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Fantasia Cromatica - Fantasia Cromatica CD (album) cover


Fantasia Cromatica


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 15 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With a name taken from both Bach's chamber tradition and Jaco Pastorius' repertoire, Argentinean ensemble Fantasía Cromática brings a refreshing stance for contemporary jazz-rock. The band shows clear, undeniable evidence of the influences absorbed from Pastorius-era Weather Report, Return to Forever, Yellow Jackets and Brand-X, with some soft hints to symphonic rock in places. The album kicks off with the vigorous 'El Proceso de la Lluvia', which sets a proper mood of joie de vivre in the listener's mind. The track is set on a controlled basis, obvious in the harmonic fashion in which the guitar, sax and synth solos succeed each other; he middle section is much slower, which gives way to vocative ambiences (including a very Gilmour-esque guitar solo). 'Un Gesto Memorioso' begins with on a reflective tone with the sax assuming the starring role - once things shift to a more intrepid mood, the guitar and the bass display a mutually defiant homage to Holdsworth and Berlin in a tasteful use of pyrotechnics. 'Ascesis del Sol' is the longest and most solemn track in the album: this makes sense with the important presence that the keyboard layers bear during the elaboration of the track's main atmospheres: the sax and piano solos are relevant, but again, this band likes to keep things under control, so the potential storm of virtuosity is always obedient to some sort of constraint, always giving major preference to the global sound. The bass ornaments featured in some passages also help to sustain the overall mood. 'Derredor de Luz' is a piano solo that starts deceitfully tenuous, adding chamber adornments near the end. These adornments, more than the very track' closure, basically serve as an opener for the following piece 'Veinte Hojas y Siete Cuartos', arguably the album's highlight. The opening/main motif bears Arabic-like overtones with Flamenco-fusion flirtations. When things get closer to the standards of Latin jazz, the dose of intensity is increased, which obliges the rhythm duo to elaborate its dexterity even further. All this happy frenzy of candid exoticism remains consistent up until the very end. 'Trilogía a la Misma Escena' brings back the melancholic candidness that we had already found on track 3, albeit with a less prominent ethereal vibe. Anyway, the final section makes a shift to modern jazz-rock (a-la Tribal Tech) in a very effective manner. The closer 'Jupiter Lee' is the mst progssive-friendly piece in the album, getting closer to Pink Floyd and Camel in terms of majesty and melodic structure. Of course, the jazzy element remains vital for the development of the instrumental excursions, but you can tell that the prog elements bring something different from the rest of the album. In a general balance, Fantasía Cromática's debut album is an excellent example of the good music created in South America for the benefit of the expansion of jazz- rock boundaries.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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