A Canorous Quintet – Silence Of A World Beyond (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgAn extremely underlooked Melodic Death Metal Record. If you like this genre, this is a must listen.

The sound of another world so dark and grim. Across the deep murky waters in the midnight fog is where you are headed. Melodic Death Metal at some of its finest. A Canorous Quintets Silence of the World Beyond is another under looked melodeath record, everything good about the genre packed into a solid well written and executed record.

First off this record never lets up and never gets stale. They keep things dynamic yet don’t try to get overly flashy. You’ve got plenty of blazing tremolo riffs, sorrowful leads and brutal drums. A Canorous Quintet knows how to keep the songs moving in the right directions and never get lost. The drums are quite impressive, Fredrik Andersson pulls everything he knows out. A big part of what keeps everything dynamic in this record is his performance, from blast beats, to some catchy double peddle action and fills. Fredrik doesn’t back down and let the rest of the music leave him in the dust. The only issue is the lower end of this record can get slightly lost behind the guitars, but it doesn’t get to bad. The vocals from Mårten Hansen are no sinker either. While nothing really unique, he can let his brutal lows fire into a black metal style higher pitched scream which he does mostly throughout the record. But hes always making sure to fit perfectly with whats going on in the song.

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Nothing like plain old good riffs. The writing is immensely impressive, for a band that stays in the higher parts of the frets, they never lose their brutal side. Finding different and unique ways to reach a brutal state. Fast picking and soaring leads blasting from every angle. With the drums they make perfect harmony with each other. But its not all heavy, they manage to fit in some dreamy dark acoustic guitars on a couple songs. Even if its just for a couple seconds, they almost let you breathe. Other than the gloomy moody intro which goes on a little longer in The Orchids Sleep, which launches perfectly back in the tremoloing blazing leads.

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I just simply think the right people got together, they knew there instruments and what they wanted. They just played there ***ing hearts out and made a catchy and heavy Melodic Death Metal with a unique tone and plenty of things to offer. If you even slightly like this genre, this might be worth checking out. But if you are a die-hard fan of this genre this is a must listen. (by Fluttertrank)

Attention: This is an extremly heavy metal album from Sweden … and definitely not the genre I love …

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Personnel:
Fredrik Andersson (drums)
Mårten Hansen (vocals)
Jesper Löfgren (bass)
Linus Nirbrant (guitar)
Leo Pignon (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Silence Of The World Beyond 4.39
02. Naked With Open Eyes 4.06
03. Spellbound 3.46
04. The Orchid’s Sleep 6.22
05. The Black Spiral 4.09
06. The Last Journey 2.49
07. In The Twilight Of Fear 5.40
08. Burning, Emotionless 5.42
09. Dream Reality 4.51

All songs written by: Fredrik Andersson – Mårten Hansen – Jesper Löfgren – Linus Nirbrant – Leo Pignon

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Yma Sumac – Miracles (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgYma Sumac (September 13, 1922 (birth certificate) or September 10, 1923 (later documents) – November 1, 2008), was a Peruvian coloratura soprano. In the 1950s, she was one of the most famous exponents of exotica music.

Sumac became an international success based on her extreme vocal range. She had six-and-a-half octaves according to some reports,[6] but other reports (and recordings) document four-and-a-half at the peak of her singing career.[2][7] (A typical trained singer has a range of about three octaves.)[8]

In one live recording of “Chuncho”, she sings a range of over four and a half octaves, from B2 to G♯7. She was able to sing notes in the low baritone register as well as notes above the range of an ordinary soprano and notes in the whistle register. Both low and high extremes can be heard in the song “Chuncho (The Forest Creatures)” (1953). She was also apparently able to sing in a remarkable “double voice”.

In 1954, classical composer Virgil Thomson described Sumac’s voice as “very low and warm, very high and birdlike”, noting that her range “is very close to five octaves, but is in no way inhuman or outlandish in sound.” In 2012, audio recording restoration expert John H. Haley favorably compared Sumac’s tone to opera singers Isabella Colbran, Maria Malibran, and Pauline Viardot. He described Sumac’s voice as not having the “bright penetrating peal of a true coloratura soprano”, but having in its place “an alluring sweet darkness … virtually unique in our time.” (by wikipedia)

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Miracles re-unites the extraordinary five-octave voice of Peru’s Yma Sumac with Les Baxter, the producer of her first album, “The Voice of Xtabay” (released in 1950). Acclaimed for her powerful and unique artistry, Miss Sumac achieved world fame during the Fifties with the use of Mr. Baxter’s productions. He has chosen to record Yma in a contemporary setting with a four-piece rock band and modern recording techniques. The results are a stunning showcase for an unparalleled performer.
Yma is an adventurous musician. She has conquered many modes, from Peruvian folksongs, through operatic arias, as well as popular Latin songs and international folk music. Now, in her very unique way, she tackles rock.
Miracles melds the most extraordinary music of this century with the most extraordinary voice of three generations – an improvisational tour de force. (www.discogs.com)

This a album full of magic and miracles … it´s a brilliant album ! What a voice !

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Besetzung:
Chuck Cowan (guitar)
Roger Cowan (bass)
Richard Person (organ)
Yma Sumac (vocals)
Skippy Switzer (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Remember (Baxter) 4.03
02. Medicine Man (Baxter) 3.02
03. Let Me Hear You (Baxter) 2.24
04. Tree Of Life (Baxter) 2.53
05. Flame Tree (Baxter) 2.42
06. Zebra (Baxter) 2.48
07. Azure Sands (Baxter) 2.34
08. Look Around (Baxter) 2.16
09. Magenta Mountain (Baxter) 2.43
10. El Condor Pasa (Robles/Milchberg/Simon) 4.44

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California Guitar Trio – Pathways (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgCalifornia Guitar Trio (CGT) is a band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp’s Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.

Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning.[1] Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.

In 1992 and 1993 with Fripp and Trey Gunn, they toured and recorded as The Robert Fripp String Quintet.

The Trio’s music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998 and 2000 Olympic Games. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs.[citation needed] They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track “Apollo” on Tony Levin’s CD Pieces of the Sun.[citation needed] CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performers, including John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.

The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.

In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” with The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.” This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010’s Andromeda, the band’s first release to consist entirely of original material. The 2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Guitarist Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi’s “Winter”, and Tony Levin played upright bass and cello on four tracks. (by wikipedia)

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This is the 3rd album from the California Guitar Trio. Fresh from recent tours with King Crimson and John McLaughlin they have recorded a heady brew of classics and contemporary material. Everything from Beethoven’s 5th symphony, the theme tunes to Pulp Fiction, thought to newly-commissioned avant-grade pieces, all performed on 3 guitars. Track highlights includes: “Arroyo,” “Leap,” “Adagio for Strings (Barber),” “Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven),” and more!

“Pathways” is the California Guitar Trio’s 1998 release and bestselling album to date, featuring original compositions and amazing arrangements of the works of Beethoven. InsideOut, who have released numerous CGT recordings, write, “The California Guitar Trio consists of three revered musicians who aren’t actually natives of the “Golden State.” Actually, two of the members aren’t even from the United States! Bert Lams is from Brussels, Belgium; Hideyo Moriya is a native of Tokyo, Japan; and Paul Richards hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The technical wizardry of the California Guitar Trio is breathtaking, and so is the wide range of instrumental music the group performs — everything from unique originals to dazzling, cleverly arranged reinterpretations of classical, jazz and surf rock pieces. Elements of blues and country are blended into the California Guitar Trio’s style too. Their diversity is unparalleled. There’s simply nothing the California Guitar Trio can’t do musically.”

On “Pathways”, a significant level of performance maturity is clearly in evidence. Thankfully, such maturity has been assigned to a repertoire consisting of classical arrangements along with original, intelligent progressive compositions that match well to their classical sensibility.

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In addition to the guitar trio configuration, a number of tracks include saxophone played by Bill Janssen and Roger Lambson. The touch tapped Warr Guitar, performed by Trey Gunn, is included on a few of the tracks as well.
“Pathways” will serve as a beautiful introduction to the work of the California Guitar Trio. It showcases some of the finest examples of their warmly sensitive musical expression. (jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Bert Lams (guitar)
Hideyo Moriya (guitar)
Paul Richards (guitar)
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Bill Janssen (saxophone on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Trey Gunn Warr (guitar on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Roger Lambson (saxophone on 09. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Allegro Con Brio, Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven) 5.26
02. Arroyo (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 3.38
03. Pathways (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 4.27
04. Leap (F’unicelli) 2.51
05. Adagio Opus 11 (Barber) 3.59
06. Great Divide (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 2.32
07. Scramble (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 1.59
08. Classical Gas (Williams) 2.51
09. Kaleidoscope (Moriya) 0.56
10. Ananda  2:49
11 Adagio Sostenuto, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 2:42
12 Presto Agitato, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 4:45
13. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 2.40
14. Misirlou (Leeds/Roubanis/Tauber/Wise) 1.55

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Stil alive and well:

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Howe-Wooten-Chambers – Extraction (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgExtraction is a collaborative studio album by guitarist Greg Howe, drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Victor Wooten, released on October 7, 2003 by Tone Center Records.[2] According to Howe, the album went through a very difficult recording process which spanned two years, resulting in disagreements between the three musicians and Shrapnel founder Mike Varney, as well as several delays in the release date.

“A Delicacy” is a re-recording of an instrumental released on Now Hear This, a 1991 album by Howe II (an earlier band formed by Howe). “Proto Cosmos” is a jazz fusion composition by pianist Alan Pasqua that appeared on The New Tony Williams Lifetime’s 1975 album Believe It.

Todd S. Jenkins at All About Jazz gave Extraction a mixed review, describing it as “just about evenly divided between well-crafted, thoughtful compositions and dead-end chops demonstrations.” Praise was given to each musician for their technical craft and musical contributions, but criticism was directed at some of the songs for being “pretty much inconsequential filler, the kind of aimless noodling that almost put fusion in its grave a decade ago.” Furthermore, he remarked that Howe “tries to say too much at times” and Wooten “tends to fall into the 16th-note babble pattern.” Jenkins concluded by saying “Extraction does have its moments, but it’s not the most wisely considered entry in anyone’s catalog here.” (by wikipedia)

Dennis Chambers

Greg Howe’s first record, critically acclaimed by the guitar cognoscenti, was voted by readers of Guitar Player Magazine as one of the best two records of that year. Throughout the decade Greg has developed his style further and has amassed a legion of fans which have led him to gigs as a guitarist for Michael Jackson, Enrique Englesias, N’Sync and Justin Timberlake. Greg’s solo albums have always been laden with musical integrity and have inspired many. “Extraction” brings him together with bassist Victor Wooten who has carved out a brilliant career as a solo artist, music educator and as a member of the critically acclaimed Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Dennis Chambers is known for his work with Steely Dan, Parliament, Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, and Santana. Each musician on this CD is arguably the best at what they do and they are three of the most three of the most respected players in the circle of musician’s musicians. (guitar9.com)

Victor Wooten

Although he’s primarily known as a heavy metal shredder, guitarist Greg Howe can pretty much adapt to any style thrown his way — including jazz fusion. And this is precisely the style that is featured throughout 2003’s Extraction, which saw Howe joined by such top-notch instrumentalists as Victor Wooten on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums (as well as David Cook on keys). Longtime fans of Howe who are hoping for at least a glimpse of his hard rock roots are out of luck here, as the tunes often recall the carefree fusion days of the 1970s, when such artists as Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, and Al di Meola were consistently giving a clinic with chops-heavy tunes.

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As far as modern-day fusion goes, Extraction is pretty darn consistent from front to back, as evidenced by such uptempo ditties as “Extraction” and “Crack It Way Open,” as well as more tranquil moments like “Tease” and “Ease Up.” Howe, Wooten, and Chambers have certainly succeeded in summoning up a heavy ’70s vibe throughout Extraction, and as a result, the album wouldn’t sound out of place played between School Days and Where Have I Known You Before. (by Greg Prato)

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Personnel:
Dennis Chambers (drums)
David Cook (keyboards)
Greg Howe (guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards)
Victor Wooten (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Extraction (Howe) 6.14
02. Tease (Howe) 6.07
03. Crack It Way Open (Howe) 6.00
04. Contigo (Howe) 6.30
05. Proto Cosmos (Pasqua) 4.16
06. A Delicacy (Howe) 2.25
07. Lucky 7 (Howe) 6.02
08. Ease Up (Howe) 6.21
09. Bird’s Eye View (Howe) 6.19

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