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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Music by Gestalt

Debussy's Fawn

Review by Gary Hill

What do you get when you combine classical music with jazz and some rock?...Oh, you are waiting for me to answer? I hoped you would know. Honestly, you get this set of instrumental music. It's probably more classical music than it is anything else, but on the other hand, there is too much rock and other stuff for most classical music fans to accept it as classical. For me that point, along with the fact that there are definitely links to Rock In Opposition, makes me feel that it fits under progressive rock. However you label, this, though, it's artistic, intriguing and unique.

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Track by Track Review
The Frog's Song
Delicate piano brings this into being. Other instrumentation joins as the cut moves forward with a decidedly classical approach. As it continues it evolves into some rather avant-garde zones, but all delivered with the classical modes at the center of it. Then it suddenly shifts to a rock meets classical approach that is decidedly progressive rock based.  They turn it toward jazz rock as they keep exploring the musical landscape. It works through a number of changes as it continues. This is unique, unusual and a bit crazed at times. It drops back down to the classical zones further down the road. That section closes the piece in a similar territory to the one that began it.
Church Music
This comes in with more energy than the first number did. The cut builds outward with a real jazz meets classical approach. As it continues we get some harder edged elements and more rock oriented sound. This turns more toward jazz for a time, but as it intensifies we're taken into more of a Rock in Opposition zone. It gets loud and quite intense as it makes its way through. This even works toward noisy and cacophonous at times.
Debussy's Fawn
A short tentative bit starts this. The cut works out from there to a dramatic jam that has bit of an open jazz vibe on display. As this thing drives forward there are some intriguing shifts and changes. I particularly enjoy the bit where tuned percussion is added to the mix. It turns toward hard rocking sounds later in the piece. I think it was a wise choice to make this the title track as it's one of the most effective pieces of the whole set. It drops way down near the end and is then reborn with style.
Rabbit in a Snowstorm, Part 1
The first part of a three-piece suite, this comes in atmospheric with a lot of things that sound like nature. Weird string elements climb upward as the piece continues. It evolves, getting rather loud at times, but with an arrangement that is still rather sparse. It gets more filled out as it continues and turns almost soaring with a classical meets jazz sensibility as it approaches the end of the movement. There are some drop backs that explode into bursts of jazzy intensity. There is a real energy and drive to that part of the movement.
Rabbit in a Snowstorm, Part 2
Dropping to just piano at the start of this movement, the cut works onward from there with a very classically oriented arrangement. Still, there is a jazzy kind of exploration built into it. The cut works through a number of changes before eventually giving way to one of the most mainstream (but still quite classical) passages of the set.
Rabbit in a Snowstorm, Part 3
That passage from the end of the last movement becomes one of the primary points of this final movement. They use that as sort of the recurring theme while they take it on various short excursions before it's all over. It's a very satisfying conclusion to the set.
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