe it. Here I am listening to his brand-new album, and I have no way of telling him just how much I have enjoyed it, or how much more complete I feel it is from his debut. That it feels much more like a band, and the reduction in personnel has had a major positive impact, that the contribution from Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales, Camel, Red Bazar) is immense, or that I can totally see why he was so proud to tell me that Joe Vitale (Joe Walsh, Barnstorm, CSN) was a full member of the band because he believed in it so much, or that his guitar-playing is the best I have heard from him, and his use of acoustic guitars at the relevant times make a huge difference.

I can't tell him any of that, nor that his mix of so many different styles, as his brain moved from one place to another, is so typically him. I also can't work out if I have enjoyed this album so much because I wanted his final album to be worthwhile and memorable, or if it is my emotions that are mixed up with it that have caused me to hear more than is already there. I hope and believe that it is the former, but music is always subjective as opposed to objective, no matter how hard we work at it, so who is to say?

Available on download already, and available on CD at the end of the month, you owe it to yourselves, and to the memory of someone who I have never heard a bad word said about, to give it a try. Kevin from the South.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An exceptionally well produced album of confident and masterful songcrafting which somehow comes up short-- especially emotionally--when compared to last year's amazingly powerful and relevant collection of songs on Hair in a G-String (Unfinished but Sweet). Whereas that album never led me to question its inclusion within prog world, this one, I fear, had me often asking myself if the music here was truly representative of progressive rock music; Minor Masterpiece feels as if it belongs more clearly within the realms of classic rock music.

1. "See How She Runs" (4:46) a fairly proggy soundscape is here used to tell a story in a Beatles-kind of way--at least until 3:23 when the sound shifts to a more straight on rock to its end. Solid but nothing new here. (8/10)

2. "Darkness Falls" (2:33) I really like the pathos in the lead singer's voice for this song--it alone is very engaging-- almost to the exclusion of the rest of the music and instrumental performances. (9/10)

3. "Didn't Even Wanna Do It. Did It Anyway" (7:30) the instrumental section between the vocals are the high points of this one for me. The song during the verses sound a lot like Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" verses. The orchestrated end section is great. (8.5/10)

4. "He's Gone" (1:31) another little Colin Tench lament for the loss of someone...but whom? (4/5)

5. "Waiting for Gordo" (4:01) opens as an awesome semi-orchestral (keyboard generated) soundtrack piece. More, please! (You do write awesome soundtrack-type music, Colin--going back to that first Corvus Stone album!) (9.5/10)

6. "Still Solemn After all These Years" (1:51) piano, guitars, and synth-orchestra weave of pretty music--a kind of jazzy soundtrack ode. It could go on. (Maybe it does: the next song) (5/5)

7. "Gran Finale" (4:26) a Spanish-infused or even -grounded song that bristles to life in the second minute as first one and then two and even three electric guitars vie for the listener's ear. In the middle of the third minute piano and acoustic guitar take a little walk on the wild side before the electric axes jump back in to try to assert themselves. Vocalise from multiple voices try to join in. This one, too, could have jammed longer--especially to explore further that interesting infusion of vocals. Still, a CTP masterpiece. (10/10)

8. "Welcome to Your World" (4:48) a late-night friendly bar song with multiple voices, multiple instrumentalists. Could almost be an Alan Parsons Project or Jimmy Buffet song. (8.5/10)

9. "Squeaky Door Time" (3:07) a spicy Latin-infused instrumental showcasing Colin's lead guitar prowess--on both electric and acoustic! The rhythm tracks of this song are so lively and fun that it makes you want to be there watching them, dancing with them, playing the cowbell. (9/10)

10. "Under the Conker Tree" (2:51) an instrumental with multiple acoustic guitar tracks. Nice background music. Colin's excellent sound engineering is so evident on songs like this. (8/10)

11. "Viva Vitale" (3:11) obviously a showcase for drumming legend Joe Vitale (BARNSTORM, JOE WALSH, EAGLES, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH). The song allows for many subtle fills and flourishes while the rest of the band play a nice instrumental Latin-blues-rocker over the top--Colin again performing his wizardry on multiple tracks on multiple guitars, both acoustic and electric. I find myself listening to this one purely for the wonder and awe of trying to comprehend the planning and editing of those guitar parts. (9/5/10)

12. "Your Song is a Nightmare" (4:00) for me, the violin and multi-instrumental melodies steal the show on this one (though the vocals do a nice job of not over-performing--at least for the first half). The tongue-in-cheek self- deprecating humour can only be played out for so long. (8/10)

13. "Now Get on Your Way" (5:18) a total album-ending finale (with its repetition of the opening song's "we won't get fooled again" line), there is, unfortunately, nothing here that would have be play this one again. A little too murky with the wild, bar-room chorus feel of the vocals. (7/10)

Four stars; a polished, great-sounding collection of rock songs--several of which are sure to provide repeated listening enjoyment.

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