Jeff Scheetz, Rodney Matthews & Friends - I Saw Three Ships

Published Monday 21st December 2015
Jeff Scheetz, Rodney Matthews & Friends - I Saw Three Ships
Jeff Scheetz, Rodney Matthews & Friends - I Saw Three Ships

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159563-23560
LABEL: Independent
EXTRAS: Christmas card

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

The great thing about reviewing music is that sometimes an album or a single will come along which will completely disintegrate all a reviewer's tastes and prejudices (even the most ingrained ones). Having grown up listening almost exclusively to soul music while prog rock was developing through Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer et al, and even today finding that rock songs which go beyond four minutes tend to make my attention wander, I came to this single with little or no positive expectation. For many years I've been an admirer of Rodney Matthews but that was for his stunning art conceptions, not his drumming while guitarist Jeff Sheetz has always struck me as being at his best when confined to a standard length rock song. But this single, which accompanies a beautifully designed Christmas card, is making me think again about the appeal of prog rock. Because that is what "I Saw Three Ships" really is. Sheetz and Matthews are joined by Sheetz, Asia's bass man John Payne, former Yes star Oliver Wakeman on keyboards, Magnum's Bob Catley on vocals and Pete Coleman on the bagpipes and recorder. With such a dazzling show of musicianship that all memories of drum solo boredom and lyrics which talk about elves and dragons are banished. Expunged too is my view that this song is best left to the choristers. I don't know that many people who'd be prepared to pay over £6.00 for a Christmas card but with an accompanying CD as good as this one, I feel there are going to be many a prog rock fan treating themselves, or others.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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