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Sloche - Stadaconé CD (album) cover

STADACONÉ

Sloche

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.29 | 152 ratings

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Pafnutij
4 stars A fine album from this little-known Canadian jazz-fusion outfit. 'Stadacone' is a collection of strong compositions and playing, and while it does get just a bit demonstrative occasionally, it never really degrades to the self-indulgence of ,say, Return to Forever. All band members possess impressive chops (a must in fusion), but more importantly, they can definitely write a good melody, and throw in sophisticated jazz harmonies when needed.

The album opens with the title track, which sees the band opting for a simple, funky blues approach; thus, the focus here is naturally on lengthy improvisations, which are skilled and tasteful enough to keep the listener impressed and attentive. 'Le Cosmophile' is rather weak - the weakest point on the album, in fact - as, despite neat arrangements, it has nothing spectacular to latch onto. Fortunately, things get back in order with 'Il Faut Sauver Barbara', an energetic number with plenty of dissonance to keep Gentle Giant fans happy. 'Ad Hoc'' begins in a rather tame, funky manner, but eventually picks up with wonderfully melodic interludes that make it totally worthwhile. 'La Baloune' is another laidback number, highlighted by beautiful chord progressions. The band smartly saves the best track until the end: 'Isacaaron' is the ultimate treat, a perfect combination of beauty, complexity and creativity. A percussion intro gives way to a short, but lovely dissonant part, which in turn heads into a slow, slightly menacing section with strong intricate riffing. The real standout here is the pianist, who takes over in the fourth minute with brilliant passages including great use of the whole-tone scale. The last few minutes feature bring more of the dissonant riffs akin to those on the earlier track 'Il Faut.'. This number is certainly one of the masterpieces of prog.

On the whole, the album is fusion done right. These guys certainly require more recognition than what they've got, and deserve be mentioned alongside the established greats of the genre.

Pafnutij | 4/5 |

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