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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 348 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Valentyne Suite is one fo those albums you hear a lot about it, but only recently I found a copy of the CD to actually sit down and listen. If you´re expecting something symphonic be careful, for most of this work is not even what you might call progressive at all. it´s much of that day´s blues rock band and, in that field, quite interesting and, yes, progressive.

The first number, the kettle, did not move me. It´s a pastiche of Jimi Hendrix Experience/Cream stuff, not very imaginative nor original. With Elegy things start to improve a little with a good mix of blues and soul, featuring some nice rhythm guitar. Betty´s Blues is an interesting jazz/blues number, with some real screaming brass arrangements. The Machine Demands a Sacrifice (what a title!) is too a nice number led by a driving organ, strong rhythm (including some innovative percussion at the end) and a powerful use of brass and flute. it also has the best vocals of the entire album.

The real gem of the album, at least prog wise, is the 16 minute suite title track. This instrumental Piece is not only the album´s highlight but a very groundbreaking work at the time with stunning organ runs, shifting moods and rhythms, fine sax parts and one true embrace of jazz, rock and classical music. Even if at the time other groups were doing something similar (The Nice comes in mind), Colosseum´s contribution is not small on its part.

I can´t really say I´m totally enraptured by this album. I was never a fan of jazz and blues for starters. And at the time I felt much closer to the work of other, more classical influenced and melodic groups. However, I can´t deny the sheer power of this CD and its contribution to the evolution of prog music in general. Personally I´d rate this album three stars. For its importance I´m giving it another half star. If you´re into 60´s progressive blues stuff, this is a must have. If you´re into general prog music history this CD an excellent addition. For me Valetyne Suite is good, with a brilliant last part. 3,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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