Frogg Cafe
Gig Seeker Pro

Frogg Cafe

Band Rock Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Progressive Rocking With Frogg Cafe"

I've been listening to a lot of Progressive Rock/Art Rock lately. I guess I've always been a prog head. Lately it's been bands like Ozric Tentacles (their site is under construction), Glass Hammer, The Flower Kings, IQ, Bubblemath (my current fave (their site is broken!)). I've been attending concerts put on by the New England Art Rock Society, held here in beautiful downtown Lowell, MA. Last night's was, as is typical, an incredible evening.

Frogg Cafe came to town and blew us all away. As I've now come to expect, virtuosity was the standard for the evening, without a hint of pomposity, and the perfect overabundance of fun. Bill Ayasse was a standout in my mind. His mastery of the violin brought to mind the best of Stephan Grappelli. I must confess to not knowing a lot about Jazz Violin (BTW, Mark Chung can teach you a lot on that score), but, as the overused saying goes, I know what I like.

Back to Frogg Cafe. I don't mean to slight anyone else in the band. Nick Lieto (lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards) rocked with preturnatural style and skill. He was magical. James Guarnieri (drums, percussion), Andrew Sussman (electric bass), Steven Uh (guitars, violin), all of these guys display jaw dropping mastery of their instruments. A great time was truly had by all. - Unconventionaut

"Frogg Cafe - Fortunate Observer of Time"

When most people think of jam bands they think of the groups that either appeal to the neo-hippie crowd or the college rock scene, but for Frogg Cafe, along with contemporaries such as Under the Sun or Revisor, the sporadic tendencies are set free throughout the musical explorations within the band’s compositions, this is one band that does not turn their back to an audience.

Frogg Café’s music is not your typical jam band or progressive rock group, these guys put a heavy influence of jazz, funk, and avant-garde Zappa inspired melodies along with diverse instrumentation that includes horns/brass, electric violins, mallets, and occasional ethnic percussion to provide a more left-of-center approach rather than just being a band that has their plethora of synthesizers and guitars, kind of like blending Kansas, Spock’s Beard, King Crimson, and with the horn arrangements, a little bit of Chicago (that’s very early Chicago folks, Chicago Transit Authority to be exact, back when they were a rock band).

Pushing the envelope in extended tracks such as “Abyss of Dissention,” which is an artsy composition filled with cocktail jazz, vocal harmonies, and the occasional crunch that really encompasses the listener into a musical journey. Another lengthy cut titled “Reluctant Observer” has a more emotional rock feel to it almost sounding like a long lost track from ‘Song for America,’ where like many extended tracks, you get the feeling that if this was a vinyl LP that we were listening to, the song would take up the whole side, not just for time allocation sake, but for the sake of where a certain track stands out on it’s own, where the side is a particular record unto itself.

The band also finds emotional sub-balladry within “No Regrets” and more straightforward prog-rock endurance with “Eternal Optimist,” showcasing the band’s ability to really play well-crafted songs with such intellectual appeal. So finally, somebody has come forth with a fresh sound that is distinguishable from all the rest. - Tommy Hash -

"Frogg Cafe - Fortunate Observer of Time"

Prolusion. FROGG CAFE is one of the most notable and most fruitful contemporary Prog Rock acts from the shores of the US (they're from the state of New York). The group was formed only five years ago, and yet, they have already four albums to their credit: "Frogg Cafe" (2001), "Creatures" (2004, review here), "The Fortunate Observer of Time" (2005, review below) and "Noodles" (2002, which is a live recording of free improvisations).

Analysis. Much like the band's previous studio effort, "Creatures", "The Fortunate Observer of Time" is a container of a wide variety of different musical styles, from mainstream Rock to the most eclectic forms of avant-garde music, though the said disciples are less typical for the album than those thus far unlisted. Let's go step by step. The opening song, Eternal Optimist, is indeed very affirmative in character and is the only immediately accessible track here. The music is a violin-driven 'stadium' Art-Rock with a distinctive American sound, much in the vein of Kansas circa "Audio-Visions" or "Vinyl Confessions", both vocally and instrumentally. The signs of Kansas's legacy can be also found on some other tracks, but mainly only in the vocal-based sections. The other points of reference include David Cross Band (which is not the same as King Crimson), Weather Report, Modern Jazz Quartet and Frank Zappa, though most of the material appears to be original, at least free of direct traces of influences. The instrumental title track follows the direction laid by (on!) the Eternal Optimist and also finds the violin playing mainly the first violin in the arrangements, the melody still being regarded as of paramount importance. However, this is full-fledged Art-Rock already, at times bordering on quasi Jazz-Fusion, due to the specific lines and measures provided by brass instruments and the rhythm section. There are only vocals and mandolin on the 1-minute Resign. Despite its shortness however, the song isn't meaningless, at least in words. In this respect, it matches well with the others, all being notable for a quite profoundly poetic content, which to a certain extent compensates the presence of repetitions in the vocal lines on some of them. Each of the other five tracks (and they run about 47 minutes!) is outstanding, incredibly demanding stuff, forcing you to fully concentrate to get into it, because otherwise you may be discouraged about the seemingly illogical alternation of melodic and eccentric arrangements, even the former being not as much transparent as they may seem to be. This music will never reveal to you its true essence upon the initial listen, even if you are a graduated Prog Fellow. Five members and five guests (among whom vibraphonist Edward Macan, the author of the book: "English Rock Music & The Counterculture", ex-Zappa, currently the chief of Hermetic Science) play various electric and acoustic, rock, jazz, chamber and percussion instruments, demonstrating their eventful solos and improvisations and bringing about a majestic polyphony. Reluctant Observer was destined to watch the strange meeting of refined Jazz-Fusion entities with angular aliens from the world of RIO. No Regrets and You're Still Sleeping are a fine American cocktail of Art-Rock, Swing and Avant-garde Jazz. Another instrumental, Release, is a chamber trio of cello, violin and flute, sliding carefully on the thin line between classical and avant-garde forms of Academic music. Although all these are remarkable, maybe the next to last track, Abyss of Dissension, is my favorite. This epic brings together all the components available on the other tracks, most of the vocal parts being performed in chorus with a strong operatic sense.


Frogg Cafe (2001)
Noodles (improv CDR) (2002)
Creatures (2003)
Fortunate Observer of Time (2005)
The Safenzee Diaries (2007)



Frogg Café is proud to announce the official release of a live double-CD titled The Safenzee Diaries on April 10, 2007. This new album features fourteen songs and over two hours of live music spanning from 2004-2006. This collection of music features somewhat of a crossover appeal into the jamband and jazz markets. The Safenzee Diaries captures a band that is internationally renowned for their live performances at their absolute best in a virtuoso display of showmanship. This comes on the heels of the success of Frogg Café’s studio release Fortunate Observer of Time (2005). Other discography includes 2001 self-titled debut Frogg Cafe (currently available as a re-mastered edition with a live bonus track), Noodles (2002) a straight improvisational album which captures a snippet of a four-hour jam session in the studio, and Creatures (2003).

The real Frogg Cafe experience comes when you witness this band performing live! Frogg Café tours extensively year-round. In the past two years, they have performed at The Knitting Factory (NYC), Towne Crier (Pawling, NY), Lizard Lounge (Boston), Nectar’s (Burlington, VT) where Page McConnell of Phish sat in on keyboards for a tune, Orion Sound Studios (Baltimore, MD), NEARfest (Northeast Art Rock Festival, PA), Prog in the Park Festival (Rochester, NY), and the NJProghouse Series (NJ). Frogg Café is also proud to announce their performance slot at CalProg in Whittier, California this May.

Frogg Café has spent the past year entertaining the prog and jamband fans alike. One year ago, Frogg Café was joined by Page McConnell, of Phish, on keys, for a scorching version of 2001 (Also Sprach Zarathrustra). Other recent projects include extensive gigging, including Bellstock, a jamband festival in Upstate New York, opening up for Ryan Montbleau, and signing on with 10 Tornado Records.

Frogg Café has shared the stage with noteworthy rock artists Page McConnell of Phish, Ryan Montbleau, Proto-Kaw featuring Kerry Livgren of Kansas, Dave Mason, the Dude of Life, and The Flower Kings. Legendary ex-Zappa percussionist Ed Mann took up the mallets for the 2004 Zappanale Festival in Germany.