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FROGG CAFE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Frogg Cafe biography
FROGG CAFÉ are a Long Island quintet who started off as a ZAPPA cover band, (aptly) named LUMPY GRAVY. Their material is a strong slice of uniquely American prog, an innovative blend of ZAPPA featuring MAHAVISHNU-like violin, CHICAGO-style brass choirs and hints of UNIVERS ZERO. Their music alternates from light, airy piano and violin parts to darker, intense guitar passages, creating a dynamic contrast; the use of the trumpet also adds interesting tonal colours.

Their eponymous album, released in 2002, is complex yet surprisingly accessible, only marred by a poor production (the drums sound a bit muddy). The excellent "Creatures", released a year later, is a definite step up, perhaps stressing more on the 'progginess' at the expense of 'jazziness'. It's a complex and symphonic affair, filled with tons of offbeat melodies and instrumental brilliance, with funky keyboards and percolating bass lines often serving as a backdrop for electric violin, trumpet and guitar soloing with the occasional intrusion of woodwinds. It also features a 20-minute epic masterpiece in the vein of early 90's ECHOLYN.

Definitely recommended for Canterbury fans, especially the excellent album "Creatures".

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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The Safenzee DiariesThe Safenzee Diaries
10T Records 2007
Audio CD$10.89
$9.91 (used)
Fortunate Observer of TimeFortunate Observer of Time
ProgRock Records 2005
Audio CD$8.99
$8.09 (used)
Noodles - 26/06/2002Noodles - 26/06/2002
10T Records
Audio CD$19.99
$9.99 (used)
Bateless EdgeBateless Edge
10T Records
Audio CD$26.79
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FROGG CAFE discography


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FROGG CAFE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 29 ratings
Frogg Café
2002
2.90 | 12 ratings
Noodles
2002
3.97 | 48 ratings
Creatures
2003
3.91 | 46 ratings
Fortunate Observer Of Time
2005
3.92 | 176 ratings
Bateless Edge
2010

FROGG CAFE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 15 ratings
The Safenzee Diaries
2007

FROGG CAFE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

FROGG CAFE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Creatures by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.97 | 48 ratings

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Creatures
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Two years after their incredible debut, Frogg Cafe appear with a second privately-released album, entitled ''Creatures''.But this time they do receive some help, more specifically seven additional musicians help the American quinet on flutes, marimba, clarinet and vocals to complete a pallete that includes no less than 22 (!) instruments.The album was recorded at Captain Cabesa Studios in New York, taking advantage of Bill Ayasse's recording knowledge, as he was also the man behind the production and mix of the album.

The first impression is damn good.The style of Frogg Cafe seems somewhat expanded, delivering a charming Symphonic/Fusion Prog in the pair of opening tracks with long Mellotron introductions, dreamy keyboards and some lovely, intense interplays with a Canterbury edge.Smooth, but very technical bass lines and drumming accompany Ayasse's violin, Camiola's electric guitars and Nick Lieto's flexible, multi-influenced piano and keyboard themes, including inspirations from Jazz and Classical Music.The result is close to the likes of THE MUFFINS, FRENCH TV, HAPPY THE MAN and ECHOLYN from the more recent group.However the middle-placed ''The celestial metal can'' is a big questionmark.Rather pointless and deeply experimental, it relies heavily on sound effects produced by instruments, atonal material with an Ethnic edge and some sort of Chamber Music mood towards the end.I failed to get the point here.With ''Gagutz'' the group returns to a familiar Prog/Fusion with a light GENTLE GIANT influence and edgy violin parts akin to MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, while mid-70's PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI are definitely another decent comparison.Fiery electric guitars, scratching violins, grandiose trumpet solos and funky clavinets are set together in a very good instrumental piece.Fans of long, epic explorations won't be dissapointed either.The closing ''Waterfall carnival'' is over 20 minutes long and sounds like a nice tribute to US Prog of the 70's with echoes from MAELSTROM, HAPPY THE MAN and even KANSAS, offering pompous orchestrations, acoustic soundscapes and very dense Jazz/Fusion textures with strong interplays and outstanding solos.Very good flute, violin and keyboard work with vintage colors all around, highlighted by the comfort of the group to change tempos and moods.

I think that Frogg Cafe's debut was a bit more solid than this follow-up release, which I cannot do else than strongly recommend it.Fans of 70's-inspired complex Prog with a huge instrumental depth will love this from the first listening.Very good Progressive Rock with both jazzy and symphonic orientations...3.5 stars.

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 Bateless Edge by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 176 ratings

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Bateless Edge
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars It really grew on me...!

This album has been with me for quite a long time and I did not get a chance to really have a look the album in details as so many good and excellent prog albums released nowadays - so I kept delaying this one unless the first track that blew me away at first listen. The rest track was quite tough for me to understand and then i did not really get into it in detail. And now, having listened to this album for more than 6 times in its entirely I then got a final wrap up session to form my final view about this one as you have known it from the stars I put for this album. Yes, it's definitely a masterpiece album of progressive music and I have many rationales why I say it so! Just bear with me for a second ....

As we all know that Frogg Café embryo was born in 1998 as a Frank Zappa cover band called Lumpy Gravy performing Zappa's difficult music on Long Island and New York City. In 2000, the band was in transition and found a new beginning with the addition of percussionist James Guarnieri to the band. At this point, the band changed its name to Frogg Café and started to perform original music with a host of discernable influences in their sound such as Zappa, Yes, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Focus, Genesis, and even the more avant-garde styles. The members of this unique group are Nick Lieto (vocals, keyboards, trumpet), Steven Uh (guitars), Bill Ayasse (violin, mandolin), Andrew Sussman (bass), and James Guarnieri (drums). All of the members of Frogg Café are university trained in music.

However, it does not necessarily means that I make my final view on this album because of the members are academia rather this view is really based on my more than 38 years plus dealing with what so called progressive music as listener and big fan of the music and not as a player as I know to play prog music is really tough. This also means that I make a reasonable comparison with other albums of prog not limited on the type of music Frogg Cafe is playing - you know that kind of Zappa or even Canterbury Scene. You know why? Because Frogg Cafe music is somewhat covering many subgenres of music with probably jazz and canterbury as one of their roots. Actually, I do not really mind how you categorize Frogg Cafe's music.

Terra Sancta (12:25) is really a mind blower as the music is really unexpectedly great from start to end! This is true as I really enjoy from the opening part which at first listen sound weird to my ears but as the music moves couple of minutes I suddenly feel like flown through with music. I might cal it something like jazz even though it's not really because I cannot relate with any kind of music that I have ever heard it before. It's probably Zappa is the closest comparison even though this one pushed to the next level. I really love when the music enters interlude part where it has stunning long guitar solo combined with wonderful piano work. It's really great. I sometime forget that this is Frogg Cafe when I am in the interlude part because the guitar solo is really rocking despite unusual rhythm section using drums and solid basslines as well as piano work. It's definitely a masterpiece track.

Unlike the opening track, this Move Over I'm Driving (7:58) is basically an instrumental track which at first listen did not impress me at all. The chief reason was that this one is lacking on melody - or maybe there is melody but somewhat it has been successfully hidden by the band. It's really hard to capture where the music is leaning to. But when I got rid off my struggle to find the corresponding melody of this confusing arrangement - I finally enjoyed the music of this second track entirely. I enjoy ever single segment of how the brass section, piano and bass make their ways to the music - the louder I play the music the more I like it.

Pasta Fazeuhl (14:02) Now with this third track I am totally confused with the direction of this music as this one is totally different with the first two tracks. I would say this third track is somewhat an exploration of King Crimson's Lark's Tounge in Aspec but the band pushes the envelope harder and make it much more avant garde in nature. Oh man ... I really enjoy this confusing third track even though there are repeated chords or segments but that what make this track really wonderful. I am writing this review enthusiastically as I am playing the music loud with a decent stereo set - so I'm really "into" the music of Frogg Cafe. BTW, I forgot to mention that the production quality of this album is really superb! That's why I recommend you to play this one LOUD and you will be amazed with the subtleties of the music as it moves with your emotion.

Under Wuhu Son: In the Bright Light (8:22) starts nicely with a combined guitar (acoustic), violin, basslines for relatively long period before it enters to a very interesting part when drums enters the scene. The use of brass section makes the music is really accentuated beautifully. The vocal then enters nicely in a style that typically used by Simon and Garfunkel in 'Scarborough Fair'. But again this band is really brilliant because the vocal line does not represent certain melody line that you can emulate until it enters the coda part which the melody is really nice. There are nice breaks with violin and guitar work. Oh really WONDERFUL!!!!

It then continue seamlessly to the second part of the epic Under Wuhu Son: Left for Dead (5:36) where you can hear a bit like progressive metal tune in its heavy riffs. This suffices to say that the music of Frogg Cafe is explorative in nature as it blends many types of musical subgenres. The use of brass section in this track is nice and it is combined with some breaks with violin worn as well as acoustic guitar. The music suddenly breaks with temporary stop of brass work and let drums and bass guitar to work in couple of seconds followed then with solo trumpet and vibraphone work - it's really nice!

The final part of the epic Under Wuhu Son: Brace Against the Fall (6:15) starts with an ambient guitar work followed again with music with solid basslines and brass section that brings the vocal to enter. It's an unexpected entrance of vocal, actually, but it's really nice especially when it's accompanied by powerful and solid bass lines. Oh man ...definitely you have to have this album and I'm keen to know how you feel about it. To me this album is so greaaaaatttt ...!!!

I leave it up to you to comment the remaining two long tracks "From the Fence" (12:05) and "Belgian Boogie Board" (10:31) once you get the album with you.

Overall, I really admire this band as the music is much more mature now having been releasing previous excellent albums and all of them I really enjoy them. The composition is quite unique as I think they really don't care about creating memorable melody - indeen most of their tracks are not memorable melody-wise. Well, I think they do this by design and be it - why concerns much on melody as this is prog music man! The structure is really unique as it changes as the song moves its way from start to end with many changes of tempo. The excellent part is that even though the music is like in parts with no guiding memorable melody, the album is cohesive as whole and it has a solid structural integrity. I cannot give less than five stars for this masterpiece one! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Bateless Edge by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 176 ratings

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Bateless Edge
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The lates from Frogg Cafe from 2010 named Batleless edge is a step down from previous works, at least for me. This is more avant jazz with lots of pointless noodlings, even is not bad is no intrest for me to listen in over an hour this type of music. After couple of spins, and I must tell the truth that was hard for me to get into the atmosphere of the album, was not the case with Creatures who was instantly catchy in arrangem,ents, on this release the band tried to musch to experiment and to my ears is no cohesiveness in many parts. Contrary with other listners who considered this a masterpiece, to me is far from that, is ok and nothing more. Again between quirky and unusual Zappa jazzy passages the flute, clarinet, cello, etc make a big contribution to over all sound. Not a piece is in front, all are almost same to my ears. Well I didn't expext to this album to sound so avant even the progressive elements are all over. So, I will give 3 stars but is less intresting then previous work Fortunate Observer of Time and far from greatness and magic moments from Creatures. Hardly 3 stars.

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 Fortunate Observer Of Time by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.91 | 46 ratings

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Fortunate Observer Of Time
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fortunate observer of time the natural follow up of Creatures from 2005 is another worthy album of this excellent band, but this time the album is even more rooted in jazz realm with lots of woodwind sections and un traditional instruments. The violin from here remind me of some Dixie Dregs passages but without that country meets jazz rock arrangements. This is a good album, but somehow fail to impress me as did Creatures, maybe because is to long and at some point I begun to lose intrest. Never the less some excellent passages are present here like on Reluctant Observer , complex, quirky passages, jazzy , eclectic all is here. Even is considered by many better then previous one, to me Creatures is the absolutly best Frogg Cafe album ever and the most intresting one in every aspect. 3 stars is best I can give, good but nothing more.

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 Creatures by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.97 | 48 ratings

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Creatures
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Frogg Cafe from USA and their second offer Creatures released in 2003 is among my fav albums ever. Intricate, beautiful and smooth eclectic side of jazz with memorable arrangements. When I heared for the first time this album, I gues 5-6 years ago I was instantly hooked on their music, is so demanding, intellingent with passages that needs big attention with a wide fariety of influences from Gentle Giant, Happy the Man, Echolyn in places, even Zappa or Steely Dan, but the result is fantastic. The musicians plays with an amazing ease, for ex the first two pieces are absolutly killer and the best tunes Frog Cafe ever done, All this time and title track Creatures. Very complicated guitar parts, great voice, elegant and with smooth passages remind me a lot of Steely Dan albums from the'70s that sophisticated but yet accesible jazz. Even some symphonic prog moments to be found here specialy on the longest track . Waterfall Carnival but melted so well with jazz elements. So, one of the strongest albums ever coming from USA, to me is a pleasent ride that worth to be investigated for any serous prog listner. Great and 4 stars easy.

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 Noodles by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.90 | 12 ratings

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Noodles
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The second album from this band and an experiemental recording. 4 hours recorded material cobbled together into five tracks. That is a sink or swim strategy.

The result is a mix of driving good jazz in the form of the twenty three minutes long opening track Eliche. Some parts of this epic is great. But this track is never bad. The second song Fusilli also has some really good melody lines. And the same can be said about Tagliarini and Capelli Dangelo too. There are some really good stuff here. But the tracks on this album is underdeveloped by the band. It is still a good album though and it showcases an excellent band from their more spontanous side. But this album really deserve a second visit from the band in a far more controlled environment.

3 stars

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 Bateless Edge by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 176 ratings

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Bateless Edge
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Well, in 2010, few albums came to match Bateless Edge, which I am a bit ashamed was my first contact with the band, although I ordered the double live Safenzee Diaries at the same time, because it was a recap of everything they'd done previously (or at least I thought it was). I had in mind that FC sounded like a few eclectic US bands like French TV, Echolyn and others, and to be honest, I didn't expect that much jazz influences (well mainly the wind instruments), although there is no way you would find FC's works in the jazz- section of record store. So the fifth album from this MYC combo appears to be the one were they crack the major leagues, up from their (sometimes still-audible) Zappaesque origins, which might have looked like some regional reserve and future talent farm team.

Unfortunately, as with most younger generation band, FC cannot help but to serve the coffee filled to the brim and this bugger last almost 80 mins, which is simply too much, despite the wide spectrum of musical ideas splashed on. Despite a very brilliant execution, I find that the band's will to rake as wide as possible can get them in trouble. Not that they're musically in over their head, but the album's systematic picking all over the spectrum makes a dent in their credibility and kind of damages the album's cohesiveness. Yes, the band goes from a slightly Indian soundscape (the tamboura of the opening Terra Sancta) to catchy sung music (the same Terra Sancta) to the typically clown-esque Zappa delirium (the marimbas in Mover Over) to an approximate Kansas-Phish style (the vocals for the former & the semi-country rock for the latter) for the album-weakspot of From The Fence. They also rape the Klezmer/Manouche world when grinding it with an RIO grater with the BBB track and later (or earlier I should say) also create a simili-symphonic classical music evolving into an unconvincing Zeuhl inferno (the FaZeuhl Pastiche) and end up in a GG meets Magma meets Samla Manna soundscape. This all flawlessly played, but it's the pure collage of these ideas that's a bit too apparent.

Elsewhere, the three-movement Wuhu Son suite isn't starting strong, with the opening Bright Light, which sounds like the typical (boring) neo-prog (ala Echolyn meets Arena) with semi-whining vocals, then evolving into semi-metallic guitar passage in the second Left For Dead movement - here, you could think of those crazy Finns of Alamaailman Vasarat or a goofy second-rate Univers Zero. The third Against The Fall movement is a bizarre mix of everything you've heard in the rest of the album (including these ludicrous marimbas), and while it has charms, you're glad when it stops. Indeed it sounds like they're trying too hard, and it is not the only place of BE it happens.

Don't get me wrong, my words might seem a little harsh, but overall BE deserves the accolade it got and that raised in most prog sites and publications' top 5 of 2010. One of the best advices I could give to the band is to come up with another strong albums as this one, but lose the marimbas and the neo-prog vocals, and they will shoot up the big league ranking to the contender status, rather than an also-ran label. Although the album will probably suffer the test of time, it still remains an early 10's most-noteworthy oeuvre, one that most everyone should at least have heard a few times.

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 The Safenzee Diaries by FROGG CAFE album cover Live, 2007
3.71 | 15 ratings

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The Safenzee Diaries
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars FROGG CAFE have a reputation for putting on a killer live show so this first live double album from them is welcomed indeed. Andy Sussman the bass player had this to say about it. "This is a true representation of the energy of our music, which on a studio album is very hard to achieve.This release represents the best of hundreds of hours of live shows and live in the studio jams.This really is a road trip musical diary of all our great memories and crazy moments on stage and off". It was cool for me to hear some of the songs from their first two albums which I don't own as well. A six piece band with violin, trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn and the usual Rock instruments, these guys still recall Zappa at times which shouldn't be surprising since they started out as a Zappa cover band called LUMPY GRAVY.These are world-class musicians who aren't afraid to change a song completely or to improvise along the way.

So we get some in studio jams as well as live tracks from Nearfest, the NJ Proghouse, Nectar's, Orion Studios and many other locations between 2004 and 2006.

All of these songs are excellent but my favourite two are "Fat Guys In Shorts" which sounds incredible. I like how dark it gets too later on. A powerful tune. I like "Cut And Run" a lot too for it's intensity, and you keep expecting them to explode but they never do.

Easily 4 stars.

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 The Safenzee Diaries by FROGG CAFE album cover Live, 2007
3.71 | 15 ratings

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The Safenzee Diaries
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

This double live album is my first exposition the the band's musical universe and not even from that long ago. Despite being aware of these guy's existence, and fellow United- Statians French TV, both bands' name kept being pushed back down the shopping list, for there were always greater urgent matters to attend (or so it seemed) at the time. I finally plunged and decided to enter their world with this double live album, which often a safe bet as an introduction. Little did I know that only half of the tracks of this release are simply not on their four previous studio albums. Anyway, the group's line-up promised a strange and unusual sound (given a full-time trombonist and violinist, but both "doubled" by part-timers violin and wind-man, but it ends-up sonically somewhere between Zappa's silly universe (they were after all, a Zappa tribute before being FC), sometimes Kansas-y sound (Creatures) and a dynamic and uncharacteristically indefinable JR/F, which relies much on improvised soloing, although I wouldn't classify them as a jam band either. But if jam band comparison I'd have to shout, I'd say Phish or - as crazy as it may seem - Spin Doctor (the early albums anyway), but it's nothing definitive.

The fourteen tracks (all but two being above the 8-mins length and stretching as far as 14+) were selected from various live shows or recordings in the North-eastern US between late- 04 and mid-06. On the whole, it appears like the first disc is mostly pre-06 real concerts, featuring studio album tracks, while the second one mainly features '06 live-studio more- improvised tracks. There seems to be a certain kind of neutral objectivity in the selection of this double disc's track list, since there seem to be just two tracks from per previous studio albums. I won't judge on the pertinence of the individual selections in context of their respective albums, since I know next to nothing of them, except what's presented here. But it seems that their Zappa origins are more audible on their earlier albums (again based on what's presented to me here), but their sung material is more bent on Kansas (the vocals, but the violin as well) with some brassy jazz interruptions. As for the non-albums tacks present on the SD, I'd choose the second half of the second disc as my faves.

Clearly Ayasse's main influence is JL Ponty's violin, but Robby Steinhardt's as well, while Lieto's trombone is clearly one of the most impressive on the East-side of the Pecos River, especially when seconded by his brother's wind-instrument fondling (hear Candy Korn's amazing second part). You'll also catch some Gentle Giant moments in the Abyss track.The latter shares duties on keys with guitarist Uh, while the latter diddles the violin as well. Are you sure you're following me? Neither am I, so don't worry, because it's quite difficult to follow who's playing what, where and when. But in the end, it doesn't matter, because it's the amazing interplay of the sextet that makes the band click.

This good two hours+'s worth of music should give you good idea that the best place to grasp the band's essence would be on stage (how about playing on Froggland someday, guys?), because they're relatively lengthy improvisations is an excellent exhibit of their stage and live aptitudes. Indeed, these tracks' general enthusiasm is contagious (probably due to the lesser constraints compared to their studio-composed sisters), and if there are some lengths, it never gets boring or overstay their welcome. A fitting intro to the band's overall aural realm (especially on a stage), but maybe lacking enough material to judge on their studio capacities. If I can judge by the only other album of theirs I have (their newest BE release), either the band evolved tremendously, or the studio works are simply not very representative of their early career! I think the former solution is much more likely, though. To give a honest but fairly-uninitiated advice, from this double live album, Bateless Edge seems to be their best (from far) studio album.

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 Bateless Edge by FROGG CAFE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 176 ratings

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Bateless Edge
Frogg Cafe Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Bateless Edge' - Frogg Cafe (9/10)

'Eclectic' would be one word to describe this vast album from the American fusion quintet Frogg Cafe. Closing in on being nearly eighty minutes in length, 'Bateless Edge' is certainly a long and ambitious effort, coming from a band who started off as little more than a Frank Zappa tribute group. Well suffice to say. Frogg Cafe has moved far beyond a tribute to any other artist here; over the course of their career, they have fostered a fresh sound for jazz fusion that often drags in other sounds to keep things fresh and exciting. 'Bateless Edge' may be my first experience with the music of Frogg Cafe, but already I am greatly impressed by the band, and although I can agree somewhat with the opinions of detractors saying that the album is a little too drawn out, the sheer quality of the ideas that are here make the album a masterpiece for me. Although it is no small bite to chew for the sake of musical digestion, the album's depth is worth returning to many times.

Although Frogg Cafe have since moved on to much greater things, their roots as a tribute to Frank Zappa can still be heard, particularly in the playful way they use the marimba and xylophone. Besides that, Frogg Cafe really incorporates a surprising amount of different sounds and surprises into the jazz fusion foundation they lay out, including Indian raga music (as can be heard in the opening minutes of the record), or even avant-garde neoclassical music, as is heard in the Magma-influenced 'Pasta Fazeuhl'.One thing that stays constant throughout this musical journey however is that the music is performed with great class and charm, even when Frogg Cafe are expanding outside their typical boundaries. Warm vocals are also sometimes used, although for the most part, 'Bateless Edge' is an instrumental effort. The songs are generally quite long, and while I usually find that instrumental music can get boring, the music here is always filled with new ideas, sometimes greatly melodic and beautiful.

After the first few listens, 'Bateless Edge' did seem like a little too much at once; a record with such variety paired with length can make for a challenging listen at first, but especially with the vocal moments that pop up every now and then, Frogg Cafe gives the listener enough hooks to grab a hold of, and from that, it becomes easier to dig into the less inviting aspects of the material. Even so, the only time when the music here becomes particularly challenging or 'out there' is in 'Pasta Fazeuhl', where the band drops their quirky jazz fusion for a brooding brand of classical music, led onward by a somewhat unsettling violin and background groove that gets more eerie upon repetition. Having an uncharacteristically sombre piece of music followed by a track that sounds undeniably playful with its dark atmosphere followed by warm ballads and charming jam sections is possibly what can hurt the album the most. Although every song here is incredible with the music, I do get the feeling that 'Bateless Edge' lacks a bit of binding identity, although the variety does tend to keep things fresh. Especially with so long a record to deal with, it does seem preferable to have many different things to experience here rather than overall cohesion, so 'Bateless Edge' can still be considered a masterpiece in my eyes, although its inherent scattered feeling can make for an underwhelming experience at first.

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Thanks to harmonium.ro for the artist addition.

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