2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the MoonJune Records label. Over the course of its history, the label has released an impressive array of sounds spanning jazz rock, prog and world fusion recordings. Here are a few of the most recent…
“Zhongyu” Is Chinese for “Finally” is the self explanatory title of the CD by Zhongyu. The group explores many different areas which encompass relationships between different genres of music.
From the initial sounds of some electronic experimentation, the group slips into a prog rock mode with Crimson-esque guitar riffs and violin reminiscent of the Lark’s Tongue in Aspic era.
The use of the Chinese zither known as the guzheng brings an oriental feel to many of the works. It is used on its own as well as being blended with more modern electric sounds to interesting effect.
Overall, the mix of themes and instrumentation forms a nice balance for an album of interesting sounds.
So Far So Close by keyboardist Dwiki Dharmawan seems like a real blast from the past. If somebody had told me that an unreleased 1970s album by Return to Forever had recently been unearthed, I’d have been hard-pressed to argue. So far from the ’70s, so close to the sound.
Since I have been listening to RTF a fair amount lately, this disc seems to fit right into that mode. Even Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Jerry Goodman has been brought into the mix to feature on the album’s first track.
Sometimes it is hard to ascertain whether an artist is making a nod to the past with their sound or simply stuck in the era. Either way, if this type of jazz fusion is your cup of tea, you’ll probably find it quite entertaining.
For many of us of a certain age, the release of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon seemed like a watershed moment in musical time back in March of 1973. Since then, a couple of generations had been around to absorb its ever-present sonic vibrations. Over the years, there have been countless tributes and covers spanning all manner of disparate musical genres.
The Great Gig in the Sky is another such tribute by the trio of Boris Savoldelli, Raffaele Casarano and Marco Bardoscia. After the obligatory heartbeats and spooky voices, an acoustic bass brings the listener into Breathe.
Throughout the tracks, the sounds of jazz are mixed with electronic sounds which sometimes develop into pseudo electro dance beats.
The interpretations are interesting with accomplished musicianship. The only drawback for me are the vocal contributions. While Boris Savoldelli has a distinctive vocal style, the often pained, dark approach seems to be more of a distraction within the context of the rest of the music.