Fireworks

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Strandberg Project - 'Made In Finland' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3a/16/d5/3088_strandbergprojectmadeinfinland_1356319277.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 24, 2012    
 
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If mature jazz fusion is of interest then this is a decent package.

Some albums have a short instrumental introduction to set the mood; often gentle and slightly ambient before the tune gives way to some proper rock music when the drums and guitars kick in, the contrast jolts the listener to attention. This album has such an introductory track, but it continues for about an hour! Jan-Olof Strandberg, who is a well-known Finnish bassist who’s been around since the mid-seventies, has assembled some friends from different musical backgrounds to play progressive music together that is primarily jazz in approach. It’s a record that dips its toes into different genres, with only its little toe venturing into rock.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It’s an all instrumental affair. An ambient, relaxed mood is created by the music, music that’s perfect for a day spa and by the third track I was ready to be rubbed down with some essential oils and be given a deep back massage. ‘Yes, It Is’ has Risto Salmi’s sax chirping prettily like a bird and ‘It’s A Journey’ also feature’s Salmi’s saxophone but it’s more forceful here. It’s not until the fourth track ‘Past And Present’ when Petteri Hirvanen’s guitar heralds the arrival of some rock music. ‘Two Sisters’ also has a scent of rock about it with perky duelling guitar and fretless, 5-string and 4-string bass all being utilised on it. A cocktail vibe pervades ‘The Magician’s Departure’ with its late night sax lead, underpinned by a guitar motif that nods to T-Bone Walker. Otherwise, the music, especially on ‘Traveller Tales’ and ‘The Truth’, is light jazz that strays perilously close to lift music. However, the musicianship throughout is commendable, and the musicians create a soundscape that has a widescreen, almost film score quality to it at times.

An accompanying DVD does a good job of not repeating the tracks on the CD, with several tracks shot in a rehearsal room. Visually, it’s not the Olympics opening ceremony but for musicians it gives you the opportunity to watch Jan-Olaf Strandberg in action. A documentary is also included which sees Paul Jackson, who has also played with Herbie Hancock, revel rather immodestly in Strandberg’s enthusiasm for his music.

Not an album if you’re looking for quick rock thrills but if mature jazz fusion is of interest then this is a decent package.

Duncan Jamieson

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