Stan Whitaker & Frank Wyatt | Pedal Giant Animals

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Rock: Progressive Rock Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Moods: Type: Sonic
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Pedal Giant Animals

by Stan Whitaker & Frank Wyatt

Founding Happy The Man members Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker take you on a musical journey through explosive progressive rock sagas, acoustic instrumentals,avant-garde jazz, and symphonic soundscapes.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Pink Sky
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4:07 $0.99
2. Chapter Seven
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3:38 $0.99
3. Love
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4:58 $0.99
4. Whole
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4:42 $0.99
5. Mists of Babylon
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4:26 $0.99
6. The Leaf Clings...Quivers
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3:06 $0.99
7. Turning My Head
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7:18 $0.99
8. Blue Sun
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4:21 $0.99
9. Stumpy Shuffle
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10. Everything
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11. Pedal Giant Animals
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Pedal Giant Animals project is the culmination of years of creative effort by Stan and Frank. "Many of our compositions which had not been recorded held very special places in our hearts, so we have chosen several of our favorites to produce for this collection. There were no guidelines as to genre or content for this labor of love, simply the desire to share some of our music that we felt others would enjoy. From acoustic instrumentals to full blown progressive arrangements, this journey through our work will hopefully reveal some of the other dimensions of our musical personalities."

The Musicians

Stan Whitaker is a founding member of Happy the Man, playing with them during their classic period in the '70s. After the band broke up in 1978, Whitaker formed a band called Vision. By 1985, he had moved on to his next group, called One by One and in 1993, Avalon. He has guested on albums by Ten Jinn, The Carl Hupp Project, John Palumbo, and others. Stan also works as a solo and duo artist with his wife LeeAnne, and is involved in the reunion of Happy the Man and the newly formed progressive act Oblivion Sun.

Frank Wyatt is also a founding member of Happy The Man. After the band's split up he stopped performing music publicly, but continued to compose and develop his home based studio, Crafty Hands. He is a member of the newly formed Oblivion Sun, the reunion version of Happy The Man, and is the driving force behind the Pedal Giant Animals project.

Pete Princiotto began playing music and writing songs in 1967. Since then, he has concentrated primarily on composing; playing bass guitar, guitar, and keyboards; and singing. In 1977-1984, he was a core member of the progressive-rock group However. In 1988-1990, Pete attended the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied composition with Morris Moshe Cotel, earning a masters degree in music composition. Pete has performed live as a soloist and in various groups for more than three decades and has been an established private music instructor in Northern Virginia since 1974. He also has been commissioned to compose for film and has been published as a writer and transcriber in Bass Player magazine.

Chris Mack is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music and performs with the progressive band Iluvatar. He is also the drummer/percussionist on "The Tale of Woe", the latest CD from Puppet Show, a San Francisco based act. Chris is a member of the new band Oblivion Sun, is an instructor and performs with various artists in the Baltimore, MD area.


Reviews


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iO Pages


Here's a translation of the review of Pedal Giant Animals, which was published in Nr. 71, February 2007:

STAN WHITAKER ~ FRANK WYATT
Pedal Giant Animals
(CRAFTY HANDS MUSIC 83710127816)
The reunited Happy The Man turns out to be a logistic nightmare full of conflicting agenda’s. The reunion isn’t a failure thought; after all, it brought us the strong The Muse Awakens and a couple of enthusiastic received concerts. It also stimulated Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker to write more together, with Pedal Giant Animals as the first concrete result. Although there can be no misunderstanding about the origin of these musicians, it is absolutely not a HTM-album. Pink Sky, Love, Whole and Everything are more examples of the singer/songwriter-genre, by which Whitaker’s voice has that same little burr as Peter Gabriel, while the quietly floating piano-accompaniment falls into the category of Genesis’ The Lamia. These titles though really contain stately symphonic moments, which also can be said for the instrumental Turning My Head. This cinematic piece of work in the style of Alan Hawksaw offers beautiful modest Moog- and fretless bass-solo’s, the latter being played by However-bassist Peter Princiotto, together with Chris Mack from Ilúvatar the guest-musicians on this album. More up-tempo are Chapter Seven, written around a dark guitar-theme, and the Eastern-like Mists Of Babylon, which has a fierce, jazzy saxophone-solo. Stumpy Shuffle leans more on blues and reggae and is more or less a funny sequel to HTM’s Stumpy Meets The Firecracker In Stencil Forest. PGA experiences its intriguing climax in the closing title-piece, in which spirituality and metaphysics go together in a attractive progressive rock-song, which leads to a beautiful symphonic guitar-solo. Meanwhile Wyatt and Whitaker, together with Mack, Bill Plummer and Dave DeMarco have formed Oblivion Sun, with which besides new work, new arrangements of a couple of HTM- and PGA-songs is being played as well. So, the HTM-reunion keeps on bearing fruit.
Information: www.pedalgiantanimals.com/pga.htm
Published in iO Pages Nr. 71, February 2007, website: www.iopages.nl

iO Pages


Here's a translation of the review of Pedal Giant Animals, which was published in Nr. 71, February 2007:

STAN WHITAKER ~ FRANK WYATT
Pedal Giant Animals
(CRAFTY HANDS MUSIC 83710127816)
The reunited Happy The Man turns out to be a logistic nightmare full of conflicting agenda’s. The reunion isn’t a failure thought; after all, it brought us the strong The Muse Awakens and a couple of enthusiastic received concerts. It also stimulated Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker to write more together, with Pedal Giant Animals as the first concrete result. Although there can be no misunderstanding about the origin of these musicians, it is absolutely not a HTM-album. Pink Sky, Love, Whole and Everything are more examples of the singer/songwriter-genre, by which Whitaker’s voice has that same little burr as Peter Gabriel, while the quietly floating piano-accompaniment falls into the category of Genesis’ The Lamia. These titles though really contain stately symphonic moments, which also can be said for the instrumental Turning My Head. This cinematic piece of work in the style of Alan Hawksaw offers beautiful modest Moog- and fretless bass-solo’s, the latter being played by However-bassist Peter Princiotto, together with Chris Mack from Ilúvatar the guest-musicians on this album. More up-tempo are Chapter Seven, written around a dark guitar-theme, and the Eastern-like Mists Of Babylon, which has a fierce, jazzy saxophone-solo. Stumpy Shuffle leans more on blues and reggae and is more or less a funny sequel to HTM’s Stumpy Meets The Firecracker In Stencil Forest. PGA experiences its intriguing climax in the closing title-piece, in which spirituality and metaphysics go together in a attractive progressive rock-song, which leads to a beautiful symphonic guitar-solo. Meanwhile Wyatt and Whitaker, together with Mack, Bill Plummer and Dave DeMarco have formed Oblivion Sun, with which besides new work, new arrangements of a couple of HTM- and PGA-songs is being played as well. So, the HTM-reunion keeps on bearing fruit.
Information: www.pedalgiantanimals.com/pga.htm
Published in iO Pages Nr. 71, February 2007, website: www.iopages.nl

Pete Pardo ~ Sea of Tranquility

While the world waits for a follow-up to Happy the Man's The Muse, Frank Wyatt a
Wyatt-Whitaker: Pedal Giant Animals

Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt...two names that will forever be enshrined in progressive rock history as founding members of Happy the Man, one of the most beloved bands of the genre. While their main band is taking a little break from recording and touring, Whitaker and Wyatt have written and recorded Pedal Giant Animals, a little side project that has apparently been a few years in the works, with the help of bassist Peter Princiotto (However) and drummer Chris Mack (Illuvatar).

Given the pedigree of these musicians, it should come as no surprise that Pedal Giant Animals is one hell of a great listen. There's a little bit of everything here, from lush, symphonic prog rock numbers, to lite fusion, some quirky rock numbers, and a touch of bombast, providing plenty of variety for the listener. "Pink Sky" kicks things off in grand fashion, a nice melodic piece with a hint of HtM and early Genesis, led by Stan's emotional vocal, acoustic guitars, and Wyatt's piano and keyboards. This segues into the more aggressive and hard-hitting "Chapter Seven", a brooding rocker featuring Whitaker's snarling guitar licks and plenty of symphonic keyboards from Wyatt. "Love" is another pastoral sounding number, with Whitaker's vocals sounding very much like Peter Gabriel, and "Whole" is a lovely number sprinkled with Wyatt's gentle piano. Fans of the recent HtM album The Muse will love the jazzy fusion sounds of "Mists of Babylon", complete with plenty of roaring guitar work from Whitaker and Wyatt's squonking sax lines. The sax again comes back for an appearance on the atmospheric "The Leaf Clings...Quivers", which then leads into the lengthy and majestic piece "Turning My Head", punctuated by gorgeous piano and Whitaker's Pat Metheny-ish guitar leads. After the calming and almost new-age "Blue Sun" comes the quirky "Stumpy Shuffle", a return of a popular character from Happy the Man's past. This one speaks like vintage HtM, with lean and mean guitar licks, jazzy sax, and quirky rhythms from Mack and Princiotto. "Everything" is a gentle folk vocal number, and the 9-minute title track, with fun lyrics penned by Wyatt, again reminds of vintage HtM, and features Whitaker's melodic vocals soaring over layers of keyboards. The ending guitar solo from Stan drips with fire and technique, showing what an underrated talent he really is.

While the world waits for a follow-up to Happy the Man's The Muse, Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker have given us plenty to enjoy here with Pedal Giant Animals. With the CD's release date right before the holiday season, the two veterans couldn't have thought of a better present for the progressive rock faithful. Highly recommended!