Just as Robert Fripp will always be King Crimson, Peter Gabriel was the true Genesis, and, hold on to your hats, Robert Plant was Led Zeppelin (too true!, just listen to Page's post-output and see clearly—in fact, J.P. Jones' solo work is very progressive, clearly indicating him as L.Z.'s #2 craftsman), just so is John Orsi Knitting by Twilight. This CD proves it beyond doubt. A rather self-effacing gent, I'm not sure he'd ever allow himself the distinction quite that boldly, but *Weathering* is so much a quantum leap forward that it astonishes even me, and I've been a fan since Day One.
That's the fascinating thing about progressive musics and progressive musicians: both tend to get ever more sophisticated as time wears on because, well, the very genre is nothing if not intellectual, and age—all we advancing dinosaur children of the 70s can smile about—brings wisdom…though I hasten to note that John is a younger fellow. It's his music that sits so beautifully beyond it's time and thus appeals to denizens of the preceding era as well as the cerebral among later generations. Weathering is almost an Orsi solo CD, save that he chose wisely in recruiting two very good guitarists, Mike Marando and Manny Silva. The result is a magnificent Romantically pastoral blend of Fripp & Eno (Rainy Day Trains is a nexus point of F&E alongside Reich & Metheny's Different Trains), Sensation's Fix, early Long Hello, Steve Tibbetts, Vangelis, Michael Stearns, and an array of the more tapestristically oriented composers and players.
Each cut of Weathering is so immersed in lush imagery and so free of traditional conventions, almost the literal sonic paintings and air sculptures so many sound artists strive for, that succeeding listens work to reveal ever more landscaping, new side pockets, and deeper layers. Having here captured keyboards as the main axe, letting the percussives recess to punctuation and coloration—now true musical instruments only rarely concerned with the time duties normal to skins, wood, and metal—this is a rebirth and epiphany of the whole KBT ethos in upleveled grace. I find myself particularly entranced by The Doorman's Dairy Dream but each track is a beautiful exposition of well-honed transcendental artistry solidly in league with the visionaries Orsi has been so richly influenced by.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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