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French TV - Operation: Mockingbird CD (album) cover


French TV



3.69 | 27 ratings

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3 stars I have to admit to liking this one more than most of their previous catalogue. The music has simplified and rounded it's acute, often jagged, edges in favor of an almost Smooth Jazz sound and feel--almost. The problem, however, comes in the feeling I have--almost constantly--that I'm listening to outtakes and experiments of Al Di Meola, Jan Hammer, and their collaborators in the early to mid-1980s.

1. "Ghost Zone" (2:29) synth wash-supported solo electric guitar opens the song while orchestral-like percussion play around in the background and wings. Is this a live-with-orchestra recording? (7.5/10)

2. "Noble Obelisk" (5:37) by the time the main instrument comes (electric guitar) in and the song has established its textural signatures, I am finding myself thinking of Jan Hammer, The Crusaders, and Al Di Meola. But the song never really settles into any kind of groove. As a matter of fact, you might say that by song's end I'm very confused as to what I just heard--what it's compositional purpose was. (8/10)

3. "Urgent Fury" (8:32) almost a parody of 1970s funk jazz fusion (led by such artists as the members of The Crusaders, Hubert & Ronnie Laws, Bob James, and even Jan Hammer and Al Di Meola) (7.5/10)

4. "Tree Incident" (7:40) again the music of Al Di Meola in the early 1980s comes to mind as I listen to this one. It's nice, pretty, with very competent musicianship, but something just feels old and borrowed. (8/10)

5. "Golden Pheasant Of The Infinite Reach" (10:41) interesting synth opening is spoiled by appearance of vintage keyboards, many of which are of that inferior sound gradient that I dislike from the late 1989s and 1990s. Plus, the song never really goes anywhere--other than the more melodic parts that sound as if they might be better served as a support vehicle for a Patti Austin or Teena Marie vocal. (7.5/10)

6. "Nimrod Dancer" (8:33) the Latin rhythmic structure and sounds once again bring up the Al DI MEOLA sound. Violin adds a Jean-Luc Ponty presence, otherwise, this is so Al Di. (7.5/10)

7. "Vigilant Sentinel" (10:40) (7/10)

8. "Silent Years" (3:48) old synths attempting a "pretty" almost minor-keyed Satie-like song. Nope. (6.5/10)

Three stars; a good album of vintage sounding jazz fusion.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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