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Jade Warrior - Released CD (album) cover

RELEASED

Jade Warrior

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 69 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I think one of the most interesting things about Jade Warrior is the wide variety of styles they play. From what I have heard, no two albums by them sound alike. On this album they pull a lot from American roots rock styles, as well as music from Africa and a few other influences show up as well. I wouldn't call this one of their best albums, it contains more mediocre rock songs than some of their other albums, but it is still worth checking out.

The album opens with Three-Horned Dragon King, which finds them in a jazzy British RnB style that is somewhat similar to Jonesy or early Camel. Tony Duhig is an excellent guitarist, and it really shows on this cut. This is followed by Eyes on You, a flute driven boogie number that would have fit well on Jethro Tull's first album. The ballad Bride of Summer has a definite early 70s King Crimson sound complete with a Frippish sustained guitar solo. All three of these songs are nice, but not particularly remarkable.

Next is Water Curtain Cave, which is a better example of what this band is capable of. This song opens with a nice jazzy groove topped with a sax and flute melody that is drenched in semi-psychedelic reverb and echo. It sounds like one of those tunes that acid jazz and rare-groove DJs would kill for. After that nice opening the song breaks down into a very quiet space-jazz section that sounds like the calmer moments from Miles' Agharta album. During this quiet section there are some nice guitar and flute solos before they return to the main theme. Side one closes with Minnamoto's Dream, a Hendrix style barn burner that has Duhig rising to the challenge and the woodwinds joining towards the end for a big chaotic finale.

Side two opens with a really bad Slade style rock tune and closes with a ballad named Yellow Eyes. In between these two uneventful songs is the album's highlight; a fifteen minute African odyssey called Barazinbar. I think most rock bands would have a difficult time taking on the difficult polyrhythms and nuances of African music, but thanks to the outstanding percussion skills of Jon Field, Jade Warrior really succeeds in taking on this style. The song opens with Field playing the talking drum and doing a great job of displaying his knowledge on this ancient and traditional instrument. As the song slowly progresses beautiful African horn lines fade in and out and are accompanied by tasteful flute and guitar solos. Towards the end of this track the percussion slips into double time as the solos keep coming.

This is a good album, but it would have been a lot better if there had been fewer mundane rock songs and more tunes like Water Curtain Cave and Barazinbar. Fortunately there are other Warrior albums that rely less on their rock side.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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