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Wigwam - Fairyport CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.12 | 244 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Days ago I was reading some reviews of "Yessongs". Many reviewers were complaining about the sound quality. Alsome everybody admits that it's the "best of the best YES", but it's jeopardized by the bad quality.

Well, this third (and double) album of Wigwam suffers for the same reason, but as for Yessongs I quite disagree about "jeopardizing". That's the sound quality available at the beginning of the 70s and for one like me who was listening to them on a "Readers Digest" turntable, that's the quality I was used to.

On a live like yessongs and on a studio album like Fairyport, including the last long track that's live, what is called a "bad sound quality" is part of the album, like it or not it's so.

The very good thing is how the things are mixed together. The first very jazz moment arrives with the title track, that's the third of the album, but the whole thing is permeated by Pekka Pohjola's bass. It's effectively on the title track that the bad recording quality can be more disturbing, but t gives me the same sensations of when I listen to Tommy Dorsey on a 78 RPM (believe me or not, I have a 78RPM compilation of big bands at home).

Now let's speak of the album instead of the production. After the first two releases this seems to be the album on which the band has found a direction. With Canterbury and Zappa as principal influences there's also a good bunch of classical music, some humor and some very prog moments. The second part of Caffkaff is one of the best examples including almost all the mentioned elements.

It's a long album so it can even have some weaker episodes, but the overall quality of the compositions is very above the standards. It's a pity that the sound quality of "Rave-up For The Roadies" is so bad. Effectively on this one I can't say that it doesn't disturb, and the music is quite different from Dorsey's orchestra. In this jazz-rock epic there are so many things to catch that effectively it's quite too bad, but the music is so good that I can forgive the producer.

So how to rate it?

Let's say that even with the bad production it's an excellent addition to any prog collection. I can't rate it as a masterpiece because an album is made also of production but there are surely masterpiece tracks. As we all know 4.5 is not allowed....

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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