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JADE — Jazz Afro Design Electric
(Musea FGBG 4336.AR, 2000, CD)

by David Ashcraft, Published 2001-07-01

Jazz Afro Design Electric Cover art

Musea has come up with an extremely impressive instrumental progressive power trio in JADE. The album is a delight for guitar fans as Olivier Freche’s wide variety of styles evokes everyone from David Torn to Robert Fripp to Bill Frisell. The heavy riffing, waves of feedback, and layered overdubs combine to create a very full-sounding trio. This is progressive rock with an emphasis on the rock, and points of reference could be Djam Karet or Guru Guru. The band makes excellent use of dynamics, and the music ebbs and flows atmospherically at times. At other times pounding tribal drumming leads the way for Freche’s heavy but melodic guitar chords and arpeggios. He layers in guitar synth, amplified acoustic guitar, and some Eastern-sounding modes that coalesce into an organic whole. While the music has an improvised feel at times it never deteriorates into directionless jamming. Other than a repetitious riff on the closing tack the band never stays in one spot for too long. Despite the somewhat misleading title, this guitar-driven album will definitely appeal to those who enjoy a heavier brand of progressive rock.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): JADE (Jazz Afro Design Electric)

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