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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gadi Caplan

Morning Sun

Review by Gary Hill

This new album from Gadi Caplan is quite a masterpiece. It’s probably going to wind up on my list of best albums of 2016. There is a lot of melodic stuff here, but it also gets quite powerful and intense at times. The mix of sounds includes folk prog, jazzy music, dream pop type stuff and more. It’s quite an intriguing ride that works so well from start to finish. Remember the days when you put on an album and let it take you on a journey within your mind? Get ready to experience that again.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hemavati

Little gentle stabs of guitar open this and move it forward. After a bit bass joins. Then it eventually powers out to a full rock arrangement. Horns come in after a time and this becomes very jazz prog-like. Some psychedelic rocking guitar soloing comes over the top really pushing this thing into powerhouse territory. That guitar really soars as it keeps pushing forward. Somehow this makes me think of a cross between Yes, King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra. It eventually fades down to take this instrumental to its close.

Island
Acoustic guitar starts this, and the vocals bring it into a folk prog territory. This is gentle, but really moving. Other things are added to the mix, but it remains in a more or less balladic style for the whole cut. There is killer keyboard solo section that makes think of fusion. Some guitar soloing that joins it after a time turns it more toward the prog rocking end of things, though.
Good Afternoon
Vocals start this and the cut is very jazzy as it works outward. There are some spacey elements at times on this, but overall it’s melodic jazz stuff.
Vivadi Swara
Mellow acoustic guitar is the basis for the start of this with some icing on its musical cake. The jamming gradually builds out from there with a world meets jazz kind of vibe. Some expressive guitar soloing is heard. Around the minute and a half mark it shifts to a uptempo melodic acoustic guitar based rock jam for the entrance of the vocals. There is a lot of psychedelic rock built into this, but it’s more melodic prog than it is anything else. That said, jazz is still part of the DNA on this piece. There is some killer intricate guitar soloing as this presses forward. This gets much more powered up as the jazz elements really soar over the top of the cut later.
Morning Sun
Folk and jazz blend on the first part of this cut. It’s delicate, but yet energized. I love the flute that dances over the top later as this continues to evolve. There is a real 60s kind of vibe to a lot of this. It has a good chunk of jazz built into it, but also plenty of folk prog. This is a pretty, if not particularly dynamic, tune.
La Morena
Gentle music with jazz and folk built into it starts this one, too. This gets quite involved and dramatic without really rising up from the mellower territory. Around the three and a half minute mark it gets into some rather dreamy music. That starts to gradually rise up with each iteration. It really does get intense and powerful. There is a bit of a heavier tone to it in some ways, but it feels more like some of the more dense music from the later era of The Beatles.
The Other Other Side
Some sounds that seem backwards tracked open this piece. Mellower jazzy psychedelia comes in from there. The rocking guitar solo brings another element to the proceedings.
Lili's Day, Pt. 1
This is the first movement of a four part instrumental suite that ends the disc. Trippy space meets jazz music opens this with a cool groove. This evolves into a cool melodic prog jam. That section takes us into the next movement.
Lili's Day, Pt. 2
There is some killer soloing that comes over the top of this thing as it works its way forward. This drops down to symphonic strings to segue into the next piece.
Lili's Day, Pt. 3
Military style drumming joins and the cut starts to work forward tentatively. There is more intense soloing that joins later and takes the cut to its climax.
Lili's Day, Pt. 4
Mellower elements bring this into being from the last cut. The piece has an almost classical element in terms of the layers over the top. That said, there is a trippy psychelia meets prog element overall.
 
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