SBB - 'Blue Trance'

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SBB - 'Blue Trance'

An  album I have enjoyed, with the instrumentals being particularly entertaining.

Formed as long ago as 1971 as the Silesian Blues Band, SBB have near legendary status in the Polish music scene, the name change appearing to signal the band's sound morphing from straight ahead Blues to a more Prog/Jazz-lite direction. This album has an eclectic feel as the songs on offer vary in style and most of the vocal tracks are sung in the band's native tongue, which I have to say I didn't find as much of a turn off as I was expecting at the outset. The guitar work of Apostolis Anthimos reminds me of Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and elsewhere bands such as The Flower Kings (TFK), Frank Zappa, The Moody Blues and Toto come to mind.

The album opens with a fine instrumental, 'Etiuda Trance' that is driven along nicely by Hammond Organ with the melody taken on by some lovely analogue synth playing from Józef Skrzck. 'Los Cz?owieka' is a laid back Blues based song sung in Polish that is led by piano but with some delightful guitar inflections that hark at the aforementioned Gilmour. The chorus is infectious and has a 60's retro feel. 'Red Joe' is sung in English and has a similar feel to the previous track musically whilst vocally Zappa comes to mind. '?wieto Dioni' has that Steve Winwood synth sound from his 'Arc Of A Diver' period. Basically an instrumental (the voice used only to hum a melody) it's really rather nice with a fine melody and more lovely guitar soloing. 'Szcze?cie Jak Na D?oni' has a Moody Blues feel to the main refrain whilst 'Doliny Stumieni' has a touch of TFK in the mix, but I found the repeated use of the word 'Hello' in the lyrics rather distracting and the song fails to flow with any purpose.

'Karida Beach' is an instrumental that has elements of Toto whilst the title track picks up the pace, sounding something akin to a pub Blues band. 'Mu?niecie Kalimby' crosses Toto with Winwood and is another instrumental, whilst 'Pami?ci Czas' is a song that builds in fine fashion, and the standard version of the album concludes with yet another instrumental, 'Coda Trance', which is moody and comes across as a mix of TFK, Spock's Beard and Pink Floyd with some Rick Wakeman style keyboards.

This is an album of which my expectations were low, but I have enjoyed, with the instrumentals being particularly entertaining.

Gary Marshall

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