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Bo Hansson - Ur Trollkarlens Hatt [Aka: Magician's Hat] CD (album) cover


Bo Hansson


Symphonic Prog

3.19 | 39 ratings

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3 stars By the time Bo Hansson's debut in 1970 'Sagan om Ringen' (Lord of the Rings) had been released internationally and was receiving widespread praise in '72, he had already completed work on his second, the more diverse and less funeralistic 'Ur Trollkarlens Hatt' (The Magician's Hat). Retaining the services of Rune Carlsson (congas), Gunnar Bergsten (sax) and Sten Bergman (flute) from the Rings sessions as well as Owe Gustavsson (bass), Bobo Stensson (piano), Pelle Ekman (drums) and Kenny Hakansson (guitar), Hansson took the initiative, turned up the steam, and recorded a fine follow-up to his classic debut.

Evoking a fantasy landscape of mystery and dreamy fascination, Hansson's approach is one of careful thought to composition and atmosphere with unhurried expansion and a soft touch. Here Hansson extends his brand of earthy, pulsing rhythms that take from Eastern European, classical, jazz, folk and Latin, laying down grooves and vamps overwhich other instruments are layered, all led by a warm backdrop of organ. The 12-minute 'Storstad' draws us in with constant shifts between wild gypsy dances, acid waltzes, calliopes, sambas, Latin jazz and trippy ballroom psychedelia. A Spanish guitar boleros through 'Delad Verklighet' featuring some tasteful synthesizer fills and a lovely flute opens 'Elidor/Fore Regnet/Fylke', occassionally reminding of Pink Floyd at their most sundrenched and hallucinogenic. 'Sluttningar', 'Findhorns Sang' and 'Uppvaknande' get back on theme with more grinding organ and undulating swells of rhythm. 'Solen' jazzes us to the conclusion with an infectious beat and some nice electric piano. As these recordings can lean toward muddy, the 2002 remaster is recommended and has superb photos and Swedish notes.

Dated? Sure. Naive? Maybe a little. Beautiful and important progressive rock? You better believe it. A miserly three stars for a record that probably deserves four.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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