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Frogg Cafe - Creatures CD (album) cover

CREATURES

Frogg Cafe

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.95 | 73 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Two years after their incredible debut, Frogg Cafe appear with a second privately-released album, entitled ''Creatures''.But this time they do receive some help, more specifically seven additional musicians help the American quinet on flutes, marimba, clarinet and vocals to complete a pallete that includes no less than 22 (!) instruments.The album was recorded at Captain Cabesa Studios in New York, taking advantage of Bill Ayasse's recording knowledge, as he was also the man behind the production and mix of the album.

The first impression is damn good.The style of Frogg Cafe seems somewhat expanded, delivering a charming Symphonic/Fusion Prog in the pair of opening tracks with long Mellotron introductions, dreamy keyboards and some lovely, intense interplays with a Canterbury edge.Smooth, but very technical bass lines and drumming accompany Ayasse's violin, Camiola's electric guitars and Nick Lieto's flexible, multi-influenced piano and keyboard themes, including inspirations from Jazz and Classical Music.The result is close to the likes of THE MUFFINS, FRENCH TV, HAPPY THE MAN and ECHOLYN from the more recent group.However the middle-placed ''The celestial metal can'' is a big questionmark.Rather pointless and deeply experimental, it relies heavily on sound effects produced by instruments, atonal material with an Ethnic edge and some sort of Chamber Music mood towards the end.I failed to get the point here.With ''Gagutz'' the group returns to a familiar Prog/Fusion with a light GENTLE GIANT influence and edgy violin parts akin to MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, while mid-70's PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI are definitely another decent comparison.Fiery electric guitars, scratching violins, grandiose trumpet solos and funky clavinets are set together in a very good instrumental piece.Fans of long, epic explorations won't be dissapointed either.The closing ''Waterfall carnival'' is over 20 minutes long and sounds like a nice tribute to US Prog of the 70's with echoes from MAELSTROM, HAPPY THE MAN and even KANSAS, offering pompous orchestrations, acoustic soundscapes and very dense Jazz/Fusion textures with strong interplays and outstanding solos.Very good flute, violin and keyboard work with vintage colors all around, highlighted by the comfort of the group to change tempos and moods.

I think that Frogg Cafe's debut was a bit more solid than this follow-up release, which I cannot do else than strongly recommend it.Fans of 70's-inspired complex Prog with a huge instrumental depth will love this from the first listening.Very good Progressive Rock with both jazzy and symphonic orientations...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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