Greg Segal - "Tales of Today Will Be Tales of Long Ago"
(Phantom Airship Records 2006, Pale 20)
From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)
The latest in Greg Segal's Pale series of solo albums - Tales of Today Will be Tales of Long Ago - consists of 21 loosely connected instrumentals spanning his usual range of sounds and styles. But really, each track flows so smoothly into the next that, taken together, they give a conceptual feel to the music. Greg is an expressive musician and as a listener I get a distinct sense that from song to song some story is unfolding. We've got easy paced rockers with a progressive rock edge, and much more, including some raw punky rockers that really grabbed me due to Greg's beyond punk level of musicianship and compositional abilities. I love the ripping psych guitar on "The Driving Life '69", followed by the spacey progressive "Growing" and "Summers, When They Counted", both of which speak volumes in a mere few minutes. There must be 3-4 layers of completely different guitar parts on these tracks. I dig the floating avant-psychedelia of "Dreamtime" and the trippier prog-psych of "Independence" and "Marginal". Greg's brother (Paper Bag/Bag: Theory drummer) Mark Segal contributes raw blues harmonica to "The Ant Game", which ends up being anything but a pure blues tune. A stunning piece and one of the highlights of the set. "Departures And Arrival, '98" is the one track that felt unfinished and was screaming out for much further development. It starts off as a killer jamming 70's styled rocker, but cuts off way too soon. And at nearly 8 minutes, "Seven Will Not Return" is the single lengthy track of the set, being a soundscape piece that places the listener on a windswept plain, or maybe even some cold, barren planet.
Greg Segal is one of the most creative and imaginative guitarists on the planet, and combined with being such an accomplished musician makes him one of the most exciting musicians around, on par with guitarists like Robert Fripp and David Torn, who have really stretched the possibilities of the instrument as both musicians and artists. Honestly, Wire should be doing a cover story on this guy.
For more information you can visit the Greg Segal web site at: http://www.gregsegal.com.
For a recent podcast interview with Greg Segal (HIGHLY recommended), visit Eric Wallack's E-ssential Sounds site at: http://bhagiti.podomatic.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz