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Companyia Elèctrica Dharma

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Companyia Elèctrica Dharma El Misteri D'En Miles Serra I Les Musiques Mutants album cover
3.26 | 8 ratings | 1 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Cal Que Ho Entengueu (6:35)
2. El Vent De Dalt (8:55)
3. D'una Manera Silenciosa (3:12)
4. Festa Camperola (6:28)
5. Roda Dolorosa (12:45)
6. Blue Noia (7:22)
7. Cadeau (4:14)

Total time 49:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Joan Fortuny / soprano sax
- Lluis Fortuny trumpet, keyboards
- Maria Fortuny Fender Rhodes, flute
- Carles Vidal / bass
- Josep Fortuny / drums

- Pep Rius / guitar
- Tra Bi Tianan / djembe)

Releases information

CD Picap ‎- 910603-11 (2008, Spain)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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COMPANYIA ELÈCTRICA DHARMA El Misteri D'En Miles Serra I Les Musiques Mutants ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COMPANYIA ELÈCTRICA DHARMA El Misteri D'En Miles Serra I Les Musiques Mutants reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gerinski
3 stars 3,5 stars. Companyia Electrica Dharma (or "la Dharma" as we catalans call it for short) was, together with Iceberg, one of the leading bands in the catalan fusion-prog scene of the 2nd half of the 70's, but while Iceberg disbanded around 1980 (or rather, some could argue, morphed into Pegasus), CED has continued releasing music more or less regularly, up to this album which at the time of writing (May 2011) is their last. They are highly respected among the spanish fusion scene.

While Iceberg followed a more standard jazz-rock-prog-fusion approach, CED developed a very unique style by incorporating traditional catalan folk elements in their music, and a very personal sound mostly due to a very peculiar soprano sax which takes some getting used to, many people find it weird, but it must be noted that this sound was conceived in order to emulate the "tenora", a traditional catalan wind instrument.

This album is a very specific project, an homage to two of their main influences, Joaquim Serra for the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2007, and Miles Davis. Serra was one of the main composers of traditional catalan folk music in the mid 20th century, with his music for "cobla" (more or less the catalan equivalent of the english brass band) and "sardana" (a folk dance in which a group of people dance in a circle holding each other's hands). This is a very old-fashioned music which I guess would not appeal at all to most prog-rockers, based on rather simple and innocent melodies backed by some decently musical arrangements. Miles Davis does not need any introduction.

The album concept is simple yet challenging: for each track take a tune from Serra and one from Davies and try to fuse them, adding some own input (which generally renders the end result more electric and energetic than any of the two original sources). The Miles Davis tracks used are "Bitches Brew", "It's About That Time", "Black Satin", "Lonely Fire" and "So What", the Serra tracks I will not mention since probably nobody will know them anyway. The result is surprisingly accomplished given how different both music styles are, in some tracks both source tunes are really merged, in some others it's more like they alternate.

As instrumentation, besides drums, bass, keyboards, rhodes, electric guitar and the trademark Dharma soprano sax, we have trumpet (obviously in a Miles Davis inspired album), fiscorn (a traditional catalan baritone brass instrument), flabiol (another catalan instrument cousin of the recorder) and djembe percussion. The great musicianship contributes to a very good end product.

The exception to the Serra & Davies tunes concept is track No. 3 "D'una manera silenciosa", their version of "In a silent way" by Joe Zawinul, and while the last track "Cadeau" is credited as original by CED it can be considered as a reprise to track No. 4.

All in all a very good and highly interesting and original album, but while it can not be strictly considered as a covers album, it is not a fully original music album either, and partly because of this I round 3,5 stars down to 3. Highly recommendable but unless you are a big Miles Davis fan or a catalan who knows CED already, I would not recommend this as a starter, you better discover this amazing band by any of their wonderful albums from the late 70's / early 80's.

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