This first July column begins with my review of a new album by progressive rock super-group The Jelly Jam and concludes with news from a reader about a single released by his high school band in the 1960s.
My thoughts about a documentary about the extras who populated the original “Star Wars” movie is sandwiched between.
‘Profit,’ The Jelly Jam (Music Theories/Mascot Label Group, ☆☆☆☆)
This May 27 CD release is the fourth album from a collaboration of progressive-music superstars: guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor (King’s X), drummer Rod Morgenstein (Winger) and John Myung (Dream Theater). Their first album was released in 2002, but work with their home bands has led to a sporadic Jelly Jam release schedule.
There’s a musical theme that runs through nearly every song, so it’s difficult to say which ones are favorites. However, the medium-paced but hard-hitting opener “Care” sets the pace well. The lyrics and the playing of all three musicians are impressive without the squiggly stuff that often accompanies the progressive tag. This is a melodic and tuneful album.
‘Elstree 1976,’ (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This June 28 DVD contains an entertaining documentary about a few of the many extras, mostly from Britain and Canada, who played roles in the first “Star Wars” movie.
Most of them had no idea that the film was the beginning of a massively popular franchise and that the roles they played (storm troopers, aliens and the like) would be so important in establishing that movie universe.
The memories of these folks, who now deal with sci-fi conventions, sit-com work, commercials or “regular lives,” provide a nifty feature.
One reader’s ‘non-hit wonder’
Fender Tucker, who lives in Vancleave, sent an email about his early band The Torques from Farmington, N.M.
The Torques lasted from 1963 to 1965 and had one single on the Delta label — a cover of the Chartbusters’ “She’s the One” along with an original by Skip Batchelor, “She’s With Him” on the flip side. Only about 300 copies were initially pressed.
Fender played music in public for years and continues to write songs. The Torques had many personnel changes, as most high school bands do, before breaking up.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org