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Cai - Noche Abierta CD (album) cover

NOCHE ABIERTA

Cai

 

Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 44 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Cai's second album, 'Noche Abierta', is one of the finest offerings of Southern Spain's progressive movement, carachterized for its massive Flamenco-oriented nuances. The progressive aspects of Cai's music are very similar to those of Iman Califato Independiente's, only with a more moderate touch of jazz, and a more recurring presence of vocal parts. The musicianship is superb, and by that I not only intend to praise the excellent labour of Dominguez on keyboards and Fernadez Mariscal on guitar (crafty purveyors of sonic magic), but also the well-oiled rhythm section, with an incredible bassist that every now and then comes briefly to the front, and a versatile drummer (who, by the way, has a beautiful voice, too) who can translate his jazz sensibilities into the band's Flamenco essence with incredible ease. Major foreign influences are Camel, Hackett-era Genesis, some of Pink Floyd's ethereal melancholy, and some of Return to Forever - these ingredients help to emphasize the enormously passionate melodic romanticism of flamenco as an integral part of Cai. For example, the opening track, very moving, and very catchy, captures the listener's heart even if they can't understand Spanish. The same romantic aura is reiterated in the following song, only with a more moderate level of passion, as if the emotional flow were a bit more constrained and focused on meditation. The two instrumentals, 'Alegrias de Cai' and 'La Roca del Diablo' are my personal faves: the former captures the cheerful spirit that is present in most parts of Flamenco folklore, while the latter finds the band exploring a more Cosmopolitan trend, that of Camel and "WYWH"-era Pink Floyd, with added flavours from Weather Report, in this way creating a subtly somber air. In both cases, the result is stylish, with a perfect equilibrium between all instruments' inputs. Anyway, generally speaking, the repertoire is very consistent and cohesive: my favourite sung tracks are the title track and 'Extraña Seduccion', both of them driving the band to their most majestic peaks. The latter takes Cai's ability to create beautiful melodies and arrange them inventively to levels of progressive grandiosity, making the final result both overwhelming and cleverly designed. Every time I listen to this album, I regret that this song's fade-out comes so soon, when actually the song is 6+ minute long. 'La Fábula' is beautiful prog ballad constructed in an eerie ambience - had this song been a bit longer, it would have reached its full potential for mesmerizing the listener and deprive them of their waking lucidity. But again, things are just fine as they are. In short, "Noche Abierta" is one of the best things that came out of Spain, hand in hand with the finest works by Mezquita, Iman and Triana.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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