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Companyia Elèctrica Dharma - Diumenge CD (album) cover


Companyia Elèctrica Dharma


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.32 | 38 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Companyia Electrica Dharma (aka La Dharma) were, together with Iceberg and Orquestra Mirasol, one of the pioneers of the 2nd wave of catalan progressive music, the wave dominated by Jazz-Rock/Fusion. Formed around the core of the Fortuny siblings from Barcelona city, when they released this debut in 1975 they immediately became a benchmark for their talent and musicianship.

La Dharma would soon differentiate themselves from other bands by coining a very personal fusion of Jazz-Rock with traditional catalan music, very joyful and evocative of the summer festivities celebrations in a catalan village.

But in this debut album this sound had not yet evolved and we are treated with top notch classic JR/F in the style of Mahavishnu, RtF, Brand X and the likes, although one key element was already present being the trademark soprano sax evoquing the catalan tradional wind instrument tenora , which would remain a very distinct feature of their sound for their long career.

The album starts with the fast-paced Fesomies Urbanes (Urban Physiognomies), displaying right away their high musicianship, a track with plenty of electric piano adorned with great soprano sax and synth solos. It becomes immediately clear that Pep Fortuny's drumming is one of the highlights, amazing combination of rythmic playing with constant intrincate fills.

Lila calms things down, a beautiful soft piece based on spanish guitar with sax melodies full of sensitivity, which has a short reprise in Lalila, but before that we have the 10 min Capitan Trueno (a popular character from 1970's Spanish comics) with its groovy rythmic section and fantastic Rhodes, sax and guitar melodies and solos. Only one thing may be slightly criticised, Esteve Fortuny was (besides a good composer) a good guitarist playing rythm or mid-speed solos but when he attempted to solo at very high speed he couldn't compete with the greats like McLaughlin or Di Meola, which is not a shame (he would tragically die of a brain bleeding on stage in 1986, RIP).

Euforia is another great fast-paced fusion track with Rhodes, sax and guitar.

L'Harmoniosa Simfonia d'Un Cos (The Harmonious Symphony Of A Body) is split in 2 parts, the first dreamy with a very sensitive sax and the second more mid-tempo, great stuff.

El Bailaor Cosmic (The Cosmic Flamenco Dancer) has a soft piano intro and develops into a gorgeous mid-tempo theme with Rhodes and guitar solos, the rythm section again magnificient. The album closes with the short but highly energetic and syncopated Tema Dels Carrers Radioactius (Theme Of The Radioactive Streets).

A great Fusion album without any weak points, I can't give it less than 5 stars even if it's not yet very personal. As from their second album L'Oucomballa they retained their quality but they coupled it with their to-be trademark sound blending the Jazz-Rock/Fusion with catalan folk and popular music, which made them very unique and interesting.

Gerinski | 5/5 |


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