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Gadi Caplan

Look Back Step Forward

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds on this CD is pretty impressive. There is a wide range here from melodic prog to fusion to space rock and much more. I really like this album a lot. There are some excellent performances from all the musicians, but ultimately the musicians are always cognizant of the fact that they are there as servants of the music, not the other way around. This is a great set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
It's All The Same

Starting rather mellow and sedate, there is a feeling of something great about to happen. The cut moves out into a cool fusion jam that has great melody and some killer funk in the rhythm section. A jam mid-track combines that funk with a bit of space rock or something perhaps a bit like early Pink Floyd at times. As it gets more energized the funk more fully rules the roost on the track. That eventually turns very progressive rock oriented, the guitar solo even calling to mind Steve Howe a bit. It gets into more pure fusion to take it out, though.

Charlotte
Speaking of Mr. Howe, this intricate, delicate and very pretty acoustic guitar solo definitely brings the work of that man to mind. It really sounds a lot like something he might do.
Brother
Starting more tentatively, this grows out as the first more purely rock oriented cut. It’s also the first one with vocals. There is almost a Traffic vibe to this in some ways, perhaps mixed with something like Porcupine Tree. Some real psychedelic music and space are heard on this. There is also a definite early Genesis vibe to it. The soaring, languid guitar solo is particularly effective.
Within The Clouds
The opening elements of this will be quickly recognized as George Harrison melodies. That sound is given a really space rock oriented treatment for a time as this works upwards. Then it bursts into a smoking hot space rock (think Pink Floyd) meets fusion jam. This is a pretty incredible piece of music. In fact, it might be the best thing on the whole disc.
Frostbite
Guitar dominated fusion with an almost Rock In Opposition vibe to it is the order of business here. Clearly comparisons to King Crimson are very appropriate on this piece. A series of shifts and changes are heard as this works through and the piece is quite cool.
Indian Summer
Coming in tentatively with a bit echoey, distant sound, this works up gradually. There is definitely a world music vibe here. As it continues to build it gets into more of a powered up, but still fairly mellow and melodic, jam that’s very much based in a fusion approach. I love this piece of music. The world music and jazz blend so well together here.
Look Back Step Forward
Although this definitely closer to pure fusion, there are both progressive rock and world music elements here. The bass line that drives through this is might not be the first thing a listener notices, but it’s worth paying attention to it. The violin handles a big chunk of the melody on this and the whole cut really shifts and grows in some great ways.
Moonsoon Season
Fusion and space rock merge with world music on this killer jam. This is fairly short, but it’s also powerful and energetic. It’s one of my favorites here.
A Latin Winter
A mellower fusion jam, the guitar delivers some scorching melodic soloing over the top of this beast.
Tesha
Much mellower, this is quite pretty and very melodic. It manages to stretch toward space rock inspired fusion at times. There is still some world music in the mix, too. It does get more energized at times, but overall is one of the mellower pieces of the disc.
 
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