The Red Book
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The catalyst for the new recording came about when Arthur Jeffes worked on a project with the International Space Orchestra and NASA Ames in 2012, out of which came the pieces Aurora and 1420, which have since been beamed into space as part of NASA's Kepler project. These touchstones marked a 'satellitic' beginning for a new album, a collection of songs that would then return to earth to undertake a rich, cross-continental, musical journey. Arthur Jeffes explains The intention was really to create musical pictures and colourful soundscapes, channelling music and traditions from around the globe, but then possibly set through a more English filter. The first album, I think, was about establishing our own sound and identity, dusting out and re-opening the Cafe so to speak, but with The Red Book I think this is a grand new departure and ambition to sonically chart an imagined journey through the world and across the globe. I guess this would be the map of that idea.
The essence of what made Penguin Cafe Orchestra is here: the music is dreamlike and does indeed touch the heart of the listener. Yet Jeffes Jnr achieves this differently; compared to his father's work, which is full of enduring melodies that often verged on the experimental, this is more composed and less wild . That certainly doesn't mean it's as affecting, though. The spirit of Simon Jeffes lives on, but with a satisfying new dimension to it. He would be proud of Arthur no doubt.**** --Music.comh.com , March'14
Top customer reviews
Of course the son of Penguin Cafe is a different beast to the original orchestra, and that is how it should be. I don't mind the more intense, introverted and predominantly post-classical style that Jeffes Jnr is pursuing over the playful, folk/world fusions of the original outfit, but I do miss the melodies and hooks. This album has even less of the latter than the first new-look 'Penguin Cafe' record of a couple of years back.
As such, the Red a Book is a strong mood piece, but one very much in need of a melodic jolt. Buy it by all means, but don't expect the kind of joyful abandonments of yore. This really is a very different type of cafe, one that is far more muted.
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Most recent customer reviews
This group never fails to deliver a consistent high level of beautiful tunes. I am forever indebted to Arthur for keeping the cafe open.
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