Exposé Online banner

Kotebel — Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble
(Musea FGBG4874, 2011, CD+DVD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01

Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble Cover artOpening 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Kotebel

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Randy California - The Euro-American Years 1979-1983 – It merits discussion as to what, in the early 80s context, constituted the difference between a Spirit album and a Randy California album. Because nearly every Spirit composition in those days was...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues