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Eela Craig - One Niter CD (album) cover


Eela Craig


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.90 | 77 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Esoteric's Reactive label continues to unearth forgotten European gems at a steady and welcome rate, and while Germany is usually regarded as the hotbed of creativity there was much activity elsewhere on the mainland. Eela Craig were an Austrian outfit formed in 1970 from the ashes of various Linz based groups.

After some initial activity `One Niter' was the result of a contract with Vertigo records, and is generally regarded as their definitive work. It is an extremely strong album from the opening Mellotron blasts which herald a colourful, varied and rich series of mainly instrumental movements. As was obligatory in 1976 the pieces are extended and made up of linked sections which move through a series of moods, tempos and textures. There are light and airy flute and synthesiser sections, muscular guitar solos backed with clavinet and driving drums, and some classic Hammond organ work. It is all brightly played, melodic and lively without being show-offy, and on show is a cornucopia of vintage keyboards played by no less than three players (count 'em!).

There is a wonderful photograph on the back cover of the band outdoors with all their equipment which recalls `Ummagumma' and would surely have acted as enticement to the discerning buyer holding the sleeve. It really is all about the instrumental work, the vocals are something of an afterthought, but work well enough in an unobtrusive way. The keyboards are intertwined with some excellent flute work and some equally fine guitar soloing. Nothing sounds forced, and the pieces are well composed and flow together very well.

As an album it works as a whole piece to become a very satisfying 45 minutes of prime european symphonic progressive music along the lines of Camel, Greenslade, Refugee and Trace. It certainly deserves to be heard alongside such names and is in many ways the equal to them.

We await with interest to see what else Reactive have up their sleeves if it is of this standard.

beebfader | 4/5 |


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