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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Kevin Sun

The Depths of Memory

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a double CD set. It's made up of three multi-part suites. While the music fits as jazz, it's experimental enough that I land it under progressive rock. It's fusion-like, but also art music, making that classification work, I think. This is all instrumental, and all intriguing. Kevin Sun plays tenor saxophone, but this isn't a solo showcase. It's very much about the full jazz arrangements.

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Track by Track Review
From All This Stillness
Frozen in Profile

The jazz that gets this going feels somewhat mainstream, but it does wander further into more experimental territory as it continues. This is quite an intriguing ride and a great way to start both this suite and the album. It gets very crazy before it's over.

Interior Choruses
A piano dominated arrangement with a lot of quiet and space behind it starts this movement. The sound eventually fills out and we get some crazed jamming that is often on fire.
From Some Unseen Center
Noisy, frantic piano gets this going. Other instruments join after a time, but the piano remains dominant. It also remains crazed.
Elliptical Blue
This one is less experimental and more melodic jazz. It still has some unusual edges and angles, though.
Ghosts of Repetition
Another with more of a full jazz treatment, this definitely gets exploratory.
From Some Unseen Center (Reprise)
There is a lot of crazed piano work on this thing. It really is a continuation of the previous namesake movement.
Shadow Meridian
While there is an experimental nature to this, it's a mellower piece that is quite pretty. It's a nice way to end this suite.
Eponymous Cycle
Starting with more of a full jazz treatment, this is slow moving as it gets underway. This is less experimental than some of the stuff from the first suite. It's quite effective and intriguing.
This does get into more exploratory territory. It's pretty crazy stuff at times, yet it also checks into the melodic jazz zones at times.
This thing is very crazed. Yet it also has some mainstream jazz sensibilities.
The Depths in Slow Motion
Before Depths

Horns and piano dance around one another in this exploration. This gets into sparser, piano based territory as it continues. More of a sedate, but full treatment ensues further down the road.

Just about a minute-and-a-half long, this is somewhat sparse, but has some cool bass work and an almost horror movie sort of tension to it.
There is some noisy piano pounding at play here. The cut gets a powered up, noisy experimental jazz jamming as it explodes out from there. This one is still less than two minutes long.
Horn interplay gets this movement started. The track works onward from there with a lot of cool jamming.
The piano creates a sense of drama and magic as it dances around. There is a freeform, uneasy kind of tension and energy to this.
Piano gets this one going. It starts sedate and rather pretty at first. As other instruments join later, the whole piece gets more intense and involved, and louder. It has some unusual experimental angles to it at times.
Powerhouse jazz jamming is on the menu here. This piece is more mainstream in some ways, but it still manages some more artsy things at times.
There is a dramatic and rather trippy sort of exploration on this movement. Piano takes control late as the final instrument for a time.
After Depths
This coalesces in weird, but cool, ways as the movement comes in. They take this thing through a number of twists and turns as it continues.
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