Eureka' is an exclamation used to celebrate a discovery. It's a transliteration of a word attributed to Archimedes. He reportedly proclaimed Eureka! when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose. All of a sudden he understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his submerged body. This meant that the volume of irregular objects could be measured with precision, a previously intractable problem. He's said to have been so eager to share his discovery that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse.
Eureka is also the name of a musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert, who made some name with his latest release Shackleton's Voyage (2009). What this German musician achieved on this album, dealing with Sir Ernest Shackleton's voyage to Antarctica, was pretty amazing. Especially if you take into consideration that he played most of the instruments, like the keyboards and the guitars. On this album, it's obvious that he had been inspired by Mike Oldfield, the famous British multi-instrumentalist, especially as far as the guitar parts are concerned. Also traces of a band like Iona are noticeable, but that's evident since Uilllean pipes specialist Troy Donockley played some whistles and pipes on this album.
However, Mr. Bossert released much more amazing albums in the past that are worthwhile listening to. I realized this when I got a copy of his latest release Silverware, The Best Of Eureka 1997-2010. As the title already indicates this isn't an album containing new material, though some tracks were re-recorded and Solid Ground is a new and previously unreleased piece opening the album. This track has the same high quality level as the material on Shackleton's Voyage, which can be seen as the backbone for this compilation since four tracks that follow the opening piece have all been taken from that album. These tracks had several special guest appearances such as Troy Donockley, but also Billy Sherwood (ex- Yes, vocals) and Yogi Lang (RPWL, synthesizers). A fine selection of tracks taken from his earlier efforts, show that Bossert is a fine composer who blends his songs with influences of world-music. The songs taken from Eureka (1997), The Full Circle (2002) and The Compass Rose (2005) show all kinds of musical elements from countries as Australia, Africa, Ireland and Spain. Together with his fine keyboard work and the guitaristic Oldfield-influences he created a great number of strong compositions. The fourteen tracks on Silverware are all of a high level and it made me curious to Eureka's previous recorded albums. I can hardly imagine that they're mediocre or even bad! Frank Bossert is a musical talent and he should be in the spotlight more often.
I've got no negative remarks whatsoever about Silverware - The Best Of Eureka 1997-2010. Well, you might say that he had been influenced a bit too much by Mike Oldfield, but nowadays it's very difficult to create music without being influenced by all the bands and artists that put progressive rock music on the map. So I can only be positive about this great compilation album. It will put Frank Bossert in the spotlights which he certainly deserves!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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