The B-52's were one of the great new wave bands, one of the ones who defined the style and cut one of the great records of their time (their eponymous debut), an outfit who maintained a dedicated following even as they fell off the radar of critics and hipsters, a group who overcame a tragic loss (guitarist Ricky Wilson) to make a startling, unpredictable comeback that launched them beyond college radio and to the top of the pop charts. It's a hell of a story, even if the final act was decidedly anticlimatic (after one follow-up to the Cosmic Thing comeback, 1992's Good Stuff, the group essentially disappeared apart from an embarrassing version of the Flintstones theme for the 1993 big-screen adaptation), and they're easily one of the more legendary bands of their time.
A new, larger version of Camel debuted on Nude, a concept album about a Japanese soldier stranded on a deserted island during World War II and staying there, oblivious to the outside world, for 29 years. More ambitious than the preceding I Can See Your House from Here, Nude is in many ways just as impressive. Although it's a less accessible effort, it has a number of quite intriguing passages, particularly since it boasts heavier improvisation, orchestration, and even some worldbeat influences. It's not as spacy as Camel's earlier progressive rock records, yet it is quite atmospheric, creating its own entrancing world.
There is a lot of music on this set, including the 30-minute "Oasis." This is a Live at the Village Vanguard recording by pianist Keith Jarrett and his European quartet (Jan Garbarek on soprano and tenor, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen). The pianist very much dominates the music but Garbarek's unique floating tone on his instruments and the subtle accompaniment by Danielsson and Christensen are also noteworthy.