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Elephant9 - Walk The Nile CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 71 ratings

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4 stars My first encounter with Elephant9 came after a track from Walk The Nile was included on the cd with the most recent edition of Classic Rock Prog. The track in question was Hardcore Orientale and being impressed by the Hammond fuelled mix of prog and jazz I had to investigate further.

Walk The Nile is the second album from the Norwegian trio and they create a pretty compelling sound. A driving and powerful rhythm section lays the ground with some jazz patterns yet played with a rock mentality that provides a solid foundation for the vintage keyboards; Hammond organ playing a major role alongside some electric piano.

The six compositions vary between the more energetic shorter tracks and the more experimental nature of the two longer pieces, the title track and Habanera Rocket. Walk The Nile features a largely repetitive and heavy rhythm section which underpins a droning Hammond which also subtlely solos over the top, creating musical textures rather than dazzling keyboard gymnastics. It does overstay its welcome slightly, not particularly going anywhere but enjoyable enough nevertheless. Habanera Rocket is the better of the two which creates more musical tension and moves through a more varying musical landscape.

As good as Habanera Rocket is I find Elephant9 more enjoyable on the shorter compositions. With less time for self indulgence they largely get straight to the point with some exciting and memorable instrumental interplay. This is perfectly demonstrated with the stabbing Hammond of opener Fugl Fønix, which also has some fine electric piano soloing and the up tempo shuffle of closer John Tinnick. Best of the lot though is the dynamic Aviation which from a restrained start builds to an edge of seat musical frenzy.

Overall Walk The Nile is an impressive instrumental collection, so much so in fact that I've made it a high priority to get to know their 2008 debut DodoVoodoo as soon as possible.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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