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The Psychedelic Ensemble - The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur CD (album) cover

THE DREAM OF THE MAGIC JONGLEUR

The Psychedelic Ensemble

 

Neo-Prog

3.93 | 107 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
5 stars Thanks again to Sunhillow and progstreaming.com. Does anyone recognize how lucky we are to have The Psychedelic Ensemble in our lives? Three top notch albums in three years--and all conceived, composed, performed, and produced by one guy! Has there ever been a solo composer/performer who has produced music of this quality? And people: This Is The Best of all the Psychedelic Ensemble releases. It is utterly astounding! Time after time I am blown away by the emotion, the virtuosic performances--on many instruments--and the incredible clarity and engineering of this production. There are many times on this album that I am hearing an instrument solo, duelled by another, then a third! a FOURTH! even a fifth instrument gets into the act-- all playing top notch riffs, talking to each other through the fire of their instruments. Astounding! Amazing! God! I hate these reviews and the inability to get my excitement and enthusasm across. This, not "Shattered ..." or "Visions" or "Grace for ..." or "Ghosts" or SKE may be the Album of the Year!! Certainly the year's Best Album That Nobody's Ever Heard! There is no keyboard player on the planet that can compare to this guy's power and versatility.

The album opens with a cacophony of beautiful world sounds: bells, sitars, church organ, fuzz guitars and so much more, before it kicks into a great rocker with such a fullness of sound. "Overture: Into the Night" (9/10) is such a 'complete' well-thought out, well- constructed song (much like many of the BIG BIG TRAIN compositions of recent years)--which sets the stage for a whole album of absolutely TOP QUALITY music. The 5:54 mark gives the first real introduction to the ride you're in for: amazing soli, multiple instruments dueling (in this case like STEVE HOWE and RICK WAKEMAN in their finest hours).

The instrumental "The Quest" (9/10) begins with a STARCASTLE/ROBIN TROWER sound until the main themes are played simultaneously buy guitars and multiple keyboards. Love the 'bubble bass' sounding not unlike fretless master PERCY JONES. He even gets a solo (an awesome one at that!) at the 2:40-3:10 span. Return to STARCASTLE/YES sound. Awesome energy!

"The Secrets of your Mind" (9/10) opens with a bit slower pace but with exciting 'bubble' JACO PASTORIUS-like bass patterns. Vocals are rather high and etheric--somehow similar to JAMES TAYLOR--with some really well-constructed intricate harmonies. The long solo section has more laid back and layered approach to multiple instrumental soli--electric and acoustic guitars, electric and acoustic keyboards, GENIUS! Absolute genius!!

Next is the mind-bending church organ song, "The Benefaction of the Nobal Wizard" (10/10). This was my first experience while listening to this album of goosebump and awe. It starts simply, unassumingly. Then, suddenly a full organ chord is added. Then second had and bass pedals. The effect is humbling, truly humbling. Not unlike Wakeman's intro to Yes' "Awaken" combined with the the traditional Yes intro, Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite"--but with more emotion.

"Listen to Me" (9/10) brings us back to Earth--but at fairly high speed--and with some incredible keyboard and guitar work--the level of instrumental performance has just been turned up to 11! Vocals are the ONLY weak point here--and they aren't bad!

The all-too-brief "Stones to Flowers" (10/10) brings us back to the BEATLES/MAMAS & THE PAPAS 60s before gently fading into a dreamy BBT-like vocal collage.

"Magicking" (10/10) presents a beautiful, sensitive, virtuosic acoustic guitar duet. Somewhat reminiscent of "Mood for a Day" but moreso of Brother Ape's gorgeous BILL EVANS-like "In a Rare Moment" from 2010's In A Rare Moment of Insight.

"The Riddle" (10/10) puts speed and multi-instrumental soli back in our faces in a BIG way! My favorite song on the album, it is full of such hauntingly beautiful melodies--every vocal, instrument's sound, instrumental solo is of such high adrenaline pumping value that I don't think even JAN AKKERMAN could do it better! Once in a rare eon you wish there was a rating number higher than 10! This is it; my 11/10 for 2011/12! Amazing song. I listened to it over and over--had such joy trying to imagine playing all of the soli, imagining the level of extreme genius that could compose and perform at such a high level. He simply cannot be human!

Then--GET THIS--"The Riddle" is followed by a truly rare and amazing song of deft skillmanship:

The bass performance on "Dream and Premonition" (10/10) is jaw-dropping in a JACO PASTORIUS way. A song if you heard you would not soon forget!

The vocal harmonies and guitar and flutes on the JETHRO TULL-like "Strange Days" (9/10) is wonderful. Not unlike 2010's CICCADA release, like getting a fresh dose of great TULL!

The album's closer, the 11-minute epic "The End of Days: Epilogue" (9/10) is interesting for its emotional Richie Havens-like lead vocalist, high paced frenetic drumming (à la BROTHER APE), and of course, amazing interplay of what seems like an infinite number of keyboards and guitar. Great BIG BIG TRAIN feel to it.

A TIMELESS MASTERPIECE. (No arguments accepted.)

GET IT!

NOW!!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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