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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Sylvie Courvoisier & Mary Halvorson

Searching For The Disappeared Hour

Review by Gary Hill

This new set is quite an intriguing one. The music here is largely freeform and experimental. It is also compelling. At times it leans more toward jazz fusion. At other points comparisons to King Crimson are valid. Sylvie Courvoisier plays piano while Mary Halvorson handles guitar duties.

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Track by Track Review
Golden Proportion
Dramatic and yet challenging lines of piano dance around in the arrangement here. There is a shift toward a more classical music aligned sound at times. The guitar lends a different angle with some jazzy and fast paced jamming. This is very freeform and artsy. It wanders into spacey zones at the end.
Lulu's Second Theorem
A fast-paced number, this makes me think of King Crimson to some degree. There is plenty of freaky jazz styling on this, too. This gets very crazed at points, but also turns toward some pretty definite jazz at others.
Faceless Smears
There is a weird, twisted angle to this piece, with sound that often feels warped. This is another weird slab of experimental exploration.
Four-Point Play
With a lot of Fripp-like moments, this cut has a great balance between frantic freeform jazz, space and more.
Frantic and freaky piano brings this one into being. After working through like that for a time, a mellower, slower moving movement takes over. The cut begins building on that as it grows outward. The tune is very freaky as it continues.
There is more bizarre music here. I'm reminded of John Cage to some degree. This has a nice contrast between more driving sections and mellower ones. The section after the halfway mark is mellower and slower, but no less dramatic.
Mind Out Of Time
Powerful piano music is merged with more of the freeform Fripp-like guitar.
Party Dress
This is freaky stuff, but that's sort of par for the course here. This number is another classy slab of strange, but compelling, sound.
Bent Yellow
Frantic and suitably strange, this has a lot of King Crimson in the mix. It really gets pretty crazed.
The Disappearing Hour
A mellower piece of soundscape, there is a spacey vibe to it in some ways. It definitely feels like something that would be at home in the soundtrack to a horror film a lot of the time. It gets more energized and freaky as it continues.
Gates & Passes
Starting a bit spooky and understated, this works out from there. This works into weird guitar oriented stuff that has a trippy kind of tweaked start and stop vibe.
Blizzard Rings
Not unexpected, this is still unusual and unique. It's also a strong closer.
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