This was the first official release of perhaps America's greatest symphonic act, and the best known behind Kansas, namely Happy the Man. This band took some cues from other similar bands of the time, but were essentially an entity unto themselves. They were predominantly instrumental, and tended to alternate between two kinds of pieces. "Starborne" is an example of their slower, reflective and beautiful pieces. On the other hand, "Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest" is one of their faster pieces, an intricate display of odd time sigs featuring ripping guitar parts woven into the tight ensemble playing of the band. The band whips through whimsical, serious, reflective, aggressive moods with the greatest of ease.
There are two vocals tracks here, but in general I find these somewhat less compelling. It is in the instrumental domain that Happy the Man truly shines, a fact that perhaps hurt their marketability back in the day. Had Arista not criminally underpromoted them, who knows how far Happy the Man might have gone? It's hard to say, but what is definite is that this a superior musical product that deserves all the accolades it has received.
review by Sean McFee @ http://www.progreviews.com
Stanley Whitaker - six and twelve string guitars, lead vocals
Kit Watkins - synthesizers, acoustic and electric pianos, organ, clavinet, flute, marimba
Frank Wyatt - saxophones, flute, piano, keyboards, vocals
Rick Kennell - electric bass
Mike Beck - percussion
Link in comments.....
There seems to be a problem with the site that hosts the mini-players that we use for the sample songs, as soon as the situation is remedied, the samples will be back!