One of the biggest musical collectives in prog history has been gathered together by Billy Sherwood.
Former Yes man Sherwood has written and produced an album appropriately titled The Prog Collective, and has persuaded some very high profile talents to appear on the seven tracks. They guest on a record on which Sherwood also plays most of the instruments.
There are also appearances on the album from Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Steve Morse (guitar). But one person who turned down the chance to guest was Jon Anderson. Says Sherwood:
“I have got a lot of messages asking me, ‘Why not invite Jon?’. Truth be told I reached out to Jon for this project recently, but he was not into it. I must admit the music is very heavy and hard rockin’ prog in a lot of places, and I know Jon has taken a mellower musical road recently which is cool, and I respect that.”
And such has been the reaction already to the album that Sherwood has committed to doing The Prog Collective 2. He’s also currently recording a record for the same label, which is to be called The Fusion Collective. This is an instrumental album in the style of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever and Weather Report. Guests on this project include: Billy Cobham, Chester Thompson, Jordan Rudess, Keith Emerson, Mel Collins, Nik Turner, Rick Wakeman, Steve Hillage.
So far The Fusion Collective doesn’t have a release date. But Sherwood has confirmed that The Fusion Collective 2 will definitely happen. And there may well be more albums under both The Prog Collective and The Fusion Collective names.
The album is released on August 14 by Purple Pyramid, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records.
The full track listing is:
– Buried Beneath – featuring appearances from Steve Hillage (guitar), Larry Fast (keyboards)
– Check Point Karma – Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Colin Moulding (formerly with XTC, vocals)
– Follow The Signs – Tony Kaye (keyboards), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree, guitar)
– The Laws Of Nature – Tony Levin (bass), John Wetton (vocals), Jerry Goodman (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra, violin)
– Over Again – Richard Page (Mr. Mister, vocals)
– Social Circles – Peter Banks (guitar), Annie Haslam (vocals)
– The Technical Divide – Chris Squire (bass), Gary Green (ex-Gentle Giant, guitar), Alan Parsons (vocals), David Sancious (ex-Peter Gabriel, keyboards)