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Jarka - Morgue O Berenice  CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars This obscure Spanish album has very little to do with prog rock really, or even jazz rock. It has much more in common with Herbie Hancock's solo albums from the 60's as well as Miles' Bitches Brew period. Probably the strongest link to rock is the use of fender rhodes, which is still overshadowed by the more frequent acoustic piano. Guitar tone is always jazzy clean, never distorted, think of MacLaughlin's playing on the late 60s Miles Davis albums. There is some good interplay going on in here, but the compositions are not the strongest. There are not really any tunes one will remember and sing in the shower. Very interesting is the last track, "Woody's Rag", which sees the band attempting to play straightforward bluegrass, and while it's quite enjoyable, they are obviously more at home at jazz. If you are a big fan of "Bitches Brew" or "In a Silent Way", then you might enjoy this one as well!
Report this review (#128029)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars My late father was a butcher, but you don't need to be a butcher's boy to recognise mince. I don't mean to savage an album that professional musicians have invested with their blood, sweat and snotters, but by the same token I don't want to see other ProgArchives members spending their hard-earned on a pile of poop. ''Morgue O Berenice'' isn't that bad of course, but it is a serious candidate for a single star rating.

Maybe it's all just a bit too creative or cerebral for me to appreciate fully. I'm all for some improvisational spirit but way too much of this album lacks form and rhythmic structure for my liking. I don't know if this is what passes for free jazz but I find it irritating and tracks like the aptly named ''Esquizofrenia'' would have me on the verge of a nervous breakdown if I had to listen to them too often.

There are a few moments that elevate the album to the level of mediocrity, mainly the tracks that feature Danny Somoza's mellow guitar tones such as the cool vibe of ''Moyenne Girl''. Main man Jordi Sabates relies on his acoustic piano for the most part although he switches to Fender Rhodes on the impressionistic ''Occidente'' with good effect.

Overall though, this is a major disappointment in comparison to Jarka's first album ''Ortodoxia''. I mean, jeezo Jarka, what in tarnation is going on with ''Woody's Rag''? A banjo-led foot-tapper alongside avant-jazz, incongruous or what! The public has largely overlooked this album, but the truth is they're missing hee-haw.

Report this review (#307709)
Posted Sunday, October 31, 2010 | Review Permalink

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