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Gunesh Ensemble - Rishad Shafi Presents: Gunesh CD (album) cover

RISHAD SHAFI PRESENTS: GUNESH

Gunesh Ensemble

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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5 stars Gunesh Ensemble is a Progressive Jazz Fusion band, which was and still remains more than just famous in the former USSR and one of the most well-known outside of it. Gunesh's first CD released by the only Russian Prog-label "Boheme Music" consists of the band's two first LPs that originally were released by the well-known Soviet 'recording monopolist' "Melodiya" in 1980. Gunesh, in general, is undoubtedly one of the most unique Progressive Rock bands of all time. The music is a beautiful mix of fusion, rock, jazz, avant-garde, middle-east and even pop. A brass section gives to some songs a beautiful texture. Different singers in their native language borrows the album a very enjoyable texture. We can hear some Mahavishnu, some Embryo, some Osibisa, some ethnic, and the combination of some traditional music like mugams with these influences results in an incredible album, totally unique led by Rishad Shafi, for many, including Peter Gabriel, the best drummer, at least in the 80's. Awesome!

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Send comments to Melos (BETA) | Report this review (#34500)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all I would like to agree with Pedro, Band's music is absolutely unique and beautiful. This "ensemble" (as they call itself) from Turkmenistan demonstrates amazing power of eastern culture. Especially I would like to say that one of my favorite song's them from this album - The Rhythms of the Caucasus - are taken from Georgian people's old national dance named "Shalakho", where the ancient population of the Georgian's capital Tbilisi called "Kinto" were dancing at the gentleman parties. Also great song is "Date With a Sweetheart'. Excellent work.

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Send comments to Vasil Jalabadze (BETA) | Report this review (#34501)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absolutely unique. The fusion of etnic and Zappa music made by Richard, it created an incredible album, very ard to find but essential in any collection of progressive rock. The drumer is fantastic and the audition of this album makes us suffer different hearing experiences. The arrangements from the metal instruments are very well done and the fusion of etnic and jazz noise, created a unique atmosfere that I like very much.

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Send comments to Joćo Paulo (BETA) | Report this review (#168281)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Two first original Gunesh albums released on one CD. Very interesting release!

The very first song is named by Soviet space center Baikonur in Kazakhstan and it begins with bombastic Kremlin bells sound and Soviet-time TV news translation about regular space-shuttle start. With some cosmic noises over it. But then the music begins...

Gunesh was very original and unusual band in Soviet early 80-s. They played high calibre spacey jazz-fusion, based around extremely capable drummer Rishad Shafi rhythms. Whenever based on Central Asian land, very important components of this instrumental music was Eastern folk traditions. Mix all together with psychedelic rock flavour, and you will have kind of "Central Asian Canterbury sound", or Gunesh music.

Band's first album was released in 1980, during first peak of rock movement in former USSR, and they participated in all main Rock Fests of that time. Never re-released, their debut, still available as Soviet time vinyl LP only, is extremely rare recording. Their second album (with quite different line-up, but based around Rishad Shafi excellent drumming as well) was released in 1984.

Even if some moments and total sound production often sound dated, these two albums ( both presented on this Czech-released compilation CD) could attract many spacey oriental psyche fusion fan by their unique atmosphere and excellent drummer work of Rishad Shafi.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#292371)
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team
5 stars RISHAD SHAFI PRESENTS GUNESH is a compilation album released in 1999 and contains the first two albums of the GUNESH ENSEMBLE: 'Гунеш (Gunesh)' and 'Вижу Землю ( I See Earth)' Previously these two albums were only available on one initial vinyl pressing and have remained rare and most likely quite pricey if you can even find one. As a lover of this type of eclectic world fusion of ethnic traditional sounds and jazz-rock, i am eternally grateful that someone took the initiative to make this music available at a reasonable price.

The one drawback to this compilation is that not only does it contain zero bonus or extra tracks, it also omits two tracks from the debut album: 'Акжа Кепдери (4:03)' and 'Ялан (2:44). It also for some mysterious reason changed the titles of several tracks:

Original GUNESH album / RISHAD SHAFI PRESENTS'

Жиги-Жиги (Девушка) (3:42) / Младший Брат ' The Younger Brother

2. Туни Деряп (5:28) / Плач Шасанем ' The Lamentation Of Shahsanem

3. Акжа Кепдери (4:03) / omitted

4. Восточный Сувенир (4:58) / same title (Oriental Souvenir)

5. Кечпелек (7:08) / Горькая Судьба ' Bitter Fate

6. Ялан (2:44) / omitted

7. Коне Гузер (4:15) / Свидание С Милой ' Date With A Sweetheart

8. Арманым Галды (3:12) / Утолённая Любовь ' Requited Love

The pluses are that the packaging is bilingual in English and Russian and tells the story of the GUNESH ENSEMBLE's history in the Soviet Union era Turkmenistan and of course that this wonderful music is available on CD! This is worth the price of admission for the second album alone but six out of eight tracks off the debut album are quite worth hearing as well. Another band that i would've loved to hear a few more albums from.

Album 1 = 4 stars Album 2 = 5 stars Thus 4.5 rounded up

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1421926)
Posted Sunday, May 31, 2015 | Review Permalink

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