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Trioxyde - Hey Carlos CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.44 | 5 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Over the last few years I have been playing a great deal of golden age of jazz, pre-war blues, and generally increasing my musical repertoire. I knew that this album was dedicated to Carlos Santana, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that it was jazz rock with the lead guitar often taking the melody lines (this is instrumental), but I wasn't quite ready for the huge amount of blues and early Seventies influence that was also involved. I first played this in the car on a beautiful February summer's evening, and I was blown away by what I was hearing, as it was a perfect accompaniment to the vista I was seeing through my windscreen.

This is classic, and class, early Seventies jazz rock with almost as many stylings being borrowed from Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac as it is from Carlos himself. John McLaughlin can also be heard if you pay close attention, but this is not the dramatic speedy runs that one sometimes gets from fusion, but a band playing close attention to the placement and spacing of each note and the impact being driven from all of this. Drummer Charles Beauregard is a jazz man at heart, and can go from rim shots to complex rolls, or moving around the kit or dancing on the cymbals, whatever is the right way to provide the desired emphasis. Michel Mergaerts has a wonderfully warm and delicate approach to bass, so that while he can bang it in with the guitar he is often found playing a beautiful counter melody that adds a depth which allows the lead musicians to shine.

These are Dostaler William who not only provides piano but some wonderfully dated organ sounds, and J-F Girard on guitar. These two are normally the ones at the front, although they do allow the others to come through when the time is right, and the production provides clear space between the two of them. There is little in the way of over-dubbing, so the sound between the four of them is always clear and feels pure. It is a perfect album? Well, it is hard to say that anything is ever really perfect, but this is damn close. Damn close.

Over the years I have heard many of the releases from the great Canadian label Unicorn, and this is easily one of their very best. This is for those who want to hear great music taking influences from the best of jazz and the best of blues to produce something that is really quite special indeed.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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