Header

DEAN WATSON

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Canada


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dean Watson picture
Dean Watson biography
Dean Watson is a Toronto, Canada based multi-instrumentalist who was inspired by his mother at a young age while listening to her playing standards on the piano. Since then he has played everything from country to latin but prefers progressive jazz fusion and started his first progressive rock band, AirKraft, in the late 1970's. He has attained Grade 10 level Royal Conservatory piano in addition to grade 2 music theory and has been actively involved in music education. Along the way he has owned just about every keyboard known to humankind but has sold most of them, retaining only a small subset of his once massive arsenal. Among his varied guitars he also plays his own homebuilt models. In early 2008 he entered into a collaboration with drummer / percussionist extraordinaire Barry Connors ( Coney Hatch, Lee Aaron ) with whom he had played with in AirKraft. Together they formed a crazed progressive fusion jazz experiment that also gave nods to 70s progrock called Where's The Nine ( see separate PA entry ) and released a CD appropriately titled " Desensitized To Insanity " on the Toronto based Cyclone Records label that also includes other noted Canadian artists on their roster such as Steve Negus ( ex- Saga ) and Holly Woods formerly of the prog / pop band Toronto.

Dean's most recent project, " Unsettled ", is another collaboration but with a different approach. Again drawing musical inspirations from 70s fusion jazz and progrock, this time he imagined his music from a single painting by prolific Canadian artist / sculptor Ron Eady entitled " Unsettled". Eady's unpredictable work has appeared internationally in exhibitions, publications as well as in various public and private collections. Watson's musical interpretations and concepts were spawned by hours of staring at the haunting expressionist-like work and the result, although not as inflamed as the Where's The Nine project, it is nonetheless technically out of this world with Watson handling all instrumentation ( keyboards, guitars, drums, percussion, et al) , recording, mixing and mastering.

Slated for release sometime in the second half of 2010 '' Unsettled " holds appeal for all those who miss the fusion jazz and progrock of the glorious seventies and can be heard in it's entirety on Dean Watson's myspace linked below. In the meantime another Dean Watson concoction is in the works based on another enigmatic Ron Eady painting yet to be disclosed. .

Why this artist must be...
read more

Dean Watson official website

DEAN WATSON MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

DEAN WATSON forum topics / tours, shows & news


DEAN WATSON forum topics Create a topic now
DEAN WATSON tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "dean watson"
Post an entries now

DEAN WATSON Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to DEAN WATSON

Buy DEAN WATSON Music


UnsettledUnsettled
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$13.36
$11.87 (used)
Imposing ElementsImposing Elements
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$13.41
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy DEAN WATSON music online Buy DEAN WATSON & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for DEAN WATSON DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

DEAN WATSON shows & tickets


DEAN WATSON has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

DEAN WATSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEAN WATSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 50 ratings
Unsettled
2010
3.97 | 128 ratings
Imposing Elements
2012
3.96 | 21 ratings
Fantasizer!
2014

DEAN WATSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEAN WATSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEAN WATSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEAN WATSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DEAN WATSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fantasizer! by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 21 ratings

BUY
Fantasizer!
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Multi-instrumentalist Dean Watson has released an album bi-annually since 2010 with the debut "Unsettled", and followed up with "Imposing Elements" Both albums fuse jazz rock together with eclectic instrumentals. With Dean at the helm playing all instruments. The third studio release is "Fantasizer!" and again it is a one man show with jazzy instrumentals layered over with keyboards and a dose of lead guitar soloing. The drums are electronic but sound effective enough. The album opens with the title track, with splashes of heavy guitar and meandering keyboards with some fast phrases. At just over 8 minutes it is one of the longest tracks on this release.

'Twig' follows with jumpy time signature and staccato keyboards. The synth solo is frenetic and there are some very accomplished lead guitar solos that trade off. It is very up tempo music and there are some twists along the way leading to a lonely melancholy piano passage.

'Freak' focusses primarily on lead guitar with some incredible tremolo work and speedy fret melting playing. The keys counter balance the mayhem with sustained Mellotron pads. Watson tickles the ivories on an isolated piano, then quiet synths wash over like Summer rain. Some guitar breaks the peace with emotional outbursts, sounding a little like Fripp's style of King Crimson.

'Nomad' is replete with extreme jazzy electric piano as a hi hat percussion splashes. This one has a genuine jazz night club vibe and some wonderful violining guitar and Tron keys. It is even reminiscent of Mahavishnu Orchestra in places, the blend of rock and jazz over a complex metrical pattern. I like how it changes mood with sustained strings and then launches into heavier guitars and happy organ sounds.

'At Odds' returns to the rockier side of the music. The time sig is fractured and the guitars dominate on this track. There is even the unmistakeable feel of ELP's 'Tarkus' in the keyboard phrases and sounds. 'The Anomaly' is a synth driven piece, over a steady tempo and exploratory guitars. One section sounds like the riff of 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic' by THAT band again. I guess Watson is inspired by the masters of jazz fusion, King Crimson, and why not?

'Linear Tendency' has more fast paced sporadic lead guitar playing over a jazzy tempo. 'Caged Creator' is the lengthy 11 and a half minute mini epic of the album, and perhaps the one to hear for those who want an example of Watson's dexterity as a musician. It moves from peaceful keyboards to outlandish guitar soloing, showcasing the virtuosity of Watson and his inventive musicianship. 'Solemn' finishes the album with a short piano jazz solo. Watson plays calmly and beautifully a very soft piano, concluding the album on a tranquil note.

Once again Dean Watson has released a very jazzy and well executed album that crosses over into a range of musical styles. I was not as enamoured with this as "Imposing Elements", but I am still impressed with this one man instrumentalist and how he is able to compose some stunning instrumentals.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Fantasizer! by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 21 ratings

BUY
Fantasizer!
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars This is a nice Jazz-Fusion follow-up to 2012's excellent and accessible Imposing Elements.

1. "Fantasizer!" (8:17) is quite a nice, melodic, multi-instrumental-featuring opener. A little PAT METHENY GROUP feel to it--until the heavier section begins at the 3:25 mark, which becomes more prog-like. It also reminds me of some of HIROMI'S SONICBLOOM's work in the Naughties. (9/10)

2. "Twig" (5:39) opens, oddly, as if it is a remake of the previous song! Again, the HIROMI feel is quite strong. The synth vocal choir is awesome. At 1:12 the song breaks to establish a sparse, almost Minimalist soundscape on which a very catchy piano melody hooks us in. At 2:45 a Tarkus-like keyboard section begins and sustains this ELP feel until the 4:00 mark, when another silent, open spaced section allows a piano to speak a few phrases, before the return to a high-powered full-band section based upon the melody from Section B. One of my three favorite songs on the album. (9/10)

3. "Freak" (7:32) opens quite ominously, with some great rhythm and chord progressions, before settling into a driving pace not unlike an ALAN PARSONS instrumental. The guitar lead work is great but, for some reason, it is the backing keyboard work that keeps reaching up to grab my attention--including a very awesome LYLE MAYS-like keyboard solo at the end of the third minute. The slowed down piano-led section in the sixth minute loses some of the song's well-established momentum, but gradually builds back into some tension--which is then relieved by some nice ALLAN HOLDSWORTH-like guitar runs. Unfortunately this section sounds too much like some of the more awesome moments from Imposing Elements (specifically, "Past Present," "Pendulum," and "New Resolution"). (8/10)

4. "Nomad" (7:36) opens with a very jazzy electric piano solo. There is a CHICK COREA/DAVE STEWART kind of feel to this. As the song finishes out it becomes more NATIONAL HEALTH-like. Keyboards definitely rule the roost on this one. (8/10)

5. "At Odds" (4:18) opens with a wonderful bass, drums and organ rhythmic progression. Eventually some nice guitar work spits its way into the song--alone and over the full-band music. Probably my favorite song on the album because of the drum and organ interplay--as well as the odd time signatures and frequent tempo changes. (9/10)

6. "The Anomaly" (4:38) opens on a very upbeat, melodic fashion, with piano and synths establishing the song melodies over very solid drum beat and some very cool bass play. A spacious interlude at 1:15 has a PAT METHENY GROUP feel to it until, again, some electric guitar power chord strums bring us out. Some guitar riffs at 2:35 bring us to another level, setting up some more ALLAN HOLDSWORTH-like guitar soloing. The consistent background piano arpeggios and bass play make this my other top three. (9/10)

7. "Linear Tendency" (5:48) almost a RUSH "Tom Sawyer" intro leads to a very jazzy piano section over a very jazzy rhythm section. Soloing synth mirrors piano, then organ takes a brief turn at lead (awesome midi-bass-marimba chord play in the background!). Another LYLE MAYS-like mid-song keyboard interlude. At 3:30, the now-familiar HOLDSWORTH-like guitar enters, trading solo time with keyboard synths. Familiar Watson sound and structures. (8/10)

8. "Caged Creator" (11:32) is the album's "epic." It begins like a typical PAT METHENY-LYLE MAYS introspective: gently, yet cerebrally. At 1:43 the song finally shifts into second gear with cymbal, piano, bass, and, finally, drum entry. Mid-third minute, the sound empties out for some midi piano-marimba arpeggiation. Rock rhythm section rejoins and then, with electric guitar and then organ leading the way, the song tries to kick into third gear. But, no! It all hiccups again for a few bars until things really kick into Drive at the 4:08 mark. Electric guitar takes over leadership for a while (with organ playing a nice second fiddle), with slight additions from marimba, bass and drums, before yet another interlude has the song bottoming out in a METHENY-MAYS-like potential energy-laden piano and "horn-guitar" section. It's actually quite a nice section--especially as it sustains for a full two minutes, before downshifting into a one minute acoustic (tho mellotron supported) section. Shift back into drive as piano and guitar/bass chords mirror minor progressions, back to major and then return to the intro theme for the last 45 seconds. Good song that has grown on me over the past couple months. (8/10) 9. "Solemn" (3:16) is a beautiful little almost BILL EVANS/HIROMI-like piano outro. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. (9/10)

A well-crafted foray onto that elusive bridge over the valley between Jazz Fusion and instrumental Prog Rock that should stand up well over time as has its predecessor, Imposing Elements. I like the engineering/recording/production on this one better than that on IE, but there is something lacking, something exceptional or extraordinary, which keeps me from giving this 5 stars.

4.5 stars rated down for 'Dean Watson' familiarity.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Fantasizer! by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 21 ratings

BUY
Fantasizer!
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Tantalisingly close to 5 stars, this music may be the perfect crossroads for many proggers. You love Jazz-Rock/Fusion but it is sometimes "too jazzy" for you? You love symphonic but it is sometimes "too bombastic"? You love eclectic but it is sometimes "too inconsistent"? You love metal but it is often "too trivial"? And you love instrumental music, with display of virtuosism but without falling into meaningless speed show-offs?

Well, Dean Watson may have a juicy proposal for you. This highly skilled and talented musician and multi-instrumentalist has produced a brilliant one-man effort like few I had heard in recent years.

While the music is clearly Jazz-Rock/Fusion, he covers a very wide spectrum of the genre, from classic JR/F ala CHICK COREA to heavy fusion ala TONY MACALPINE or DEREK SHERINIAN, while occasionally nodding at Symphonic classics such as ELP or UK or Eclectic kings KING CRIMSON.

Watson is so full of ideas but he does not hang on them for too long, no overdone noodling here at all, he changes and breaks continuously before one can get too much of anything, the album is incredibly dynamic switching from slow passages of piano or atmospheric keys to frantic ones with very fast soloing on synth or guitar, continuously. And yet the miracle is that none of those changes feels patchy. Many bands try to combine many ideas but the result seems unconnected, artificially patched. None of this here, the transitions are constant but they feel alright, everything fits.

It also helps that he uses a very wide pallette of keyboard and guitar tones, with lots of e- piano but also strings, percussive Hammond, classic solo synths with lots of great pitch bending, vibraphone and marimba and many more. The guitars are mostly hard-edged in the style of GREG HOWE or MACALPINE but never sounding "heavy metal", they sound great. Odd and complex rhythms abound as well as counterpoints and syncopated notes.

It is clear that Watson's strongest skills are in keyboards and guitars but the bass is also good, and he has done one of the best drum programming works I have ever listened to.

There's not much point in doing a track-by-track review since the whole album follows a consistent philosophy, but if you want to get a feel for the music in just one track listen to the brilliant 11 min+ "Caged Creator".

It's too early to say if this album will stand the test of time for me, and as good as the programmed drums are (I repeat, one of the best I have ever heard), they still lack the dynamics and feel that a great drummer could provide, and drums are a really important instrument to me, so for these reasons I'l stay with 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Fantasizer! by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 21 ratings

BUY
Fantasizer!
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars I don't recall been disappointed with an instrumental progressive rock album. Or maybe it's because I have good taste to pick the best ones? Dean Watson plays all the instruments on this album and with plenty of talents. But I have to say that the technique here is not as important as the atmosphere. There is nice harmony between mood and textures. In fact, it's those different keyboards and guitars textures that seduce me at first listening to this album. Some songs like the title track "Fantasizer", "At Odds" and "Caged Creator" have some infectious grooves. It's really a nice jazz rock fusion release with progressive rock elements sometimes with some heavy guitars in the line of Tony Macalpine. The piano, the keyboards and some of the music are reminiscent of Chick Corea and the other Canadian Nathan Mahl. You can never get bored with the music here, because of the complex arrangements and the rhythm changes. Another nice addition, it's the use of the beautiful vibraphone throughout this release. I just hope that this unknown artist get more recognition in the future with his third album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Fantasizer! by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 21 ratings

BUY
Fantasizer!
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Dean Watson is definitely Canada's best kept secret, a superlative multi-instrumentalist that has chosen to shine in arguably the most technically demanding sub-genre in prog , the jazz-rock fusion department. To master electric guitar with so many role models out there, to manipulate ivories with so many icons, to bass around fluidly among the veteran players and drum like a Cobham/Walden/White and co?. well that is no small feat. Yet, as improbable and rare as that might be, Watson is a one-man show of the very highest caliber. His third album is on the heels of the triumphal 2012 'Imposing Elements', a complete tour de force that caught the prog world off guard and stunned and my review certainly contained enough drool to fil a swimming pool (nice rhyme!- editor) . Once again, influenced by artist Ron Eady's tremendous visualizations, Watson embarks on an orgy of brilliant tracks built on jazz principles but enhanced with typical progressive rock ebb and flows, silky contrasts between gentle and muscular, as well as some stellar soloing on all instruments. In fact, there are times when the listener is literally pulled out of his seat, rendered comfortably numb by some cool cat noodling that suddenly explodes into a near frenzy of shredding notes and blitz beats. Dean Watson may very well be one of the most original and accomplished artists around, certainly worthy of more attention and adulation. But the most obvious upgrade from his two previous works is the meritorious inclusion of the electric piano, an instrument that is to jazz/fusion what the mellotron is to symphonic. Watson colors a lot of the arrangements with pools of liquid ivory, giving the arrangements so much more depth and detail than ever before.

The 8 minute + title track has all the mentioned ingredients, setting quite the mood from the get go, busy bass reveling with swirly determination, a playful keyboard style reminiscent of Chick Corea and some unusually harsh guitar riffs that are closer to an Ian Crichton of Saga fame than to an Al DiMeola. Throw in some opaque mellotron and synths that add bombast and density and you have one fine adventurous introduction to a brilliant album. When the jazzy groove settles in, the shriek lead guitar rant is just outstanding, a classic meeting of prog and fusion that shocks the system and stretches new boundaries.

"Twig" has a sweltering bass shuffle that will bewitch the listener and a mellow mood that cries out atmosphere and cinema soundtrack, a platform for a devilish synth solo, and finally, an organ rumble with a marimba tone that seeks out applause. The piano enters the fray in solemn splendor, sensually deliberate as a brief respite for the bombastic revisit of a glorious theme full of edge and drama.

This leads straight into the highly proggy extravaganza where Watson searches out clearly symphonic attitudes, which is why this stuff is soooooooo utterly cool. "Freak' has a piano mid-section that will test one's level of enjoyment, a deliriously enchanting foray into a world where simplicity and complexity meet and join hands. Keyboard textures rule until Dean finally lets his fiery axe defy restraint and burst out some lava-inflamed leads. This mood bleeds right into the simmering and shimmering "Nomad" , a highlight track in my opinion, full loaded with that magical e-piano I mentioned earlier, conjuring reflective images of sun, sand and oasis. Enormous contrasts in mood and style, I just could not help rekindling images of Santana's monumental classic 'Caravanserai', a valid reference point for this alarmingly fabulous album. The second section is just pure laid-back fusion funk, a blistering foray of resolute coolness, Watson blitzing mightily on his fret board as well as the ivories. I am in awe of such talent.

A couple of shorter bruisers ensue, "At Odds" exalts with some petulant organ displays, definitely a harder edge at play here , with lots of flair and spurting guitar anger, bad ass bass and some serious 'cymbal-itis". Chugga-chugga jazzy explorations that recall the classic 70s fusion greats, all the usual British and American suspects are winked at, which should qualify as the loftiest praise possible. In fact, I would state for the record (pun) that this is among the finest recordings ever produced by the genre, as it grows on you with repeated listens.

The highest point is attained with the stellar "The Anomaly", a phenomenal sympho-jazz anthem, a clever little synthesizer-led ditty which suddenly utters one of the most classic prog riffs ever, I name Larks Tongues in Aspic part 2, and develops a sharp, raunchy and gritty ride, nothing antiseptic or sterile clean, this is oily, messy, dirty stuff that Jeff Beck would be proud of (Is that more praise, ya think?).

The vibrant and bodacious "Linear Tendency" has a closer relationship to Soft Machine or more precisely its legendary off-shoot Isotope, closer to the British jazz-rock school that has produced so many great albums and bands. Once again, the marimba patched organ and synth are sensational aspects of the diversity and technical knowhow discharged by Mr. Watson, a sheer delight to any progressive set of ears.

The marathon piece is the aptly named "Caged Creator", an instrumental homage to a solitary performer 'caged' in some melodious bunker, armed with a plethora of instruments of aural pleasure (I am glad I spelled that correctly!) and inspired to reach new and yet unexplored horizons. This 11 minute monster aptly showcases the tremendous talent and creativity of a well-honed and inspired artist. I am generally very fussy with this genre, as I possess very high expectations for arguably the most technically proficient of any music masters. Watson elongated guitar foray is enough to slay any critic, his playing is brash, attractive and refreshingly invigorating. Loads of piano, febrile bass, slick beat and a wondrous sense of adventure. The arrangement is brimming with flavor, zestily exciting and unpredictable.

This masterpiece is then finalized by a 'roll the credits' au revoir, the imaginative "Solemn" completing the experience to perfect effect. As the title implies, we are sent on our way with serenity and a glorious sense of satisfaction. A delicate piano anthem with echoes of nostalgia, hope and achievement.

Bravo Dean!

5 Fictional Fender Rhodes

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Imposing Elements by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 128 ratings

BUY
Imposing Elements
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Imposing Elements multi-instrumentalist Dean Watson brings back fusion as though it had never left us! Updating the stylistic approach of 1970s fusioneers with fresh compositions, modern equipment, and a dazzling range of different moods from the intense to the whimsical (there's a "meowing cat" effect at parts on 16 Feet Below which is quite fun), it's like the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Caravan and mid-1970s King Crimson got together to jam.

Apparently, Dean gets the inspiration for his albums from the artwork of his collaborator Ron Eady, and here Watson certainly captures the unnerving atmosphere of the industrial landscape Eady has captured on the cover but also the sunniness of that charming blue sky up the top there. Fusion fans take note: one of the best practitioners of the form we have today is selling his work on Bandcamp for an absolute steal.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Imposing Elements by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 128 ratings

BUY
Imposing Elements
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

3 stars This Dean Watson album, Imposing Elements (2012) is a weird one to me.

The album itself is an instrumental effort, and usually, instrumental music doesn't have any appeal to me. But here on this album we have some strong compositions.

Anyway, even if it's a strong album it doesn't go beyond the realms of the averageness. It doesn't really go anywhere. I like the Jazz Rock feel you have on the album, but for my personal taste the album doesn't go that far away to be called a masterpiece as many here are claiming.

Imposing Elements (2012) is a good album with Jazz Rock feeling and it's nice to hear it, but after some time, nothing really stands out here.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Imposing Elements by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 128 ratings

BUY
Imposing Elements
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Wonderful music, full of beautiful melodies and catchy hooks, twists and turns, from this talented multi-instrumentalist. I think what brings me in the most about this album is the way that it deftly crosses and fuses the prog/jazz line. What turns me slightly off is the not quite top-notch engineering, mixing, and production. There is a kind of lack of bleed and background with regards to shifts and changes within songs that, to me, denotes multi-track single artist. There are several artists out there right now doing self-produced self-performed multi-instrumental music (Trurl, David Minasian, The Psychedelic Ensemble, Domina Catrina Lee, Stephen Desbiens, and Pat Metheny and Steven Wilson, [kind of], come to mind immediately) . Dean is good but not yet great on the production side of things. A really excellent listen, start to finish, so long as you don't put the headphones on and give it your 100%.

Favorite songs: "Past Present" (6:47) (9/10); Pendulum" (6:31) (8/10), and; "New Resolution" (8:38) (8/10).

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Imposing Elements by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 128 ratings

BUY
Imposing Elements
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Imposing Elements" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian jazz/fusion artist Dean Watson. The album is a self-released affair, created, produced and mastered by Dean Watson. "Imposing Elements" is a music/art collaboration between Dean Watson and artist Ron Eady. The latter´s painting (which has the same title as the album and has inspired Dean Watson to write the music) graces the album cover. This method was also the case with "Unsettled (2010)", which also features a cover artwork with a painting by Ron Eady.

The music on the album is what I´d call adventurous jazz/fusion with edgy rythm work and keyboards and guitars providing lead themes and solos. Dean Watson is a regular one-man army delivering tight performances on all instruments. The music can be both dark and atmospheric (at times even ambient) and more edgy and powerful too (there are even some chunky metallic sounding riffs on the album although they are not dominant). One of the great assets of the music (at least to my ears) are the memorable themes. While there are plenty of soloing for those who enjoy that, the fact that Watson always returns to something relatively hook laden is something I much appreciate. I think the music on "Imposing Elements" features a good balance between accessibility and challenging it´s audience.

"Imposing Elements" is another great release by Dean Watson and while there are a few sections I find a bit too "new age" sounding for my personal taste, the album overall comes off very intriguing. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is warranted.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Imposing Elements by WATSON, DEAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 128 ratings

BUY
Imposing Elements
Dean Watson Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Imposing Elements' - Dean Watson (8/10)

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the music of Dean Watson through a promo of his debut, the impressive 'Unsettled'. Although the jazzier side of progressive rock had rarely been something I was really engaged with, there was something about Dean's highly composition-based style of jazz guitar that kept me coming back to 'Unsettled', an album I still think upon fondly today. Although there may have been scarcely a sound out of media in anticipation for Dean Watson's second record, it was something I was quite excited for. As a successful sophomore is prone to do, his 2012 effort 'Imposing Elements' develops upon the themes offered by the debut, fleshing out the ambition and providing an even more stirring experience than the first. Dean Watson has fashioned another highly emotional and captivating piece of music with 'Imposing Elements'.

For the many who may not have yet heard Dean Watson's music, the 'prog fusion' label his work has received does it a fundamental justice, although it does not get across the sort of dreamlike emotions his music is filled with. Dean is a guitarist first and foremost, and it may not be out of place to liken him to a more composition-oriented Joe Satriani, or Steve Vai-type player. I have rarely personally been a fan of the 'guitar virtuoso' albums, often finding them to be expressions of the artist's ego rather than their soul. It's refreshing that Watson is such a laid player, only occasionally letting his guitar rip through the rest of the sound, but most often sitting back while the rest of his instrumentation does the work.

Composition really is the heart, soul, blood, liver, and gastrointestinal tract of 'Imposing Elements'. The song structures have a preference for exploring many different ideas in a single song, but very little in a given composition feels as if it could be rightfully amputated from the rest. Whether Dean Watson is leading the music through his guitar or synthesizer, the melodies are each unique and powerful, even sounding a tad weird over the jazzy chord structures. The greatest evidence to Watson's excellence as a composer is that each song manages to sound unique from the others, each leaving its own impression on the listener before it's done. '16 Feet Below' is a particularly engaging track, opening with an only slightly unsettling jazz line before diving into a darkly surreal mesh of melodic tenderness and King Crimson-like dissonance. 'Of Age' is another of my favourite cuts from the record, fusing progressive metal with some of his most beautiful guitar leads.

Dean Watson is a master of rock composition with 'Imposing Elements', although- as was also true for the debut- the execution is not quite as brilliant. As a musician, Watson is a fantastic guitarist with a real ear for merging melody and technical flair effortlessly. The piano and synth tracks are also executed admirably. The rest of the sound however- with particular regards to the programmed drums- sounds like a backing track that you might find in a guitar exercise booklet. For such inspiring writing, it feels like something of a letdown to hear the dull thud of a drum machine, convenience and budgetary concerns regardless. To his credit, the drum machine is programmed very well, with plenty of intriguing switches and fills to lift it above mere pacemaking duty. Even so, Watson bears the brunt of the natural setbacks of home recording; the sound feels inconsistent and dulled in parts, although Dean cannot be held to blame for this.

As I was expecting, 'Imposing Elements' is an impressive album that finds an easy recommendation from me to fans of instrumental rock. Although a few unfortunate limitations keep the album from resonating as an 'essential' prog fusion album, Watson's talent for composition is nothing short of excellent. 'Imposing Elements' overshadows his previous work with 'Unsettled', and rightfully takes its place as one of the most acclaimed progressive releases of the year.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Thanks to easy money for the artist addition. and to vibrationbaby for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.63 seconds