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Arnaud Quevedo & Friends

ROAN

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed another set from this act in the current issue of Music Street Journal. I'm not sure which set by them I like better. They are both so cool. I'd say that the vocals on this one work better, but perhaps the music is just a little stronger on the other one. That last part is really just a matter of inches, though. All in all, this blend of progressive rock and fusion is very effective.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Aube
Sedate, but dramatic and mysterious sounds bring this into being. This is a fairly short instrumental introduction.
Prologue
A powerhouse fusion instrumental introduction gives way to fast paced vocal jazz based sounds. The cut has plenty of progressive rock built into it as it moves forward, too. This is packed full of twists and turns. It has some crazed guitar at one point along the road. This is just such a strong piece of music.
Découverte
Mellower motifs bring this track in. The cut works forward with style and charm. There is an organic and natural sedate but pretty motif to this. This grows out into a melodic and energetic prog meets fusion groove as it continues.  The female vocals on this (in French, I think) work really well. This tune just oozes cool and charm. It works through a number of different sections and concepts as it continues. There are some world music explorations at times. This is such a complex, and yet deeply satisfying composition.
Curiosité
More a mellow, organic motif is in the driver's seat as this track gets underway. Flute creates a lot of drama here. This is a fairly short piece that seems to serve as an introduction to this.
Féerie
Feeling like an extension and intensification of the last piece, this drives with a lot of bouncing style and charm. It gets heavy with a symphonic intensity at times, but is playful at others. World music, prog, fusion and more merge on this intriguing piece of music. This just keeps twisting, turning and reinventing itself.
Dépassement
Weird and eclectic music with some definite classical music is on the menu here. This has strange prog chamber music merged with fusion and more. It's one of the oddest things here, but it still works really well. This has some rather King Crimson-like moments and some particularly bouncy sections, too.
Nostalgie
Seeming to come out of the previous piece, this works to an ambient keyboard section. This serves as a short connecting piece.
Ryoko
Continuing with the basic concepts from the last track, bass rises up with some killer jamming as the number works forward. It continues to grow and evolve from there, merging fusion and prog elements with the addition of some classical and space things. This works out to quite a tasty jam as it drives forward with a jazz prog intensity further down the road. Symphonic strings take over later in the number. As it builds back out there is some smoking hot guitar soloing. The track really gets into some soaring zones further down the musical road.
Fardeau
Weird keyboard textures that make me think of early King Crimson merge with some smoking hot bass work as this number gets underway. This is just a short connecting piece.
Chrysalide
There is a real beauty and majesty as this gets underway. The tune has some potent melodic prog fusion at play.
Métamorphose
A dramatic and mysterious churning and growing movement gives way to some Crimsonian strangeness that features bass soloing. This continues to grow and evolve. There is a killer prog meets jazz jam later in the song that has a great staccato rhythm to it.
Epilogue
This thing powers in with some killer heavy fusion and prog jamming. It's a smoking hot number that careens this way and that as it continues. There are plenty of twists and turns along this road. It's another powerhouse piece of music. In fact, this is one of my favorites here, making it a great choice for closer.
 
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