introYou will know the story. Proto Kaw is the first Kansas band of Kerry Livgren. The Kansas before the Kansas that had success with classics like “Carry on wayward son”. After interest of a record company, who wanted to release the old demo recordings of Proto Kaw, the band re-recorded five of those old tracks, along with five newer songs. That became the album “Before became after”. The new album “The wait of glory” has been recorded in GrandyZine Studios in Kansas!
John Bolton - flute, saxophone; Craig Kew - bass, vocals; Kerry Livgren - guitar, keyboards, vocals; Lynn Meredith - lead vocals; Brad Schulz - drums; Dan Wright - organ, keyboards, vocals
The album has in the form of “Nevermore” a strong opener. It has a dark and melancholic mood. It starts as a beautiful ballad with great vocals and some multi vocal parts with nice melodies. Later on the song become more rock and jazz orientated. The next track is called “Relics of the tempest” in which the band combine some blues influences with a symphonic sound. It also reminds me of the work of Jethro Tull, especially the flute and guitar part in the end. “When the rains come” is more up-beat and the saxophone gives an extra flavor. The epic opening is great and the when the tempo of the song slows down the band comes with amazing vocal refrains. This piece also rocks and sometimes I hear a mix of Kansas and Jethro Tull. In the slow ballad “On the eve of the great decline” acoustic guitar and symphonic keyboards accompanies the wonderful vocal melody. In “Physic” the band rocks and swings and you can even hear some King Crimson influences in the opening. “Osvaldo's groceries” shows the sense of humour the band has. Then comes the highlight of the album. “The vigil” has a wonderful melody. Livgren says: “This piece was created in a magical way”. The band improvises so well that a shiver runs down your spine throughout the song. “Old number 63” (named after a steam engine) shows a lot of rock and jazz elements. “Melicus gladiator” is an up-beat rocker with keyboard and guitar solo's. The album ends with a beautiful track called “Picture this”. Throughout the album Lynn Meredith has an important role. His beautiful voice fits wonderfully to the music of the band. But Kerry Livgren is the big man behind this wonderful album ... all songs are from his hand!
“The wait of glory” is also available as special edition including the bonus track “One fine day” plus a bonus DVD. The DVD features Proto Kaw performing live at Nearfest in 2005.
This album is a big jump forward. After the many gigs the band did, Proto Kaw became a real band again. “The wait of glory” shows that progression of the band, and Proto Kaw sounds as a mature band. This is a very good and consistent progressive album. For Kansas and Kerry Livgren lovers it is a must. But also people who like bands like Jethro Tull I would recommend to give this album a try. You decide!