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Jade Warrior - Last Autumn's Dream CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.66 | 127 ratings

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3 stars For their final offering on Vertigo, JADE WARRIOR pulled out all the stops by expanding their instrumental palette and inviting Tony Duhig's brother David to play rather accomplished guitar on 2 tracks. While the first offering juxtaposed creative rockers and soothing ballads, and the second favored heavier rock and extended jazzy excursions, "Last Autumn's Dream" strikes a middle ground somewhere between KING CRIMSON'S "Islands" and, I don't know, any number of early 1970s garage bands. Luckily in this case there is more of the former, even if whatever jazz was uncovered on "Released" is now shrouded in an ambient haze.

Once you get past the base instincts of "Snake", "Joanne" and "Demon Trucker" and accept that JADE WARRIOR needed to jettison them to attain any modest level of commercial success - which believe me is all they did attain - you can focus on beauties like "A Winter's Tale" and the superb closers "Lady of the Lake" and "Borne on to the Solar Wind", which play to the band's strengths in all aspects. "Morning Hymn" is either GENESIS inspired, or STEVE HACKETT inspiring, or perhaps both. "May Queen" best bridges the rock, folk, pop and jazz boundaries, and sounds little like anything they have done before or since, to their credit.

Oddly, the Island years of 1974-1978 seem to be more of a direct consequence of at least some aspects of "Released" rather than "Last Autumn's Dream", perhaps due to the fact that there were still 2 years left before the band jumped labels. Two releases would have filled that interim if the band had had its way, but those albums did not surface in any form until the late 1990s. JADE WARRIOR may not be perfect but they seem to have been able to spawn a small but ardent audience who wanted, and still want, to dream along with them.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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