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SBB - Four Decades CD (album) cover

FOUR DECADES

SBB

 

Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Should Be Bigger than they are

The title of this lavish DVD production reflects both the longevity of the band, and the wealth of material available to them from their extensive back catalogue. Featuring two full concerts recorded in Katowice, Poland in 2006 and 2007, the band play a fine selection of tracks from their early days through to the current album "The rock".

The highlight for many who have followed the band will be the 11 minute run through of the title track from "Memento z banalnym tryptykiem", but those less aware of their history cannot fail but to be impressed by the depth of the material. Although the band is but a trio, the lush keyboard layers of Jozef Skryzek create a symphonic basis for many of the extended pieces. Skyrzek usually provides the bass parts through his pedals too, but occasionally he will move to bass guitar. It is during such excursions that the band sounds more fragile. A support bassist on the tour might be a wise investment for such occasions.

That though is but a churlish criticism when the end product is of a quality such as this. The band is conveniently classified here as jazz/fusion, and there is no doubt that such influences are embedded in the live performances. It would though be short sighted to suggest that these gigs are simply lengthy improvisation sessions. The structure and rock orientation of the songs belie such notions, resulting in intricate progressive arrangements which will please prog fans of many persuasions.

The audiences are enthusiastic but respectful of the performances, which are musically based rather than intended as an audio/visual extravaganza (for want of a better way of putting it). Those in the UK could be forgiven for thinking that comedian Bill Baillie has joined the band, such is his similarity to Skryzek. There though, any suggestion of humour ends.

The DVD, which runs to over 3 hours, includes interviews with the band members (in Polish with English subtitles) and biographies.

If you are new to SBB, this is a superb way to discover their music. At first sight you may wonder how three aging misfits can be so highly regarded in prog, but after just a few minutes, conversion to the cause is all but guaranteed.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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