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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Robert Walter

Super Heavy Organ

Review by Gary Hill

Robert Walter has given us an album that, much like Niacin, combines a retro jazzy sound and prog sort of arrangements. This one grooves and still has enough musical integrity to please fans of instrumental progressive rock. The disc doesn't really have any "dogs". It is a nice mixture of sounds and themes easy to sit back and jam to, or really listen. This one is a cool mostly instrumental disc that both reaches for tomorrow and hearkens back to a bygone era.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Adelita
Here a classic jazz groove is merged with prog and Booker T and the MG's sound for a cool retro textured jam that at points feels to me like it is about to break into "Pick Up The Pieces."
Kickin' Up The Dust
This one doesn't differ much from the first cut, but instead is another tasty dose of the same basic concept.
Spell
They drop this to a slower groove and a few vocals are added to bring in a gospel flavor.
El Cuervo
This one goes into a more experimental jazz styling, feeling a bit like something from the Tony Levin Band or Weather Report. It's another great change of pace. This turns a bit dissonant at times, but also includes some incredibly cool jazz excursions. The one also resembles ELP at times.
Criminals Have A Name For It
This takes an ELP meets the blues approach and is another cool instrumental groove.
34 Small
Checking into smooth jazz territory, this one is another cool cut.
Don't Hate / Congratulate
This one has almost a club groove to it at first and a slightly staggered rhythm. After this moves along for a while it shifts to a bass and percussion backdrop for sound bites of a guy putting his mack on in a club.
(Smells Like) Dad's Drunk Again
This one is another killer slab of jazz with some ELP thrown in for good measure.
Big Dummy
This retro jam is part Niacin and part Birdsongs and all killer.
Hardware
This one starts off tentatively, then kicks in as a slow jam that has a good amount in common with modern Crimson while still sharing a lot of musical landscape with Niacin.
Cabrillo
They saved the best for last with this incredibly dramatic, dynamic and powerful instrumental adventure mixing prog and jazz sounds into a smoking jam. What a way to close it out! This one covers a ton of musical themes while still feeling smooth and cohesive.
 
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