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Hello All!

Залит Giraffe/(1988)_View_From_Here

Один из двух существующих дисков Жирафа.
Принесли мне, помнится, его в 1900-лохматом году - не понравился он мне своей попсовостью, хотя, в целом, творчество Кевина Гилберта мне нравилось. Вообще забавный был мужичок, жалко помер рано.
Что касается альбома, то теперь он мне понравился гораздо больше и, если не принимать во внимание пару откровенно попсовых вещей (видимо дань моде), то вполне слухабельный.

(c) Giraffe biography, PA
Founded in Los Angeles, USA in 1987 - Disbanded in 1989

GIRAFFE was Kevin GILBERT's 2nd band following his experience with the group "NRG" (No Reason Given). The group released two independent records - 1987's "The Power Of Suggestion" and 1988's "A View From Here."

In 1999 Kevin Gilbert's estate released a remastered compilation simply titled "Giraffe" that included 90% of both of those records, along with a bonus and live cut.

Kevin Gilbert biography

Early life
Kevin Matthew Gilbert was born in Sacramento, California on November 20, 1966, later living in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and San Mateo, California, where he attended Abbott Middle School and Junipero Serra High School.

1980s: Early years
Kevin Gilbert was an accomplished composer, singer and instrumentalist who played keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, cello, and drums. His talents also extended to production. He toured with Eddie Money before winning the 1988 Yamaha SOUNDCHECK International Rock Music Competition with his progressive rock group Giraffe. Producer Patrick Leonard was impressed with Gilbert's performance at the competition and invited him to join him in forming a new band which became Toy Matinee. During this time, Gilbert worked on the projects of several established pop musicians, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Keith Emerson, acting as producer for the latter's album Changing States.

1990: Toy Matinee
The lone Toy Matinee album was released in 1990 but effectively shelved by the record company, so Gilbert assembled a new backing band to promote it, eventually getting two successful singles released, "The Ballad of Jenny Ledge" and "Last Plane Out."

Tuesday Night Music Club
Main article: Tuesday Night Music Club
Later, Gilbert was part of the songwriting collective "The Tuesday Music Club" that met at producer Bill Bottrell's studio in Pasadena, California. Gilbert introduced his then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow to Bottrell and his fellow Club musicians and the sessions allowed Crow to workshop new material, leading to the recording of her breakthrough debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Gilbert co-wrote many of the songs on that album, including 1995 Grammy Record of the Year "All I Wanna Do". Crow later acrimoniously split with most of the musicians in the collective and only producer Bottrell and drummer Brian MacLeod were involved in her follow-up album. Meanwhile, the remainder of the collective worked with singer-songwriters Susanna Hoffs and Linda Perry on two more albums.

1995: Thud and reforming Giraffe
Main article: Thud (album)
Gilbert continued to work in television and movie soundtracks (under the name Matthew Delgado), studio sessions, production, and eventually released his first solo album Thud (1995) as well as partially reforming Giraffe to perform the Genesis double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway at Progfest '94. Gilbert's manager sent a copy of the recording to Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford who were searching for a new front man to replace Phil Collins. Coincidentally, shortly after Gilbert's death, his manager, Jon Rubin of The Rubinoos, was contacted by Genesis's management to arrange an audition.

1999-2014: Posthumous albums
Main articles: The Shaming of the True, Nuts (album), and Bolts (album)
Several albums of Gilbert's music have been released posthumously, beginning in 1999 with the live album Kevin Gilbert & Thud - Live at the Troubadour (consisting primarily of songs from Thud) and a compilation of Giraffe material that he had been working on.
Gilbert's second solo album, The Shaming of the True, (2000) was also released posthumously. The album was largely incomplete, but Gilbert's estate asked Nick D'Virgilio (a former member of Thud, the Giraffe Progfest '94 gig, Spock's Beard drummer and close friend of Gilbert's) and producer/engineer John Cuniberti to complete it, based upon the extant tapes and the album planning notes left by Gilbert. Following this, an "industrial" album of music performed by Gilbert's group, Kaviar, was released in 2002. Ten years later, in June 2012 Nick D'Virgilio headlined CalProg in Whittier, CA and played the entire The Shaming of the True album live.
In October 2009, three new works were released; Nuts and Bolts (collectively a body of mostly unreleased songs and mixes, released as two individual CD albums) and Welcome to Joytown - Thud: Live at The Troubadour, a DVD/CD which expanded on the original 1999 release. A live performance from Gilbert's promotional group for Toy Matinee was made available in March 2010, and late 2011 saw a deluxe expanded release of The Shaming of the True with additional orchestration and engineering by Mark Hornsby. In 2012, the two Giraffe albums and 1984's No Reasons Given were re-issued with complete re-mastering from the original analog tapes. Late 2014 saw a similar expanded release of Thud.

On May 18th, 1996, Gilbert was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment. His death was the result of an apparent accidental asphyxiation. He was 29 years old.

(c) wikipedia

The View From Here
Crossover Prog, 1988
(c) Review by Kitsune, PA

I can't really understand why this album has so few stars. The Genesis performance was 5 five years after... so I can't understand the comparisons either, considering this is something more similar to a bunch of demos of a beginner - but a really talented musician yet (maybe a little bit unripe at times, but c'mon; he wasn't 25 yet, at the time)

In any case, this The View From Here it's a real fun album: the songs are all pleasant and uplifting and the performance, for someone who was still taking his first steps in the music world, it's simply terrific. while it's not strictly being "progressive rock", the entire CD has a great art rock/pop flavour in the same vein of Todd Rundgren, early Level 42 and Tears For Fears. Most of the music is well-written and composed, and Kevin Gilber's voice always adds a nice touch. I don't really think it's a masterpiece nor a really "essential" piece of work, but if you like this amazing musician (and in general if you are researching for some smooth, catchy pop rock with hints of jazz/fusion and funk) you're gonna love this. Instead, if all you need is some mighty and complex progressive rock (which, just to be clear, we all like!), well; go ahead. there's plenty of bands and artists that can satisfy your needs; but this doesn't give you the right to belittle this kind of music. like, not at all.

Highlights of the album: Home/Progress, The Way Back Home, Air Dance

WBR, Michael Baryshnikov.

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