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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jazzis Web Shop News 11/2007
    Posted: November 01 2007 at 06:17

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the last of the first period classic albums by French group Zao:

Zao - “Shekina”

3rd album by the superb French ensemble Zao. Following the recording of the first two albums, the two leaders, Yochk`o Seffer and François Cahen, decided to expand the musical scope of the group by adding a string quartet and writing some music which would combine the jazzy elements they explored earlier with some classically influenced orchestration. To emphasize the diversity of the two approaches, the decision was to find an all-female string quartet, which would complete the all-male group and balance the overall result. The Quatuor Margand, a seasoned string quartet, which had previous experience of working with jazz musicians, was chosen to work with Zao and they performed together and recorded this great album. The group also changed the bass player and Gerard Prevost fitted the bill perfectly with his pulsating approach, playing electric bass. Pierre Guignon was added on percussion to complete the nonet. The resulting ensemble was absolutely amazing, playing music aeons ahead of their time, which probably was the reason that even in France, which was always open to avant-garde, they had a tough time to find gigs. This led eventually to the inevitable breakdown of this unique lineup. The use of strings would however continue, with the young violin prodigy Didier Lockwood joining the group for their next lineup. The album remains an extraordinary example of European avant-garde Fusion and remains as fascinating as it was at the time of its recording.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102360

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2007 at 11:07

ALBUM

Today’s addition is another album by the band Osiris from Bahrain:

Osiris - “Myths & Legends”

2nd album by the Prog band Osiris from Bahrain, a tiny country in the Persian Gulf, which normally is not associated with any Prog activity. Following the release of their debut eponymous album, the band led by brothers Mohamed Al-Sadeqi (guitars and vocals) and Nabil Al-Sadeqi (drums) regrouped with new members and recorded this album as a great follow up to their debut. The music is again classic Symphonic Prog, with beautiful melodies and long instrumental passages. The vocals (in English) are sparse and the emphasis is on the instrumental performances. Firmly based on the tradition set up by classic 1970s bands like Genesis and Camel, the music is completely original and well-developed, with the usual multi-thematic long compositions and frequent tempo changes. This album aged well and is completely relevant today, losing none of its original charm. Highly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102361

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2007 at 06:50

ALBUM

Today’s addition is an album by German Prog band Solar Project:

Solar Project - “Chromagnitude”

7th album by the German Prog band Solar Project, led by Robert Valet (keyboards) and Peter Terhoeven (guitars). The band uses an ad hoc lineup for each of its releases, this time adding three members and creating a powerful sound. The band bases its music on the work of the legendary Pink Floyd, but they are not a typical tribute band. They did contribute some Pink Floyd tracks to various tribute albums, but their own albums include original music only, obviously inspired by their mentors. This album is a concept album dealing (as the title suggests) with the meaning of colors. The music is interesting and the long tracks (one being over 15 minutes) have plenty of space to develop and feature extended instrumental solos. The overall atmosphere is very Pink Floyd influenced, but definitely not to the extent of being plagiarist. People who love Pink Floyd will find this right up their alley, others might just like them for what they are.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102362

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2007 at 06:38

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the stellar and long awaited box set including the last chapter of the Miles Davis studio recordings on Columbia:

Miles Davis - “The Complete On The Corner Sessions”

This is the 8th (and apparently the last) chapter in the Columbia’s epic series of Miles Davis Box Sets, which is a monumental reissue project of recordings by the most important Jazz musician of the 20th century. Recorded between March 1972 and May 1975 this the music includes everything Miles recorded for Columbia before his 5 years of retirement from recording due to health problems, before resuming his career in 1980. The inventory is pretty amazing: 4 years, 16 sessions, 21 musicians and over 6 hours of groundbreaking music, which although rarely given credit for it, changed to face of music for years to come. Incorporating Funk, Fusion, World Music, Rock, Soul and of course Jazz, this music re-defined the basic conceptions of the musical universe. Anything recorded later on this planed could be traced back to some extent to these sounds, be it Hip-Hop, Rock, Electronic and Ambient Music, House, and Dance, including of course contemporary Jazz and Fusion. The music is completely groove oriented, with very little (and often without) melody, with a loose and completely atmospheric jamming over a repetitive and hypnotic rhythms, created masterly by bassist Michael Henderson, continuing the direction initiated on the “Cellar Door Sessions 1970”. Miles on trumpet, Dave Liebman, Carlos Garnett and Bennie Maupin on saxes, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock on keyboards, John McLaughlin, Reggie Lucas and Pete Cosey on guitars, Jack DeJohnette and Al Foster on drums and quite a few other players contribute to this heavenly music, under the Master’s spiritual leadership. The music included here appeared in various edited forms on the albums: “On The Corner”, “Big Fun” and “Get Up With It”, but most is heard here for the first time. It is almost impossible to describe how fat out and pioneering this music is. It presents not only a completely new sound and approach to performing music, but also a new way to create music as a flow of the subconscious creative process. Over 30 years after it was recorded, it still sounds revolutionary and poignant, as it undoubtedly will continue to sound in the days to come. I can’t imagine anybody who calls himself a music lover not to own this music and listen to it periodically to recharge his or her emotional batteries. Beyond essential!

A special note to collectors:

The initial release of all the Miles Davis Box Sets in this reissue series is packaged in an exquisite metal-bound (except chapter 5 which is cardboard-bound) frame housed in a hard cardboard CD-sized slipcase (except for chapter 8 which has a metal slipcase). Once the initial release is sold out, the CDs are repackaged in a tall-box digipack book format. Naturally the tall-box issues have a much lower retail price tag. All the initial release CD-sized issues become priceless collectors’ items in time.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102363

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2007 at 11:18

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the last of the Miles Davis box-sets still missing on my site, strangely enough is the first of the set of 8 box-sets:

Miles Davis / John Coltrane - “The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961”

This is the 1st chapter in the Columbia’s epic series of Miles Davis Box Sets, which is a monumental reissue project of recordings by the most important Jazz musician of the 20th century. Recorded between October 1955 and March 1961 the music includes everything Miles recorded for Columbia with his legendary first quintet and sextet. John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Hank Mobley on saxes, Bill Evans, Red Garland and Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb on drums are the protagonists on these legendary sessions, creating this heavenly music, under the Master’s spiritual leadership. The music included here appeared on the albums: “’Round About Midnight”, “Milestones”, “Kind Of Blue” and “Someday My Prince Will Come”, as well as on numerous compilation albums released later. There is little that I need to say about the music herein, as almost every Jazz lover is acquainted with at least the “Kind Of Blue” album, being the most widely sold Jazz recording of all times. The combination of the geniuses of Miles and Trane turn these sessions into a fundamental and quintessential Jazz experience, which serves as a model for all generations of Jazzman to come. Both of them were constantly on a spiritual quest to expand both their performing skills, taking them beyond the humanly possible, as well as crossing musical planes uncharted and visionary. Although created by humans, this music is worthy of Gods and should it have happened a few thousands of years earlier, it would be probably heard on the mount Olympus. I simply can’t imagine anybody not owning this music and listening to it repeatedly, as it is timeless and everlasting. Beyond essential!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102364

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2007 at 05:37

DVD

Today’s addition is the long awaited debut DVD by Blackfield:

Blackfield - “NYC: Blackfield Live In New York City”

1st DVD release by Blackfield, the cooperation band of Israeli singer / composer Aviv Geffen and Porcupine Tree’s leader Steven Wilson. Following the release of their 2 first albums (2003 & 2006) the band achieved wide international acclaim and became one of the most successful performing acts in Europe and the US. Geffen’s unique talent as a composer of deeply lyrical songs and Wilson’s skills as guitarist and arranger turned their music into a highly sophisticated Rock with strong ties to Prog and Alternative Rock. As good as their studio work is, Blackfield’s true forte is the power the band displays on stage, as documented here. The early lineup of the live Blackfield included sometimes Porcupine Tree’s players, but in time a steady all Israeli (except Wilson of course) lineup emerged, which is featured here. As Israel is truly blessed with a whole new generation of extremely talented musicians, this is hardly surprising. Just watch the excellent work by keyboards player Eran Mitelman, bassist Seffy Efrati and drummer Tomer Z to confirm this. The music includes mostly a selection of material from the two albums, with Alanis Morisette’s “Thank You” being the only non-Blackfield song included. The performance is overall electrifying and extremely well done, so both hardcore Blackfield fans and all newcomers to the band’s music should enjoy this DVD immensely. Bonus material includes the wonderful 3 clips filmed for the 3 singles from the debut album, directed by Lasse Hoile. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS, 107 minutes. NTSC

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102365

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2007 at 10:04

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a new album by Israeli jazz prodigy, the now 9 years old Ariel Lanyi:

Ariel Lanyi - “Origami: Piano Solo”

2nd album by Israeli Jazz prodigy Ariel Lanyi, 9 years old at the time this music was recorded. This time completely alone at the piano, without any guidance from his older peers, Ariel displays his exceptional talent even more forcefully then on his debut album. Out of the 10 tracks on this album, 7 are his own compositions / improvisations and just 3 are standards (by Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and John Lennon / Paul McCartney). I really don’t know what to say here, except that this is scary stuff, when a 9 years old person displays the maturity and skills worthy of a fully grown up and accomplished musician. There are no gimmicks here, none whatsoever. Just the kid, his piano and the unbelievable music he makes. There is no way on earth (or above) that anybody listening to this music blindfolded could have guessed the age of the performer. I’m not a sappy sentimentalist, who looks for divine sources for inspiration, but there must be some kind of divine intervention here at work. The stuff Ariel can do at his current age are often never achieved by people ten times older then him who played piano their entire life. I know you don’t believe me – no problem – just listen.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102366

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2007 at 06:30

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a new album of Israeli improvised music, challenging but highly stimulating as usual:

Ariel Shibolet / Between The Strings Trio - “Live At The Tel Aviv Museum”

2nd album by Israeli saxophonist Ariel Shibolet, this time in cooperation with the Between The Strings Trio (Jean Claude Jones – bass, Daniel Hoffman – violin and Nori Jacoby – viola), recorded live at the Tel Aviv Museum. The concert includes three parts, starting with a solo soprano saxophone performance by Ariel, continued by a piece by the string trio and concluded by a quartet performance by Ariel with the trio. Over 61 minutes of purely improvised music, challenging and difficult as always, but deeply rewarding to the disciples of the genre. Ariel’s playing is deeply rooted in the tradition of the late period John Coltrane, Steve Lacy and Eric Dolphy, based on complete control of the instrument, virtuosity and of course relentless passion. The balance between Ariel and the string trio, as well as their cooperative group improvisation is truly inspiring. Contrary to popular opinion improvised music is definitely still alive and kicking, and the fact that it still thrives here in Israel (although abandoned in other places) makes me especially proud, proving the multi-cultural openness of our society.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102367

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2007 at 12:14

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a first in a series of new South American Prog / Fusion additions, as usual all including exceptional music:

Som Nosso De Cada Dia - “A Procura Da Essência: Au Vivo 1975-1976”

These live recordings are the only available document of the legendary Brazilian 1970s Prog / Fusion band Som Nosso De Cada Dia. Following the release of their debut album “Snegs” in 1974, the band embarked upon intensive touring and performances, but the lack of commercial success, lack of interest from record labels, etc. (the usual hardships of 1970s Prog artists) led to internal frictions and four years after the band was formed it disbanded and disappeared from the scene. The band recorded their 2nd legendary album “Amazônia” in 1975, which was picked by CBS Brazil, but released only two years as “Som Nosso” with intensive overdubs and remix, completely changing the original masterpiece into a commercial funk album. These live recordings present the group in its full glory playing their great material, including the full original version of the “Amazônia” suite. Most of the tracks are extensive instrumental improvisations, mostly over 10 minutes long and one over 17 minutes long, which show the virtuosity of the players. The double keyboards line and exceptional spacey lead guitar offer endless peaks of energy floating somewhere between early Pink Floyd and Weather Report. This is fantastic music and in spite of the technical flaws of the recording every fan of good music should be grateful this is available for us to enjoy. Most warmly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102368

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2007 at 09:38

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the next item in a series of new South American Prog / Fusion additions, as usual all including exceptional music:

Platurno - “Núcleos”

1st album by Chilean Prog / Fusion band Platurno, a guitar / keyboards / drums trio led by guitarist Felipe Rivera. Together with a couple of guest musicians (bass & violin) they present a mostly instrumental debut album of great strength and surprising musical ideas. The guitar contributes a distinctive Fusion feel, but the use of keyboards is very original and rather than play melody they provides sonic layers which are more atmospheric than melodic, resembling Space Rock. The overall effect is very unusual and considering most of the music is kept in low tempo, it sounds like an imaginary soundtrack, all truly captivating and often hypnotic. Some traces of King Crimson influence can be found (typical of almost all Chilean bands), but this is undoubtedly their very individual statement. Considering this is their debut effort, they are certainly something to look out for in the future. Here is one more band from Chile, which certainly seems to be a place where things are happening in music in the 21st Century. Warmly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102369

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2007 at 12:32

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the next item in a series of new South American Prog / Fusion additions, as usual all including exceptional music:

Flor De Loto - “Madre Tierra”

2nd album by excellent Peruvian Prog band Flor De Loto, led by flautist Johnny Pérez and guitarist Alonso Herrera, both of whom also write all the music. The quartet also includes bassist Alejandro Jarrin and drummer Jorge Puccini. Following the footsteps set by their stunning eponymous debut album, the band delivers again a set of beautiful melodic tunes, kept in the tradition of the 1970s Prog and naturally bringing warm memories of bands like Jethro Tull and Focus. Is spite of the past influences, the band is completely original and up to date, combining the Prog tendencies with their native Andean music in a most sophisticated fashion. Only three of the ten tunes include vocals with the band concentrating on their splendid instrumental work. Listening to this album is a truly uplifting experience, with immediate craving for their next release. Of course the fact that they come from Peru only adds to the impression that the most interesting Prog in the 21st Century seems to be happening in South America. Most warmly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102370

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2007 at 08:57

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the next item in a series of new South American Prog / Fusion additions, as usual all including exceptional music:

Mar De Robles - “Indigena”

2nd album by excellent Chilean Prog / Fusion band Mar De Robles, which joins the ranks of other exceptional Chilean bands like Tryo and Akinetón Retard in establishing Chile as a major source of truly excellent music. The quintet includes Julio Tobar – saxophone & flute, Cristián Larrondo – Chapman stick & bass, Rodrigo Moris – guitar, Jesús Parada – drums and Ignacio Larrondo – percussion. Following the footsteps set by their stunning eponymous debut album, the band delivers again a set of highly energetic mostly instrumental pieces, brilliantly composed and performed. Extensive improvisations and quirky rhythm changes are the predominant characteristics of the music, which engulfs the listener completely. Some traces of late King Crimson are evident (as seems to be the case with almost all Chilean bands) but these are just stylistic traces – the music is completely original and quite stunning. It seems that these young musicians are determined to take the best from the Prog / Fusion tradition and enhance it further, to the delight of music lovers like myself. Amazing stuff – a must!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102371

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2007 at 04:44

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the last (so far) item in a series of new South American Prog / Fusion additions, as usual all including exceptional music:

Prisma X - “Instantes”

1st album by young Chilean Fusion band Prisma X, an instrumental quintet fronted by two lead guitarists Felipe Moroni and José Tomás Mujica, with Mauricio Nader on keyboards, Carlos Martínez on bass and Eduardo Moroni on drums. The band plays a stunning set of beautifully melodic guitar oriented Fusion, with both guitarists displaying their talent and sensitivity to the outmost. Although the music is original and well constructed, stylistically the music brings fond memories of the best work by Alan Holdsworth and Joe Satriani. The overall effect is pretty astounding, as one does not expect to hear such up-to-date sound and musical approach coming from outside the music centers of the world, but apparently geography has nothing to do with it. Those young Chileans prove beyond any reasonable doubt that music knows no boundaries and talent is omnipresent on this planet. This album is a heaven on earth for all guitar freaks and Fusion heads. Considering how hard it is to find anything decent in these areas lately, this is a breath of fresh air an absolute must. Highly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102372

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2007 at 07:03

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a debut album by a fantastic new Spanish Prog group:

Senogul - “Senogul”

1st album by young Spanish Prog band Senogul, an instrumental quintet fronted by two lead guitarists Pedro Menchaca and Israel Sánchez, with Eduardo Salueña on keyboards, Pablo Canalis on bass and Alex Valero on drums. The band plays a stunning set of self-composed material, full of long improvised passages with quirky rhythm changes and interchanging themes. A long list of guest musicians enhances the band’s sound with a variety of additional instrumentation, such as saxophones, flutes and even a whole choir on one of the tracks. The music is completely original but if parallels have to be drawn, Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa and some of the RIO bands come to mind. The music however manages to keep strong melodic character at all times, in spite of the extensive improvisations. It is truly heartwarming to hear such excellent music being made these days, contrary to the sea of boredom dominating the dwindling music market. Highly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102373

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2007 at 08:34

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a new Israeli album, a truly amazing piece of music one would probably never expect to come out of our country:

Kutiman - “Kutiman”

1st album by young Israeli composer / multi-instrumentalist Ophir Kutiel a.k.a. Kutiman. Although the young generation of Israeli musicians active in the 21st Century already proved time and again that they are capable of producing some amazing music in the Electronic, Rock, Prog and Jazz genres (as witnessed on the numerous CDs found on my site), most of them are deeply influenced by the European classical music tradition and American Rock and Jazz. What the local scene lacks (or rather lacked until this album) almost completely is music, which boasts groove, such as Funk, Soul or Afro-beat. Therefore this album comes as such a delightful surprise, filling the missing gap completely. This Jewish boychik has enough groove to shake the entire country’s butt and a soul as black as the heart of Africa. Of course it all didn’t come from thin air – Ophir did a lot of listening to the right kind of music, which can be traced (but only as influences, not as imitations) in his music: Sly & The Family Stone (“There’s A Riot Goin’ On”), Herbie Hancock’s late 1970’s Funk explorations, late Miles Davis (“Tutu”), African Master musician Fela Kuti (obvious name reference here) and a lot of Ambient, Lounge and Psychedelic music. All these influences come together, and Ophir’s individual approach glues them into a new and fascinating amalgam. This music although far from trivial or simplistic, hits you right in the place where your soul happens to be located and engulfs you completely, making your body to sway in the process. Although Ophir plays most of the instruments on the album, which BTW is also brilliantly produced, he invited some local musicians and vocalists to take part. These include members of the local Funk band Funk’n’stein and the local diva Karolina. Whatever your musical preferences, this music just can’t leave you cold, and if it does (God forbid) then you probably have no soul at all. Absolutely great fun!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102374

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2007 at 04:52

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the first of a few new Fusion albums from Japan, a place where things are definitely happening:

KBB - “Live 2004”

3rd album by the phenomenal Japanese Fusion band KBB and their first live recording. Fronted by the virtuoso violinist Akihisa Tsuboy (with Toshimitsu Takahashi – keyboards, Dani – bass and Shirou Sugano – drums) the Fusion quartet continues the path set by Fusion founding fathers such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jean-Luc Ponty in the 1970s. Tsuboy’s virtuosity is beyond discussion and his sense of melody and incredible compositions captured already the hearts of numerous Fusion lovers around the world. The material includes mostly tracks already recorded for their first two studio albums (“Lost And Found” and “Four Corner’s Sky”) as well as one new composition, but the expanded treatments offered here (mostly over 10 minutes long) are fresh and revealing, presenting the virtuosity and improvisational skills of all four members of the band. This is Fusion heaven, any way one looks at it, and lovers of the electric violin just can’t afford to pass this incredible music by. An absolute must for Fusion enthusiasts.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2007 at 09:00

ALBUM

Today’s addition is another new Fusion album from Japan, a place where things are definitely happening:

KBB - “Proof Of Concept”

4th album by the phenomenal Japanese Fusion band KBB and their long awaited follow up studio recording. Fronted by the virtuoso violinist Akihisa Tsuboy (with Toshimitsu Takahashi – keyboards, Dani – bass and Shirou Sugano – drums) the Fusion quartet presents a brilliant set of new compositions (all except one by Tsuboy, with Dani’s first offering as a composer being the exception). The music is very melodic with traces of classical influences, but remains well inside the Fusion genre. The playing is brilliant as ever, virtuosity par excellence all the way. The entire concept is slightly more laid-back than the earlier efforts, with more accent on the melodic and lyrical, but there’s still plenty of Fusion fire to excite even the most skeptical listeners. The tracks are long enough to allow for dramatic melodic development and plenty of space for extended improvisations. All together a splendid album, well worth waiting for and sure not to disappoint the many fans of the band worldwide. Wholeheartedly recommended!

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102376

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2007 at 06:29

ALBUM

Today’s addition is another new Fusion album from Japan, a place where things are definitely happening:

Baraka - “VII”

7th album by Japanese Fusion power-trio Baraka fronted by guitarist Issei Takami with Shin Ichikawa on bass and Max Hiraishi on drums. Over the years the trio earned the reputation of one of the most interesting Fusion bands in the country. Takami uses his guitar and guitar synthesizer with power and skill to create a myriad of moods, sounds and melodies. Their previous efforts were usually quite heavy, but on this album there is a lot of melodic playing as well. Quite difficult to categorize, this music draws from many sources between early Hard Rock (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck) and modern Fusion. The central piece is a long (over 20 minutes) suite, with several themes and rhythmic patterns intertwined cleverly. Definitely worth investigating for all Fusion and guitar fans, as well as those listeners who like the staff happening on the burgeoning Japanese scene.

https://www.jazzis.com/shop/default.asp?item=102377

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2007 at 08:12

ALBUM

Today’s addition is a masterpiece of contemporary Prog, coming from Finland, my favorite musical country:

Khatsaturjan - “Aramed Forces Of Simantipak”

2nd album by brilliant Finnish Symphonic Prog band Khatsaturjan and a masterpiece of the genre. Their 1st album (an EP called “Aramsome Sums”, which was never officially released) pointed already in the direction, but this debut full album really hits the nail right on the head. As the band’s name suggests, they are deeply rooted in classical music (especially Russian classical music) and indeed started by playing modernized versions of classical pieces and only later opted to compose original material. The quartet consists of: Jaakko Koikkalainen – bass, keyboards, vocals & guitar, Atte Kurri – guitars, keyboards & vocals, Ilkka Piispala – drums, keyboards & vocals and Ilkka Saarikivi – keyboards, cello & vocals. They all have years of musical studies behind them, which is very apparent from the phenomenal performances heard herein. Considering that all four of them play keyboards and sing, the overall effect they are able to achieve is massive and truly symphonic and choral in scope. There are very few other Prog groups that ever (if at all) achieved the same level of compositional sophistication and orchestral execution, but if parallels must be drown, imagine Nice being accompanied by Queen vocals. This is an amazing piece of music, which should be cherished by every Prog fan on this planet and heard by all music lovers, but alas I’m afraid the reality is sadly different.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2007 at 10:11

ALBUM

Today’s addition is the last available album by the legendary French band Zao:

Zao - “Akhenaton”

The reissue of the 1970s Zao recordings on CD by the French Musea label in the early 1990s created a renewed interest in the band’s legendary music and prompted the two founders François Cahen (piano) and Yochk`o Seffer (saxophone) to reunite the band in 1993. They managed to enlist one more original band member Jean-My Truong (drums) and to complete the quintet they were joined by violinist Patrick Tilleman (who took the role of the original violinist Didier Lockwood) and bassist Dominique Bertram (who filled the place of Gerard Prevost). The reunited group recorded this album, which includes all new music composed as usual by Cahen and Seffer. Slightly jazzier than the 1970s material, the new album shows clearly that the musicians lost none of their chops over the years and can still outplay almost anybody. The new material is brilliant, as always, firmly reestablishing the two composers as leading figures in European Fusion. There are no week points here, as unfortunately many reunion albums suffer from, and the original band’s fans can treat this album easily as one more excellent addition to the band’s splendid legacy.

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