Why George didn’t vote…and why I don’t.
—Alesha and Others
Touch; “Alesha and Others”
In 1969, nineteen-year-old prodigy Don Gallucci got together with some like minded comrades and, as the band called Touch, unwittingly launched the musical genre known as Prog Rock.
Now some may chide them for having done that, as the genre spawned some of the silliest, most overblown, pretentious twaddle known to human culture. (I mean Pro Rock culminated in the candy ass band Styx…need I say more?) But it often wasn’t so bad (as in Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s first two albums) and it was sometimes really pretty good (as in Rick Wakeman’s “Six Wives of Henry VIII”). And even when it waxed tedious and self agrandizing — which was often — in the end it was about instrumental virtuosity… except in the case of Styx, of course.
The very best that Prog Rock had to offer was Touch’s one and only album, appropriately entitled “Touch”. Like all Prog Rock, the album borrows from other musical forms (including Jazz and Classical) and relies heavily on studio production technique. Interestingly, though, the mellotrons and synthesizers that would subsequently dominate Prog are totally absent here.
"Alesha and Others", featuring Gallucci’s nimble piano and Jeff Hawks’ crystal clear vocals, is one of the finest examples of West Coast Cool Jazz I know. Pretty astounding achievement for a bunch of kid rockers, no?
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Mike Snowden; “Chicken Coop Blues”