Gilgamesh - Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.31 | 78 ratings

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4 stars This, Gilgamesh's late 70s album, gets far more listens in my playlists than Gilgamesh's eponymous debut. Led by Alan Gowen of National Health fame, this is an exquisite collection of instrumental songs, characterized by lush chords on electric piano, nimble melodies on both synthesizer and jazz guitar, and subtly shifting rhythmic meters--yup, it's high Canterbury style all right! There's nary a rough edge on this album; the music croons and sways with grace, restraint, and--one might imagine--sunlight bottled from a lazy summer afternoon.

There are two songs in the collection that stand out for me as some of Gowen's very best work. The first is the opening track, "Darker Brighter," which is the second most vigorous song on the album (outdone only by the final track). It covers almost all the ground that the album will later explore, leaping about almost madly from brilliant idea to brilliant idea, the harmonies whirling along in hot pursuit. But rather than feeling jerky or mechanical, note the almost deceptive smoothness to the writing and performance. What should have been a riff-o-rama is thus transformed into an elegant, though almost completely unsingable, tune.

"Underwater Song" couldn't be more aptly named. A solid drum solo from Trevor Tomkins leads into a wash of harmony; the melody floats over nothing but a ride pattern and gorgeous, suspended chords from a carefully blended synthesizer and electric piano. I can't think of any other song that better captures a sense of floating underwater. It is utterly peaceful and serene, and one of my favorite chill-out songs.

Two other songs are worthy of particular attention as well IMO. "Waiting" is a sensitive acoustic guitar solo that's an interesting change of pace from the rest of the album. "Play Time" is a jam on two mysterious chords (G#m7sus4 and Emaj7#11 if you must know) that roll gently over a pedal point, resolving into something a bit more concrete and funky. I wouldn't say that the piece is particularly playful (unless their sense of humor is really really dry!) but the chords in this song will haunt you.

Power-proggers should steer clear, but Canterbury fans and fusion jazz aficionados will find plenty to love. And I envy the National Health fan who is approaching this album for the first time!

ods94065 | 4/5 |


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