The Tangent is an international progressive rock supergroup formed in 2002 by keyboardists Andy Tillison and Sam Baine of Parallel or 90 Degrees and The Flower Kings guitarist Roine Stolt, bassist Jonas Reingold, and drummer Zoltan Csörsz. The septet was completed by renowned saxophonist David Jackson of Van Der Graaf Generator and multi-instrumentalist Guy Manning. Since 2003 amid several personnel changes the band has released four studio albums and two live albums, played concerts and festivals in the USA, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and France.
The Tangent has an improbable history and numerous changes in personnel. In May 1999, Andy Tillison and Sam Baine's band Parallel or 90 Degrees did a Classic Rock Society gig at Rotherham supporting Swedish band The Flower Kings. Neither band had heard of the other.
While writing the next Parallel or 90 Degrees album, More Exotic Ways To Die, Tillison began to filter out certain ideas that were more overtly "prog" in nature and pass them over to what he called a "solo album". Inspired by the Flower Kings albums he was now listening to on an hourly basis, he decided to separate his "prog" from his rock, and the result was a Parallel or 90 Degrees album stripped of much of the flowery style of progressive music which suited that band's cause well.
This 'left over' music was put to one side until Tillison had a row with Flower Kings crew member Ian Oakley. "I made the fatal mistake of slagging Po90 off in a review of that first concert the bands played together," remembers Oakley. "I was obviously reviewing the Flower Kings, and I'd not in honesty paid that much attention to Po90's set. I guess what I wrote must have looked a bit dismissive, just a couple of lines about them. I got this mail from Andy that tore me to bits. I wrote back and told him it was the actually the very first review I'd ever written. He wrote back to me and apologised, we started to talk a lot about prog music, discovered we had a lot in common, and he sent me this CD of demos he'd been sitting on. Suffice to say I am now the Tangent's manager..."
Oakley sent Tillison's demo to Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings. Stolt liked it, offered to play on it, invited Jonas Reingold and Zoltan Csorsz to help out on drums and bass and suggested adding a saxophonist. Tillison happened to know David Jackson's telephone number.
The resulting album, The Music That Died Alone , was welcomed by the progressive rock community and the band won 'Best newcomer', 'Best artwork', 'Best debut' and 'Album of the year' in nearly every worldwide progressive rock poll. Each subsequent album has achieved similar acclaim.
Though the original line-up has changed significantly, Tillison remains the driving force behind the band, and they have of late branched out from the usual symphonic prog format to include jazz, funk, Canterbury scene, electronica, and a variety of other styles.
For early 2007, The Tangent released a double live CD and DVD on InsideOut Records, "Going Off On One". The material was taken from recordings of their recent UK shows and some of the ROSfest USA recordings. The album features music from all three studio albums. The line up for the band featured Swedes Jonas Reingold, Krister Jonsson and Jaime Salazar and Brits Andy Tillison, Sam Baine and Theo Travis on all tracks and Guy Manning on the UK based tracks.
In 2007 a new variant line up of The Tangent was started: a trio consisting of Jonas Reingold, Andy Tillison and Jaime Salazar. Their live shows will be advertised and promoted as "The Tangent presents: Tillison, Reingold, & Salazar" and will feature new music, familiar Tangent favorites in a new arrangement, and - although no details are given - the trio are planning a full performance of a "major, well loved progressive rock classic". This could also be accompanied by a limited independent band release of a new studio version of said "progressive rock classic".
Early 2008 saw the next full blown Tangent album Not as Good as the Book released (on Insideout), featuring new guitarist Jakko Jakszyk. However, for a series of live dates in Europe in Spring 2008, the band performed as a quartet with Andy Tillison, Jonas Reingold, Jaime Salazar and the return of guitarist Krister Jonsson. Jaksyzyk and Theo Travis guested with the band on selected dates.
A new statement issued by Andy Tillison on the Tangent Email Forum on June 30, 2008 gives the information that The Tangent will not work with the Malmö based trio (Jonsson, Reingold, Salazar) for the next tours/records. The replacement musicians will be the four members of Swedish progressive rock band Beardfish. Tillison also stated that both bands "will continue to exist, record and perform in their own right" and that the "lineup will still be variable at concerts depending on location, budget etc." This makes The Tangent being now an 8-piece band, something completely new to them.
This happened to be as The Tangent met Beardfish in their last tour together. Tillison was invited to guest in one of Beardfish performances and felt the need to work with them. At that time (and prior to that), Reingold "couldn't see a development within the band", this fact culminating with his (and the other two Swedish members) leaving the band, which was confirmed by recent statements made by him. Rikard Sjöblom from Beardfish also made statements confirming the new union band.
The new line-up debuted by headlining at the UK's Summer's End festival in September 2008