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Gong - Leave It Open CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

2.98 | 60 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Ah, the days when musicians strove to be innovative, original and eclectic. This magnificent album is one that must be heard on a hi-end audio system. The subtleties of sound on the title track, "Leave It Open", such as Pierre Moerlen's light percussive taps and cymbal resonances, Hansford Rowe's soft but energetic bass pulses and the colourful keyboard textures that are like brush strokes of paint, provide atmosphere for the more earthy sounding saxophone of Charlie Mariano. This piece is too atmospheric to be heard on a boom box. It must be heard with a solid amplifier boost and good speakers, to envelope the listener in a soundworld of mesmerising vibraphone and percussion, bass dialogue that sounds if venturing into an exotic jungle with wondrous anticipation, accompanied by saxophone played with a child's sense of wonder and abandonment but with a style and skill that sounds as if it was improvised by a Zen master who surrenders to become one with his instrument.

Bon Lozaga also appears throughout, adding a rock guitar sound to complement what appears to be a fusion of exotic, yet contemplative rock and fantasy. Today, this music might be found in a category with the word "chill" attached to it, but you can't categorize art rock like this, there is something here that defies trend or category, something unique that doesn't even belong in the 80's.

I first heard this album when I myself was only a child of 14. I remember how it stimulated my own imagination to venture off into another world that appeared fractal, mathematical, melodious and yet somehow coloured with brilliant hues of electric colour. It still feels as if Pierre Moerlen was deliberately trying to create such a soundscape: unpretentious, at times almost sounding stubbornly obstinate...and then a door opens into new terrain, with new ideas that invite you to explore with the musicians, to play alongside them with your inner child, awake and free.

I still laugh like a child when I hear "It's About Time", especially when the incredible percussive groove of congas, bongos, funky bass and drums suddenly stops... and we hear a door creaking open. A man says in a sarcastic but low voice, "It's about time!" and the outrageous party of percussion continues, soon to be joined again by Charlie Mariano's festive free form sax solo. A party to be remembered, as a man of 39 now remembers that party in his head when he was 14...

There is no other album like this, an extended exercise of what was seemingly begun on the album, "Time Is The Key". In fact, I would recommend buying both of these albums, as they appear to be connected to eachother like different chapters of the same book. A wondrous world of progressive fusion, yet most definitely introspective for the introspective type who likes to create soundscapes in the room while engaged in creative endeavours or multi-media work. And presented like a soundtrack to a fantasy movie...your movie.

| 5/5 |


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