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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Narada Michael Walden

Rising Sun EP

Review by Gary Hill

I know this guy is considered jazz. To me this album lands in progressive rock. That’s because there is enough rock here for me to consider it more prog than pure fusion. Really, that, to me is the difference between jazzy prog and fusion – which side of the rock jazz equation it lands on. It’s all a matter of degrees. Whatever you think of that particular labeling, though, this is a killer melodic fusion style disc. There is not a weak cut here, but as an EP it’s not exceptionally long. That’s the only real complaint.

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
Dance of Live

This comes in with a mellow section. Then it works out towards fusion as the guitar solos over the top of this. Overall, this tune is a smoking hot fusion number.

Cosmic Strut
Some killer funk opens this and the fusion ensues from there. As this continues shifting and changing we get some definite progressive rock in the mix.
Sun Is Dancing
Coming in with a definite progressive rock vibe, this piece (at over ten-minutes in length) is the longest one here. There is some great melodic soloing over the top and the cut shifts towards more pure progressive rock as they continue. That said, it’s still got fusion in the mix, it just leans more toward the prog end of things. This is quite an intense piece of music. It has some real peaks and valleys and manages to entertain throughout.
Sofie
In a lot of ways this is more pure rock than the other pieces here. There is definitely a Joe Satriani kind of vibe to this at times. Still, there is fusion in the mix, too. It’s a high energy jam with some killer soloing built into it. The later sections here are really on fire. This might be the best track on the whole disc, really.
 
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