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Trioxyde - Hey Carlos CD (album) cover

HEY CARLOS

Trioxyde

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Trioxyde's third album, Hey Carlos, is considered (as the title implies) a tribute to the legendary guitar maestro Carlos Santana. This album consists of all original material, but it's clear from the very beginning that Trioxyde appreciates a raw, seventies-oriented approach to jazz rock over the more modern sound. I consider myself to be a fairly big fan of early-to-mid seventies jazz fusion, so Trioxyde's sound was certainly welcome to these ears. And it didn't disappoint. Hey Carlos is an album of extremely high quality that shouldn't go unnoticed in the jazz rock community! The grooves are irresistible, the soloing is classy and professional, and the compositions never feel dull or tired. What more can you ask for?

Hey Carlos is instrumental jazz rock played in the "old school" variant. Not once on this entire album will you hear a wailing synthesizer or super-distorted guitar tone. Hey Carlos sticks with bass guitar, drums, electric piano, and electric guitar throughout its entire duration, yet never feels dull or boring. This record could've been released in 1971 and I wouldn't have noticed the difference. Although some people may complain about the "originality" factor, I think Trioxyde has managed to create an album that is not only enjoyable, but also unique in a sense. Fans of jazz rock from the pioneers of the seventies should have a blast listening to this album - I know I sure did. Picking a highlight is difficult, but my favorite is ultimately the title track. The grooves behind the solos in that song are just unbeatable.

Trioxyde has been around for 20 years, and the high level of musicianship certainly reflects that. Every musician in Trioxyde is extremely talented and professional; there's no weak link here. The production is also spectacular - it's somewhat raw, but extremely detailed and crisp. This is the way all jazz rock albums should sound.

I didn't know what to expect when diving into Hey Carlos, but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise! This is certainly one of the better jazz rock records I've heard in the last few years, and any fan of the genre is recommended to give this effort from Trioxyde a spin. This is a highly recommendable album that's worthy of a full 4 star rating. I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on this act in the future - they have the chops and the skill to really make some waves in the jazz fusion community. As far Hey Carlos is concerned, this is a great album that I'd recommend to just about any jazz rock fanatic!

Report this review (#411869)
Posted Sunday, March 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Over the last few years I have been playing a great deal of golden age of jazz, pre-war blues, and generally increasing my musical repertoire. I knew that this album was dedicated to Carlos Santana, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that it was jazz rock with the lead guitar often taking the melody lines (this is instrumental), but I wasn't quite ready for the huge amount of blues and early Seventies influence that was also involved. I first played this in the car on a beautiful February summer's evening, and I was blown away by what I was hearing, as it was a perfect accompaniment to the vista I was seeing through my windscreen.

This is classic, and class, early Seventies jazz rock with almost as many stylings being borrowed from Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac as it is from Carlos himself. John McLaughlin can also be heard if you pay close attention, but this is not the dramatic speedy runs that one sometimes gets from fusion, but a band playing close attention to the placement and spacing of each note and the impact being driven from all of this. Drummer Charles Beauregard is a jazz man at heart, and can go from rim shots to complex rolls, or moving around the kit or dancing on the cymbals, whatever is the right way to provide the desired emphasis. Michel Mergaerts has a wonderfully warm and delicate approach to bass, so that while he can bang it in with the guitar he is often found playing a beautiful counter melody that adds a depth which allows the lead musicians to shine.

These are Dostaler William who not only provides piano but some wonderfully dated organ sounds, and J-F Girard on guitar. These two are normally the ones at the front, although they do allow the others to come through when the time is right, and the production provides clear space between the two of them. There is little in the way of over-dubbing, so the sound between the four of them is always clear and feels pure. It is a perfect album? Well, it is hard to say that anything is ever really perfect, but this is damn close. Damn close.

Over the years I have heard many of the releases from the great Canadian label Unicorn, and this is easily one of their very best. This is for those who want to hear great music taking influences from the best of jazz and the best of blues to produce something that is really quite special indeed.

Report this review (#1691116)
Posted Friday, February 10, 2017 | Review Permalink

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