From Canterbury in the UK comes Lapis Lazuli, a six piece prog/jazz/funk/psych/world ensemble that plays thrilling instrumental music that will instantly appeal to fans of Frank Zappa, National Health, Soft Machine, Hawkwind, Gong, and The Mars Volta. Comprised of Neil Sullivan (guitar, MIDI guitar), Dan Lander (guitar), Phil Holmes (sax, accordion), Adam Brodigan (drums), Toby Allen (bass), and Dave Brittain (percussion, trumpet, keyboards), the band have created here on their latest CD a vehicle for the extended five part suite "Alien", as well as the track "Abra Cadaver".
It's no surprise that Lapis Lazuli's sound is clearly inspired by the classic bands who originated from the city of Canterbury where they call their home. Swirling, jazz-fusion styled keyboards, fiery rock guitar lines, snaking sax & trumpet, and intricate rhythms make up the formula, and throughout the epic "Alien" all the instruments weave around each other, offering up complex arrangements yet highly melodic at the same time. Think Zappa's The Grand Wazoo period meets National Health or mid-'70s Soft Machine and you have an idea of the cool stuff this band is doing here. The bands penchant for deep grooves, as well as an appreciation for swing jazz, can be heard on the rousing, upbeat part four of the suite, a section that will instantly get you up on your feet and moving to the music. Of course, there is plenty to like here for all you prog rock lovers out there, and the jazzy, spacey,Latin, World sounds of "Abra Cadaver" are quirky and enthralling.
This is really fun stuff. Lapis Lazuli have shown here that instrumental music can be joyous & infectious as well as challenging & adventurous. I'll bet these guys are a trip live, so if you call the UK your home and see them on a bill, make sure you partake in the experience.
1) Alien Part I
2) Alien Part II
3) Alien Part III
4) Alive Part IV
5) Alien Part V
6) Abra Cadaver