Keep your Lane

Brand new album by

“Van Der Graaf Generator’s David Jackson keeps on ‘trucking’ with percussionist & producer René van Commenée

Talking Elephant Records – TECD488


Get ‘Super Audio’ download and booklet from:

David Jackson’s Bandcamp page
René van Commenée’s Bandcamp page

The album is uploaded as 24/96 Hi Res Audio (SUPER AUDIO). If you choose FLAC – it is not converted! 

Talking Elephant Records is delighted to announce the release of Keep Your Lane by David Jackson and René van Commenée.  

The album includes a new instrumental recreation and orchestration of ‘Pioneers over c’, the Van der Graaf Generator (VdGG) classic track from the 1970’s album ‘H to He Who Am The Only One’. Now titled ‘Pioneers over c, 2023’ is a homage to that elusive track that has only ever been played live once. It features the virtuoso Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass.

David Jackson and René van Commenée have known each other for many years, often collaborating on gigs. That friendship and their live performances led to the release of a live CD – Batteries Included in 2003. Jackson also worked with René’s project ‘Mr Averell’. This new recording, which began during the covid lockdown, is the duo’s first studio album. In the course of reviewing some previously laid down musical pieces David Jackson began re-working arrangements and orchestration – developing new ideas. When he shared some tracks with René the project brought together two formidable virtuosos. Commenée began adding new production ideas and new parts from his astonishing collection of instruments. That collaboration blends their individual talents into a soundscape of overlaying styles and tempos capturing jazz vibes rock and folk. 

Together the duo has created a suite of complex arrangements and multi-tracking with Jackson’s trademark sax and flute interspersed with van Commenée’s percussion. Sometimes the pair appear to ride along parallel paths – then they collide into a bewildering crescendo of layers and sound evoking every mood from big band to medieval pageantry (on Hills of The North) to the esoteric wild escapism mixing time signatures, keys, distorted sounds and voice (on Pinball Potter). Adding to this array of musical styles is the final track – ‘Felona’ which captures an air of almost pastoral simplicity. Drawn from the ideas that Jackson, with Peter Hammill prepared for VdGG’s Italian friends ‘Le Orme’ for their 1973 English version of ‘Felona e Sorona’, Jackson’s sessions were timed-out, but they were not forgotten and have been reworked especially for this album.

Keep Your Lane was originally just the working title for the album but has proved to be the perfect title for the pair who were both professional drivers earlier in their careers! Their collaboration reflects why Jackson’s musical input was such an intrinsic part of Van der Graaf Generator– and shows that his creativity and inspirations still have even more to offer.


01. Eternal Caravans – 5:08
music by Andrea Chimenti, David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson flutes, saxes & keys; René van Commenée, percussion, drums

02. Garden Shed – 4:08 (a homage to Clive Jones of Black Widow)
music by Clive Jones, Andrew Keeling, David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson saxes & keys; René van Commenée, percussion, drums 

03. Bird’s Lament – 2:35
music by Moondog (Louis Hardin), arr. David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson saxes, flutes & keys; René van Commenée, percussion, drums and sound design

04. Gateway – 4:07
music by David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson flutes & saxes; René van Commenée, percussion, drums, synths and sound design; Dorie Jackson on backing vocals

05. Waving at Strangers – 3:52
music by Andrew Keeling, David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée, percussion, drums; Andrew Keeling on guitars

06. Gridlocked – 3:58
music by René van Commenée, David Jackson & John Ellis
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée, percussion, drums; John Ellis on rhythm & bass guitars.

07. Hills of the North – 2:34
music by Martin Shaw (1875 –1958): arr. by David Jackson & René van Commenée
David Jackson sopranino sax & keys; René van Commenée, strings & winds, orchestral percussion, lithophone & production

08. Get a Grip – 5:25
music by René van Commenée and David Jackson
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée modified Cuica, drums and sound design

09. Kōzokudōro – 1:38
music by René van Commenée and David Jackson
David Jackson flutes; René van Commenée drums, tuned percussion & sound design

10. Pinball Potter – 4:53
music by René van Commenée, David Jackson and Colin Edwin
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée drums, tuned percussion, synths, samples & sound design; Colin Edwin on fretless bass guitars & FXs

11. JankLanzCom Haiku – 3:43
music by Bernardo Lanzetti, David Jackson and René van Commenée
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée drums & percussion,

12. Pioneers over c, 2023 – 10:28
music by David Jackson and Peter Hammill: arranged by David Jackson and René van Commenée
David Jackson flutes, saxes & keys; René van Commenée drums &percussion, synths, strings and sound-design; Colin Edwin on fretless bass guitar & ebo

13. Felona – 3:48
music by Tony Pagliuca, Aldo Tagliapietra & Gian Piero Reverberi (Felona e Sorona 1973): arranged by David Jackson and René van Commenée
David Jackson saxes & flutes; René van Commenée drums & percussion, tubular bells, organ, synths and sound design


Release date: Friday 2 February 2024
Artist: David Jackson and René van Commenée
Album Title: Keep Your Lane
Label: Talking Elephant Records
Barcode: 5028479048823
Cat no: TECD488


‘If you’re a fan of intricate music full of expression and inventiveness that showcases the best of jazz fusion and epic progressive rock then go no further, your search is over. A more eclectic album you will be lucky to find this year and I really enjoyed it.’ – Prog Radar [read full review]

‘Overall, the album is a great listen. The musicians themselves are in fine form and the album just highlights what a special musician David Jackson really is…’ – Darren Charles, Musique Machine [read full review]

‘Jackson is immaculate throughout, but it’s the arrangements and intertwining between instruments that make this album the experience it becomes. Moods arrive thick and fast… and the ground covered on Keep Your Lane isn’t just impressively wide, but it also ensures you stay locked in throughout’ – Steven Reid, Sea of Tranquility [read full review]

Keep Your Lane unveils a rich tapestry of tracks… a reminder of Jackson’s enduring legacy in progressive music and a showcase of the creative synergy between him and van Commenée.’ Album review by The Prog Yak, Progradio [read full review]

‘…an eerily majestic, almost orchestral space where shivers down the spine are the dynamic order of the day’, Dmitry M. Epstein [read full review]

‘… here’s another album that should be devoured by the classic Prog audience’ – At The Barrier – Mike Ainscoe [read full review]

The single offers a tantalizing window into the full-length version of the track that features on the duo’s forthcoming album Keep Your Lane. At The Barrier – ‘Gateway Radio Mix’ – Mike Ainscoe [read full review]

‘The rich soundscape is truly unique. The thrilling performance is similar to VdGG and is recommended for fans of the band!’ – Disk Union (Japan) [read full review]

Jerry Ewing, PROG – [read full review]

‘… and the results are extremely interesting’, Let it Rock [read full review]

‘Take nothing for granted. Surprises lurk around every curve… an album that takes your eardrums on unexpected mind excursions.’ – Andrew Darlington, RnR Magazine

‘crammed with invention… a beguiling, disquieting world’ – Daryl Easlea, Mojo Magazine

‘energetic and otherworldly workouts’ …. ‘van Commenée’s rich sonorous sound design holding the thrumming threads together’ – The style and approach has much in common with London jazz-electronica blasters ‘The Comet Is Coming’ as well as ‘Soft Machine’; Colin Edwin makes himself known via the evil sub-bass on Pinball Potter! – JK, Prog Magazine

‘It is the melodies which make this such a standout release… relax into the album from the beginning, as there is a great deal on here to discover and enjoy.’ – Kev Rowland in Rezonatz [read full review], Progressor [read full review], and Gonzo Weekly 601/2

‘I have to say that it’s thoroughly enjoyable! I love it! Noted guests on the album are Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), John Ellis (Stranglers, Vibrators, Hammill, Gabriel), Andrew Keeling, and Jaxon’s daughter Dorie with a vocal contribution. Overall, this album is a great achievement – I’ll be listening to it often.’ – Jim Christopulos (Chicago)

‘ALL the tracks on the album are magical… ‘ – Tammo Heikens (The Netherlands), writing on facebook

‘I’ve listend to KyL….incredibly powerful horns, dancing flutes and a master of percussion… great music and a stunning new version of Pioneers over c!’ – Manfred Knoop (Germany)

‘Many years ago I was lucky enough to do some recording work for two of my heroes and musical millipedes par excellence, David Jackson and René van Commenée. I was absolutely tickled pink to receive this a while ago…. and what a lovely CD it is…. witty, intelligent, progressive and full of musical fun. Great to hear the reworking of the Van Der Graaf Generator classic ‘Pioneers over c, 2023′, although the track I keep coming back to is “Gateway”. Thank you so much gents – and being called a “crucial part of the DJ/RvC story” is one compliment that will stay with me.’ – Odilon Marcenaro (The Netherlands)

‘Super good record!’ – Benjamin Herman (famous Dutch saxophonist)

‘Great stuff! I think my favourite tracks are ‘Garden Shed’, ‘Birds Lament’ (good old Moondog), ‘Gridlockdown’ and of course, ‘Pioneers over c, 2023′ – Judge Smith (UK)

‘TOPCLASS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️… It is AMAZING! Extremely versatile, but still amazingly in balance. Brilliant performances & brilliant production and arranging. It is wonderful how you have made compositions from others like Moondog your own signature pieces! Overall, it’s an album which deserves a lot of attention and should finally be the breakthrough for René.’ Willem Tanke (acclaimed Dutch keyboard player)

‘It is a masterpiece! Inventive, creative, to the point of being adventurous and pleasantly risky, with the whole range of wind instruments a steady surprise, a steady challenge for the listener. I am left spellbound by all this creativity, as I am by all your recordings, Tonewall Stands, etc. from the early Long Hellos to the present, with David Cross, Osanna, and many others!’ – Dr. Hugo Schwaller (Switzerland)

‘The whole album is super, it works really well as a piece in 13 parts. This is going on the same shelf as Terry Riley and Steve Reich! – Kelvin Beer-Jones (UK)

‘Both experimental and melodic, recorded and mixed beautifully’ – Dave Derbyshire (UK)

‘The album’s an absolute Joy! The rework of ‘Pioneers over c’ is another high spot, with all the key themes distinctively recognisable – but enticingly different’ – Jeremy Shotts (UK)

‘It’s all crafted, performed and executed to perfection. I can say with complete conviction that nobody else understands Dad’s use of harmony like René, you can hear every single note and René’s percussion and production is inventive and intricately genius.’ – Dorie Jackson (UK)

‘Eternal Caravans is beautiful!!! A splendid version! The whole album is very beautiful and I congratulate you! I am proud of our collaboration.’ – Andrea Chimenti (Italy)

‘I think it’s wonderful music: as uplifting as Duke Ellington’s ‘Blanton-Webster band’ or Mingus’ group at its best. I believe that David Jackson is well past seventy, and I beg the Lord that I will have just as much energy and imagination at that age. Moreover, it is a pleasure to hear such inspiring drumming from René!’ – Jos Vos (UK)

‘Stupendo! E Moondog – WOW – Birds Lament! E Felona, che sorpresa!’ – Susanna Warger (Italy)

’It’s great to hear again new music from you.’ – Achim Shultz (Germany)

‘I wholeheartedly agree with all the positive comments. This album is truly joyous and uplifting!’– Nick Jefferson (UK)


René van Commenée: Keep Your Lane. Interview by Michael Limnios, Blues Network [read full interview]