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Mats-Morgan (Band) - Thanks For Flying With Us CD (album) cover


Mats-Morgan (Band)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.93 | 19 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars In a year that virtually every one of Cuneiform Records releases was a gem - demonstrating the label's commitment to releasing the most interesting and often the most challenging of modern music - Thanks For Flying With Us became my album release of 2005. Cuneiform's press release suggested this album is for fans of Frank Zappa (absolutely) and Canterbury sound (I'm less certain here). This album is my first exposure to Mats Morgan, and very soon they had superceded my previous favorite pair of keyboard and drum players also from Sweden, the Johansson brothers

My first impression was that the Mats Morgan Band was a very tight band of excellent musicians, and in particular the leaders, the excellent keyboard player Mats Oberg (btw the CD insert shows Mats sitting in thepilot's seat of an aeroplane.....with his white stick next to him*: yes, they like their dark humour), and Morgan Agren a fantastic drummer (check out his DVD), and not forgetting a very tight guitarist in Morgan's brother Jimmy. Musically the record is in the territory of Zappa, (Mats & Morgan's hero) andI am thinking this a 21st century take on 'Jazz From Hell', with a greater sense offun and lightness. Such an impression continues with the second the fifth replay and recently the 25th replay. Jazz, rock, fusion, even a little electronica - in other words, typical Cuneiform music: music most difficult to categorise. And I have mention these guys have a habit of cut'n'pasting short voice tracks some way into tunes, brief stories to surprise you in an otherwise instrumental. The one that makes me laugh out loud, is Not Us (track 4): a commercial pilot is talking to his passengers as they fly over the Grand Canyon ......... I won't spoilt it, buy the CD since the punchline is a delight.

A lovely album, bubbling and overflowing like a bottle of champagne. An album too, for those who dislike the obvious.

And now I've discovered some of their earlier albums, (with the exception of the Live album, jazz fusion mixed with RIO) this is perhaps their most mature and consistent record. However, one minor omission, Mats' sometime Stevie Wonder-like vocals are missing.

*Which reminds me of a rumour circulating that when the movie Aeroplane 2 was being planned, that Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder had been approach to play the pilots.......

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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