PROG ROCK FOR THE 21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN….Dusan Jevtovic: No Answer, Dialeto: Bartok in Rock, Machine Mass: Plays Hendrix

Initiated in the mid-70s, progressive rock, or fusion, has had seasons of ebbs and flows. Here are three recent releases that demonstrate the growth and vision of the genre.

Guitarist Dusan Jetovic forms a trio with Vasil Hadzimanov/p-key-moog and Asaf Sirkis/dr for a mix of keys and metallic guitar that give hints of King Crimson. Hadzimanov’s piano does some Coldplay sounds before Jevtovic’s inner Metallica takes over on “Al Air/Soko Bira” while rocking thunder by Sirkis hits hard on “Lifetime” and the stark “Frusci” with rapid fire fretwork. Most successful is the lyrical “Yo Sin Mi” and the floating “Prayer” that has Jevtoic levitate over the misty rhythm. Heavy hitting with melody and mayhem.

The Dialeto trio of Nelson Coelho/g, Gabriel Costa/b and Fred  Barley/dr come up with the brilliant idea of taking music by Bela Bartok and putting it in the prog format. A series of “Roumanian Folk Dances” dominates the album, with Costa opening up on “3” and Coelho searing on “2” before the incessant and relentless dance rhythms take over, mixing folk and metal, while “5” and “6” are frenetic festivals. Violinist David Cross adds some texture to the Deep Purple-sounding “Mikrokosmos 113” and hints of King Crimson feel like Lark’s Tongue in Aspic on the spacey “An Evening in the Village.” This album works amazingly well, is logical in its concept and a must to see in concert.

Can anything else be done with Jimi Hendrix? Apparently, the Machine Mass team of Michel Delville/g-elec, Tony Bianco/dr and Antoine Guenet/key-p believe so, and are  pretty convincing on this creative collection of re-imagined Hendrix classics. Of course, there is plenty of sonic electronic guitar, but Delville doesn’t imitate, but uses Hendrix as a starting point, mixing electronic samples on a spacy “Little Wing” and a truly heavy “The Wind Cries Mary.” Jazzy moments not unlike vintage Bill Evans trio moments occur on “Purple Haze” and a sleek ride cymbal on the swinging intro to “Third Stone From The Sun” before Delville enters stage right with some searing fret work. The team really stretches out on a relentlessly chaotic “You Got Me Floatin’” and “Voodoo Chile” is a wondrously bluesy cruise into Electric Ladyland. This one is a must for Hendrix fans.


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