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Draw The Sky - Humanity CD (album) cover


Draw The Sky


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.15 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Wonderful melodic, soprano saxophone-led, vintage keyboard-based, jazz fusion from Paris! It has been a long time since I've heard this kind of musicianship with such engaging, non-angular jazz. It reminds me of 1970s/80s WEATHER REPORT, LARRY CARLTON, Klaus Doldinger's PASSPORT and American pop-jazz bands, SPYRO GYRA and BOB JAMES and even CHIC COREA.

1. "Back" (15:19) opening with solo bass ostinato over which gentle Mellotron, soparano sax, electric guitar and electric piano/organ play with great delicacy. The song kicks it up a notch in terms of power and force though keeping the slow pace while electric guitar, sax, organ take turns weaving and soloing their lines. Awesome! Back to quiet, delicate at 4:10 (virtually drumless) while everybody weaves their arpeggi with and within one another. A jazzy guitar solo ensues, followed by sax and then guitar-gone-rock with distortion. At the sixth minute another section begins in which the rhythm section steadies itself while a screaming JOHN TROPEA-like guitar shreds and multiplies. Very creative! Then, at 7:30, all instruments cut out. Solo sax fills the infinite spaciousness with a plaintive, delicate solo. Mellotron-like synth wash joins in to amplify the spacey feeling. Sparsely played bass organ joins in the tenth minute. Then slow bass, drums and Fender. Still simple and spacious. The twelfth minute is where we first feel the band coming back to life--with volume, force, and staccato--ending the minute with a Fender Rhodes solo over the again-subdued rhythmists. Interesting, creative, and sensitively performed song. (9/10)

2. "Reaching The Sun" (6:08) opens like we're about to hear Bill Withers take on the lead vocals. Great groove, chords, melodies, and quirks. All signs of a mature, confident, relaxed collaboration. (8.5/10)

3. "Saturn" (6:05) gorgeous, slowed down, late-night make-out jazz. The dreamy, slowed down middle section is my favorite--followed by the sax solo support section. (9.5/10)

4. "Liwo" (6:40) another slower-paced song, this one more like a soundtrack piece for the scenes in the detective movies in which the flawed and conflicted protagonist explores his city late at night looking for clues. Really outstanding from a nostalgic point of reference. Larry Carlton-like guitar work, Will Lee bass, Zawinal, Corea or Joe Sample keys with a gentler Bruford-like drumming. There's even an appearance of Mellotrons! (10/10)

5. "Aquatic Dream" (7:41) more aggressive--especially with the guitars. (9/10)

6. "Aicha" (5:29) with spoken French (and a bit of English) poetry, there is a bit of a Caribbean feel to this one. (8/10)

7. "Cordoba" (6:54) nice acoustic guitar play to open this one. Reminds me of the amazing PIERRE BENSUSAN. Sax and hand percussion join in at 1:20, but it is the guitar that remains the attention-grabber. Well, done, Hugo! At 2:15 the guitar cuts out and full drum kit and bass establish a jazzy beat. Guitar, sax and sax-mirroring keys join in at the beginning of the fourth minute establishing a little SPYRO GYRA-like melody--though the drums are far more active and energetic. More guitar like this, please! Great drumming, too! (9/10)

8. "Humanity" (8:40) Fender Rhodes and vocals open this one--with a female singer in the lead, singing in English. A bit like a MANHATTAN TRANSFER sound. At 1:15 drums and bass and keys establish a steady, pillow-like foundation for the vocals to continue singing over. Synth solo at the end of the second minute bridges us into a more driving, heavier, section over which sax solos. Another shift occurs at 3:30 to set up a nice jazz-rock electric guitar solo a la John Tropea or Hiram Bullock. Singer returns, with both lyrics and vocalise sections. Nice. (8/10)

Sexy bass playing from Valentin Berthouin throughout. Heck! The whole band has a very warm, engaging, sexy sound! Wonderfully refreshing music! Not a bad or even sub-par song on the whole album, there are some incredibly nostalgic gems here! Well worth checking out!

4.5 stars; a masterful album of retro-jazz fusion though not quite a complete masterpiece of progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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