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Alphonse Mouzon - The Essence Of Mystery CD (album) cover

THE ESSENCE OF MYSTERY

Alphonse Mouzon

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 6 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yeah I'm giving this 4 stars despite the two commercial tracks on here with female vocals. The rest is gravy as the say and I actually don't mind "Funky Finger" and "Why Can't We Make It?" too much, at least they are the two shortest tracks on here. I would rather have a consistent album though then one with highs and lows, that's just me but this is an exception for sure. Mouzon has brought in two bass players including Buster Williams. Two sax players including Sonny Fortune. Larry Willis on electric piano but for me it's surprising to hear this amazing drummer also play mellotron, clavinet, electric piano and he is the composer. A talented man who has played with pretty much everyone. "The Essence Of Mystery" was released in 1973 and is Alphonse's first solo album. Check out "Mind Transplant" as well for two of his very best records.

Top five includes the self titled opener and this is my favourite. Oh man it's pretty much perfect and in my opinion the best track he's ever released on a solo album. It's the mellotron that creates atmosphere and the electric piano that seems to echo as it trips along. Reminds me of Miles during this time period. Sax comes in over top but will give way to the electric piano before returning later.

"Crying Angels" like the opener is trippy and atmospheric with electric piano, bass and drums as the sax then joins in. The drums become the focus before 1 1/2 minutes and it becomes more uptempo. Sax is back and everyone else, just not the atmosphere. Electric piano and sax take turns soloing over top. More mellotron on "Macrobian" but we get strings this time out of that mellotron. The drum intro is impressive. Electric piano comes out of that with bass and sax in tow followed by mellotron. Again the sax and electric piano takes turns leading. "Sunflower" is pretty cool for all the beats and percussions and the electric piano and sax help out as well. The closer makes my final top five and Alphonse puts on a show for us early on.

Man take out the two commercial tracks and this could have been something very special but as it is I'm so glad I own this one.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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