Press

From Tales of Wonder Italy - September/04
Album: Scott Jacks - You Know Me By Now
Scott Jacks is a canadian musician from Vancouver, totally unknown to me until yesterday. Musically, he grew up playing classic piano, guitar and drums and taking inspiration from prog monsters like Camel, Gentle Giant and King Crimson. From 1982 to 1991 he played for First Aid and released two albums; then he started a solo project with an eponymous album in 1995 and the latest "You Know Me By Now" (2003).

The first album is a fine example of electronic pop music: "Another Time, Another Place" is a good opener but only from "Creative Arrogant Parasites" and "Open Letter To Someone" on, the album starts to take off. The listening is really relaxing even if the pop gradation of both vocal lines and drums is sometimes boring. The best tracks of the album are those where Scott tries (and can do it !!) to reach more symphonic lands with refined acoustic guitar melodies and good orchestrations. So , "Almost All The Time" sounds a-la Alan Parson Project , while "Sparkies" is closer to Camel productions of the eighties. Overall, a dignified debut.

"You Know Me By Now", released in 2003, keeps the same attitude of the first album but it's more ambitious and better built. Here we find a larger number of instruments and different styles mixed together. "Film Star" is a really attractive song played by Scott's piano (a-la Keith Emerson in the middle) and the flute of Holly Burke. Other beautiful songs are "Wintertime Blues" and "9 In Essence". As I told before, you can find so different styles: jazz, refined pop, some New Age and Folk traces. "To Michael Hedges" is a sweet acoustic guitar piece reminding me another canadian skilled guitarist: Rik Emmet.

No doubt, "You Know Me By Now" is a strong step ahead showing a Scott's good songwriting ability (less vocals ability). A musician to keep in mind …

- 60/100 - 70/100 - Luca Alberici

From Prognaut USA - August/04
Album: Scott Jacks - You Know Me By Now
I was first introduced to Scott Jacks’ music a few years ago when I reviewed two First Aid CDS. Aside from their slightly dated sound, it was very enjoyable to listen to.

Years later, I have the pleasure again of reviewing Scott’s works. This time, his second solo release You Know Me By Now. The music here is more on the soft side of the progressive genre mixed with the singer/songwriter qualities found in pop music. The music flows from the first to last track. Scott is both an amazing instrumentalist as well as a vocalist. This is a very good cd with very well written and executed songs. Unlike most modern and classic prog rock, this is something to listen to when in the company of the non prog lovers. Check this cd out soon.
- Ron Fuchs The review...


From The Georgia Straight(Vancouver) - June/04 (excerpt)
"... Scott Jacks brings an adult-contemporary sensibility to bear on his solo work. The multi-instrumentalist's second disc, You Know Me by Now, is replete with oceanic synth passages, cascading guitar figures, and twittering environmental sounds, making for an album that sounds like it was recorded next to a waterfall. Nonetheless, this LP ably showcases the recording skills of engineer Paul Siczek, who projects Jacks's accomplished playing against a dew-dappled landscape of echoes and sighs.
Chief among the achievements here is "Wintertime Blues", which recalls Brian Wilson's solo work in its use of multitracked harmonies and melancholic melodies..."
- Martin Turenne The full review...


From Progressive Ears (California) - April/04
Album: Scott Jacks - You Know Me By Now
"Today’s progressive music business, as we know, was spawned from the prog scene of the 1970s. From a business perspective, the two eras have precisely nothing in common. One of the important differences is the incredible technology available today at next-to-nothing prices, and the marketing opportunities created by the Internet. The only barriers to entering today’s music business are the artists’ own talent, imagination and hard work. That in turn means that a huge number of new artists are appearing, with varying degrees of talent, and sadly with only a small probability of success.

One of the lesser known artists who deserves recognition in today’s progressive business is Canada’s Scott Jacks. Scott is a long-time fan of the old-school masters including Camel, King Crimson and Gentle Giant, and those early influences show on You Know Me By Now.

At first listen it was easy to dismiss this as a so-so neo-prog effort, but it only took only one more listen to gain a deeper appreciation of Scott Jacks’s musicianship. Essentially a one-man act, Jacks is a capable multi-instrumentalist and a talented songwriter who penned the songs and played almost all of the instruments himself. Each song is well textured and some of the arrangements have an interesting classical orientation. But others, like This Tired old Face, have a, AOR / pop sound to them and probably have good commercial potential.

This is a song oriented melodic-prog album with 13 tracks spread over 50 minutes. The style of the music includes several nods to pop, and some jazzy influences such as the fusion noodling on in Essense. And except for the closing cut the music is mellow and predominantly acoustic. A few tracks are instrumentals, and may represent some of the stronger points on the album. Scott’s vocals are not the most consistent component of the music, but they are delivered with a soft relaxing tone reminiscent of Alan Parsons.

The acoustic guitar work is the predominant sound on this CD. It isn’t overly complex and brings a pleasant, melodic tone to the music. It is well complimented by pleasing keyboards and a simple bass line that is sensibly held far back in the mix - just enough to give it a solid foundation. And listen for Scott’s newest musical skill, the sitar.

There are hundreds of one-man acts on today’s progressive scene. Visit Scott Jacks’s web site and listen to some of the samples, and you’ll agree that he is one of the few who deserves to be heard."
- 3.75 of 5 - Duncan N Glenday


Another great review by Duncan Glenday appears at Progressive World (California) - March/04
Check it out!


From Vancouver Province (Canada) - January 13/04
Album: Scott Jacks - You Know Me By Now
"The latest by Scott jacks - yes, he is related to Terry - is his best. Jacks is a dedicated progressive-rock fan whose past releases have reflected that influence. Here, though, he has found a way to add warmth and intimacy to the mix with the result being very similar to the personable, personal quality achieved by ex-Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips. Such a comparison also means acceptance of Jacks' frail singing (also a Phillips trademark) but fans of the early Genesis will like the pastoral, gentle air of the CD and will appreciate some of its busy playing."
- *** of 5 - Tom Harrison


From Eufonia (Spain) - January 24/03
Album: Scott Jacks - self titled
"'A Hard Road To Peace' con los sonidos de piano y bajo (muy bien acoplados) comienza a acompañarse de coros y otros sonidos hasta llegar a una guitarra jazzeada y deslizada. Buen track que cede el paso a una balada pop que casi suena a ELO, afortunadamente aquí hablamos de Scott Jacks (lo siento, esta es de las que dejaría pasar en el control remoto) a piano, voz y sintetizadores: 'Almost All The Time'.

'Blend', muy sintética, corta se combina con una guitarra acústica haciendo un blend bien logrado. Muy buena!!! y da paso a otra excelente y corta canción, con la interpretación vocal que más me agradó: 'Royal Syrian Thyme' muy acústica... ojalá Jacks explore más por este rumbo."

- Ciro Velázquez Full Review here (Revisión Completa Aquí)


From Axiom of Choice (Netherlands) - January 16/02
Album: Scott Jacks - self titled
"...tends to King Crimson, but friendlier...A strumming acoustic guitar makes for a Floydian feel on the easy going Royal Syrian Thyme."
- Jurriaan Hage Full Review here

Album: First Aid - Coelacanth Ale
tends to King Crimson, but friendlier
- Jurriaan Hage Full Review here


From Prog4You (USA) - December 12/01
Scott Jacks  - 7/10
"...in the same league as the Alan Parsons Project and Saga and even influences from the Police. ...it is a very good CD.  I liked it and you will too."
( - George Roldan Full Review here)

First Aid - Coelacanth Ale  6/10
"If your taste in music is more towards the fusion side of prog, this is right up your alley. The music generally has no boundaries, which I found enjoyable."
(  - Thomas Connolly Full Review here


From ProgNaut (USA) - October 08/01
Album: First Aid - Coelacanth Ale
"...one of those unsung bands of Canadian rock music history and they do deserve to be noticed!"
- Ron Full Review here

Album: First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward
"First Aid's musicianship is very good throughout their debut disc..."
- Ron Full Review here


From Strutter Magazine (Holland) - April 29/01
Albums: First Aid (Independent)
First Aid is a Canadian band and their two CDs are filled with high quality instrumental progressive melodic rock that sounds like Saga meets Rush with some 80s Yes influences added for the pleasure. I really like both their albums, of which 'Coelacanth Ale' is the new CD of the band. Not all the songs are instrumental, because there are also some tracks with vocals on it, such as the uptempo pomp/progressive rocker "Take It on the Amber" (a song that sounds like IQ and Rush). Also with vocals is the progressive rocker "City Lights", a bit light but a definite winner for fans of Saga and Rush. Most of the instrumental songs sound pretty good and my favourites among those are "Fraternizing with the Enemy", "Fallen Czar", "Is Bigger Better?", "Waiting", "15/16", "Because You Need Me" and "Ice Age". This band really has a great sound and fans of mentioned band should really check out this First Aid. Leader of the band is keyboard player Scott Jacks. He has also released a solo-album back in 1995, but that album is a bit too 'pop' orientated for me and has nothing to do with Progressive Rock (except for the opener "Another Time Another Place" that tends to sound like the 70s sympho pop/rock of Kayak). But First Aid has released two great albums, 'Stumbling Boldly Forward' in 1991 and 'Coelacanth Ale' in 2000, and those records are a must for progressive rock fans.
Points: 8.0 out of 10
Strutter Magazine
http://www.angelfire.com/ma/strutteraor 


C-FOX Radio, Vancouver 
Album: Scott Jacks - self titled
"I always found First Aid' to be a bit pretentious, but I like Scott's solo c.d. It reminds me of a cross between Brian Eno and Alan Parsons."
- Tom Harrison


Nite Moves
Album: First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward
"You’ll never get an ooo baby out of us," says First Aid drummer and Mad Artist Dave Coupland. You won’t hear it because they’re an instrumental band; they don’t have a vocalist. The only rock-instrumental band in the city, very 'heavy rock ‘n roll.' Coupland describes the music as a cross between "Led Zeppelin and Mozart," the closest thing to art you can get in rock ‘n roll.
Coupland’s first love is music, but you may be familiar with his artwork around the city. He paints under the banner of the Mad Artists. (They have recently been commissioned to paint the inside of Club Soda).
Back to the music - for those who can’t imagine a progressive rock band without the over-emphasized vocalist, imagine Yes without Jon Anderson...Sound better? Derek Mason’s guitar playing is the only vocals this band requires. According to Coupland, "He can bend the notes this way and that way and they sing." Scott Jacks on keyboards (no bass), can orchestrate the sounds of a million voices around the dynamics of the trio.
So after the Yes concert, drop by Soda to hear the Next Generation. Or there’s any number of dates and venues to choose from in the month of May.
- Nite Moves, May 1991


The Vancouver Province
Album: First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward
First Aid is both volubly Canadian and a ‘70s-style progressive rock band. Its primarily instrumental LP, Stumbling Boldly Forward, is enlivened by excerpts of speeches and other source tapes used to make their own comment on politics and religion, but the group really finds itself on the tongue-in-cheek knock-off 'Hockey Night in Tarkus', where Emerson Lake and Palmer meet Don Cherry.
- Tom Harrison


Georgia Strait
Album: First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward
What’s the most Canadian tune you can think of, the song that best captures the essence of what Canuckdom’s all about? Chances are good that is would be a Stompin’ Tom Connors song, since he’s about as Canadian as they get. Then again, Tom Cochrane - who clobbered maybe-just-a-teenie-weenie-bit-less-Canadian Bryan Adams at the Junos this year - was on the right track with his bitter-sweet ode to pucking around 'Big League.'
But there’s still one other little ditty that warms the hearts of people all across this great land: the stirring brass introduction to Hockey Night in Canada. The members of First Aid know this, and that’s why they mixed that TV theme in with the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer to create 'Hockey Night in Tarkus.' According to the notes on the band’s new CD, Stumbling Boldly Forward, the track was recorded "live off the floor, 4:00 a.m., with beers at Ocean Sound." Now that’s Canadian.
"We just went into Ocean and did an all-night burn," explains First Aid guitarist Derek Mason. "It just sorta happened."
First Aid’s clever take on the Hockey Night in Canada theme is about as commercial-sounding as the band gets, though, and Mason and his mates - keyboardist Scott Jacks and drummer Dave 'Mad Artist' Coupland - are aware of the difficulties an instrumental rock band faces in light of today’s vocal-oriented music biz.
"We could have looked for a singer," says Mason, "or tried to get a kind of format that could sell records, but it’s kind of like political thing between us, because this is what we really like to do. We can’t cater to a typical market, because we’d lose that personal connection."
The nine songs on Stumbling Boldly Forward cover a lot of musical ground, and the band incorporates samples of everything from strip-bar announcers to TV evenagelists to get their messages across. At first listen, the band sounds a bit like an instrumental version of Rush, or maybe - with Mason’s powerful fretwork - Joe Satriani. But Mason claims that his trio is too "self-indulgent" to emulate any particular technical style or approach.
"Our intention is just to do what we want, because we’re trying to move ourselves."
A lot of different band members have travelled through the ranks of First Aid during the years, even before the current line-up came together in 1986.
"It’s been kind of like a club," chuckles Mason. "If you were eccentric enough and demented enough - and willing to sacrifice your personal well-being - you could join."
So far, the band has had its new music played on CiTR, and Mason is hopeful that Coast 1040 will follow suit. He acknowledges that getting airplay for the new CD is his band’s current goal.
"I’m hopin’ that people have the opportunity to hear it," he says, "because I’ve played it to a few people already, and they’re really struck by some parts of it. We figure that if it moved us, it’ll probably move somebody else who’s looking for something kind of eccentric. It’s almost like a test."
- Steve Newton, Local Motion


Rock Report, Amsterdam 
Album: First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward
"Canada is still the synonym for Rush. Strangely enough, there are few other groups with enough talent to place a spot on the top. Therefore this cut had to go as RR even though it was produced in 1991. Something to notice right away is the rigid structures of the songs.
The first cut, "Fallen Czar", is quick, funky with enough time changes to keep you interested. Of course we are dealing with a trio and therefore we question, 'Is Bigger Better?'
- John 'Bo Bo' Bollenberg, Rock Report, Amsterdam 

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