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Secret Oyster - Sea Son CD (album) cover


Secret Oyster


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 90 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!

After getting the Laser's Edge reissue of this album, I can still tell you that this second secret adventure of the best-kept Secret Oyster (no comparison possible with its Blue Cult cousin ;-), is really them at their apex. Not only surviving a complete overhaul of the rhythm section, but also a will to extend their commitment to excellent and adventurous jazz-rock, but also keeping it instrumental and also a great songwriting coming together, with the actor's knowing they are reaching certain summits, but not able to break it big. But with this album they sure try and this re-issue, with its three bonus tracks, is definitely upping the ante. The album is also graced with an interesting and fitting artwork design with the group photo on the back of them Waiting For The Sun.

SO's music is incredibly descriptive (especially the more dramatic and wild moments) that it seems rather absurd to put any kind of lyrics to it (the music), that not many words might actually add or even try to keep up with the quintet playing the hearts out. A good intro funk boogie beat with feelings that Hancock (the Mwandishi "years") and a surprising strings trio adding drama and even giving it a "Oomph" in the evocative power department on (sadly) only two tracks. But they have further guests on other tracks such as the added wind and percussion. But not everything is calm is in Secret Oyster ocean and there is a Sea son that seems to be a bit disruptive at times but also have more dreamy moments. Generally this creature is more related to Knudsen's electric pianos. Of course not everything is tit for tat all the time and the odd length or beat is less successful, such as Pajamamafia (that track's title always looked suspicious suspect to me), but at times Rainforest is mesmerizing in beauty. The 8-min Paella is a prefect scorcher on which to end an album too.

This was the Oyster best effort, although there would be more to come, but for such strange reasons, their record company stopped and it suddenly seemed that the winds had changed again on the Sea Son's Oyster bed. Coming with this already great album are now coming three bonus tracks that have absolutely nothing to envy (quite on the contrary, actually ;-) this album is even better classic that every proghead should be aware of and even own an album (or two, or three..... who are we kidding here??? Right??? ;-). Of those three tracks are the eponymous (or would-be title track) and a two-part Alfresco, all three well in the line of the album but all related with the lengthiest track of the album.

There is a strange logic in Laser's Edge's strategy to have started re-mastering the album in a non-chronological order, but this "hit" is certainly forgiving the strange choice and "miss" of Astarte, but finally this second album is out. Can't wait for the other two (the debut especially) and that possible live posthumous releasing crowning this campaign. Hopefully, more groups like Belgium's Placebo or Kandahar or France's Alain Markusfeld, there will be more superb stuff to release urgently before they also get bootlegged,

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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