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Jade Warrior - Elements: the Island Anthology CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.21 | 20 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Only 4 and 5 star-rates have been given to this, and I'm not breaking up the concensus either. Jade Warrior is a duo of Tony Duhig (guitars, percussion) and Jon Field (flutes, percussion), with occasional guest musicians. Elements is a 2CD containing four studio albums '74-'78. I quote an earlier reviewer: "these guys were incorporating elements of World Music and New Age long before those styles even had names. And doing it as well as anyone has done it since." True.

Probably many proglovers that are not at all into ambient or New Age would find this music boring, but monotonic wallpaper music this is not. I admit I made a taping of under an hour in length without many dedicated listenings before - that's to say, I was either too hasty to let it grow on me properly or simply some parts I didn't like and some parts could be left out in the name of similarity. (Actually in my 4 stars there is a bit of bonus for general appreciation, some sort of 'pioneer' extra. Maybe the fact that I was too involved in New Age Music at one stage of my life and lost interest towards it, works against Jade Warrior for me, even if JW really can't be categorized as that only.)

Amidst acoustic peaceful soundscape there is also a certain happening, even bursts of drama. And as the band's name and cover suggest, some Oriental (Japanese) flavour can be heard. Of the four albums Way of the Sun (78) - which seems to have the lowest rate as a separate album - is the most lively, freewheeling and rhythmic and in my opinion gives a nice contrast to the floating and oceanic Floating World and Waves. The nature of Kites can be hinted by some track titles: 8. Arrival of the Emporer: "What does the venerable sir do?" 9. Teh Ch'eng: "Do you understand this?" 10. Arrival of Chia Shan: discourse and liberation 11. Towards the mountains.

All in all, a generous package of very original instrumental music guaranteed at least to bring new flavour to anyone's music collections if not to be greatly enjoyed.

Matti | 4/5 |


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