Höstsonaten — Winterthrough
(AMS AMS133CD, 2008, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2009-07-01I guess sometimes you just shouldn’t question the decisions of an artist. When Fabio Zuffanti decides to record a cycle of four symphonic progressive albums based on the seasons, you shouldn’t ask why the first one (2002’s Springsong) is called Part IV, and this, the second one, is Part III. Whatever – he could number them with a reverse Fibonacci sequence and it wouldn’t change what you hear, which is solidly in the definition of symphonic prog. So I suppose if you’re turned off by that label, this is not for you, but it is done here about as well as it can possibly be done. Keyboards are the main focus, with piano and Mellotron getting the biggest share of the attention. The opening track gets you into the chilly mood gradually, slowly building over its 10 minutes, adding instrumental layers. Zuffanti is a skilled enough composer that he does not accomplish this in a direct fashion, but offers numerous twists and variations, altering instrumentation or rhythmic patterns to keep it interesting. Flute, clarinet and saxes add a welcome tonal variety; and guitars, both electric and acoustic, get their share as well. The only vocals are a few brief spoken passages in Italian. Maybe it doesn’t score high on the originality scale, but in terms of quality of both composition and performance I can find little to fault it with. It’s an outstanding addition to its genre and a compelling piece of work in the world of music outside stylistic boundaries.
Related artist(s): Höstsonaten
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more