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Itoiz - Ezekiel CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.11 | 116 ratings

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4 stars Itoiz is a prog folk band from the Basque Region of Spain. This is the folk side of prog folk, yet it has a very strong jazzy flavor with its flutes, fiddles, saxophones, and pianos joining the acoustic guitars, electric bass, drum kit, and, of course, vocals. Try listening to the following YouTube links: 2. "Ezekielen Esnatzea" (6:02); 5. "Ezekielen Ikasgaia" (6:30); 6. "Ezekielen Ametsa + Ezekielen Erantzuna" (6:10), and; 8. "Ezekiel: Ia maitasun kantu bat" (5:51).

1. "Ezekielen Prophezia" (5:10) (8/10)

2. "Ezekielen Esnatzea I" (6:01) Nice electric guitar solo. (8.5/10)

3. "Ezekielen Esnatzea II" (4:37) awesome plaintive pastoral opening with a weave of violin, guitar, keyboard and bass. Multiple voices work their way into the weave for a minute before a solo sax takes the lead and the weave smooths out and a blues-rock rhtyhm foundation takes over. Breathy, fast-flitting flute takes over at 2:45, Wurlitzer organ at 3:30. (9/10)

4. "Ezekiel" (3:01) excellent acoustic guitar picking opens this one until a stop at 0:40 signals the entry of the Etorkizuna Children's choir with support from strumming mandolin and picking guitar. Interesting, though the power and melodies of the choir are not as high until the softening and cheering in the third minute. Still, cool song. (9/10)

5. "Ezekielen Ikasgaia" (6:29) picked acoustic guitar is joined by piano (very well recorded, btw) before laying scant support for the operatic voice of mezzo soprano Itziar Egileor. Nice melodies and song arrangement. At 2:30 there is a radical shift into organ-rock band playing a soulful support to solos from alto sax, flute, and electric piano. At 4:27 we return to the opening section of acoustic guitar to support Itziar--this time without piano! Basss and violin and then drums join in as song gets very expressive, vocal becomes very jazzy with some very cool and unusual scatting. Very classy, polished song. Great sound engineering. (9.75/10)

6. "Ezekielen Ametsa" (1:52) solo acoustic guitar intro for a "little girl" vocal and child-like upper register piano support which then turns into Fender Rhodes rock band song to bleed into the next song. (5/5)

7. "Ezekielen Erantzuna" (4:17) carried over from the previous song, the Fender is strong but a very active rhythm section makes for an interesting contrast to the rather bland male vocal over the top. Acoustic guitar solo in the middle before vocals are doubled up for the second half. Now this is cool! Sax and organ join in for solo coupled with electric piano solo to close. (9/10)

8. "Ezekiel: Ia Maitasun Kanta Bat" (5:49) railroad noises before a violin defines the pace and melody for a bass-heavy folk reel. Violin, flute, and sax performing a wave to support the lead melody before cutting out at 1:02. Strummed guitar supports animated lead vocal from Juan Carlos Pérez. Bass and intermittent drum and cymbal support before flute-sax-violin weave fills the instrumental interludes between vocal verses. Weird electric guitar enters around 3:20, providing metronomic counterpoint to everything else going on. I find it annoying. Luckily, it leaves for the fifth minute. Screaming electric guitar solo starts at 4:40 and persists to the end over the jamming musicians beneath. (9/10)

Total time 37:16

4.5 stars; a wonderful example of Prog Folk coming from the Iberian Peninsula, particularly refreshing for its representation of a very specific regional folk tradition (and language).

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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