Shigekazu Kamaki — Magatama
((Not on label) no#, 1997, MC)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-01-01
Some may remember Kamaki from his days as the finger-blistering axeman in Mr.Sirius, others from his own jazz-rock band Kehell — still together and gigging fairly regularly. Magatama is Kamaki’s solo statement, nine purely instrumental pieces covering a lot of territory, from solo acoustic guitar bits, to powerful and complex fusion, to solid progressive rock, to melodically simple E-Z-jazz pieces. He plays all instruments — electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, and drum programming. The album opens with an acoustic guitar piece that powers a simple yet effective melody on keyboard. From there it’s on to “Reason for Being,” a smokin’ progressive-rock fusion piece that wouldn’t have been out of place on any of the Kehell albums, with lightning guitar leads dominating the proceedings. Also worthy of note are the seven minute “Dark Matter” with its bombastic opening chord progression for guitar-synth and harmonized guitar melody — the heavily spacy and symphonic centersection might recall moments with Mr.Sirius, and “The Colossus” — sporting that big sound and a full complement of proggy-progisms (busy bottom end, bright and colorful keyboard solos, shifting and changing meter, push-pull rhythms), and grandiose power. The title track closes on kind of a new-agey note. A lot of variety throughout, to be sure, but with enough firepower to deliver the goods on most of the tracks. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Shigikazu Kamaki
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
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more