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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Rob Fried

Wind Song

Review by Gary Hill

Progressive rock is an elusive beast to pin down, particularly when it gets into fusion. What is it that fits Mahavishnu Orchestra in prog rock while Spyro Gyra is jazz? For my money fusion is pretty much always prog rock and that’s why I’ve set this here. Certainly the instrumental music that graces this CD is closer to Spyro Gyra, but we get bits of Niacin and even Santana on this. Call it what you want, but it’s a great disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Time Peace
Much of this track is in a smooth jazz motif. There’s a much more rock oriented – although still definitely fusion based – jam later, though.  There’s also a short funky section later.
Cuba Duba Do
They don’t change the motif a lot here, but this has a heck of a groove to it. It’s perhaps got more rock in the mix than the previous one did.
Rooster Blues
This moves them far more into the field of fusion and even a bit into RIO. It’s a cool tune with a bit of danger in the midst. They also give us some full on blues in the middle. At times I can hear Weather Report on this number, but at other times I hear B. B. King.
Sarah's Band
Somehow this reminds me of Jean-Luc Ponty. I can’t tell you why, but I get that kind of vibe along with a bit of a Pat Metheny texture. It’s mellower and quite groove oriented. 
Walky Talky
What if Carlos Santana played in jazz outfit? It would probably sound a lot like this.
Wind Song
Here’s a mellower track that’s balladic and still rather jazzy. It’s one of the most purely prog rock type cuts. 
Island Weave
There is a bit of an Island feeling to this – but one would expect that given the title. This isn’t drastically different from the other music here, but nice nonetheless.
Samba Diane
A good chunk of this is in a similar motif to the rest of the disc, but it works into an expansive musical journey.  It’s one of the more purely prog moments here.
Be Love
This seems to combine those Santana elements we heard earlier with some funk and some Niacin. It’s a cool retro tinged jam that even throws a little reggae into the mix.
Extremily
There’s a lot of drama and presence to this little dittie. It’s a good tune and a nice way to end things in style. Here’s another that has some Niacin in the mix and there’s some blues, too. There’s a cool little syncopated segment, too.
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