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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 346 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars People who are prejudiced against music with jazz and blues influences will miss out on this album at their own risk. "Valentyne Suite" is simply a masterpiece, one of the first examples of jazz-rock and as such an indisputed milestone in the history of rock. I was so lucky as to find it in double CD version, featuring the American edition of the album. The latter contains some tracks which do not appear on the European release (notably, "Rope Ladder to the Moon", "Jumping Off the Sun" and a jam-session-style take on Ravel's "Bolero"). The European edition also contains two extra tracks, the instrumental "Arthur's Moustache" and the passionate "Lost Angeles".

The musicianship on this record is quite extraordinary. Dave Greenslade is one of the unsung keyboard heroes of the '70s: indeed, the album's title track is build around his magnificent Hammond performance. Dick Heckstall-Smith plays great sax throughout, while Jon Hiseman is without any doubt one of the greatest drummers in rock. Then there's the very talented James Litherland on guitar and vocals. It's a real pity his career was short- lived (after leaving Colosseum he formed Mogul Thrash, with John Wetton on bass), as his voice is powerful and emotional, well-suited to the mood of the album.

As I said at the beginning, the album has a strong blues vein, which could be somewhat offputting for true-blue proggers. However, being 'progressive' also means being open to all kinds of diverse influences and not overlooking such influential albums as this one because it doesn't sound like Genesis or Yes. "Valentyne Suite" is a must for all lovers of great rock music - period.

Raff | 5/5 |


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