Yes In the Present – Live from Lyon

With long-time frontman Jon Anderson bowing out for this round due to health issues, prog-rock mainstays Yes move forward, with Montreal singer Benoît David (plucked from Yes tribute band Close to the Edge) and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman (prodigal son of legend Rick Wakeman) joining forces with the vintage line-up of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White. No longer bound by Anderson's preferences, the band pull out some golden oldies, like "Tempus Fugit" and the beyond excellent "Machine Messiah," from 1980's much maligned Drama (which also featured neither Anderson nor Wakeman). "South Side of the Sky" and "Astral Traveller" (the latter with classic drum solo) are worth the price of the two-CD set alone, as their transfixing majesties are increased by extending their respective lengths by two minutes. David has no qualms about sounding exactly like Anderson, and his "Heart of the Sunrise" is by the numbers stunning. The band also have the wherewithal to attempt "Owner of a Lonely Heart," with mixed results, but the high harmonies of "Starship Trooper" will spellbind fans anew. Though the group's new studio album, Fly From Here, may be long in the tooth – last year's Rites at Dawn from Wobbler is the best Yes album Yes never made – In the Present holds more than enough promise to bring progressive rock to the next generation. (Frontiers)