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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Salim Ghazi Saeedi

Human Encounter

Review by Gary Hill

In some ways Iranian Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s previous disc was more purely progressive rock oriented. Of course, that said, a lot of it fit in the chamber music territory. This one is far more jazz oriented. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to put this in as jazz rather than prog. But, for my money fusion and progressive rock are virtually the same and given his position in the prog section of MSJ, I’m including this one there, too. Of course, it doesn’t matter what you call it. This is a tasty instrumental disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Human Encounter Prologue

This is cool little bit. We get short snippets of various things from symphonic elements to hard rocking fusion to electronic effects driven music. Nothing stays around long and the entire song is around a minute and half in length.

Lustful Feast of Flesh
Saeedi brings this one in as a definite jazz jam and works it out from there. It’s got some RIO in terms of the freeform nature, but it’s not really dissonant.
You Many One Devils
There’s more energy in this and it’s more freeform jazz stylings, but there also bits of classical music laced in at points.
There’s a bit more of a groove to this, but overall it’s somewhat dissonant jazz that’s not that different from the stuff we’ve heard to this point. It’s definitely got a cool driving bass part later.
Sadistic Teacher
Here we get a powerhouse jazz jam with the bass really propelling this thing. Somehow later it seems to take on a bit of a rock element, making it more fully fusion.
City Bombardment
This comes in feeling like a jazzier King Crimson. More straightforward jazz sounds are added, but it still manages to invoke some of those Crimson images. I am particularly enamored with the killer first guitar solo on this, kind of a demented blues blended with world music. It calls to mind Crimson in some ways, too. The whole cut is more fully in the fusion zone.
For Eugene, Distilling the Delicacy
World music brings this in, but from there we get some almost surf guitar at times. The driving bass and other elements bring jazz to the table, but this one has a lot of rock built in, too. It’s a killer cut that’s among my favorites of the set. It’s dramatic and powerful and full of contrasts and excitement.
For Ali, Who Does Live Many Births Mercifully
There’s an ominous, almost symphonic soundtrack element running in the background as rock guitar spins tales in the front of this killer piece.
For Kurt, The King Without Crown
This alternates between more rock oriented and more jazz styled music in its roughly one minute length.
For Thelonious, and His 88 Holy Names
While a big chunk of this is jazz, there are sections where world music are a big part of the melody. There’s also a real rocking guitar solo.
For Jeremy, Embodying the Mastermind
This makes me think of the Vrooom era of King Crimson if there were more jazz added to the mix. It’s got some screaming guitar, too.
Unknown Red-Skirt Girl, Who Vanished Before My Eyes in 1995
This comes in with a tentative element to it. There’s an almost ominous air to the sounds heard here. It grows out towards more pure jazz as a driving bass line moves it forward. Some scorching guitar soloing comes in later, bringing more fusion with it.
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