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Sébastien Gramond - 90 CD (album) cover


Sébastien Gramond


Eclectic Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars '90' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

With quite a few of the 'numbered' albums by the French multi-instrumentalist Sébastien Gramond, I have found them to be generally very indulgent, aimless pieces of jazz fusion that always sport the playing abilities of the artist, but rarely come together to create a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience. With '90', I was expecting more of the same keyboard noodling, but was pleasantly surprised to hear that Gramond has upped his sound a little bit here. Instead of something that sounds totally familiar, Sébastien Gramond has done something that stands out of the numbered albums. While it still deals with some problems that tend to bog it down, the album has enough merit to be worth checking out.

The big reference that came to me while listening to '90' was actually King Crimson; most notably the schizophrenic riff patterns of Robert Fripp. While the majority of the album still falls into the category of jamming and extended solos, there was definitely the impression here that Gramond attempted to bring his songwriting (or in the case of epics, 'composition') up a notch, featuring many gradually building segments that are quite enjoyable to hear. Of course, each of the three epics here could have used some serious editing; the sections which drag on, drag on far longer than they ever should have. The solos are well done, but after a while, it tends to feel like the point has already been made, and that there is nothing else to really dig into from there on.

The production here is fairly weak; many of Gramond's otherwise quite good albums get hindered by a fairly noisy, lo-fi studio work that isn't necessarily the man's fault as a result of available resources, but still tend to take away from the enjoyment of the music. While '90' doesn't have enough going for it to merit the long extended passages it contains, the Crimson- esque style that Gramond has gone for here works to his advantage. A fairly good album.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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