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Er. J. Orchestra

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Er. J. Orchestra Gabrielus album cover
2.71 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Tea Ceremony Kiev-Paris
2. Gabrielius
3. A Letter To Jana
4. The Bamboo Forest Temple
5. Chanson d'Automne
6. Syringa

Total Time: Not availlable

Line-up / Musicians

- Alexei Alexandrov / Recorders, piano, light percussion
- Victor Krisko / Violin
- Sergei Hmelyov / Vibraphones, marimba
- Viktor Melezhik / Soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
- Dmitry Solovyov / Alto saxophone
- Vladimdr Sorochenko / Bass
- Andrei Chuguyevets / 12 String acoustic guitar, domra, bayan
- Dr.Kobtsev / Kongo, bongo, vocal, percussian
- Alexander Beregovsky / Vibraphone, chinese gongs, kongo, bongo, hand drum, recorder, drums, percussion

Releases information

Boheme CDBMR 902038

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
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Boheme 2011

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ER. J. ORCHESTRA Gabrielus ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ER. J. ORCHESTRA Gabrielus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars ER.J.ORCHESTRA is unique Ukrainian band which mixes the Symphonic Prog attitude with Folk, New Age and even Chamber elements. These guys sound very much orchestra-like indeed, and their pieces are sometimes more a symphonic music than prog rock. They push the boundaries - and in the same time they're managing to stay very enjoyable and even easy-listening sometimes! Excellent background music you may think - hell no, they'll MAKE you listen attentively! The best tracks here are "The Tea Ceremony"Kievv-Paris" and "The Bamboo Forest Temple", each 10 minutes long, but also title track and soft "A Letter to Jana" must be mentioned. Shifting moods and tempo changes, excellent musicinaship, instrumental Prog without overambitiousness - a Must for every Prog fan who is not afraid of solving the mysterious Slavic soul ;) Highly recommended!
Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars There are many reasons why "Gabrielus" is a hard album to review without being unfair with a band like ER. J. ORCHESTRA that is formed by such talented musicians and presents an impeccable production, but if we have to be absolutely honest, the material is bland and boring in comparison with the very good "The Unicorn".

It's was evident from the start that being "Gabrielus" their first effort, most probably would not be in the level of later and more developed releases, if we add the fact that they play with 9 musicians instead of 21 plus a complete chorus as in "The Unicorn", we can't expect a grandiose sound, but I insist, the major problem is in the compositional area because the music is very close to Muzak.

"Gabrielus" is opened by "The Tea Ceremony Kiev-Paris" a pompous name for a soft jazzy track based in synth, bayan (Russian accordeon) Sax and a couple extra instruments, reminds me a lot of Kenny G, but of course with better arrangements and musicianship, the central melody is the same along the song, so after a couple of minutes it begins to bore, not a bad song if you want to relax after a hard day at the work but nothing more.

The second song is "Gabrielus", which starts with an interesting cacophony of percussion, violin and flute that makes us think this time they will try something more challenging, sadly the first impression starts to fade when suddenly turns into an almost oriental folksy track with marimba and that boring Kenny G styled Saxophone, despite the song ends being a long and soft Sax track with no surprises, the presence of the domra (four stringed Ukrainian mandolin) and some brilliant violin solos make this tedious song barely worth to listen.

"A Letter to Jana" started, is a slight improvement, the arrangements are much better, we can listen a bit of percussion and a couple of changes plus a very nice chorus, Viktor Krisko in the violin is outstanding, despite that elevator music atmosphere "A Letter to Jana" is by far the best song of the album at this point.

"The Bamboo Forest Temple" is even better than the previous, much more rhythmic and with a nice folk oriental flavor that reminds a bit of some Spacey tracks of the late 60's but without the strength, still it's also worth to listen, around the middle a jazzy piano section by Alexei Alexandrov is simply delightful, the song ends with a bongo and violin tandem, very solid track.

"Chanson d'Automne" is a weird track with several changes but the interesting experimentation done by ER. J. OPRCHESTRA is killed by the soft Jazz sections and the boring chorus, the idea is good but they never succeeded.

The album ends with "Syringa" a sort of soft Jean-Luc Ponty soft Fusion track, as usual no surprises but the performance is outstanding, the only thing that really turns me is the horrendous marimba that makes us feel inside an elevator or at the dentist office, despite this bad choice of instrument, some good moments and vocals a la Focus and outstanding piano performance.

Some people may ask why I added this band if I was going to be so hard with my review, the truth is that if "Gabrielus" was their only release I would never had added ER. J. ORCHESTRA to Prog Archives but "On the Hill Again" and specially "The Unicorn" are a great improvement and despite it's not their finest moment, I believe it's has some interesting Prog moments that make it worth a try if you don't need to be challenged.

I would give 2.5 stars to "Gabrielus" but being that this is not an option in Prog Archives and its isn't remotely in the level of "The Unicorn" (Which I already rated with 3), I can't go with more than two stars.

If you like music for relaxation or you are a fan of the band and want to complete your collection then get it, but if you haven't heard ER. J. ORCHESTRA before, avoid it and go with any of the two later albums.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This Ukranian ensemble was established in 1989 in Kiev by its main composer Alexei Alexandrov.By 1992 he had managed to come up with a core of musicians to help him perform his compositions live as well as recording the first album of Er. J. Orchestra.The instrumental armour of the band included traditional percussions, saxes, accordion, marimba among the usual rock instrumentation.The debut ''Gabrielius'' from 1995 was recorded at the ArkadiA Studio in Kiev in 1994/95, released privately in 1998.

The soundscapes created by the Ukranian ensemble are always built around ethnic orientations and delivered either through Fusion-like arrangements or cinematic textures.The opening piece ''The Tea Ceremony Kiev-Paris'' gives hope for a nice album.This is pretty nice Acoustic Ethnic/Fusion with a lovely romantic atmosphere, highlighted by Alexandrov's work on piano and the light interplays with saxes and accordion.The rest of the album doesn't hold up on the same level.While there is always a jazzy atmosphere in the air, blending some delicate string sections and archaic sounds in a good amalgam, the musicianship lacks dynamics and the arrangements sometimes sound a bit loose.Additionally parts of the album have a very Ambient/Chill-out mood, that becomes really hypnotic for the listener, while individual instrumental performances start to pop out in a more minimalistic mood.Most of the tracks though are quite long and among these weak moments one can find also some interesting material, the smooth jazzy interplays and some elegant melodies being the more decent ones.Few parts of the album contain also wordless vocals in order to make the music richer and more energetic, while no electric instruments are used in an album of totally acoustic nature.

The concept idea of this instrumental band was rather good, the execution though becomes a little boring along the way.A pair of good instrumentals and a few sporadic peaks are the best moments of an effort, that works better as nice background music.For fans of World Music or light Folk/Fusion...2.5 stars.

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