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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Frankfurt Radio Big Band

Kriegel Today!

Review by Gary Hill

This new CD is a real powerhouse. It is jazz, but a fusion-based jazz. At Music Street Journal, we generally land fusion under prog, so that's why this goes under that category. This is one heck of a showcase. It features a lot of killer guitar work, but it's a full jazz arrangement show, really. I really like pretty much everything here.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Lift
They launch out with a cool dreamy kind of fusion movement. As the horns and other elements join, the tune really starts to groove and rock. The guitar soloing later in the track is purely on fire. There is a lot of that soloing, too. The horns really scream with passion and power later in the number, too.
A Piece with a Chord from a Yorkshire Terrier
Another smoking hot fusion piece, the horns really steal the show on this one. That said, don't ignore the percussion, although I'm not sure how you could. The guitar gets a real chance to shine later, though with some fierce soloing.
Morandi
This is a mellower number that's less fusion and more pure jazz. It's got plenty of magic and style, though. It also has a lot of passion.
Mild Maniac
A more powered up piece, this starts off almost as a rock number. There is a lot of rock texture in the arrangement, but of course, augmented by the pure jazz and fusion stylings. This is another potent piece. It has some clean, melodic guitar soloing that I am pretty sure is acoustic. Later we get soloing with more electric sound to it.
Schnellhörspiel
Fast paced and on fire, this is a killer fusion number. It has some particularly potent guitar soloing in the midst. Given the competition on the rest of the disc, that really says a lot. This is a powerhouse cut with some great tones and changes. It's one of my favorites here, really. It gets pretty crazed at times.
Prinz Eisenherz
Starting with acoustic guitar, as the other instruments join, this is established as a jazz ballad piece. The cut turns toward more pure fusion based stuff later, but it still remains mellower than some of the others here. There is acoustic guitar soloing later in the number, followed by electric.
Definitely Suspicious
This cut has such a cool energy and groove. The piece works very well. I dig the guitar soloing, but that's the case of every song here. This has more of a mainstream jazz meets rock approach to me. There are some particularly effective melodies built into this.
Missing Link
Some freaky guitar work opens this. Horns join to add to the tasteful chaos. That eventually gives way to a driving, building rock-based jam that has some hints of funk in it. Of course, there is also plenty of jazz in the mix. I dig the crazed, angular guitar soloing built into this beast. At over 11-minutes of music, this is the epic of the piece, and they make good use of that extra time. There is a false ending after the mid-point, and electric guitar brings it back up from there. The other instruments join in a reinvention of the piece that seems even more purely rock driven. This just keeps building and building, becoming ever more intense and powerful, building to the close.
 
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