Gryphon - Reinvention - 2018


“... open your mind and enjoy the music ...”


Can you believe this ... a band from the seventies comes after 41 years (their 5th album was released way back in 1977) with an all-new studio album of especially written, previously unheard material. Well the British band Gryphon just did! The band no-one could label. Was it Folk music, Medieval music ... they played on the same bill as Yes, was it like Gentle Giant a form of Progressive Rock? Well I think that this unpredictability of their music could be labeled as Progressive music. When you read the unusual list of used instruments on this new “Reinvention” album, you get an idea. 


Andy Findon - flute & piccolo (with or without Abell Whistle Headjoints for Beohm-system flute), soprano krumhorn, soprano saxophone, clarinet, sweetheart fife; Brian Gulland - bassoon, baritone sax, recorders, bass krumhorn, pestle ‘n mortar, piano, vocalisations; Rory McFarlane - electric bass, double bass; Dave Oberle - drums, percussion, pestle ‘n mortar rotation, vocals; Graham Preskett - violin, keyboards, mandolin, a spot of harmonica; Graeme Taylor - Santa Cruz OM acoustic guitar, Fender custom shop telecaster


On the sixth Gryphon album “Reinvention” you can find the following eleven tracks; “PipeUp Downsland DerryDellDanko”, “Rhubarb crumhorn”, “A futuristic Auntyquarian”, “Haddock’s Eyes”, “Hampton caught”, “Hospitality at a price ...”, “Dumbe dum chit”, “Bathsheba”, “Sailor V”, “Ashes”, “The Euphrates connection” ... are you still with me?

If you read this far, you will know by now that the band is blessed with a healthy sense of British humor. A kind of humor you could also find in the work of Caravan. Musically there is also a connection to that band. Personally I had to think of Caravan when I was listening to the longest track of the album that is called “Haddock’s Eyes”. A long piece of music inspired by the story Through the looking-glass Of Lewis Caroll. With this piece the band musically comes closest to the label progressive rock. But on the other hand it has a beautiful classical opening. Maybe it is because of the Canterbury sounding vocals. There is even an part with freaky saxophone parts with a resemblance to Van Der Graaf Generator’s music. Other pieces on this remarkable album could be written in the Middle Ages. Just listen to the track “Hampton Caught”. There are a lot of Medieval references in their music. This is reinforced by the choice of instruments. For instance the beautiful krumhorns and recorders. Most of the pieces has the atmosphere of Folk and Classical music. Useless to say that the music on this album is diverse ... and it will surprise you at unexpected moments. You can find the most beautiful melodies on this album. Some of the instrumental tracks has a kind of cinematic atmosphere so they easily could be used in TV documentaries and/or movies. An example of this is the track “Sailor V”.


For me it make no sense to review the album track by track. I think you have a good idea about how the music sounds when you read the remarks above. This skillfully played music must be heard. So I challenge you to give this album a chance. You won’t be disappointed ... just open your mind and enjoy the music.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - October 2018 -   - Independent Release / Tenacity Publicity