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Yojo - Yojo CD (album) cover

YOJO

Yojo

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars It's some months that I have this album but because of personal constraints I have left it on my PC (it was a bandcamp's download) for all this time. It's a pity because I could have inserted it into the list for the PA album of the year. The band has a distinctive sound mainly due to trumpet and sax which contribute a lot in setting up a dark environment.

Look at the grey cover sleeve. If that picture can make you feel a sensation, it's the same sensatin that the music suggests. There are many differences, but the mood that trumpet and sax create is similar to the flugelhorn of Blade Runner Blues: a dark grey city under a plumbeous and oppressive sky.

The rest is jazz-fusion with slow tempo which reminds a bit to artists like Pat Metheny, Weather Report and, thanks to the trumpet, Mark Isham. Thinking better the opener "Skydiver" would remind clearly to Tibet if it wasn't for the percussion.

It's the kind of music that can make a rainy day enjoyable. My favorite track, not necessarily the best, is "Waltz" which is probably the darker.

Stronlgy suggested to all the listeners. Another great band from Mother Russia.

Report this review (#1126897)
Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The first release by the as-yet undiscovered Russian quintet is similar to but different than their recent (and recommended) sophomore album "Abduction", but of course the band itself had a different line-up in 2013. The music here is more assertive, leaning harder on the fluid dynamics of Alexey Borovets' electric guitar work, and a solid, sometimes funky rhythm section.

But the album's primary draw is the ace trumpet playing of the band's other Alexey (Gorshkov), and rightly so. The trumpet has always been an undervalued asset in rock music, and Gorshkov's ice-smooth voicing was used to excellent effect, embellished by an expansive production giving the music its occasional Space Rock undertow (as in the well-named "Alien"). It definitely isn't Jazz Rock Fusion, despite the convenient labeling in these Archives.

The group in its first incarnation may have lacked the confidence and maturity of the band that would record "Abduction", a few years later. Notice how some otherwise superb instrumental workouts ("Aftermath" and "Rough Sleeper") are spoiled by the insecure padding of random sound bites, from the David Lynch film "Eraserhead" and a speech by Barack Obama. But as an early album by young musicians still finding their musical focus it's an impressive effort.

Yojo is a group deserving wider exposure outside their Saint Petersburg hometown. The band's first album should be the second choice for curious newcomers, but it's certainly worth a search.

Report this review (#1637357)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2016 | Review Permalink

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