Who'd doubt that had Ed Macan, famous for his art rock reserches, decided to play himself that would be a magnificient effort. Such it is - and is beautiful, having a great set of instruments explored, that, spare for Hammond and Moog organs includes recorder (a sort of flute, if one asks), marimba and, above all, vibraphone. With it at the fore, music is closer to THE NICE but more intelligent though equally complex in approach, balanced on the verge of classical and cool jazz. Which means that's progressive rock - sans rock! The album has a title suite in six movements at the core, prefaced by an overture of two parts, the first being RUSH's "Jacob's Ladder" (the first great prophesy in man's history, wasn't it?) given a gentle treatment with Ed running through all his inventory. Once the mood's set, Macan, supported by punctuated bass and inspired drumming, charts a jazzy territory of "Intrigue In The House Of Panorama", seemimgly improvising on the spot.
And then the suite unfurls in all its glory and hidden quotes. Maybe, jokes too - one can't help thinking of a certain piece as Movement One is "Barbarians At The Gate", a bolero, which turns into a serene landscape with "Hope Against Hope" where bass counterpoints ARP strings. "Last Stand" appears to be more sparse leaning towards melodic percussion, gone for short "Lament" to let the Steinway grand piano in, which employs a classical constraction of prelude and fugue dedicated to Glen Gould, an obvious inspiration. But if you think of Bach, a meaty organ picks up the theme in "Leviathan And Behemoth" - an apt instrument for these Biblical giants. Through piano and recorder "State Of Grace" is attained, the most Emerson-esque of all. Good. So for those who successfully reached the end and perceived what hermetic science is, a prize awaits, a work of love: "Tarkus" adapted for pure piano and recorded live. A treat. Get hermetic!