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Pablo Embon

Harmony Tales

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a bit of music from Pablo Embon. His music always lands under progressive rock at MSJ because it's fusion and that's where we put fusion. This new album is no exception. Everything here is performed by Embon himself. You wouldn't know it when you listen, though. It sounds like a full jazz band on display. This is quite a diverse ride, and a very entertaining one.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Vintage Lover
I love the bass that dances around in the backdrop of this piece. The whole cut has a cool mellow fusion groove. The guitar soloing provides some cool melody lines. This gets pretty involved and powerful as it continues. I dig the piano solo later in the number.
Calling Out
The groove and energy of this number is great. It has some cool changes, and while the opener focused on acoustic guitar, electric drives this one. There are some lush keyboard sounds further down the road, and we get some more piano soloing. For some reason I'm reminded of things like Weather Report at times here. The guitar soloing later brings some cool angles.
For the Ones You Love
A rather Latin groove opens this. Piano solos over the top as the tune grows outward. This piece has some great jamming and is another effective one.
Nothing Left Behind
Piano brings this into being. The cut has a balladic vibe as it moves outward from there. There is some killer piano work on the tune. While it's on the mellow side, that doesn't mean it's dull. It has some great shifts and changes and really soars at times. The more guitar based movement later is classy.
Song of India
There is a dreamy, trippy element to this as it opens that definitely leans toward actual prog rock. The cut bursts forth from there into some up-tempo jamming. There are definite Indian musical elements introduced at times. The piano is again a centerpiece of the tune. This works through some intriguing changes and covers some cool ground.
Taste of Freedom
The jazz stylings on this are all class. This has plenty of fusion in the mix, but also a lot of traditional jazz, too. The guitar soloing brings some real magic to it.
My Little Magic Box
I know the title says "magic box," but in some ways, this piece makes me think of the kind of melody you might hear from a music box. It's gentle and pretty, but also intricate. Sure, it's more involved and orchestrated than a music box, but the melody calls it to mind for me.
The Voice of Truth
More of a standard fusion groove is on display here. The keyboards deliver melody over the top of a lot of the arrangement. In fact, the keyboards are perhaps the single biggest factor of this number. I love some of the piano work in particular. .
Too Far, Too Close
This starts with a piano-dominated, mellower arrangement. The number goes through some intriguing musical territory as Embon explores the soundscape. There is some killer guitar work later in the piece, too.
Midnight Lullaby
Again, the keyboards breathe life into this number. The cut grows as a jazz ballad sort of piece. There is some great piano soloing on this, and it remains pretty constant throughout its run.
Our Time
An energetic groove is on display here. This has some killer jamming built into it. It is definitely a piece that leans on the more purely prog rock side of things. This has some killer guitar soloing, too.
The Best of Me (remix)
This piano solo is very classy. It's a nice grounding piece, but it's also quite complex and dynamic. It has some real driving moments.
 
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