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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt) - A Benefit of Radim Hladík [Aka: Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík] CD (album) cover


Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 165 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars By the time of this album's release Blue Effect was old history and just why this album mentioned Hladic above the rest of the group is a bit of a mystery to me, but the group's history is loaded with band's name changes, so one more or less. Anyway the previous two albums that had meddled free jazz and beat music (the Nova Synteza albums) were also history, and the group now developed a solid jazz-rock mixed with some symphonic moments ala Yes or Crucis, and everyone agrees is ME's best period, even if this was not their most adventurous works. Over the course of the next four albums (including this one), ME will simply astound by the quality of their music only approached by their Slovak friends, Fermatá. Recorded in 73 but only released in 75, the industrial artwork gracing the album is rather Stalinian, but is a good companion to the music.

The album starts wildly enough on a strong 10-min Boty track (which seems to be a rework of one of their Nova Synteza works) that seems to take on both Yes and Finch with a strong duel between Stivin's flute and Hladik's shinning guitar lines. Cajovna is a short mellower track where Hladik takes his guitar on melodic grounds ala Peter Green or Carlos Santana (but not being as singular as either), but ends just as we wished it would before becoming too clichéd. The following Skladanka is more axed towards Semelka's keyboards, Stivin's flute, but the explorative and sometimes funky bass of Kutska make this track his moment of glory on this album.

The flipside is much in the line of the its counterface, with Ztrary A Nalezy starting on acoustic guitar (as well as electric later on) taking us for a short ride before getting back to the acoustic theme as way of an outro. The aptly-titled 12-min+ Hypertenze, partly because of an affect that is to be heard on ELP's BSS track KE9, which this writer's blood to rise above reasonable levels. Otherwise the track is a killer with an excellent electric piano and godd sax solos trading wild licks with Hladic's guitars parts, the middle quiet passage being particularly fertile in erectility, which is not good for the listener's hypertension (didn't you know I wasn't leaving this review without making one of these ;o). Radimwas seen as bit as Clapton was in the late 60's' London scene, and this kind of album would do nothing to dispel the myth.

Two bonus tracks grace this excellent album, and they date from 73 (as the album did), and both are sung, which of course sticks out quite a bit with the instrumental album they are included with. While they don't hurt the album, the two tracks (the second being recorded live) have a harder edge and the very Italian-delivery of the very present vocals; making quite a contrast with the album original tracks. To those needing comparison, these two songs would fit better on Flamengo's sole album than on this one. Nevertheless the quality of these bonuses is good enough to keep the CD reissue album on an essential level.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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