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Tesseract - Tesseract CD (album) cover

TESSERACT

Tesseract

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Interesting US Prog band from California, gathered in the middle of the 90's around multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Don Tillman and featuring also Karen Bentley on violin, Julius Smith on keyboards/acoustic guitar, Dave Berners on bass and Josh Schroeter on drums as the original crew.This was the formation that recorded the band's only album at Studio 11 in Mountain View, California between October 96' and January 97'.Don Tillman was also the producer and sound engineer of this work, released independently by the band.

Very US-styled Prog Rock, sounding a lot like KANSAS minus the hard-hitting moments with a dash of DIXIE DREGS in the inventive Jazz/Fusion passages.As you have already guessed, Karen Bentley's violin plays a dominant role in the album and offers some beautiful solos and Classical-drenched melodies, not to mention the interplays with Tillman's accomplished keyboard moves.With a mix of short and lengthy tracks, Tesseract played basically a vintage-styled Symphonic Rock with notable jazzy influences here and there, the music is both melodic and complex, containing refined arrangements, sudden breaks and atmospheric themes, while the vocals are rather limited, giving space to extended instrumental ideas.The most Classical-based textures have a lot in common with OUTER LIMITS and their majestic sound, but there are still some vibes from the music of HANDS or PENTWATER in the album.Some fine combinations of acoustic guitars, violin and keyboards are absolutely efficient, delivering mellow but professional interplays, while the constant use of organ adds the intense, nostalgic flavor, even if the synthesizers are also in full display.The parts with the electric guitars in evidence are those to come closer to KANSAS' classic style, but Tesseract prefered to create more melodic than angular grooves and leads.

Immediately after the release of the album Dave Berners was replaced by Steve Stone and in 1998 more line-up changes occured with Tillman and Bentley as the only original members, surrounded now by bassist Mark Yeary and drummer Jason Gianni.In 2001 Tesseract continued practically as a one-man band with Tillman handling all instruments except drums, provided by one Nicolai Gvatua.Soon they were destined to be put on ice with Tillman focusing on his daytime job and his family duties.

Not a work to pass by.This is nicely performed, vintage-styled Symphonic Fusion in the vein of KANSAS, HANDS and DIXIE DREGS with great violin work and some impressive arrangements.To be discovered...3.5 stars.

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Posted Saturday, June 14, 2014 | Review Permalink

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