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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Alex Goodman

Impressions in Blue and Red

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. It could go under non-prog as jazz. I'd consider it more fusion, which we generally land under progressive rock, though. This features two sets of music that feature two different groups of four musicians. Alex Goodman is the glue uniting both sets. Each disc represents a color. This is quite an intriguing concept, and the music is compelling and strong.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
1: Impressions in Blue
            
No Man's Land

There is a gradually rising vibe to this. The fusion textures at its heart are so cool. There is a rather laid back vibe in some ways, but this really grooves and manages to soar.

Blue Shade (Intro)
The cool mellower modes here have a definite bluesy vibe to them.
Blue Shade
Coming out of the previous piece, this killer jazz stylings on this are so classy. It really gets into some powerful zones.
Moods
I love the killer bass sounds that bring this into being. The slightly understated, but very classy arrangement on this really grooves. There is some killer guitar work, too.
Space Behind Eugene Boch (Intro)
This is a little over half-a-minute long. It's drum solo that serves as the intro to the next piece.
Space Behind Eugene Boch
There is some tasty drama and classy melodic jamming here. I love the drop back to dramatic jazz guitar.
Zen (Intro)
This bass solo serves as the introduction to the next piece.
Zen
I dig the guitar work on this classy jazzy number a lot. The whole tune works well, though.
Cobalt Blue
I really dig the energy and vibe of this cut. It has so much style and class. There are some cool angular guitar lines on the piece, and it really gets into some smoking hot zones further down the musical road.
Still Life With Skull (Intro)
A saxophone solo, this serves as the introduction to the next piece.
Still Life With Skull
This rises up gradually and gets into some of the stranger, and quite dramatic, music of the first CD. This one definitely leans toward a lot of jazz prog in some real ways.  There is a drop back to a bass showcases and some killer spacey jamming emerges from there.
I'll Never Be The Same
Guitar brings this in with some classy textures and melodies. The tone and mood are great as it continues to drive it. It's rather understated in terms of volume, but the shifts and changes are dramatic and quite proggy in a lot of ways. This guitar solo is cool.
2: Impressions in Red
                
Choose

The guitar lines on this have a circulation-like vibe, bringing comparisons to King Crimson. The jazz elements drive the arrangement in style. More smoking hot fusion elements are heard as this piece continues. It has several drops to just the circling guitar, though.

Circles In a Circle
There are some potent fusion elements at play here. This is another classy cut on a set that's full of them. There is some great musical exploration here. Each musician puts in a stellar performance, too.
Impending (Intro)
This horn solo serves as the intro to the next piece.
Impending
Coming out of the intro, there is a shift and a cool jam ensues from there. This is a bit more open and fusion oriented than some of the rest. It's also quite powerful. Some killer jamming emerges further down the road, really bringing some great energy and passion to it. The horn soloing later in the number is among the best of the whole set. That section is quite possibly worth the price of admission by itself.
In Heaven Everything Is Fine
This is another classy fusion jam. It has a lot of intriguing lines of sound and dramatic sounds. It's a powerful cut.
Toys
I love the bass work on this number. The piece has a bit of an understated arrangement. Yet, it is still energetic. It's also very classy. As it gets a bit more intense later there is both killer guitar soloing and even some cool drum showcase moments. 
Occam's Razor
This number has some classy guitar work, but honestly everything about it fits as "classy." Still, there are some guitar passages that are among the most dramatic of the set. That guitar really explores the space of the composition so well. The arrangement is rather airy, giving plenty of room for it. The later moments of the piece really allow the drums to be spotlighted, too.
Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It (Intro)
Here we get a bass solo to serve as the introduction to the next piece.
Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It
A mellower tune, the bass really gets to show off quite a bit here, too. The piece gets more powered up as it continues before dropping way down again for the coda.
E.T.
I love the melodies and groove of this piece. There is some particularly tasty guitar work on the number. I also love the horn presence here.
Sonata No. 12 Adagio (Intro)
A guitar solo that serves as an introduction to the next piece, this is classy.
Sonata No. 12 Adagio
This works out from there into a rather trippy, dreamy kind of tune. It gets pretty intense at times.
View In Perspective (Intro)
This drum solo serves as the introduction to the next number.
View In Perspective
I dig the classy jazz jam that is on display here. It has some great melodies and cool interplay.
If I Loved You
The closing piece for the second disc, as was the case of the first, is a guitar solo. it explores some cool territory.
 
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