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Mist Season - Woodlands CD (album) cover

WOODLANDS

Mist Season

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.27 | 4 ratings

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OvergroundMusic
5 stars *Finnish Music Inspired in Nature and in Progressive Jazz*

Another great album by this european jazz band, this record has a more progressively rock and fusion approach than the previous one, having the same easy listening ingredient it does grabs your attention through almost the entire album, though i find nowadays albums with 70 - 77:04 minutes of music a bit too much, i still think Vynil timing for cds is the right one for paying full attention to the music..45 minutes it is.

Far Away from Home Is one of the best tunes recorded by the band, taking in consideration the band most inspired tunes are melodic and quiet this track was a surprise to me, it has a lot of energetic playing and funk jazzy mood taking it back to New Yorkian jazz, then it goes back to European Standards on the first mood change when Distorsioned guitars makes it first introduction. Though this is one of my favourite songs the trumpet solo is a bit out of "swing" on the track, it almost sounds like Experimental Trumpet solo not played on purpose. Towards the end of the song theres a jazz sound guitar followed by a energetic electric guitar that contains Tommi's best guitar phrasing closer. Great Opening Track 4/5.

Cartway across the Branches part I This theme has been recorded in IV parts, though the songs seems inspired by the same line of feeling each part has a different perspective of the concept pretty much like a four pieces exploration on chords of the first idea of the tune, this song takes it more in into the melodic nostalgic finnish vein and cold feeling of lakes situated there, the booklet on this cd helps the immagination get realistic on each themes, incredible art work.

Day Lite Another "energetic" song taking it more to a similar session feel like Far Away From Home, this one sounding more rockish prog influenced than jazzy. On the Heavier side of the band, this also adds some heavy keyboard playing towarsd the end by Timmo, and once again getting into the opening theme of the song wich is a peacefull beautifull kind of classical melody, same ingredient used on "Lydia" from first album on structuring some of the songs in this record, wich in my opinion is a great kind of fusion comoposition techniques, the softer ending addes the tune a memorable sense after the rockish shredding on it.

The Dance of Minstress An Ethnic kind of Hungarian / Polka Russian melody takes over on this track, i wasnt expecting this kind of fusion on the new album, though it seems to sound right, first time iheard this tune i thought it was kind of akward after some listenings i found the track original and catchy. And after getting into the concept and in the usage of sounds in this album, the synth solo ONLY made it for me in this one. (Day Lite and Six Spruce has a lame synth neo-classical playing that just doest work out for me)...This song has a "festive" feel , some sort of Gypsy Jazz Tune. Interesting piece a new nice ground discovered by the band. Drums towards the end are sublime.

The Six Spruce Yamaha WX5 Flute sound is incredible , im not a fan of emulated/presets sounds of wind instruments especially flute, but is hardly different than a real the presented on this cd. I even thought it was a real flute. This tune sounds more like their first cd, especially on the piano solo, reminds me of Peppermint, one thing about this piano playing is that is a lot different than the band together playing in overall, it has this Honky Emerson thing added to jazz tunes turning it into more symphonic classical oriented for the duration of the piano solo, enhances the word "fusion" for this guys. The only low point on this song is the synth solo towards the end that sounds like a ring tone.

Flowers of Asia Symphonic Prog folkish oriented it goes with a movie theme particular sound adding a oriental Koto and it did made me recall some quebecois jazzy bands such as Maneige with a 50' trumpet playing from Broadway nostalgia. This song doest appeal to me as the rest, the band doest sound as good as on main jazz tunes, but this song gives the album a credit on the standards, the flute playing on this song is the best on the album in my opinion...sounds like Jukka is more inspired by this jazz than the fusion rockish side of the band.

Dawn Reminding me of Japonese bands, this goes with the manhattan new yorkian jazz sound with a popish bass, though the pat metheny sound on the guitar starts getting repetitive at this point of the album the song maintains the level of interest high through the whole song. Specially when Kari sax playing on Spyro Gyra gets back on the song.

Vexplorer Maybe the heaviest song they have done, this will certainly appeal for fusion fans that listened to some Scott Henderson kind of Dog Party horn section playing, though this doesnt have blues virtuos playing the track kind of introduces the listener to a more heavier sound of a jazz band with a background leaned towards melodic jazz wise sound.

Woodpecker The Mocker After "Lullaby..." from Mist Season 2004 this is 2nd hated track from them, reminds me of some jethro tull folkish bluegrass fusion wich isnt quite fun for me to listen, sounds way to americanesque for my taste. But it can work out for more open minded blues lovers, harmonicca playing is great nonetheless.

Skyward Leafage BRILLIANT, this is maybe the track i've listened the most from both cds, along with Tears of Woodlands. Getting the "The Snow Goose" kind of feeling on the beginning of the song , Camel influenced and the symphonical intro gives the tune a warm feeling bit like Autumns inspired. Though some member mentioned that some fan said it recalled him of The Great Gig In The Sky by Floyd, the piano playing on the guitar solo section certainly does sound similar , Tommi enters with the best guitar solo i've heard from him, not only on this disc including their debut, a familiar Kansas/Queeniesque melodical sound on guitars. Though i might start calling this guys mood swingers, they are not as crazy as japonese bands but as far as for logical mood changes, this songs gets a funk Clavi playing , the bass lines are great, sax playing is neat, trumpet follows the track great as well, this song has a phenomenal mixing and production. The final section of the song sounds like it can get mind blowing on a live set. A masterpiece song from Mist Season, this one makes the record worthy buying.

Garden of Beruwela Hindu Percussion , kind of reminded me of Bill Douglas album called Blue Sky, take Spyro Gyro and Hindu Percussion and it will sound like this song, nice approach from the band the do this kind of mix.

Tears of Woodland The most beautiful piano piece performance from Timo, the nostalgia and preocupation on this song makes it the most artistical song written by the band, one point that is also spotted on this song is that Tommi classical/acoustic guitar playing is ridiculously awesome, i wish he had added this sound to the first record and in more tracks on this cd, trully great. This song has the same formula as Skylard, it goes all Jazz Fusion energetically towards the end, having guest appearence from Finnish band WASA EXPRESS. Im not a musician but i do play keyboards and the synth sound used on this track from Bo Hallgren will knocked your head off...this solo made the song a bit transcendental for me, but theres a mood change in the mixing that made the solo sound a bit weird, i wished the solo continued towards a more solid ending on this one...but it does sounds enough time from 5:21 to 7:00 . Here is when the album gets intriguing cause this mood change killed the solo for me but the sections that goes after turned to be incredible fun, Thomas Berglund made the sound of the band sound like in a future kind of universe, like if they had been playing for years, then a quite unusual shift for this band a pause for a bass solo, from mister Mikael Berglund , this almost sounded like a live jam jazz festival when everything sounds like it cant be performed better, a COOL bass solo, most bass solos doesnt sounds as fresh as this one at least no on studio. I will rate this one 4.30/5 because some of the songs took a wrong direction, some others took the players to a ground that wasnt that safe, mood playing variations between players made some of the sections questionable, and the album is a bit long for my taste, though they seem to have recorded their best songs in this one, Mist Season(2004) still stands out as a better album it self as a whole.

I thank this musicians for doing this great music from a land i barely know of, but i get surprised by finnish music each day.

I hope to hear more news about this guys they should be getting more popular on jazz/fusion fans towards the years..

Stay Classy

Franko

OvergroundMusic | 5/5 |

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