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Patch - The Star Suite CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.43 | 13 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Producer Peter Dawkins conceived this all instrumental album, a concept album based on the zodiac, and divided into four movements based on the four elements. He collaborated with Mike Rudd and Mike McClellan on the music, and put together a band to record the project. The results make pleasant enough background listening, but nothing particularly special. Most of the time, the music consists of the musicians locking onto a fairly simple chord progression and jamming away unspectacularly for a while, then moving on to another similar section and doing the same thing. A comparison? Maybe Caravan without the time signatures, or the chops. The fact that Mike Rudd is the principal co-composer and one of the main featured musicians may be a clue to the problems - as much as I love most of his other work, he is best known as an excellent songwriter (ie someone who writes fantastic lyrics, and creates appropriate music to accompany them) rather than as an outstanding instrumentalist, or composer (ie someone who writes music that stands up well without text). A MIke Rudd instrumental album would not strongly appeal - the closest we've been to such a thing, namely Spectrum's Part One with it's long jams, succeeded because Lee Neale was an interesting organist and Mark Kennedy capable of an excellent drum solo when required - and funnily enough, that album got even better when Rudd put down his guitar and picked up a recorder. There is no one as distinctive as Neale or Kennedy in this band - everyone is competent, but no one is a top-flight virtuoso (or at least there are few signs of such virtuosity in their playing here). The best moment for me is in the final movement, "Earth" - specifically the opening section featuring the Bennelong Trio, contributing some beautiful flute and acoustic guitar. When the band comes in, the quality of their playing and of the composition seems to have lifted from the preceding three movements.
sl75 | 3/5 |


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