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Chester Gorilla

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Chester Gorilla, I presume named after a bit of a Frank Zappa song on "One Size Fits All", released their debut album in 2020, thirteen years after forming in Palermo Italy in 2007.

While this album is somewhat short, clocking in at just over a half hour, it is very promising.

The songs, mostly instrumental, are primarily inventive jazz-rock, with a blend of fusion and funk. Their sound is smooth and tight, with a sound that reminds me somewhat of the classic Soft Machine, with that 1970's flair of inventive composition, with a bit of humor that they express in both instrumentally and vocally.

Report this review (#2489394)
Posted Friday, January 1, 2021 | Review Permalink
3 stars Chester Gorilla took shape in Palermo, Sicily, in 2007. After many line up changes and an immature self-produced demo EP in 2011 entitled Solo guai, in 2019 the band recorded a good eponymous debut album that was released the following year on the independent label Vasto Records with a line up featuring Daniele Caviglia (guitar), Filippo "Phil" Caviglia (bass), Salvo Cheerio (trumpet, percussion) and Vincenzo Salerno (sax) plus the guests Cristian Manuk (flute), Alessio Masi (piano, synth) and Sergio Beercock (vocals, loop station). The overall sound is a nice mix of jazz-rock, funk and psychedelia with strong echoes of Italian seventies B-movies soundtracks while the artwork by Alba Scherma might recall Gong's "You"...

The brilliant opener "Puippara" is a lively track that seems coming out from a car chase scene of an Italian poliziottesco film. There's a good use of the flute while the frenzied rhythm and the nervous passages could recall bands such as Calibro 35. Next comes the dreamy "Shesone", calmer and sprinkled with exotic flavours...

"Peter The Elephant", features the guest Alessio Masi on piano and synth and starts by a calm piano passage and a bellowing sax, then the rhythm section comes in for a bold ride through the jungle on the back of an elephant in search for adventures while the following "Aripupollo Space" mixes jazz and psychedelia with funny, carefree inventiveness.

"Guacamole" blends pulsing bass lines and funky passages with darker, Mediterranean flavoured parts and a touch of mystery while the closer "The Heat", featuring the guest Sergio Beercock (vocals, loop station), goes in a different direction trying to combine jazz and soul with soft disco atmospheres and smooth lounge music.

On the whole, a good work.

Report this review (#2634237)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review #17: Chester Gorilla

An album with a nice sound, and a good vibe. Far from simple, and subtly indie. Pretty good :)

Chester Gorilla, debut work of the band with the same name, is an album with a mix of Jazz Fusion, folk and groove pretty cool.

I hope the band will release another album soon because this was really enjoyable. I listened to it for the second time when I went to the beach at sunset. Then I listened to a few songs while watching midnight in my backyard. And I must say, it's an album that can be enjoyed much more outdoors, and at any time.

To tell the truth, very diverse, fun, sentimental, with pretty clean sounds and instrumentation.

Puippara (17/20): A very friendly introduction to the album, with catchy flutes and keyboards.

Shesone (8/10): Something more "desert" ambient, with bongos, guitar standing out above the rest, and that western touch that fits quite well with the ambience of the other sounds. And I want to mention something, which is the short transitional guitar solo at minute 3:30 that reminded me a lot of "Octopus's Garden (Abbey Road)".

Peter the Elephant (4/5): We start the song with a space ambience, whales running aground, and the screams of an elephant transitioning to a guitar that would introduce the song. It is a calmer song, with saxophones in between adding one or another arrangement or arpeggio. Subtle rhythmic breaks with the soft saxophone picking up the end of some of the arrangements. "A Wildlife Song".

Aripuppollo Space (14/20): Something more dynamic. Starts with funk algorithms, progresses with a cut of quebrados and drums. And moves on to a more jazzy ambience with a focus on bass.

Guacamole (7/10): I don't know if I have much to say about this song. It's kind of simple but not that simple, and it's good. I was a little amused by the monkey sounds at the beginning. It might be the most "Jazz/Fusion" thing on the album.

The Heat (5/5): In my opinion, the best track on the album, and the only one with vocals. It has little cuts, interludes, breaks, harmonies, all together make for a great song to close the album.

8/10, 4 stars. A great album for the season, and surprising that it belongs in 2020.

Report this review (#2672484)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2022 | Review Permalink

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