Io Pages (Netherlands), August 1998, p. 32

The writer of� �Rocking the Classics,� the book about symphonic rock that was discussed extensively in the October [1997] issue, is also an active musician.� Ed Macan is in the first place a percussionist, and on this CD he plays mainly vibraphone, in a trio setting with bass and drums.� On the CD his two accompanying groups are heard, although one only in two numbers.� The liner notes speak of music that doesn�t grasp backwards towards, for example, the seventies.� Usually this is a false cry, but this statement is indeed in line with the music on this CD.� I myself am not able to name any comparable material.� Furthermore, the group is called a �power trio,� although I would propose a different term.� The CD opens with �Esau�s Burden,� in which the second accompanying group, consisting of drummer Joe Nagy and bassist Andy Durham, is heard.� The vibraphone is the only lead instrument.� As a result, the music lacks a certain tension.� This remains a little bit of an issue throughout, although there is some virtuoso playing here, particularly by Ed Macan himself.� However, something more varied among different soloists grows desirable after awhile.� �Fire Over Thule,� played by the first accompanying group, consisting of bassist Donald Sweeney and drummer Mike Morris, begins quietly, after which a fast vibraphone episode follows.� After this short outburst the music again grows quieter.� �Sungazer��divided in three sections�is the longest track, and herein Ed Macan plays, besides vibraphone, also marimba, piano, glockenspiel, and tubular bells.� The piano here is mainly an extension of the accompaniment, while the solo work is divided among the vibraphone and marimba.� The first section, �Refractions,� is fairly fast, while the second section, �The Cathedral of Trees,� is quiet throughout and stately.� The third section, �Into the Light,� is again somewhat faster.� The next two numbers are covers, respectively of Curved Air and ELP.� Here Ed Macan plays only the marimba.� With �Cheetah� I honestly prefer the original, which sounds a lot fuller.� As for �Infinite Space,� I am not acquainted with the original.

�Fanfare (for the House of Panorama)� opens powerfully and even resembles the jazz-rock side of the spectrum a little bit.� �Trisagion� tows itself laboriously forward, and then it is again time for a cover, of the classic �Mars,� the Bringer of War� from The Planets by the early twentieth century English composer Gustav Holst.� Although the public over time has come to interpret this piece as Holst�s rendering of the First World War, this is not the case.� Holst had never heard a machine gun and the sketches for this number originated during the War in 1914.� Although in the original a complete, expansive symphonic orchestra is used, this performance can truly sustain the test of criticism.� Ed Macan here plays, besides vibraphone, also marimba and piano.

Renate Methofer