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Chameleon - Luminous Morning CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars This duo makes a very big fusion noise. Arne Jonasson plays guitar, bass and keyboards while Patrik Sundqvist propels their compositions with powerhouse percussion. The album opens at a cracking pace with 'Recipe for a charm'. Drums pound and the guitar squalls until some overdubbed synth smooths the sound a little. It is fast and dense and would be in good company with Alan Holdsworth or Bill Conners (Return To Forever).

By the time we get to the fourth track, 'The Cow' the pace is a little mellower and one can hear some hints of other melodic influences; a few phrases vaguely recalled fellow Swedish instrumentalist Bo Hansson. Indeed the next piece, 'Soaring Woodhelven' seems to reference Tolkein and Hansson's 70's albums. But this is definitely contemporary; the notes tell us the music was recorded in Spring 1997 though the CD sleeve is shy of any other dates.

Title track 'The Luminous Morning' is a more reflective piece which comes as something of a relief after all the flying fretwork. There is also a slow blues '(Blues for the) Keeper of the Possible' that works effectively by way of contrast. The album finishes as it began, with furious drums and virtuoso guitar playing on 'Do you know the colours?'

There is a lot of music on this album: 14 tracks and 73 minutes of it. All of it is expertly played and beautifully recorded. If there is a criticism, it is that one can have too much of a good thing. Although the playing is excellent, ears begin to tire when the sound pallet is mostly coloured by guitar and drums. RATING: Vision & Innovation: 22/30; Playing & Composition: 26/30; Listener Enjoyment: 22/30; X-Factor [cover, variety, reviewer bias]: 6/10. Total: 76/100 -> 3.5 Stars.

Report this review (#247006)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are bands that get to you, albums that you do no expect that suddenly impress you since the first time you hear it. This is one of them, for me. The Chameleon is a side project from the Swedish band Holy River Family Band. I was not expecting this kind of album, when I found about about this release and knowing well Holly River Family Band, I was ready to hear music closely related to them, instead I got an energetic album, powerful and intense. An all instrumental work of over 70 minutes of music ( a bit too much for my taste) that delivers an incredible listening experience. With so many ways to access music on line and have an idea about it, no words make justice to what you hear, so take a trip over the net and have a enjoyable listening experience. The publisher has a listening area, the album is there.

Report this review (#1620116)
Posted Saturday, October 8, 2016 | Review Permalink

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