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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Curved Air

Tapestry of Propositions: Rarities Series Volume 1

Review by Gary Hill

This is the first of a series of rarities discs that will be coming from Curved Air. This is an intriguing set. It's all live. It opens and closes with the song "Propositions." In between we get a series of improv jams that the group went into in the midst of that song. There are multiple jams from different shows here. They work really well together as one solid thing. It's not the easiest thing to differentiate in track by track reviews, though. If you are just listening, it feels like one extremely long (and very cool) jam.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Propositions

Fast paced and rocking, this is part jazz, part world music, part psychedelia and yet overall prog rock with some hints of punk. It leads straight into the next track.

Norway Improv
Here we get an instrumental that's packed with jazz, space rock and a lot more. It's a killer cut with some extremely intriguing undercurrents running within. I love some of the harder edged sounds on this.
St Albans Improv
This killer jam makes me think of Hawkwind in a lot of ways. It's fiery and really stomps.
Hull Improv
This powerhouse jam is a bit more on the jazz side in some ways. It's still screaming hot.
Edinburgh Improv
This almost seems to combine the last two jams to me. It definitely occupies much of the same territory. It definitely works into some serious world music types of sounds, too.
Kinross Improv
Frantic and very much prog turned space music, this is actually one of the cooler jams here. It's quite inspired really.
Wimbourne Improv
By this point it's getting a bit tough to differentiate these. This is quite effective, though.
Wolverhampton Improv
There is perhaps just a bit of Jimi Hendrix in the mix here.
London Improv
With some cool synth soloing this one is a bit jazzier than some of the rest.
Milton Keynes Improv
Not a big change, this is definitely effective.
Eastney Improv
Another jam that's cut from much of the same cloth, it doesn't feel old at all, though.
Ilminster Improv
We know what we are getting here, but this still works quite well, really.
St Ives Improv
This gets a little mellower and spacier than some of the rest.
Poole Improv
Perhaps a bit more keyboard oriented than some of the rest, this is another powerhouse jam for sure.
Shoreham Improv
This is a real screaming hot jam in a lot of ways.
Norway Improv
There is some pretty intense guitar soloing on this thing. It's another smoking hot jam.
Propositions (Reprise)
They return to the actual "song" concept here. This is quite literally a screaming return. It makes this all a great book end.
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