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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Vasko Atanasovski

AdrabesaQuartet - Phoenix

Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual and intriguing album. It might not fit under the progressive rock heading. I put it there mainly because most MoonJune (the label that released it) releases fit somewhere in that vicinity. This has an artistic side to it, that qualifies it somewhat as "art music," if not art rock. The mix of classical, world music and jazz is interesting and sometimes captivating. This does stretch toward folk prog and fusion territory at times, too. However you classify this, it's likely you haven't heard anything quite like it before.

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Track by Track Review
World music elements bring this into being. The cut grows out with a symphonic atmosphere at its core. The cut shifts more towards a jazz zone as it continues driving onward. This gets intense and involved, and the world music elements remain in play throughout. There are some killer twists, turns and melodies built into this jam.
Green Nymph
Mellower and more dramatic, this still retains the world music elements, with a lot of classical in the mix. This gets exploratory and covers quite a bit of territory. There is some whistling built into this number.
The Partisan Song
Now, this has a lot more energy. There is a bit of a rocking edge to this along with plenty of jazz and world music. As much as I enjoyed the first couple songs, this takes it to an even higher plane. This has some fun built into the mix and really soars at times.
At almost 11-and-a-half minutes of music, this is the epic of the set. Keyboards bring it in with a decidedly classical bent that calls to mind Keith Emerson and, to a larger degree, Rick Wakeman.  World music instrumentation and textures are woven into the mix as it continues. After the two-minute mark it shifts to more of a pure prog rock balladic approach. The number continues to evolve as it grows outward and shifts down later. More world music is reincorporated as it drives with more of a folk prog sound. World music really takes over further down the musical path. Different instruments get the opportunity to shine at different points here. There is even a drum solo built into it.
This powerhouse jam combines world music, jazz and folk prog in fine fashion. This is one of my favorite pieces of the whole set. It has a cool shift to more of an open, sparsely arranged jazzy jam further down the road, too. It comes back out of that movement, driving upward into some killer world dominated territory.
Concerto Epico
The playful world music sounds at the heart of this number are a lot of fun. It works into some cool space zones via a freeform sounding jam later in the track. Rock In Opposition zones rise up and carry the number outward from there. This gets very crazed around the halfway mark. Then it resolves to something mellower, more restrained and melodic. Old school jazz infused with world music rises up after a pseudo-ending.  They reinvent that sound as they drive it toward its closing section.
Folk prog, space music and world sounds all seem to merge on this powerhouse. There is a talking drum kind of section later in a drop back movement. Then it rises up to some magical folk prog jamming that moves to more of a jazz rock thing. The world music regains control to end this.
Yellow Sky
I dig the old school jazz vibe at the start of this piece. More world music is added to the mix as the piece continues to evolve and grow. They wander into more pure world music zones as this trudges onward. Yet, the jazz still remains in the mix.
Spacey elements with world angles bring this into being. Jazzy textures are fused into it, as the cut explores space in some rather inspiring ways.


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