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Stratus Luna - Stratus Luna CD (album) cover


Stratus Luna


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.85 | 68 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Like many other within the scene, the first I heard of this young Brazilian quartet was when Leo Pavkovik started raving about them to anyone who would listen. Given I have known Leo for nearly 20 years and have always found his musical tastes to be impeccable, I was intrigued. I note the CD is now being distributed by Moonjune, so he is obviously very keen indeed. The line-up is Ricardo Santhiago (electric, lap steel and acoustic guitars), Gustavo Santhiago (keyboards, sitar, flutes), Gabriel Golfetti (bass) and Giovanni Lenti (drums, percussion). Even before playing this I was intrigued, as not only is there lap steel, but one of the guys plays keyboards, woodwind and string instruments, which is highly unusual to say the least. I mean, I expect Charlie Cawood to play anything that has strings on it just because he is that type of musical genius, but I don't expect him to play instruments from other areas as well. I have never thought of Brazil has a hotbed of prog music, although tours always go down well in South America, but there aren't that many bands producing this style of music.

I can see why Leo is raving about them though, as this is highly complex beautifully arranged prog which does stretch at times into the more fusion area, but not that often. It feels more like a remastered Seventies classic album than something from today, as they use simple piano as the base at times, but always with a wonderfully clear guitar which can either provide rock support or clean almost Holdsworth-style leads over the top. The rhythm section keep it tied down, as the two frontmen move in and out of Canterbury style, through JRF and so many other styles. There is little here to let on understand that this is a band from Brazil, as to me this is a very English album, just one from 45 years ago, not Brazil in 2019. Okay, so the sitar isn't that English, and when it comes in on "Zarabatana" it totally changes the feel, but Harrison was using one back in 1965 and you can't get more English than The Beatles!

Overall this is a light, and incredibly enjoyable album, from start to end. It is easy to listen to but definitely never easy listening, and for this to be a debut is quite stunning. This is one heck of an album which is going to gain them a great many friends indeed. Well worth investigating.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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