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Dean Watson - Imposing Elements CD (album) cover

IMPOSING ELEMENTS

Dean Watson

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 123 ratings

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Vibrationbaby
4 stars Instrumental concept pieces are nothing new. From Gustav Holst to Chick Corea composers / musicians have endeavoured to express their thoughts and visions through the medium of musical language. Dean Watson's latest " Imposing Elements " CD is a bit more abstract. It incontrovertably requires some outside of the box imagination in order to fully appreciate his attempt to interpret, musically, a singular piece of artwork by contemporary artist Ron Eady. Watson faces a daunting gauntlet of challenge here ; making a lot out of a little just as he did with his previous " Unsettled " album, another Eady / Watson collaboration. If the album cover featuring Ead'y's intimidating industrial-like image didn't have "Dean Watson Imposing Elements " written on it one might be decieved into thinking that this was the latest release from Rammstein or Nine Inch Nails.

But for those familiar with Watson's previous works will know that it is time to strap into the ejection seat for another fusion roller coaster ride. Again, Watson plays everything masterfully with emphasis on different combinations of keyboards that seem to be his weapons of choice. It can sound a bit clinical at times but Watson's bass work adds warmth and depth. He knows when it is not required and sometimes will substite lower end piano keys when he feels it is more appropriate. Watson reveals many of his influences throughout the work as well ( he's been at this for almost 40 years! ) and the most obvious ones I could pick out were McLaughlin, Metheny, Floyd and Miles amongst others. The drumwork is a frankenstein cross between Cobham and Bruford and like everything else is razor sharp in execution. Like the previous " Unsettled " I can't help but thinking of Bruford's 1979 " One Of A Kind " album especially on the final track New Resolution where breifly, unless my ears are playing tricks on me, the ghost of Oscar Peterson shows up! While I might be clutching at straws with these correlations, in the end it's Watson all the way with his unique interpretive powers.

Perhaps being a vestige of the 1970s and prior, I am probably tending to surgically deconstruct the work more than I should but everything works as a whole here. The fact that Watson does everything himself adds another dimension to the work. It seems like a constant rearrangement of ideas based on the painting until everything fits. He doesn't have the competition of other musicians or an engineer bickering over chords, key changes, time signatures etc. I might add that the production is impeccable as well. I recently reviewed an otherwise excellent album that was produced by seasoned professionals and it was as if the bass wasn't even there at times much to the chagrin of the band. Everything is in perfect balance here and Watson doesn't go off the deep end anywhere and even manages some brave speed guitar runs.

A very unique concept album of well thought out collection of alternate ( musical ) interpretations of a trancendental painting that each have their individual arrangements, moods and dynamics. Even if one wants to discard it's metaphysical aspects "Imposing Elements " is another fusion delight that invites multiple listens on the headphones.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |

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