Title - 'Living in the Gap + Hungarian Pictures' [2CD]
Artist - Mandoki Soulmates
L.A.-based indie label Cleopatra Records and Hungarian-born songwriter/producer/musician Leslie Mandoki, the mastermind behind the living, breathing art rock project Mandoki Soulmates, have just released the first full-length album since the two entities joined forces earlier this year.
Coming out on Cleopatra’s venerated progressive rock imprint, Purple Pyramid, home to such artists as Nektar, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind-alumni project Hawkestrel, and Rick Wakeman, the album entitled Living In The Gap + Hungarian Pictures is actually a double album adding the 45-minute Prog Rock suite Hungarian Pictures, based on a musical concept by Deep Purple’s Jon Lord and ELP’s Greg Lake, to the original Living In The Gap album.
As with his other projects under the Mandoki Soulmates banner, Leslie Mandoki has brought together a Murderer’s Row of rock icons and musicians from some of the biggest names in prog and classic rock including Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson plus current and former members of Toto, Cream, Supertramp, ELP, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and the list goes on!
The coming together of such a diverse cast perfectly expresses the album’s lyrical theme of unity, which couldn’t be a more timely message for today’s world.
Living in the Gap:
1. 'Living in the Gap'
2. 'Young Rebels'
3. 'Turn the Wind'
4. 'Where We Belong'
5. 'Let the Music Show You the Way'
6. 'Too Much Pride'
7. 'Old Rebels'
8. 'Welcome to Real Life'
9. 'Hottest Queen of Cool'
10. 'Wake Up'
11. 'Mother Europe'
12. 'I'm Not Your Enemy'
1. 'Sessions in the Village'
2. 'Utopia for Realists'
3. 'Transylvanian Dances'
4. 'You'll Find Me in Your Mirror'
5. 'Return to Budapest'
7. 'The Torch'
Opening with the pulsating one-two AOR punch of the title track 'Living in the Gap,' this concept double album about tribalism continues on seamlessly with the lush mid-tempo flow of both 'Young Revels' and 'Turn the Wind,' with the beautiful ballad 'Where We Belong' and the heartfelt and meaningful, acoustic guitar ballad 'Let the Music Show You the Way' along next.
For 'Too Much Pride' the band wander effortlessly into their jazz mode, and that's followed by the mid-tempo, foot-tappin' 'Old Rebels,' the sax-led 'Welcome to Real Life,' and then both the finger-snappin' hipsway of 'Hottest Queen of Cool' and the quite brilliant pop funk flow of 'Wake Up.'
Featuring flute work and vocals from Jethro Tull's very own Ian Anderson, the world historically slipping through our hands yearning of 'Mother Europe' is up next with the first album coming to a close with the Hammond vs. guitar masterpiece 'I'm Not Your Enemy.'
The second disc, Hungarian Pictures, opens with the dulcet piano and percussion work of 'Sessions in the Village,' and follows that up with the shoulder-to-shoulder, gently euphoric sway 'Utopia for Realists,' the near 20 minute 'Transylvanian Dances' and the soulful rhapsody of 'You'll Find Me in Your Mirror.'
This beautiful album then rounds out with the delicate, Sting-esque renderings of 'Return to Budapest,' the drum and percussion-led, all out musical behemoth 'Barbaro,' before coming to a close on the thought-provoking 'The Torch.'
If you are lucky enough to get the Box-Set Limited Deluxe Edition of this release, which features an expansive, glossy and oh-so colorful (and heavy) book along with both the vinyl 2LP and 2CD editions, trust me when I say that you will be experiencing a little bit of Heaven, my friends.
As for the overall release, Mandoki himself explains in the album’s video trailer (click link below), “We know that music is the greatest unifier…[These are] songs against division, from the old rebels to the young rebels. This is our time to take a breath for a better world.”
Watch the Entire Album Trailer Here!
Having already topped the Amazon Classic Rock Charts in Germany, Living In The Gap + Hungarian Pictures is poised to bring a whole new audience in North America, South America, the UK and beyond into the Soulmates’ family of fanatics.
LESLIE MANDOKI – vocals, drums, percussion & udu
BOBBY KIMBALL – vocals
CHRIS THOMPSON – vocals
IAN ANDERSON – vocals & flute
JACK BRUCE – vocals & bass
PETER MAFFAY – vocals
NICK VAN EEDE – vocals
DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS – vocals
JULIA MANDOKI – vocals
AL DI MEOLA – guitars
MIKE STERN – guitars
RANDY BRECKER – trumpet & flügelhorn
ADA BRECKER – tenor & soprano saxophone
BILL EVANS – tenor & soprano saxophone
JOHN HELLIWELL – tenor, soprano, alto saxophone & clarinet
TILL BRÖNNER – trumpet
CORY HENRY – Hammond, piano & Rhodes
SIMON PHILLIPS – drums
TONY CAREY – vocals, Hammond & piano
JESSE SIEBENBERG – vocals
RICHARD BONA – bass & vocals
STEVE BAILEY – 6-string fretless bass
Amazon 2CD Purchase Link
Amazon Digital Purchase Link