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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover

VALENTYNE SUITE

Colosseum

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.20 | 249 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Colosseum - Valentyne Suite (1969)

This really is a pleasent, eclectic proto-prog record. Colosseum plays a mix of heavy rock- songwriting, jazzy blues-rock, jazz improvisations & wind-sections and some very intelligent composition. The long title-track that fills side two can be seen as one of the first eclectic prog epics.

When I started writing this reviews I had to check the year of release of this album and I was actually a bit suprised. Dating from '69, this is really a revolutionary record! It's vision is more evolved then that of the debut of another major jazz-rock pioneer Chicago and the diversity of the material is also something worth mentioning. The musicians involved are all very very good, though I would like to point at key/organ-player Dave Greenslade as the real man of the match (mostly because of his amazing compositions and solo's on the title track). With two motivated vocalists the vocals stand-out as refreshing on every song (I'd almost think they had more vocalists). The use of sax played by Dick Heckstall-Smith is very good and functional. His solo's are also one of main attractions of the the title track.

The four songs on side one are all strong in compositions and all have their catchy moments (or are catchy throughout). The Ketlle has a hard-rock sound with that heavy'n'free Led Zeppelin feel. Butty's Blues is a more conventional (or should I say 'classic') approach on a jazzy blues. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice has a nice political feel and the refrein is very melodic and sticky. The ending section of the song is funny and a bit Gentle Giant like.

On side two, The Valentyne Suite, stands out as one of the major recordings of '69. With it's amzing adventerious eclectic opening section you can't help getting excited and a feeling of WOOHW arises. The varius sections are all very good, though I would like to refer to the extended key-solo by Greenslade and the sax solo (on an almost classcial theme) as highlights. The ending section of the song has less catchy parts and sometimes I loose my attention at the end of this huge composition. Still it has many good moments with a drum-solo and ofcourse a lot of rockin' guitar noodling.

Conclusion. This is a safe buy. This album is as much eclectic & proto-prog as it is jazz- rock and it's sound should appeal to fans both genres. Furthermore it's a prime example of the progressive genre gaining momentum in 1969. No less then an excellent addition to any prog rock collection for this one. Four stars.

friso | 4/5 |

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