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Gringo - Gringo CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

2.77 | 23 ratings

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4 stars I have to respectfully take exception with the reviews concerning Gringo. While I will concede that if one's main expectation of Prog in general, is typified by the long, instrumental dominated Jazz and Classical influenced compositions found on LP's by Yes, Crimson and Soft Machine - then this recording is going to be outside your comfort zone. But if the above is the only criteria which qualifies a performance as 'Progressive', then a lot of excellent music along the lines of Kayak (Royal Bed Bouncer), Rare Bird, Wishbone Ash, late period Gentle Giant, 'Grand Hotel' era Procol Harum, Home, mid-period Caravan, Eno and numerous others are going to be needlessly downgraded. Over time, my listening habits have altered my sensibilities in terms of what defines quality. I think the length of a track falls well below whether the group is able to essentially write a good song that stands on its' own. Correspondingly, there is a lot of 'Symphonic Prog' that is quite forgettable because the melodic concept doesn't support the ambition of the musicianship.

Now - about Gringo. The songs are all well written, the vocal harmonies are superb and the tracks are well recorded. I'm a sucker for good keyboard playing, and here the focus is on the Fender Rhodes. As such, there is a nice, funky groove folded in with the jazzy prog flavor of the music. I classify the musicianship and production values as 'tasteful' - in otherwords, the playing supports the intentions of the song as opposed to virtuosity for its' own sake. The sound of Gringo is unique and therefore, I can't directly fit it in with a sub-genre of prog. The best I could do to give you an idea whether you would enjoy them is to say that the vibe is energetic and upbeat in a similar way to Capability Brown for example. I'd also say that if you (like me), believe that the first two Yes albums were, as outstanding as anything they recorded later - you will find a lot to like with Gringo. 'I'm Another Man' and 'Cry the Beloved Country' are worth the purchase of the album by themselves, but none of the other tracks are filler.

1Vinylcam | 4/5 |


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