LEGACY PILOTS (feat Steve Morse, Jordan Rudess & more) – Aviation (2020)
LEGACY PILOTS is a multinational band lead by German musician Frank Us which are presenting their new album titled “Aviation”. Among the musicians involved – also in songwriting and arrangements – we find Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Kansas, Flying Colors, Dixie Dregs) on guitars, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) on keyboards, Todd Sucherman (Styx) on drums, Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic) on bass, and many more.
And yes, this is progressive rock with brilliant musicianship on display, but also catchy pop-Rock with easy melodies and sophisticated ballads. All over the record the musicians offer a wide range of their art, in which the composition and not the undoubtedly existing technique is still in the foreground.
The Hamburg-based musician Frank Us looks back on a long musical career. He played in a few local bands before turning music into his profession, successfully composing jingles for products and companies.
His secret love is and has always been the progressive rock that had the biggest musical influence on him. Frank US says, progressive rock always has moments of calmness, sometimes inside a big epic piece, sometimes on its own as a silent ballad.
From the band name to album title, you know this is a conceptual piece of work regarding traveling, but also imagination.
Take as example one of my favorites here; “An Adventurous Journey”. The song tells the story about someone who has a permanent wanderlust. Though this journey is an adventure or even has dangerous moments, after his return and a short moment of silence, his inner restlessness starts again… This piece of music not only features a brilliant Todd Suchermann drumming but also a spectacular guitar solo by Steve Morse.
“Fear Part One – Proximity and Distance” is a song about people who find it difficult to enter into relationships. Since they had already had bad experiences, the fear of disappointment sometimes seems overwhelming. This melodic number features Marco Minnemann on the drums with a wonderful performance.
At places, on some “Aviation” songs the playing is so fluid that you wish more dexterity – you know these musicians are capable of – but that’s exactly why it works so well: Frank Us privileges melody over virtuosity, and while this is a progressive rock album for the most part, it also fits to the classic Rock&pop mold.
01 – The Squad Is Back (feat. Marco Minnemann & Pete Trewavas)
02 – A Different League (feat. Todd Suchermann, Jake Livgren & Jordan Rudess)
03 – Dreamers (feat. Marco Minnemann, Lars Slowak & Jake Livgren)
04 – Innocent (feat. Todd Suchermann, Lars Slowak & Finally George)
05 – Wide Wide World (feat. John Mitchell, Marco Minnemann & Lars Slowak)
06 – Fear Pt. One (Proximity and Distance)
07 – Fear Pt. Two (Hope and Failure)
08 – Saccadian Rhythems (feat. Marco Minnemann & Lars Slowak)
09 – Immortal (feat. Marco Minnemann, Pete Trewavas, Finally George & Liza)
10 – To the Stars (feat. Finally George, Lars Slowak, Marko Minnemann & Liza)
11 – An Adventurous Journey (feat. Todd Sucherman & Steve Morse)
Frank Us – keyboards, guitars, vocals, bass & percussion
Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Kansas, Flying Colors, Dixie Dregs) – guitars
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) – keyboards
Todd Sucherman (Styx) – drums
Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, Mike Keneally) – drums
Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic, Kino, Edison’s Children) – bass
Lars Slowak – bass
John Mitchell (Arena, Frost*, It Bites, Kino, Lonely Robot) – guitar
Jake Livgren (Proto Kaw, Kerry Livgren) – guitar