- Magellan a été consulté 13793 fois
- Magellan a une moyenne de : 6.98 sur 10
- Magellan a reçu 42 note(s) et 2 critique(s)
- Magellan est classé : 2380 ème
Biographie de Magellan
Source / Auteur : Official Website Date : 10/02/2006 Nb consultation : 4765
To fully understand the contribution that Magellan, and Trent Gardner specifically, have made to prog music, one has to have a basic knowledge of the history of progressive rock. The genre (prog as it is affectionately known among its fans) started sometime in the late 1960's. The definitive date is a bit elusive to pin down as it depends on the individual definition of what is progressive rock. Many point to The Beatles' Sergeant Peppers album as the first progressive rock record, while others think more in terms of Procol Harum, The Moody Blues or King Crimson. The important point is that at some point with all the experimentation that was going on in the still fledgling world of rock music, bands started looking to more in terms of musical expression. That "more" for many artists became a blending of elements of classical and jazz into the traditional blues and soul tapestry that was rock music. This experimentation was presented in the forms of musical virtuosity, extended song lengths, complex compositions and lyrical (often difficult to comprehend) high-mindedness. They were reaching for and gaining new ground in their musical endeavors. Bands like King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis became the kings of this musical realm. By the early 1970's the style had caught on in a big way, and there were new bands sprouting up all the time.
However, when the punk movement hit in the mid '70's, alongside disco, it, and the new wave that came after started taking away from progressive rock's shine. Bands like the Sex Pistols were being lauded as "new" and "fresh", while groups like Yes were being called "dinosaur rock", "pretentious" and less complimentary terms. In the midst of all this scrambling for shorter, simpler songs, prog rock's practitioners began fading away. Some of the bands starting changing their style to shorter, less adventurous, more "pop" sounds. Others simply disbanded; calling it quits in the mood of the time. However, by the mid 1980's prog began to re-emerge, probably the first new band on the scene being Marillion. It was not the mainstream, arena draw that '70's prog had been, but rather a new underground movement, drawing large numbers of fans, but keeping well out of the mass media limelight. As the trend continued into the 1990's many new artists were finding their niche in the music, but much of it had transformed into the form of a neo-prog, with strong metal influences creeping in. Many of these artists were influenced as much by bands like Metallica and Black Sabbath as they were by the classic era progressive rock outfits like Nektar, Gentle Giant and Kansas.
It is from this musical climate that Magellan emerged.
The year 1991 saw Magellan releasing their first album, Hour of Restoration. Trent Gardner was the principal songwriter on the disc, and his style did a great job of encompassing the new spirit of progressive rock. It was probably closest to the 1970’s era of prog, staying very true to that format, but still managed to pull in a lot of the newer harder edge. It was also the first recording on the brand new label, Magna Carta Records, a label that had become known at the time as the home of the modern age of progressive rock. Trent Gardner quickly became a founding anchor of the label, working on many projects for them. Working together they truly were part of a catalyst to the revitalization of progressive rock that we have seen since that time. Magellan’s second album, Impending Ascension became the third release on the label and became one of the quintessential “prog” albums of 1994.
1995 and 1996 was the 'dark period of tribute albums', according to Trent.
Eventually, 1997 saw the release of Magellan’s next disc, Test of Wills, and it was a major departure from the first two albums. Coming out on May 6 of that year, the CD, while still maintaining many of the elements that had been present on the first two Magellan albums, almost completely abandoned the classic prog leanings in favor of the harder edged, newer prog.
It would be nearly a year before another recording from Trent Gardner or Magellan would emerge, but that project was well worth the wait.
The 1998 project was Explorer’s Club, well named both for the reference back to the source of the name Magellan and for the fact that this project was a loosely knit grouping of musicians setting out to “explore” musical possibilities together. The list of names alone (besides brother Wayne) that Gardner pulled together made this interesting for prog rock fans. Among those were some involved in 1970’s era prog. Steve Howe (of Yes fame) and Terry Bozzio (UK) were in that group. From the neo-prog school the lineup included James LaBrie, John Petrucci and Derek Sherinian (all in Dream Theater at that time), Billy Sheehan (of Niacin), and Bret Douglas (of Cairo). D. C. Cooper, at the time still lead vocalist with prog metal outfit Royal Hunt, represented that genre.
The next recorded appearance of the Brothers Gardner was on 1999’s Emerson Lake and Palmer tribute disc, Encores Legends and Paradoxes. This is arguably the strongest of the label’s tribute album series. Later that same year they also showed up on the side project of Dream Theater front man James LaBrie, Mullmuzzler. This was also the year that Trent performed vocals and keys on one cut for ex-Testament guitarist James Murphy’s solo album, “Feeding The machine”.
The following year, Steve Walsh, best known for his work with Kansas, released a solo album, Glossolalia, Trent not only performed on the CD, but co-produced it, and co-wrote many of the songs. One has to wonder just how much of the fresh, new prog sound that the disc had came from his influence. According to Trent, “This was the most important turning point for me as a writer and musician- I learned so much from Steve”.
In 2001-no less than 3 releases! The first, though, was a Trent Gardner project. Rather than put together another Explorer’s Club album at that time, Gardner “chose” instead to create a rock opera based on the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. As with that other project, Gardner enlisted the aid of a large cast of well-known musicians. This time the lineup included a couple Explorer’s Club alumni (James LaBrie and Bret Douglas). Fresh off of the Glossolalia album, Steve Walsh was included on this project. Also included, Josh Pincus of Ice Age, Shadow Gallery’s Mike Baker, Michelle Young, Robert Berry, Patrick and Steve Reyes (both of Dali’s Dilemma) and, of course, Wayne Gardner. Other notables included Lisa Bouchelle of Mastermind and Davey Pattison (best known for his work with Ronnie Montrose, Robin Trower and Gamme). The album was arguably the most ambitious project he had ever tackled.. Indeed, this one is one of the more effective of the rock opera genre.
Magellan –The long, “short story” pt.3:
Next up for 2001 was the second Mullmuzzler disc, again featuring Trent Gardner and also a very intriguing project going by the name of “December People”. This time it was a Robert Berry creation, and a brilliant one at that. The disc features Christmas songs done in the flavor of various prog rock giants. It is a nice piece of work and features Trent handling the vocal duties on Berry’s Genesis infused take on “What Child Is This”.
2002 saw the release of both the second Explorer’s Club album and the fourth Magellan album.
First up was Raising the Mammoth, the Explorer's Club project. The musicians who performed on that release included two holdovers from the first CD in the persons of Terry Bozzio and James LaBrie. Steve Walsh was recruited this time, as was his Kansas band mate Kerry Livgren. LaBrie’s Dream Theater partner John Myung provided bass this time out, and Mark Robertson of Cairo was also onboard. There were a couple notable metal musicians on hand, too. They were Gary Wehrkamp of Shadow Gallery and Marty Friedman of Megadeth fame.
Next is Magellan’s Hundred Year Flood which certainly stands amongst the best of their work. The key piece of the disc is a 35-minute opus that is arguably one of their finest. They weren’t content to sit with just that, though, enlisting Ian Anderson on one the album’s other tracks and Tony Levin on the final one. The result is one of the best discs the band has produced thus far. The album is a tribute to older brother Jack, who was killed in Vietnam in 1966.
2003 has been a milestone year for the band, officially leaving Magna Carta and joining new label Inside Out Music in September 2003.
“I am really looking forward to a great relationship with Inside Out. It's a breath of fresh air. Just knowing where you stand is something I've earned.”
2003 also ends with a bang for Trent. He has produced new artist Jack Foster's album entitled, "The Evolution Of Jazzraptor". (see discography for details)
"People will be surprised by Jack. It's 9 songs and nine different genres. People will love it…very high production value. We did it in pro tools HD and Robert Berry engineered it. Yes, I can do more than prog and this proves it! I have also finished my original football theme song for the Oakland Raiders. Man, what a year!"
by Gary Hill of "Music Street Journal" (with additions/editing of Roger Patterson).