Much loved multi-instrumental progressive musician Peter Jones returns with his best known project, Tiger Moth Tales, to deliver his much anticipated brand new album ‘A Song of Spring’.
Peter, who is also keyboard player with Camel and Francis Dunnery’s It Bites tells us: “I’m cautiously excited about this album. Ha-ha. I think I’ve taken some interesting decisions (musically speaking), and the stories which inspired the writing process meant there was a lot to work with. I think this is a return to TMT form, which I hope the ‘mothingtons’ will enjoy.
Even as far back as the writing stages of ‘Cocoon’, I already had the idea in mind to do the Four Seasons thing, which started off with ‘The Depths of Winter’ in 2017. A fair few things have happened since then, to say the least.”
He adds: “I have a few albums in my head that I want to complete someday, but the time felt right to continue the Seasons saga. As with ‘The Depths of Winter’, I wanted to touch on both the lighter and darker sides, so it’s not all about the joys of spring. There’s some fairly grim stuff there to get your teeth in to.
It was a real pleasure to work with John and Elizabeth Holden on this album. I can normally come up with a few good tunes, but lyrics can sometimes be illusive. So it was wonderful to have some collaboration on some of these new songs. Tracks such as Rapa Nui and Light have some fantastic lyrics in there. It was also amazing to get a contribution from the one and only Andy Latimer on the latter track. I’m very pleased with it all and I can’t wait to see what people think of it.”
A new Tiger Moth Tales release is always a joyous occasion and this new album is no change. Peter Jones is a consummate musician and performer and has that knack of knowing how to write a catchy tune that just clicks. Take opening track Spring Fever another jaunty track that just oozes joy and the feel of the seasons changing, lighter mornings, hazy sunshine and a massive feeling of goodwill. Pete’s sax playing is just phenomenal and adds an added layer of class and a feel of 80’s jazz to proceedings. Forester, with its penny whistle, sees Peter take us back to his earlier works and that impish, at one with nature, fairytale brilliance that only Tiger Moth Tales can imbue. Don’t be fooled though, there is a bit of the dark forest shadows about this song too, very clever songwriting.
Dance Till Death definitely shows Peter’s darker side being, as it is, his take on Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring‘, which is based on about arcane rituals that revere the advent of spring in which a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. There’s not much light and joy in that as a subject is there? This song, however, is beautifully constructed, hypnotic and mesmeric, almost like a musical opiate. Deliciously dark and yet strangely euphoric in places, it really does stand out on an album full of superb tracks. John Holden wrote the lyrics to the Hindu Festival Of Light based Holi and it is a short but dynamic piece totally infused with that far eastern feel. The stunning, ethereal brilliance of The Goddess And The Green Man is another short piece, this time with the lyrics contributed by Holden’s wife, Elizabeth. Wistfully elegant piano and acoustic guitar contribute to one of the most endearing tunes you will hear.
Peter Jones’ can always inject a whimsical, humorous tune into his works and, on ‘A Song of Spring’, it’s the brilliant, tongue in cheek, capriciousness of Mad March Hare. These kinds of songs from Peter never fail to make me smile and the jolly sax and playful vocals help to deliver another moment of delight. It might just be me but, when the intro to Rapa Nui starts, I immediately think Led Zeppelin! Just me then? The staccato riff and energetic drums and bass combine to give a real hard rock rhythm to another John Holden penned track lyrically. Jones is on top form vocally and delivers a fantastically dextrous performance on what could be considered the most progressive track on the album and one that weaves its tale quite superbly.
Final track Light is about coping with the death of a partner and recovering, with the notion that the new season and curative powers of Spring will bring a sense of healing and of being thankful for the end of darkness and the end of Winter. Written by John and Elizabeth in conjunction with Peter, this song is utterly gorgeous, thoughtful and, ultimately, uplifting, bringing the album to a close with a stunning guitar solo from Andy Latimer.
Actually, to be truthful, it isn’t the final song as there is a bonus, hidden, track that starts about a minute after Light. A funky, heavily jazz infused, instrumental, Maytime could stand on its own as a really, really good piece of music but, tagged on at the end of the album as it is, it just seems a bit out of place to me!
‘A Song of Spring’ sees Peter Jones’ Tiger Moth Tales return with a triumphant collection of songs that touch on love, loss and everything in between but, ultimately this sublime album heralds the return of spring and celebrates the love of life itself.
Released 4th March, 2022.
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