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Zao - Zao In Tokyo CD (album) cover





3.44 | 10 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a live recording from Tokyo in 2004. Seffer and Cahen are both here thankfully along with new drummer Causse and former ZAO bassist Prevost. Probably the most significant addition is female vocalist Saint-Ville who's vocal melodies are very prominant throughout. In fact you can't help but think of Mauricia Platon's singing from their debut "Z=7L". There are 8 songs taken from their first 4 albums.Three from "Kawana". This is a difficult one for me to rate because with the prominant vocals it does significantly change the original vibe of these tracks, except for the two songs from "Z=7L" of course. By the way KBB violinist Tsuboy guests on this album as well and is very impressive.

"Free Folk" from "Kawana" is fairly laid back with those upfront vocals. I like the sax after a minute. Everything is kind of sparse except for the vocals. The bass 3 1/2 minutes in is great, and check out Cahen a minute later. The drummer takes a turn in the spotlight. The tempo picks up 8 minutes in and gets a little chaotic. "Atart" is from the debut. It's more uptempo with the sax and vocals coming and going at the same time. Violin 2 1/2 minutes in. Sax takes over 2 minutes later. It's great just listening to the interplay 6 minutes in. "Chardaz" is from "Osiris" and features some growly bass before a minute as vocals continue. The tempo picks up before 1 1/2 minutes and you can tell she's having a blast singing faster. Sax solo a minute later and violin after 4 minutes. She's back 6 1/2 minutes in. The piano, bass and drums are all outstanding 8 minutes in. Great section. "Natura" is from "Kawana" and is my favourite on here. I really like the dark intro that reminds me of ONE SHOT until the sax comes in and leads the way. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. More growly bass. The sax is back. Cahen shines 5 1/2 minutes in. Chunky bass returns as do the vocals.

"Sadie" is from "Kawana" and is by far the shortest song on here at just over 3 minutes. Piano and vocals are joined by drums and sax. "Ronach" from the debut is uptempo with vocals. Some filthy bass before a minute and sax and violin shake things up 2 1/2 minutes in. The vocals are so impressive here. "Isis" is from "Osiris" and it opens with soft piano as vocals and sax join in reservedly. Drums and bass follow as this slows down even more. Things get more lively after 5 minutes. I like her vocals after 6 1/2 minutes and the piano that follows. The tempo slows back down late to end it. "Zohar" is the only song from "Shekina" but it is the longest at over 14 minutes. Vocals and sax lead the way as drums pound away. Nice bass lines after 2 minutes. The piano is beautifully played. Violin before 4 minutes and check it out 5 1/2 minutes in where it sounds like a lead guitar ! The sax takes over and goes crazy after 8 minutes. Applause follows. The drummer's turn to solo and he's incredible. Vocals are back before 12 minutes.

There's just too much here to give it less than 4 stars. I do wish there were more instrumental sections though, even though she is a fabulous singer.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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