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Modest Midget

The Great Prophecy review on Merling Prog. March 2010

This is Modest Midgets debut album, whose EP we praised earlier. Modest midget can be described as the missing link between The Beatles and Zappa. The first step towards this production was made by the means of a virtual fantasy of Modest Midget's undisputed front man, Lonny (Lionel) Ziblat. He ensures that the disc consists of a colourfull and great mix of styles that often relate to each other in quite unexpected ways. The experience of listenning to The great prophecy of a small man is mostly an experience of beauty, a positive experience, as it is delivered by a band that feels for the music.

This band from Amsterdam and The Netherlands, which is mostly famous for its beautiful tulips, delivers an album that has precisely that character, as the music is fairly prosperous and often very beautiful. Of the thirteen songs on this CD four were of the previously mentioned EP, but the remaining nine are in many ways a natural continuation of it. Tracks 3,6,8 and 11 were on the EP "Partial Exposure".

Those who might try to label the music of Modest Midget will find it to be quite an impossible task. The pop crowd will call it jazz, while the jazz crowd will call it rock, and the rock crowd will probably try to label it as “theatre music" or something to that extent. A sensitive ear might encounter a few hints, for characters as Bach, Strawinsky and Bizet are nicely spread and scattered within their repertoire.

The explanation for this may be that the band members have extremely different musical roots, maybe because of a so-called multicultural background. Some have worked with André Hazes, some with Kayak and some with Wouter Hamel, and they come from diverse destinations, inclduing Portugal, Holland, Poland, Israel, Argentina and Latvia. All the songs written by Lonny (Lionel) Ziblat, and the same man has arranged everything and produced the entire disc!

The strength of Ziblat is that he manages to integrate and unite all their musical stunts and brings it all to a whole which is very well done and that in addition often is very catchy, without compromising the high level of musical quality. An example is "Contemporary Ache" which mixes a Beatles vibe with classic tones and some ode to King Crimson in a song that has a tremendous drive and is extremely delicate. The next track, "Troubles In Heaven" is no less sophisticated and yet catchy in all its glory, and with the side effect that it easily attaches itself to your cerebral cortex.

A lot of craftsmanship has also gone into "Evollution", where Jewish music and old Prog Rock join forces in an impressive and successful manner. "The Great Prophecy Of A Small Man" is a disc where the simple and the sophisticated merge wonderfully, and in the hands of a skilled and strong band leader as Lonny Ziblat this record becomes a pleasant and exciting addition to our record collection this spring.”

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Modest Midget - The Great Prophecy of a Small Man

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