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Hillmen

Blue Mountain Session

Review by Gary Hill

Here’s an intriguing disc of instrumental music. While I’ve put it under the progressive rock category, it would also fit as jam band music and possibly even jazz. Certainly all three styles are represented here. Of course, the fact that Djam Karet’s Gayle Ellett is part of the band would land them in our progressive rock section, anyway. Assembling a disc of purely instrumental music that works can be tough. These guys have pulled it off nicely in that this never seems to drag or repeat itself. It’s a good disc that should please most fans of instrumental music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lights On the Bay

Starting quietly, this powers out into a weird, but very cool fusion jam. It’s not an extremely long, but really feels like something from the more jazzy, experimental side of King Crimson. There are definitely hints of fusion in the mix. It works from there into territory that seems to blend fusion with space rock and jam band music. The space element becomes more prevalent before the number closes.

The Fire Burns
This one comes in extremely mellow and builds out very slowly. Of course, at almost sixteen and a half minutes in length, there’s plenty of room to take it slowly. It rises very gradually with a psychedelic jam band sound. While keyboards drive the first three minutes or so, some guitar gradually rises up as it continues. Within a minute or so it begins to resemble a mix of early Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead. Different instruments take the fore as this continues to travel down its musical path. Around the ten minute mark a soaring guitar solo screams out taking it in new directions. It gets a lot more space rock oriented as it continues.
Patio View
There’s a decent amount of fusion here, along with some space rock and even some Meddle era Pink Floyd. This is among the coolest music of the set. It definitely becomes more space rock meets jam music as it continues.
Summer Days
This is definitely set in more of a jam band arrangement. It definitely works out towards more of a fusion sound later, though.
 
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