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Hermeto Pascoal - Slaves Mass CD (album) cover

SLAVES MASS

Hermeto Pascoal

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 14 ratings

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Argonaught
2 stars This is 25% wonderful and 75% terrible album by an extremely talented and distinctive musician "Who Couldn't Care Less About What People Might Think".

There is no denying Pai Hermeto enjoyed - at least on Slaves Mass - rather exhaustive freedom of artistic expression. I hope he got an ocean of joy out of playing and recording the album; I certainly didn't from listening to much of it.

The album begins with a succulent, florid and delightfully long fusion track Mixing Pot. Just brilliant.

But then the charm slips away and some unbridled weirdness ensues in track #2. I had to endure disturbing and unnecessarily lengthy pig sounds, and some human moaning against the backdrop of a rather less-than-graceful general cacophony. This 4-minute track seems to drags on for 10-15 minutes, and not in a good sense (time dilation?).

Track #3, despite its shortness (2 minutes and a bit) provides a much-needed respite after the shock, induced by the #2. A very good, elegant, thoroughly enjoyable piece.

Track #4 is supposed to have something to do with with the excellent late Mr. Adderley; but it's just a collection of unpleasant and disjointed sounds, lingering for 5 minutes (which, likewise the track #2, feel like half an hour).

Flip the LP and you will be welcomed to the Side 2 by a lengthy piece of sonic abuse, titled Just Listen. For the first 2 minutes it's actually OK, being an eccentric piano solo .. nothing wrong with that. You'd hope, though, the pianist would get enough of himself, and the track would eventually blossom into some grandiose ELP-like piece of pompous prog, but this one just won't. Pai Hermeto keeps on punching, whacking, shoving and slapping the piano keys for another endless 5 minutes, taking short breaks once in a while (to air a false hope that the nuisance over, I suppose?). At one point the "music" begins to sound like a dozen over-caffeinated woodpeckers relentlessly poking the keyboard with the determination of a maniac and the speed of machine gun.

The remainder of the album is also a mixture of a couple of very good moment, diluted in about 1:4 ratio by complete nonsense.

With all due respect to the previous reviewers, it's two stars only and an automatic "no-buy" flag on the rest of senhor Pascoal discography (unless I bump into him in the $1 bin at our flea market).

Argonaught | 2/5 |

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