Jon Anderson is probably best known for his work with Yes and Vangelis in the 1980’s. The name might escape you, but I guarantee you would recognize his voice.  At least one critic has accused him of inhaling helium to get the unique sound that he creates.

Live From La La Land is a double CD that showcases Jon’s abilities outside of the all powerful Yes. I believe it was recorded in 2004 at the Roxbury in Los Angeles. A smaller venue, and Jon with a much smaller band than normal. This does not prevent him from pulling from the Yes and Vangelis play book, it is just a different rendition. A lot less electonica, and a whole lot more acoustic.

The mega bands of the late 70’s had become somewhat distanced from their fans, it is great to see seasoned performers like Jon Anderson move back to simpler roots, smaller venues, and less reliance on 50 ton’s of electronic paraphernalia. The music actually loses little, and in fact may gain some new fans. Punk killed Prog, but Prog is fighting back, not a week goes by without some Prog Rock hitting my doorstep, and it is exciting.

For those of you that are fixated about the track list, yes he plays Long Distance Runaround and Roundabout, he opens with one and closes with the other. In between we get a truly eclectic mixture. I have been a fan for many years, and he does a great job, Jon Anderson is one of the great musicians of the past 40 years, and yet in many ways has been ignored by the press.

Over the years Jon has maintained a pretty low profile, and based on the state of the press today, that is likely a wise decision. Being popular today just seems to be a magnet to trouble.

I really enjoyed Live From La La Land, and you can get your own copy from MVD.

Simon Barrett  

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