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However - Sudden Dusk CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.11 | 54 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars However never received a proper support from the music industry nor a proper recording contract - just one of those myriad of capital sins committed against good prog music. That explains the fact that this album is basically a collection of tracks written through the mid 1970s through 1981, and recorded in 1980-1981: so, eventually these victims of oblivion managed to get their material out in the market as a testimony of their musical genius. Bassist/keyboardist Peter Princiotto appears to be the band's leader, since he writes most of the material comprised here, and is usually the busiest instrumentalist; but this is not someone's band, but a well-oiled ensemble that functions fluidly as a unit, with a clear sense of purpose and unhidden enthusiasm. The absolute proficiency shown in the guitar and reed solos, together with the exquisite precision of the rhythm section, make this repertoire attractive despite its intricacy and somewhat recurrent inclusion of dissonance and challenging counterpoints. Main influences are Gentle Giant, early Henry Cow, 72-74 Zappa, and Hatfield & the North; there's also an exquisite flavor at times similar to that of Happy the Man. But at the end of the day, the thing is that However's sound is not merely a melting pot of foreign ideas, since it is clear that the band achieves their own voice. The opening cut 'It's Good Fun' is precisely good fun, both appealing and complex, if only a bit too short - it could have gone places had it been developed further. Anyway, it's catchy enough to keep the listener alert to what's yet to come. After the brief interlude 'Hardt', 'In the Aisles' brings back the funny vibe and keeps it working on. 'Louise Sitting on a Chair' stands out as a captivating piece of beautiful music wrapped under a delicate veil of solemnity - oh, that piano, and that soprano sax,.. and those subtle touches on bass guitar and cello... just like a siesta in the realms of a peaceful universe. This same calm beauty will be later refurbished in the acoustic guitar duet titled 'In the Midst of Making', a piece of dreamy moods that also features mesmeric soprano sax flourishes and soft singing. 'Beese' and 'No Cows' show the band at their most aggressive and dissonant, something like a compromise between jazz-rock and Canterbury style with a RIO-esque twist: these are the tracks where all musicians' virtuosity meets its most challenging expression, which is obviously due to the dearly complex nature of the writing and arranging processes. On the other hand, the title track is constructed as a Frippian guitar soundscape supported by somber synth layers and mysterious nuances of fuzz guitar, fretless bass, recorder and sax. The result is really disturbing, despite its reflective mood (as opposed to scary). 'Lamplight' and 'Trees for the Forest' are the jazziest numbers in the album, while 'Grandfather Was the Driver' is a very Zappa-esque combination of country and Eastern exotic stuff. It's a shame that this repertoire, as amazing and splendorous as it is, has been so overlooked for so long: thanks to the CD technology, there is a chance that "Sudden Dusk" may be acknowledged by progheads all over the world as what it is - a musical testimony of pure excellence. This a real unique prog masterpiece: However is USA prog at its very best!!
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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