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TEE (The Earth Explorer) - The Earth Explorer CD (album) cover


TEE (The Earth Explorer)



3.45 | 21 ratings

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3 stars TEE (The Earth Explorer) is a Japanese quintet and one of the more enjoyable instrumental outfits I've heard this year. Although some of the compositions are a bit immature, the performances themselves are very good, and evoke memories of Camel and Genesis.

"L'Oiseau Bleu" Right off the bat, this piece sort of reminded me of some of the jazzier material from Kansas's Audio-Visions. It relies heavily on very good piano interludes and has some lovely flute for good measure. The composition itself is largely kept on the simplistic side, but multiple instruments give it the air of coherent complexity.

"Nomad" Flute and electric guitar doing two separate things make for a more complex and involved piece of music. It soon becomes a flute-led work, with an extended solo that has an almost Celtic feel at times. Changing pace again, the piece adopts light piano, acoustic guitar, and allows the bass guitar to carry the melody before the flute joins in once more, making me think of "Cadence and Cascade," one of my favorite King Crimson songs. The final couple of minutes brings an upbeat passage that I don't think fits in with the rest of the music for two reasons: For one, the chord progression is ridiculously cliché, and second, they almost ruin an otherwise fine piece with irritating and repetitive synthesizer lead that drowns out the guitar solo and doesn't supplement it well anyway.

"Sirocco Chase" Dynamic bass provides a good foundation for some well-crafted electric guitar and flute passages. This piece is a great example of symphonic jazz, blending the two genres rather seamlessly, and incorporating some fine drumming to top it all off.

"Col De L'iseran" This merry piece involves vocals to a degree, juxtaposing jaunty sections with more symphonic passages. It gives way to acoustic guitar and synthesizer, a combination I tend to love. During the second half, it becomes a flute-led instrumental folk piece complete with a happy bass alternating between the root and the fifth.

"Aurora" Quite similar to a post-Gabriel Genesis instrumental (although featuring a flute), this is a lovely piece, even if the transitions leave much to be desired. Once again the flute and guitar work quite well doing two separate things, but as a whole, this composition is rather slapdash and therefore not nearly as good as some of the others.

"City" For the final track, the band uses the flute and electric guitar once more to a great effect, reminding me of "Supertwister" by Camel. Also once more, the transitions are fairly nonexistent, with the next part of the piece just happening with nothing leading to it. Still, each part is good nonetheless.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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