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Lalle Larsson - Infinity of Worlds CD (album) cover

INFINITY OF WORLDS

Lalle Larsson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 74 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Life Line Project
5 stars When I recently entered my favorite record shop, the owner was just putting a new cd in the player and soon the shop was filled with astonishing keyboard orientated progressive jazz-rock. Upon inquiry it appeared to be the latest album of Sweden's top-keyboard player Lalle Larsson. Of course I bought the album and I have heard it lots of times since. Sweden has a long tradition of excellent jazz playing and lots of great jazz-musicians have come from Sweden. "Infinity Of Worlds" is another proof of this tradition.

On this album Lalle has surrounded himself with a couple of top musicians. Dutch top jazz-guitarist Richard Hallebeek is going for most guitar-leads, assisted by second guitarist Stefan Rosqvist, while the rhythm section is taken care of by drummer Mickael Wahlgren and bass-player Jonas Reingold who alternates between fretted and fretless bass. It's not just another vain display of incredible playing techniques as is so often the case with this type of jazz/fusion bands, but every composition on this album is worth enjoying to the last bar. Beautiful themes are alternated with impeccable solo's, the guitar playing of Richard Hallebeek being very impressive indeed. The keyboard playing of Lalle Larsson isn't just limited to the electronic keyboards. There are piano passages to be enjoyed that have the same gentleness of touché that remind me of that other great jazz- pianist/composer Duke Ellington. A Demon's Kiss alternates solid jazz-rock in the style of the best Return To Forever with very melodious piano-playing, while the beautiful sound of Richard Hallebeek's lead guitar leaves its clear mark on this title, a very strong opener. Otherwordly is built around a haunting and somewhat mysterious theme, that would do good in a suspense movie, the sequence of sounds (piano/guitar/synths) is chosen well and the composition is captivating right to the end. In my opinion City Of Lost Souls is the highlight of the album. It starts of with a subtle piano, soon joined by the splendid acoustic guitar playing by Stefan Rosqvist and the fretless bass of Jonas Reingold. In this composition Lalle's piano playing reaches the highest level of Duke Ellington subtleness, while the song moves up to a strength otherwise only reached in the best pieces by Chick Corea. A more heavy electric approach is to be found in Beyond Shadows, leaning on a heavy riff played by bass and guitar, sounding threatening throughout the piece. Beyond Shadows is constituting the solid stage on which Lalle displays all his skills on his electronic keyboards. In Lemuria a more dreamy and mysterious atmosphere is once more depicted. It starts of with some seashore sound effects, memorizing a civilization vanished into the depths of the sea. Once more the sound of Richard Hallebeek's guitar proves to be an excellent match for the full electronic keyboard sounds layered over this song. The longest composition and title piece Infinity Of Worlds starts, after a short synth introduction, with a piano, soon joined by a pulsating rhythm by bass and drums, working up to a climax, followed by another theme in a more symphonic mood. Infinity of Worlds takes us through worlds of different themes and changing atmospheres. It may not be the best possibility to end the album, because it doesn't conclude with the strongest theme, I still have to admit that "Infinity Of Worlds" is one of the strongest progressive jazz- rock albums I have ever heard. It will certainly please listeners who have enjoyed The Romantic Warrior by Return To Forever and it might just be possible that in compositional regards it even surpasses this other landmark of symphonic jazz-rock. Infinity Of Worlds has showed me a side of Lalle Larsson of which I would love to hear more, but that ofcourse is up to mister Larsson to decide.

If one could still have doubts about the compositional skills of Lalle Larsson, one should try to obtain the limited edition and get an extra disc containing an excellent live rendition of his Seven Deadly Pieces, showing Lalle as a composer and player of true modern progressive music. Being this an album that belongs in the collection of every true symphonic jazz-rock lover and regarding the fact that both the performance and the recording are of top quality the rating can only be a five star one.

Erik de Beer.

Life Line Project | 5/5 |

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