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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mrs. Fun


Review by Gary Hill

This is being billed as jazz, and certainly that is the main element here, though. It's really a fusion-leaning type of jazz, though, and we generally land that under prog. Besides that, some of this has decidedly progressive rock based leanings. The music really covers a lot of territory. There is a nice mix of instrumental and vocal based songs, and everything here works well.

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Track by Track Review
Horns bring this thing into being. It works outward from there with a fusion texture that seems to merge world music with something a bit like the band UK's first album. Then it drops down to short mellower interlude. The cut fires back up from there into more traditional fusion sounding music. There are some tastefully strange elements as this makes its way forward.
Process Is the Purpose
This has a mostly spoken vocal line. The music features jazz, fusion and some hints of alternative rock. This is decidedly progressive rock like, really. This gets rather spacey in the closing jam, but also a bit funky.
Tula's Turnaround
An energetic and rather playful fusion jam is the order of business here. There are some cool shifts as this makes its way around. It also has some intriguing percussion workouts.
Silent Mist / How Insensitive

I dig the bass groove on the cool opening jam. The whole vibe is playful and a bit airy. There are spoken vocals built into this thing.

Soulful Strutt
There is some particularly tasty jamming on this thing. It's a real powerhouse tune, really.
There is a smoking hot, dramatic element to this. It's more pure fusion than some of the other stuff here. The keyboards are on fire. The whole piece just oozes cool and style. This is fast paced and energized. This is definitely my favorite piece of the whole set. It drops to a percussion workout, but then comes out into a fast paced excursion that's equally dramatic. That section closes the piece.
I Don't Want to Know Your Name
With some vocals in the mix, this makes me think of alternative rock goes Rock In Opposition in a lot of ways. There are hints of Frank Zappa in this number. It's odd, but also compelling. After the vocals drop away this moves out into a more rocking kind of thing that definitely calls to mind King Crimson. It works back to the song proper for the return of the vocals.
Light My Fire
Yes, this is a jazz-based instrumental rendition of the classic Doors song. It has some great musical textures and moments. It's a cool variant and exploration of the musical themes presented by the original number. They do an interesting tempo drop bit at the end, too.
House Party
There is a real electronic percussion thing going on as this gets underway. As the piece expands it takes on that house kind of vibe in general. I'm reminded a bit of Herbie Hancock's electronic stuff.
Orange Grove
I love the cool slower groove on this number. It really has a lot of world music along with some real progressive rock texture to it. This is another standout piece.
Space Port / Pinocchio
This number does have two distinct portions. The first literally is ambient space texture. Then a powerhouse fast-paced bass line that makes me think of Tony Levin a bit joins. The track moves out with some killer space jamming from there. There are some cool trippy elements at play as this continues to explore, and it works back out to the space ambience to end.. This is another highlight of the disc
Let Me Live My Lie
The vocal on this is a rap. The cut has some cool jazz grooves in the backdrop. The jazz grooving later in the track is top-notch, too, with a lot of synthesizer sound driving it. There is a brief little piano and vocal bit at the end.
Calm Before the Storm
The closing cut is the most mainstream pop rock song of the set. It has a great vocal groove, and jazz and rock sounds merge in an effective arrangement. It serves as sort of a grounding point for the album, really.
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