Kotebel — Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble
(Musea FGBG4874, 2011, CD+DVD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01Opening this latest offering from Carlos Plaza's Kotebel is the 43-minute, four part title suite, which is ostensibly a piece of serious symphonic music arranged for piano (played by Adriana Nathalie Plaza Engelke) and electronic keyboards (Carlos Plaza), with the remainder of the band (drums, acoustic and electric guitars, bass) supporting this all-instrumental effort brilliantly. The piece is nearly overwhelming on the first listen, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. After several spins, the nuances and subtleties, as well as the labyrinthine nature of this massive composition begin to reveal themselves. After a dozen plays in preparation for this review, I'm still hearing new things each time. The companion DVD goes into the making of this piece, and is a nice supplement, but ultimately "Concerto" stands strong on its own, and they could have ended the album here, but there are four more tracks totaling another 24 minutes tacked on to the end, including a seven-minute instrumental cut from 2008, perhaps a left-over from their last album Ouroboros. Curiously missing in the proceedings here are the band’s singer and flute player, though a guest sax player is featured on some of the later cuts, turning in some powerful solos and interplay with the guitarist. All taken, this is a mightily impressive musical achievement, full of magnificence and refinement, compositional complexity, subtle melodic shades and powerful dynamics. It's all here.
Related artist(s): Kotebel
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more