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Yojo - Yojo CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.55 | 13 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first release by the as-yet undiscovered Russian quintet is similar to but different than their recent (and recommended) sophomore album "Abduction", but of course the band itself had a different line-up in 2013. The music here is more assertive, leaning harder on the fluid dynamics of Alexey Borovets' electric guitar work, and a solid, sometimes funky rhythm section.

But the album's primary draw is the ace trumpet playing of the band's other Alexey (Gorshkov), and rightly so. The trumpet has always been an undervalued asset in rock music, and Gorshkov's ice-smooth voicing was used to excellent effect, embellished by an expansive production giving the music its occasional Space Rock undertow (as in the well-named "Alien"). It definitely isn't Jazz Rock Fusion, despite the convenient labeling in these Archives.

The group in its first incarnation may have lacked the confidence and maturity of the band that would record "Abduction", a few years later. Notice how some otherwise superb instrumental workouts ("Aftermath" and "Rough Sleeper") are spoiled by the insecure padding of random sound bites, from the David Lynch film "Eraserhead" and a speech by Barack Obama. But as an early album by young musicians still finding their musical focus it's an impressive effort.

Yojo is a group deserving wider exposure outside their Saint Petersburg hometown. The band's first album should be the second choice for curious newcomers, but it's certainly worth a search.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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