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Mats-Morgan (Band) - Heat Beats Live / Tourbook 1991-2007 CD (album) cover


Mats-Morgan (Band)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.08 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Hearing and seeing these guys playing leaves an impression, that they were actually born on stage: one behind the keyboards and another behind his drum kit. Saying that, it makes quite clear who is supposed to listen to their music. Why, those who were born on the other side of the stage of course, in the audience! It's a difficult kind of music to dig? but very rewarding.

This Swedish band makes a very intelligent, playful and bright fusion music. It's a sort of musical Pointillism, when the melody is not exposed wide open, but hided behind a lot of small points: drum strokes, bass punctures, electric sounds, etc. To make a reference point: it reminds sometimes of Weather Report, Return To Forever and Frank Zappa. All this with an unheard of drumming by Morgan Ågren as a total experience: artistic and prolific, intelligent and skilful. The keyboards playing by Mats Öberg reminds Joe Zawinul at his best. Amazing fact is that this guy is blind.

I have found these statements about the group on the web: "They played unbelievable, just unbelievable."- Frank Zappa. "Remarkable technical expertise and playing skills"- Bill Bruford. I completely agree with this. I would just like to add, that it is not only the technique, that enchants me, but also the composing, playing chemistry, energy, the total experience of something beautiful happening on stage, something I became a part of, even hearing this in my room. They don't need to give space to each other and to improvise on turns. Their melody lines and improvisations are like different colours, sometimes paralleling and sometimes overlapping each other, never disturbing, but supporting each other, and all together creating a beautiful musical painting. Reading their biography learns, that they indeed started to play music at a very young age. Morgan Ågren, for example, has been a drummer since age of four. Mats Öberg joined him in 1981, when Morgan was 14 and Mats was 10. Three years later, in 1984 they formed Zappesteetoot, a Zappa tribute band. They actually played with maestro himself, for the first time during Zappa's tour in Sweden in 1988. Later, they came to US to play with Zappas's Universe in 1991 and his Orchestra of Our Time in 1993. Read a story about one of these events by Morgan on their web site, it is quite funny. Both of them appear also on Steve Vai's live album, playing the Grammy winning song "Sofa". Over the years, they played in different bands and sets, but they always played together as well, touring a lot as Mats/Morgan band and issuing a cd once in a while.

This issue contains a live CD, compiled from songs played during different concerts, all in the period 2005-2007, and a DVD, containing quite a number of performances by Morgan Ågren, over the period of 16 years. Interesting stuff, and even more interesting for the young drummers, who will learn a lot from this DVD I guess. Check his home-made drums for example, or some amazing performances and solo's.

Recommended for RIO, fusion, jazz and avant-garde connoisseurs.

justaguy | 2/5 |


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