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Zingale - Peace CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 47 ratings

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4 stars I think one thing progressive music is sometimes guilty of is too much thematic emphasis on fantasy or mythology, or just trying to prove how very clever and innovative it all is. So its nice once and a while to listen to something that is as socially relevant and timely as it is musically appealing. Zingale managed to achieve just such a feat with their somewhat obscure mid-seventies release ‘Peace’. While the influences of Yes and the Canterbury sound are too string to ignore, the band manages to blend these with a fair amount of jazzy fusion and some obvious studio improvisation to yield an altogether novel album.

The Yes influence is most prominent in the early tracks, and particularly on the majestic “Help this Lonely World” and “Carnival”; the former which could also have passed for a Klaatu recording, and the latter sounding like some sort of instrumental outtake off the cutting room floor of the ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ studio sessions. Unfortunately the band did not have the technical advantages in the studio that Anderson and Co. did, so the sound tends to come off as muddled at times, which serves to give the impression the music is every bit as dated as its copyright. No matter, serious prog fans are rarely dissuaded by old analog recordings, especially when the music encased in them is arranged with such loving attention to detail.

Lead singer David Bachar manages a fairly decent blend of Jon Anderson and Greg Lake when he decides to sing (in English no less!), especially on the energetic and snyth-riddled “Love Song”. Violinist Tony Brower exudes emotion on the melancholy “7 Flowers Street”, and then follows that up with some wicked string-bending chords on the introspective and acid-tinged “Lonely Violin Crying”. These are the mellowest and most engaging tracks on an otherwise highly progressive and adventurous recording.

Electric keys and fusion rhythm abounds when the band slides into an improvisational jam on the rollicking “Stampede”; and then seems to take a cue from the likes of Peter Hammill with the sardonic, tense anti-war anthem “Soon The War Is Over”, a ranging call-to-arms for lovers of peace everywhere. With several members of the band having served in uniform during the Yom Kippor War, and those memories still fresh in their minds, they certainly know of what they sing as the lyrics are spit out amidst wailing guitars and stilting keyboards. The rather abrupt and unsettled ending mimics the lack of closure that war brought to the region too well.

The band would turn to Hebrew-language music shortly after this album was finally released (which itself didn’t happen until a couple years following its recording); some of those tracks appear on the nineties CD reissue. Musically these are much less ambitious songs, and other than the spacey “Green Scooter on the Way to Asia” most of them are of a completely different genre and time than the original recording.

It amazes and saddens me that a quarter-century after this group of guys from Israel issues their musical call for peace in that region, the guns and bombs are once again raining across their homeland. Let’s all hope that the peace they sang of manages to become manifest someday. In the meantime, take a chance and hunt down this unusual record – it’s worth the trip. Four stars and well- recommended to most serious prog fans.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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