Mike McLatchey 16-September-2002 Jonathan

Jonathan are another in the line of late 70s German progressive rock acts with dominant keyboards, similar, at least in approach, to groups like Schicke, Fuhrs & Frohling, Sirius, Zyma, Octopus, Streetmark and others, but resembling more an act like Age or Pythagoras due to their, primarily, keys (Helmut Grab) and drums (Peter Garattoni) lineup. They are probably closest to SFF (or even Fuhrs & Frohling) in that Jonathan are an instrumental duo, although their sound is generally less full than SFF and prone to the string synth sound of the late 70s and early 80s rather than the mellotrons and organs of their influences. The seven compositions, none particularly compelling here, range from the three minute "Waters" to the eight plus minute "Stormy Days" to make for a rather short effort. The keyboards dominate, naturally, as they are often doubled both by Grab and guest, and often there are parts with electric piano backing and synth lead fronts. Rhythmically, it tends to be fairly 70s fusion at times, particularly on the cuts "Funky's Visit" amd "Melotary," but for the most part the rhythms seem to be built around the keyboard lines, an approach similar to the US group Glass or an obscure French act like Ocarinah or Kha-Ym. Despite the tonal possibilities for (approximately) two keyboard players, this one-shot album tends to be limited to what was at hand, and unfortunately the tones, especially for the era, tend occasionally to the shrill and bright. It's not a surprise that the entirety doesn't gel well, considering the failings of the keys and drums line up in general. If there is any consolation, Jonathan tends to be one of the better of these, which is not saying much.

Links for further information