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David Axelrod - David Axelrod CD (album) cover

DAVID AXELROD

David Axelrod

 

Crossover Prog

3.10 | 2 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Out of the blue and after a very lengthy silence (only one other studio album since 77, other than this one), Axelrod released this totally un-awaited album, and when I first discovered it, I had feared that it would've been a major disappointment, since most likely it would make much place to modern music trends. In a way, it does with some rapy and raspy vocals (ala Gil Scott-Heron) and a few other minor allowances, but on the whole, the s/t album is a very worthy album in his discography. Indeed, despite his lengthy absence, Axelrod's talent for awesome arrangements and production is still intact all those years after his creative peak that took place between

Opening on slow string quartet instrumentation with a choir and John Austin's very vindictive vocals, the album certainly starts on a dramatic note, and the cellos do give much depth to the project. Despite such a "vocal" start, most of the tracks in the inside are instrumental, and you'll find plenty of hints to Axelrod's glorious era, filled with his delightful blend of interesting choirs, virtuoso musicianship, a tad of solo histrionics and his usual awesome string and horn arrangements. Despite oscillating between jazz, classical and rock realms, most progheads should appreciate much what's on offer here. As usual, the bass (the always awesome Carol Kaye, a faithful sidekick) has a primordial role, well backed-up Earl Palmer's drumming (the usual team) and of course Howard Roberts on guitars. Ok, you may get some fairly cheesy (and heard-before) passages, like For Land's Sake, but it's an exception. The album closes on a song sung by his long-time musical buddy Lou Rawls and give a little dramatics to end it all.

As usual with Axelrod albums, this one doesn't last all that long; but then again, it's also the usual perfect length, thus sparing us any useless lengths or weaknesses. Of course, a big part of this album's success is the connection with Kaye, Palmer and Roberts, the three faithful compadres of Axelrod's legendary era and the not-least legendary Capitol studios in LA, where he created most of that magic. Yeah, the magic still works fine, so many years after.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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