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(51:25, ‘The Fusion Project’)
The multinational ensemble THE FUSION PROJECT is the creative vehicle of French keyboardist Stephane Deriau-Reine, and made their debut back in 2006 with "Code Name: Fusion Project". Six years later the band returns with their second album "Distorted Reality", this time around opting for a digital only release of their sophomore production. What we're treated to in this case is what I'd describe as delightful fusion. If it resides within the strictly jazz oriented parts of it or belongs within a jazz rock context I don't know really, nor do I care. Because this is thrilling music. Using careful keyboard textures to smooth the arrangements, a bass that ranges from slow and deliberate delivery of each single note to energetic funky runs, careful and appropriate drums for the various moods explored with piano and saxophone alternating between taking solo leads and the subservient supporting role. Elegant, sophisticated music with a strict emphasis on distinct melodies, strong moods and slick arrangements, The Fusion Project's second outing is a joyride of an instrumental fusion affair, with a good balance between slower, contemplative creations and lighter toned, joyful eruptions. But also with room for a couple of compositions sporting subtly darker toned themes with more of a mystical sheen that suits this band and album perfectly. A production that merits a check by fans of instrumental fusion as well as jazz rock.
Olav M Bjornsen: January 21, 2014
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