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Smak - Crna Dama [Aka: Black Lady] CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.29 | 58 ratings

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4 stars SMAK is one of the most interesting ex-Yugo groups. "Crna dama" (Black Lady) is their best effort together with "Stranice naseg vremena" (Pages of Our Time). Both albums were recorded in London, so the production is apparently clearer than ex-Yugo productions of that time. Vocal tracks were also recorded with English lyrics for foreign market. I was lucky to get the CD reissue of "Crna dama".

The musicianship on this album is high but not all tracks are strictly prog. It's an interesting mix: a hit song ("Crna dama"), nice blues rock ballads ("Plava Pesma", "Stvar ljubavi"), a funky track ("Alo"), prog instrumentals ("Domaci zadatak", "Tegoba") and an energetic ethno rock song ("Daire"). The speciality of their style are funky fusion and occasional oriental elements full of temperament and soul.

I enjoy all tracks but the most impressive is the instrumental "Tegoba". It starts with a short emersonesque piano intro and continues with busy drumming and one of the best bass melodies in a nice counterpoint with upper melodies. It's hard to describe but it sounds close to the spirit of PIAZZOLLA. The vocalist also doubles some melodies with wordless singing. One of my alltime favourite prog tracks! The album is worth having for this one alone.

As SMAK is one of my favorite groups my subjective rating would be 5 stars but I can't rate this album as a prog masterpice because only 2 or 3 tracks are entirely in the progressive style. Nonetheless worth exploring and an excellent addition to your collection!

terramystic | 4/5 |


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