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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Leonardo - The Absolute Man CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.46 | 72 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Trent Gardner is becoming the absolute progressive artist by showing up on recent collaborations with Steve Walsh, Explorers Club, Mullmuzzler, several tribute albums, and his own group Magellan. The Absolute Man was a few years in the making, and anxiously anticipated by this writer. The entire larger-than-life recording is devoted to the life of Leonardo DaVinci. The main musicians are Trent Gardner (keyboards) Wayne Gardner (guitar), Patrick Reyes (bass), Steve Reyes (guitar), and Jeremy Colson (drums). Some of the special guests include James Labrie, Robert Berry, Steve Walsh, and Josh Pincus. All of them have their own groups and projects on other Magna Carta releases. Gardner gives an eloquent and intelligent tribute to DaVinci in the liner notes. He states that the music merely scratches the surface of DaVinci's greatness as an artist, inventor, scientist, and everything else that made him the absolute man.

Now on to the music, that's what this is really all about. The ultimate interpretive listening experience can speak volumes. How in the world do you convey the importance and greatness of an individual such as Leonardo DaVinci? Its not an easy task mind you. The point is driven home at the curtain call, as Gardner does a fine job leading the impressive cast of musicians down the road of Leonardo's storied life. It all begins with a regal and classical air with the instrumentals "Apparition" and "Aria For Italy." Gardner's keyboards lead the way and it all gives you a feeling of building suspense and emotion. Progressive music has a way of making those feelings happen rather quickly, and this CD is no exception. There are eighteen tracks in total on this CD. Just when you think that the atmosphere will change and become more intense it falls off. About half way through the CD the songs turn off into an almost pop like direction. I don't understand why this happened because the project really gathers a good head of steam and then it just stops. There are a few tracks towards the end were the magic is regained but something changes drastically at the point were the entire feeling and musical direction should be making an upswing. Perhaps I had far to long to wonder about what this was going to be like. I first heard of this project around two years ago and it intrigued me. For the amount of disappointment that I did feel there was more than enough satisfaction and great prog-rock to enjoy. I tip my hat to Trent Gardner for his adventuresome spirit and the courage to experiment and reach out to find new avenues for his creativity. There were times that this music sounded like Yes and Styx making a song together, it was very exciting. I expected much more, but you can't always anticipate what will develop during the course of recording when you place high expectations upon an album. That I take responsibility for, and I do realize that every album I listen to is not going to blow me away, although mostly all prog-rock music from Magna Carta does. This was worth the listen and the reflection upon a great man and a soul for the ages.

Muzikman | 3/5 |


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