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KBB - Live 2004 CD (album) cover

LIVE 2004



Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.56 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This is my first approach to this Japanese formation, which has released a few albums prior to this live album. If you are not familiar to them, this album will appear a bit too influenced by Jean-Luc Ponty's later 70's solo albums. Although this might appear as quite an impressive reference, I unfortunately point this out more as more of a flaw: don't get me wrong the music is in itself quite fine but brings no new water to the mill of adventure. Obviously, the leader is violinist Tsuboy, but the only thing that might differ from JLP is that the spotlight is shared with keyman Takahashi. While the virtuoso qualities of the group are indisputable, there is a definite propensity to transform a certain showmanship into self-indulgence, which quickly wears you out, even it was impossible for me to stay cold or aloof to their music. I mean, I love this type of music.

Among the highlights is the 12-min Inner Flames (Mounting?), the 100-mph-and-stop fusion of No Kioku (with a touch of Wetton-era Crimson) and the very interesting I'm Not Here (neither was I, should I answer? ;-) and its Bartok-like improvs strongly reminiscent of ELP. Among the (slight) misses are the insufferably-long Shironiji (even though the slightly Arabian mid-section is excellent), the very-clichéd No Kawa, the opening Spiral and the rather boring and pointless closing Shoudou.

I actually enjoyed this album's few spins I gave it; it was on loan from a friend, but I chose not to copy or buy it, which in itself says quite a bit about the music's nature: nothing new under the sun, even from the opposite side of the planet. But if unlike me, you have not heard dozens (or even hundreds) of such JR/F albums, you might want to try this out, because there are many qualities to it, but also all off the Ponty-esque clichés, which for an old dog like me is rather hard to turn a blind eye to them. Still worth an earful, though, because the music is impeccably played AND let's face it well-influenced ;-) .

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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