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MAHAGON

Mahagon

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover and E&O Teams
4 stars So, around 40 minutes of not so well known band from Czech Republic, which surprisingly possess few quite fine musicians (I want to mention especially Jiří Jelínek, from here overlooked (so far) band ETC). In spite of having touch by funk, maybe even little bit of soul (after all, their main influence should be "Blood Sweat & Tears", which is unknown to me, but could be in similar style, jazz-funk fusion) with much more prog feeling than first album. After all, I know what this reminds me. A lot. Another Czech band from this era, Progres 2 and their album "Dialog s vesmírem", which was released two years later. Maybe this even influenced it. And also reminds of Hungarian band Solaris, with combination of flute and synths, so their "Marsbely" album. But this record can bring more. The reason why i want to give five stars, even star on verge of 4-5 is that it's probably the finest thing that was produced here. Yes, there were other jazz bands, but Mahagon went on another way, doing things differently. Yes, there are first 13 minutes, which are just above average, but rating this with 4 would be unfair. There are so many ideas and. For example, in work of Fermáta, even I like them, sounds sometimes quite the same. Like they're keeping themselves on beaten path. Ironically, this album is more adventurous and exploring, than Fermáta's concept album about adventurers.

4(-), worse rating is because of funk elements. Really very interesting album.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#240309)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mahagon was not very well known Czech fusion band, released two albums in late 70-s. This, debut release is very eclectic one. It opens with folk-fusion composition with strong folklore domination. Second song is pleasant,if not very original Latin jazz, obviously influenced by Return To Forever debut or Airto/Flora albums. Nice, competent, but not very original.

On third song it's time for funk. Guys obviously listened to Headhunters before they recorded this composition. Optimistic light fusion, too simple and far not original again. "Sen o zemi " is short pop-jazz song with wordless vocals.Next composition with soloing violin is one between most interesting on the album. This time source for inspiration was Ponty or,even more,Mihal Urbaniak. Nice composition with great drums and some Slavic soulful folk flavour (again as on Urbaniak's solo releases), but level of musicianship could be better.

"Pisecne Prisipe" is funk, with interesting keyboards and brass, kind of George Duke plus brass section. Not bad at all! "Pulnocni" is airy keyboards-led fairy tale tune, which continues as funky Weather Report's later song (with Flora Purim -like wordless vocals).

" Dívka s jablky" continues as groovy funk with same style female wordless vocals. Nice keys, not bad bass line. Album's closer, "Obrazarna", is brass filled almost big-band composition.

Very competent, but not original album with only average level of musicianship.My rating is 2,5 rounded to 3.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#352405)
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Of note i'm reviewing the 39 minute studio album only, not any of the commercial sounding bonus tracks which brought to mind their second album which I didn't like. This debut from the Czech band MAHAGON is simply a tour de force. The horns (trumpet, sax, clarinet) violin, clavinet, fender rhodes, synths, strings, guitar, female vocal melodies and more are a feast for the ears. There is funky groove at times and I was reminded of Hancock several times. Just a joy to hear this really.

"Dny, Mesce A Roky" opens with a scream that would make your hair stand straight up. A jazzy soundscape takes over and it's uptempo with sax, trumpet, violin and synths kicking ass. "More Klidu" opens with vocal melodies in a dreamy soundscape. It changes after 2 minutes with chunky bass and synths coming to the fore. Flute and vocal melodies join in. Nice. A calm ends it. "Clovek Kybernet" is funky with horns blasting. The guitar before 2 minutes starts to light it up then sax takes over. The music stops as we can hear what sounds like traffic going by then it kicks in again. This is awesome ! "Sen O Zemi" is a short piece with vocal melodies and lots of atmosphere. "Oci Nevidomch Zrcadel" reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA as we get this tension that you keep thinking will explode any second but it doesn't. Violin comes in as well.

"Pisecn Presypy" has these intricate sounds coming and going. So much going on here in this uptempo track. Electric piano too as Hancock comes to mind. Fantastic song ! "Pulnocni" opens with atmosphere as vocal melodies join in. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Yeah it does ! It settles back for the final minute sounding just like the intro. "Dvka S Jablke" has some huge bass lines as a funky groove kicks in with vocal melodies. "Obrazma" is fun with the horns blasting and that funky rhythm, A calm 3 1/2 minutes in with vocal melodies then violin.

This has been a pleasure, so much so i've burned it on a cdr minus the bonus tracks.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#751818)
Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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