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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Zaub Nasty

Cigarettes & Baklava

Review by Gary Hill

This is one of the coolest purely instrumental discs I’ve heard in a long time. While there is a lot of fusion and jazz, it certainly doesn’t stop there. Thinks like King Crimson, world music, something like Captain Beyond and straight ahead hard rock all show up in this musical mix. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
10.17.11

As this powers out there’s a fusion element at play. The bass drives the opening section. Then some world music hits and they take it out into some odd jazz. That said, although strange it’s powerful and captivating. It’s quite a dynamic piece of music and it becomes more pure standard jazz for a while, then works out to some guitar dominated hard rock. Just when you think you have a feel for the piece, it gets changed. There are some moments that feel a lot like Red-era King Crimson.

Run for Your Life
Fast paced bass opens this and then the group moves out into a jam that’s much like King Crimson goes metal for a short time. As the guitar solos over the top it becomes closer to fusion. This is tastefully off-kilter, frantic and just plain cool. Although I liked the first tune, this one blows that one away. While there are some changes here, other than the weird little bit tacked onto the end, this really is a lot more consistent than the opener was.
Marching Elephants
The guitar sound that opens this reminds me of Red-era King Crimson. As it builds out from there, that sound is combined with world music and some straight-ahead rock and roll. This thing gets pretty hard-edged at times. It’s got some intriguing changes and alterations and those world music elements show up at points here.
The Chupacabra
Starting with jazz this works out into one of the coolest jams of the whole set. There’s plenty of King Crimson and plenty of real jazz here. This is just a great groove.
Arctic Sleigh Ride
The bass line on this reminds me of something from Captain Beyond. As the guitar comes in over the top references to the Allman Brothers wouldn’t be out of place. There is more jazz in the mix here than that would indicate, but this is more of a mainstream jam than some of the other music on this thing. There’s some smoking hot rock guitar later and this thing really intensifies in style. It has some of the most powerful saxophone soloing of the whole disc and, in fact, this thing might be the best track here.
 
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