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Long Tall J: A Progressive Rock Journey.


**Early Life and Musical Roots**


Long Tall J is a Dutch progressive rock musician and producer currently based in London. His journey in music began in the Netherlands, where he played in several bands, including the Harley Street Band and Boa in Groningen, as well as Naga, the Curtis Darby Band, and the Menski Band in Delft and The Hague. His early experiences in these bands laid the groundwork for his later musical explorations and proficiency in various rock genres.


**Hiatus and Return to Music**


In 1996, Long Tall J took a significant break from his music career to focus on a profession in commercial aviation. However, the call of music was too strong to ignore, and in 2016, after a 20-year hiatus, he returned to the musical scene. The advent of digital home recording technology facilitated his comeback, allowing him to produce and record music from his home studio.


**Musical Style and Influences**


Long Tall J's music is a rich tapestry of progressive rock (prog), melodic rock, and occasionally funk and world music. His compositions are known for their intricate layers and melodic depth, heavily influenced by prog rock pioneers such as David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Andy Latimer of Camel, and Steve Hackett of Genesis. Additionally, modern artists like Riverside, Big Big Train, and Steven Wilson have also impacted his style. Long Tall J's guitar work is especially notable for its precision and emotive quality, often treating his lead guitar parts as “a song within a song”.


**Discography and Collaborations**


Long Tall J made his official recording debut with the album "Albatross" in February 2020. Since then, he has released several albums, including "2020" and "The Spire," which have garnered critical acclaim for their originality and technical prowess. His most recent album, "Solidarity," released on March 1, 2024, features collaborations with nine musicians, seven of whom are from Ukraine, adding diverse textures to his music.


**Critical Reception**


Critics have praised Long Tall J for his ability to blend classic and contemporary prog rock elements seamlessly. Reviews highlight his exceptional guitar skills, compositional talent, and the emotional resonance of his music. Publications like House of Prog, the DPRP and Strutter Magazine lauded his albums for their intricate arrangements and the warmth they convey.


**Philosophy and Legacy**


Long Tall J approaches his music with a philosophy inspired by the legendary B.B. King: "Play what you like to hear." This principle is evident in his dedication to melody and his meticulous approach to guitar playing. His work continues to resonate with fans of progressive rock and stands as a testament to his enduring passion for music.


Long Tall J has carved out a distinctive niche in the progressive rock landscape, drawing from his rich musical heritage and modern influences to create a sound that is both timeless and innovative. His journey from early band experiences through a career hiatus and back into the music world is a testament to his resilience and unyielding dedication to his craft.

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