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Planeta Imaginario - Optical Delusions
As long-time fans of the 'Canterbury School' style of jazz/rock, a very appealing, very English, sometimes slightly whimsical blend of electric jazz with complex rock have sadly learned, this style and sound is rarely invoked nowadays.
are a creative and extraordinary six piece Spanish jazz/rock band that take some of the best influences from Canterbury style music and blend it with an original, very Mediterranean feel for a end result that is strongly their own but that is also redolent of 40 years of creative work in bringing jazz and rock together.
To get an idea of what their third album,
has to offer, think of a great rhythm section of keyboards (Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes piano, acoustic piano, synths), electric bass and drums, influenced by creative rock bands like The Muffins, Hatfield, Caravan, National Health. Be sure to make note of the fact that the keyboardist is a excellent writer and arranger. Now add three jazz musicians on trombone, trumpet and alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, as well as guests on additional saxes, flute and French horn. Give all the musicians great tunes to play and don't forget to throw in a little dollop of weirdness to keep everything just a little bit off the (well) beaten track. This scenario is what you have here.
I would not have expected that the best current exponents of that great Canterbury sound would be a group of musicians from Barcelona, the heart of Spain's Catalan region, but expectations are made to be destroyed and Optical Delusions will utterly destroy you!
"From this album's earliest jittery unison lines and rocked up beats, this Spanish post fusion band sets the genre clock back to the 70's. Funny thing is, with its ensemble moxie and personal peculiarities, Planeta Imaginario wins expressive points in a style we might have given up for dead or irrelevant. The charm is in the details and the quirks.... It reminds us of what was lacking in much fusion of old: a sense of humour on the cultural playground. Could it be that fusion is ripe for a renaissance? Maybe musical models such as this one-from unexpected corners, globally and stylistically, will hasten a reconsideration of fusion's early demise." – Josef Woodard,
, July/August 2008.
You can hear a track from the album here
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