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Various Artists (Tributes) - Moogfest 2006 live CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.51 | 3 ratings

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3 stars An interesting minimoog showcase, featuring artists from Jazz, prog rock, metal, among other genres. Each artist discusses certain thoughts about this moog festival briefly and plays for a while. I give this 3 stars because it is not for everyone. the music emphasizes the synthesizer a lot, making the music suffer a bit. Also, the video footage tends to show the musician rather than Robert Moog's invention, which frustrates me a lot. Finally, not all artists are my cup of tea, especially the first two. I'll quickly describe what you expect from each artist.

Jordan Rudess: Starts with spacey sounds, and a very nice sounding fat synthesizer sound that is aggressive enough to have potential in heavy metal music. After that introduction, Rudess starts goofing around and ruining everything. Seriously, can't this guy ever be serious when playing live? While enduring the terrible whimsical and silly music, there are occasional flashes of brilliance. So in the end, we have a mixture of great (and I mean great) playing with silly stuff dominating most of the time: a bi-polar mess. If Rudess succeeded on something, it is in showing how versatile the moog can be. (Artist Musicianship: A, Band: N/A Enjoyment: C-)

Bernie Worrel: who invited this dude? How terrible his performance is makes me think of how I would have done if I was forced to play in the show (I can barely play keyboards). All he does is play on an electric piano for several minutes really really badly. He plays wrong notes, wrong chords, and attempts to play silly well-known melodies and nursery rhymes. Seriously, it looks like those youtube videos of musicians videos overdubbed by terrible playing for humor. And did I say the type of playing doesn't fit the hip hop rhythm? Seriously, the band sets fantastic bass-driven grooves. Anyways, pathetic performance, no moog until the end, but really ... I actually wish he didn't touch the moog: he music he creates with it is an atonal nightmare. (Artist Musicianship: F, Band: A- Enjoyment: D-)

Roger O'Donnell: A synth-driven new age song with simple percussion. Very spacey and reminiscent of Michel Jarre. The moog synthesizer is used as a lead instrument playing nice and loose melodies. (Artist Musicianship: B, Band: N/A, Enjoyment: B)

Mahavishnu Orchestra Project: I never was a fan of this band's chaotic style. But if you are a fan of the band, I think the songs played live sound better with today's technology than in the past, and this tribute band smokes is full of virtuosos. The music has a very organic sound and features time changes and some odd-time signatures. Crazy jazz-rock and if you are a fan of this band, you might love this. I prefer this band to the original because I didn't feel any emotion in the original. The first song is a fantastic display of virtuosity while the second features very evil-sounding themes in its intro and outro with an odd blues tune in the middle which I don't like, but at least there are great solos to make it enjoyable. I love how the ominous keyboard riff from the intro starts fading in again. (Band: A+, Enjoyment: B)

Then Jan Hammer arrives, while the Mahavishnu Orchestra Project plays with him: The music is now more keyboard-oriented than before. Hammer begins with a funky piece Oh Yeah! which is groovy and entertaining. Darkness starts ambient and brings images of space. The band eventually jumps in and the piece becomes a bit more of a jazzy prog rock song with a synthesizer loop and a minimoog lead that shreds as if were a guitar. The rest is nothing much different than these 2 songs. Sometimes funky, sometimes jazz-fusion, Fun and with great keyboard playing, but I actually preferred the two songs that Mahavishnu played before he appeared. (Artist Musicianship: A-, Band: B+, Enjoyment: C+)

Keith Emerson: what saves this from a 2-star review. What a fantastic show!! He brings a band with musicians similar to Lake and Palmer except that this singer is more guitar-oriented (he still has a very similar singing voice and style). The band proves they are worthy with the first song Living Sin which has that aggressive synth riff at the end. A very different version of Lucky Man which uses a synth loop as a rhythm is very effective with beautiful and passionate Greg-like singing. the synth solo is a bit over the top tho but its nice seeing him play with the original gigantic moog (rather than a minimoog). The best is when they play the entire Tarkus which is even extended to around 25 minutes. The band couldn't be any better and Emerson has room for grand piano and hammond playing: my favorite stype of Emerson playing. He's aggressive, virtuosic, melodic, and playing with youthful energy and creativity. Again, since this is a moog show, I feel playing around with a moog in a part which I consider Emerson's best solo (and possibly the best hammond organ solo I've heard) hurts the piece. Nerverteless, hearing a vastly different version of Tarkus with such enthusiasm and power (sometimes it sounds even heavier than the original) made my day. (Artist Musicianship A+, Band: A, Enjoyment: A)

Zitro | 3/5 |


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