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The Red Book

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 24 Feb 2014
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Amazon's Penguin Cafe Orchestra Store


Frequently bought together

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Total price: £38.44
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Feb. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Penguin Café
  • ASIN: B00HAV1J2K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Aurora
  2. Solaris
  3. Black Hibiscus
  4. Bluejay
  5. Radio Bemba
  6. Catania
  7. 1420
  8. And Yet
  9. Moonbo
  10. Odeon
  11. (The Roaring Of A) Silent Sun

Product description

Product Description

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.

Review

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I saw Penguin Cafe in Oxford with Ludovico Einaudi and brought back many memories of the original format in the eighties with Simon Jeffes. His son Arthur does a magnificent job and I love the originalityof this group and how much they care about music.
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Brilliant album from the revamped Penguin Cafe. Has the spirit of the old band and is a little more piano slanted but all the old elements are there.
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Jeffes senior had a more funny , minimalistic approach to music. Jeffes Junior is more chamber music sounding. More classic than experimental. Maybe is the cello presence that gives a kind of uniform sound to all the tracks. I miss somehow the early humor of the orchestra and its wider range of sounds and styles.
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After a couple of listens I love this. Good as any of the old Penguin Cafe albums.
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I have been listening to this CD solidly since it's arrival, and there is little doubt that it is a grower. Still, I must confess that despite my appreciation of the Red Book, there is no escaping a nagging and persistent tug of disappointment. This is a good album, but not (in my opinion) a great one. In deed, if I could do half-stars under this review system it would be a 3.5 out of 5.
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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As we all know , very sadly the original proprietor of the Penguin Café (Simon Jeffes) passed away in 1997 , at which time the doors to the Café closed, as we thought never to re-open. Fortunately for us his son Arthur Jeffes has thrown the doors wide and is serving up delicious tunes using most of the same ingredients but adding his own twist and flare- as is only right and proper. This is the 2nd studio album from the re-born Penguin café (note they are no longer the Penguin café Orchestra) and its great to hear this new version moving forward whilst at the same time retaining a lot of what made the original PCO unique and special. it is maybe not as "catchy" as the original stuff but I would say there is enough here to keep fans of the original PCO (like me) happy , but with the chance to hear something new and exciting. In summary, if you liked the original PCO you can buy this with confidence that you're going to love it. If you're new to the band (or indeed the original PCO) but have always wondered what it would sound like if you put world music, folk music and chamber music into a big pot and gave it a stir, now is your chance to find out . All in All, I love this CD and recommend it to anybody with open ears to go out , buy and enjoy :-)
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