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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The OGJB Quartet

Ode To O

Review by Gary Hill

This act gets its name from the names of the participants. Oliver Lake plays alto saxophone and brings the "O" to the moniker. The "G" of this project is Graham Haynes, who provides cornet and electronica. Joe Fonda handles the double bass, while Barry Atschul is the drummer and percussionist. This music is certainly jazz, but it's also along the lines of the freeform end of that equation, seeming more like fusion to me. Fusion generally goes under prog at MSJ, so that's where this lands. Whatever you call this, it's intriguing and unique instrumental art that works well.

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Track by Track Review
Ode to O
They jump right in here and start cooking. They take this through some cool twists and turns in a fusion-like romp. There are some great shifts and changes along this road. I particularly like the bass showcase section of the track.
This song is really crazed and a bit strange, but in a great way. It has some particularly busy drumming and weird instrumental explorations. The bass is firing at top speed, too. There are some especially cacophonous moments on this tune.
Me Without Bela
Starting in no less unusual zones, this does begin with less intensity than the previous cut displayed. This remains somewhat tentative and slow moving, but the strange and tasty fusion elements are still at its heart. It gets intensified later. There is a real magic and charm to the later sections of this piece. It has a driving rhythm section and some pretty intense jamming at play. At nearly 12-and-a-half minutes of music, this is the epic of the set. They use that space to really take it in a lot of different directions getting into some particularly exploratory zones late.
Da Bang
Percussion brings this in rather tentatively. While this is not a percussion solo for the whole duration, it's not until after a false ending just beyond the two minute mark that other instruments join. We're taken into some rather freeform musical explorations once they do. There is a bass showcase section later in the track, and this works through a number of changes and themes as it continues.
The Other Side
I dig the drama and sense of mystery as this track gets underway. There is a more modern, eclectic rocking element that emerges later, bringing it a little closer to a King Crimson sort of thing. It gets quite strange, but remains so cool. The bass just jams like crazy underneath it all.
This is tastefully crazed and yet still somewhat subdued. It's very experimental, wandering through all kinds of different explorations along its road.
This is very freeform spacey and tastefully strange. It's quite an interesting exploration.
Bass Bottom
As you might guess, the bass figures prominently in this number. It's another cool musical excursion that manages to challenge conventions in interesting ways. .
This jam is tastefully weird and experimental. It has some intriguing vibes and musical changes. It gets rather spacey and even a little psychedelic at times.
I really love the prominent percussion on this track. The cut is another jazz fusion number that's on the experimental side. It has some powerful moments and serves as a strong closer.
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