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James Sudakow - Green CD (album) cover


James Sudakow


Eclectic Prog

2.33 | 3 ratings

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3 stars This looks like James Sudakow's first venture as a solo artist. So he rather can be treated as a newcomer on the prog stage - a new face entering the realm of violin players who are successful at jumping into the progressive rock cosmos. Provided with a classical background and training his main inspirations are coming from guitarists though as he claims - above all Jimi Hendrix, Vernon Reid and John McLaughlin. He is escorted by Matt Bissonette, known to me for several collaborations with rock and prog metal artists resp. bands. The other band mates are Eric Zimmermann, responsible for the electronica, and Los Angeles based drummer David Gaziel.

Sudakow probably takes the easy way out for the track names. All the six songs have a coloured title. But you won't have time to wonder what he bears in mind because his music is immediately wrapping you up - and forces you to concentrate. First - a violin as the main solo instrument is not that usual and then he uses a lot of variations - sometimes his instrument sounds like a guitar for example. And last but not least the compositions are gripping - all in all he presents music with an uncommon style which is really worthwile to explore. The rhythm elements as the background for his solo excursions are either generated with electronics or usual instruments - so to say the other band members aren't accessoires at all having an important role for rounding up this album though.

The songs Black and Orange could be described as representing a fusion orientation supported by a heavy bass and drum work plus a special technique to work out something like violin riffs. And this is even grooving a lot. Purple instead of that is much more electronica dominated with a spacey touch reminding me of the italian band Akt - a fantastic track coupled with a Mahavishnu reference at the end. On every song Sudakow's violin sounds in a different way to me. He is witnessing his virtuoso playing featuring many textures - sometimes raw, drastically altered/distorted but also native clear as well. Green is appearing more in a classical way - first coupled with a special echo method - later gliding into a fusion part with similiarities to Jean-Luc Ponty.

Red alternatively is based on an (irish) folk song I'm quite sure but provided with a prog metal attitude. The middle part is hardly modified to a heavy space rocking jamming thing nearly - oh man! And then Blue is another groover dedicated to Sudakow's band mates which have another big chance here to show their skills. A very interesting intense album! As for the total time not longer than a vinyl production but without unnecessary lengths on the other hand. 'Green' may appeal also to prog metal fans because of the powerful sound and the violin is played through a Marshall amp generating a raw distorted output - 3.5 stars.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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