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Peter Bardens - Big Sky CD (album) cover


Peter Bardens


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2.63 | 18 ratings

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3 stars After about 7 very prolific years as a lite jazz artist, Pete Bardens went on something of a hiatus following this recording. As such, it is fitting that the album references the larger body of his solo work rather than any sort of progression. Since he seemed more concerned with personal than musical evolution by this point, the songs flow together just fine in spite of their varied lineage.

For instance, the ultra hip "China Girl" is reminiscent of the "Speed of Light" period, while "Puerto Rico" and "on a Roll" are firmly in his lite-Latin thread which became overt on "Further Than You Know". "Gunblasters" is as close as he came to a real rocker, containing references to Camel chiefly in the lead guitars and drums, but also to the Alan Parsons/Keats axis of songs like "In Dreams" from "Seen One Earth". He also seems to be alluding to the Camel days musically and in titular fashion with the lovely pianos in the all too short "For Old Times Sake", and "Scarletti" is another tinkly affair that shows Bardens getting back to the roots a bit more. "The Last Waltz" is an instrumental in the vein of his "Water Colours" period.

Challenging might not be a word that springs to mind when one thinks about the body of this man's solo work, and the big sky is certainly not the limit. But engaging, happy, and melodic are all compliments that flow freely from this reviewer when it comes to this 1994 Pete Bardens effort.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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