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Fenomen - Fenomen CD (album) cover

FENOMEN

Fenomen

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.30 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rivertree
Special Collaborator
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
4 stars This is a prolific album, rich of variety, worked out by a band named FENOMEN - completely new to me. They are from Istanbul and every member is wellknown right there when it comes to the Turkish jazz music scene. Thus variety also means that some die-hard prog purists may put a veto here and there - for me though it doesn't matter a bit. All ten songs, which were selected for their debut, are clocking between five and seven minutes, have much to offer. Pleasant to listen - you bet! I'm quite sure Ismail Soyberk - constantly juggling between fretless and regular bass - keeps things in hand in some way here. If needed he cares for the funky drive together with Bülent Ay, whose drum work is worth listening too.

As for the interplay they are acting like a longtime collective. Vocals are rarely placed - so much the more they make use of diverse wind instruments generously. So when trying to underscore some quintessential examples, probably Forever should be mentioned - a composition blending fine jazz pop, in the vein of Incognito maybe, as well as jazz rock which meets prog standards. What strikes is Levent Altindag's flute ... and Mert Topel adds a lively synth solo in between when the whole bands enters into a funky passage.

Now the tricky fusion track Indigo is my album highlight, simply fantastic! Reminding me of the early Return To Forever in some way, dynamic and groovy provided with several twists and turns. Irresistible - guitarist Baris Bölükbasi acts on the same level with the likes of Allan Holdsworth or John McLaughlin. And the melancholic A Sea View From Datça has a lot to offer - acoustic guitar with Mahavishnu Orchestra reminiscences, interesting vocals and string ensemble additions plus native impressions coming from Turkish drums and duduk.

Finally just let me say that FENOMENS's debut is a really entertaining piece of work, provided with a surprising bandwith and nice melodies, technically flawless on top of it. Well, with that said, I come to a rare conclusion: ideally suited to bring jazz/funk/soul fans closer to progressive jazz rock/fusion. Should be part of a prog fan's well sorted music collection. This CD entered my player most of all during the last weeks ... deep respect!

Rivertree | 4/5 |

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