Another great album of proggy jazz rock
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just like the follow-up Cross-Collateral (1975), this 1974 release of proggy jazz-rock was produced by Deiter Dierks, who was working with a number of German experimental rock groups at the time. Interestingly, little hints of the synth heavy nature of the experimental groups Deiter worked with, e.g. Cosmic Jokers peek through here and there, but not too much though. Overall, this is a killer slab of proggy jazz rock through and through.
The musicians on this album include bandleader Klaus Doldinger (tenor and soprano saxes; mini-moog synthesizer; electric piano; and mellotron); incredible drummer Curt Cress; Wolfgang Schmid (Fender and Rickenbacker basses; acoustic guitar on Zwischenspeil); and Kristian Schulze (Fender electric piano and Hammond organ).
The eight pieces on this instrumental album range in length from 1'31" to 7'58" and run the gamut from the synth heavy and proggy closing track Things to Come, to the more rocking and heavy tune Rockport. There is also a little funkiness too (Tarantula) and a really nice piece that features just the acoustic piano and acoustic guitar (Zwischenspeil) - the title track also features delicate passages. Eloquence is the jazziest tune on the album. The rest of the tracks are excellent examples of proggy jazz rock with loads of great riffs and synth work. Speaking of synths, the choice of instrumentation also lends the music a proggy feel, including the mini-moog and most notably the mellotron. As a mellotron fan, I was especially pleased to hear this instrument with the string setting on a number of pieces, e.g. Eternal Spiral. The use of synthesizers is actually fairly heavy and the distinctive tones of the mini-moog can be heard throughout. Of course, although I am raving about the mini-moog and mellotron, instruments traditionally associated with jazz rock, e.g. saxes and electric piano, etc. are used too.
In a nutshell, the performances by all of the musicians are superb, especially those by drummer Curt Cress. The pieces are all well put together, develop nicely, and are diverse with respect to dynamics and timbre. This album is highly recommended along with the 1975 follow up Cross Collateral. In fact, I would urge prog heads who don't mind jazz rock to check this album out - it has enough of a proggy feel to it that it should be very enjoyable."