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Sheshet - Sheshet CD (album) cover

SHESHET

Sheshet

 

Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 43 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ShW1
4 stars SHESHET (six, or Friday from Robinson Crusoe) was an Israeli prog group, led by Shem-Tov Levi, flutist, composer and vocalist, and evolving some top Israeli musicians from the 70's. The music in this album is fresh, uplifting, Jazz and Jazz-Rock related, along with some obvious eastern influences, and as a bonus, features some delicate vocals and vocal harmonies. The overall sound may recall to Chick Corea's more acoustic RTF, or some Canterbury bands. Also there are hints for GENTLE GIANT: All Israeli 'Art rock' musicians from that time admired Gentle Giant and where inspired from that band, and this relation sounds very natural. The music is occasionally instrumental, and occasionally sung in Hebrew. The Hebrew amount is about a half of the album.

As I listened again to this Israeli classic, I've realized how eclectic this album is, in the composition level as well as in the wide range of influences. Take for example the three songs here. Each of them is differing in its style and influences: 'Left foot samba', written by female vocalist Yehudit Ravits, is a Brazilian-flavored, apparently part of the 'Brazilian wave' that flooded Israel that days. 'If Only you had come' ('lu bat'), is a sad, romantic song, with complex harmonies, written in the vein of the great Israeli composer Sasha Argov. 'Autumn nights' is a 4/4 rock song, in a bit heavier mood. It features two solos: one solo from Shem-Tov on recorder, and the other is a steady, tasteful guitar solo from 'slow hand' guitarist Shmulik Budagov.

From the progressive point of view, the opener 'Clappers' ('inbalim') is definitely a progressive track with its complex structure, mood changes, and the wonderful opening piano riff. This track is written in a 5/4 odd time signature, as well as '7/8' (as obliged by the track name), and these are not the only two examples. Shem-Tov Levi announced that as a Bulgarian origin, he got accustomed to odd time signatures from his early childhood. (Bulgarian music holds a lot of these).

The Jazz-Rock influences are present all over the album, and come to its peak at 'Debka'. The way the band 'Jazz rocked' this traditional Arabic motif from the Debka dance, is stunning.

In all, this album is a pinnacle of the Israeli 'Art rock' movement of the 70's, along with KTZAT ACHERET album, in which Shem-Tov Levi participates as well. While KTZAT ACHERET album is more original and innovative, the SHESHET album is more mature, complex structured along with significant Jazz Rock improvisations. Both albums are highly recommended as the best and most progressive efforts of the Israeli 'Art rock' movement of the 70's.

ShW1 | 4/5 |

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