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(69:45 / Union & Viajero Inmovil Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Introduccion 0:59 2. Vida Inteligente-1 4:06 3. Amanacer en America 5:27 4. Tristemente Celebre 4:48 5. Primer Interludio 0:25 6. El Abeto 4:14 7. Falsos Salvadores 4:27 8. Civilizacion Del Mal 3:52 9. Segundo Interludio 0:42 10. Faisanacion 2:51 11. El Umbral 2:18 12. Sin Control Terrestre 5:37 13. Tercer Interludio 0:40 14. Luces De Advertencia 2:01 15. Viajando Para Encontrarte 6:05 16. Vida Inteligente-2 4:42 17. Bailadito 4:39 18. Tonto Chichuahua 2:31 19. Tanto En Tanto 4:28 20. Pocholito 3:22 21. Siete Un Numero Sincero 1:30 SOLO PILOT: Machy Madco - basses With Numerous guest musicians
Prolusion. Machy MADCO is a bass guitarist and composer from Argentina. Since this CD arrived without press kit, I had to browse the artist's website to learn anything else of him. All the info there is in Spanish, but it's clear that "Manuscritos" is Machy's first release. I could not bring myself to say it marks the beginning of his musical career, as it is currently almost impossible to climb the ladder in the field of progressive music.
Analysis. "Manuscritos" features too many invited musicians to list them anywhere on this page, so I'll only name the instruments that are the most determinative to the album's overall sound. Apart from various types of bass guitar, these include electric and acoustic guitars, pianos, organ, drums, congas and a brass section, no less than a half of the tracks being additionally notable for their wordless female singing, so the music has in most cases a rich ensemble sound. Madco infrequently (plus usually for no longer than 30 seconds), brings his bass to the foreground, so his playing never overshadows his partners' performance, and it's only the short concluding piece, Siete Un Numero Sincero, which can be regarded as a benefit performance for his instrument. The other brief cuts, Introduccion, Primer Interludio, Segundo Interludio and Tercer Interludio (none exceeding one minute in length), all without exception reveal the sounds of electric guitar, elicited through a distortion pedal. There are six more pieces on the recording that don't completely blend with its prevalent style. Faisanacion, Vida Inteligente-2 and Tonto Chichuahua are all ballads whose content is much closer to what is widely known as Fusion than to one of the primary prog-rock genres. Luces De Advertencia is a pronouncedly heavy jazz-rocker whose riff structure evokes Soft Machine's "Bundles", while Amanacer en America and El Abeto each fall squarely into the framework of classic Blues Rock. I'd prefer there were more pieces which used hard movements on the CD, even though the remaining ten tracks, Vida Inteligente-1, Tristemente Celebre, Falsos Salvadores, Civilizacion Del Mal, Sin Control Terrestre, Viajando Para Encontrarte, Pocholito, Bailadito, Tanto En Tanto and El Umbral, are all thematically more diverse than any of aforesaid ones, meaning even the three described last. Musically all those suggest a cross between Jazz-Fusion, Blues and what should probably be labeled as Latin American Rock, though there are also some standard unison moves (mainly on the part of a brass section) to be found on each as well. The first seven pieces all have quite a lot in common with Santana's late '70s work, the guitar players being the main bearers of the influence, as if almost all of them took special access courses from Carlos himself, whilst the latter three are for the most part keyboard-driven pieces, somewhat reminiscent of Return To Forever.
Conclusion. To my way of thinking, "Manuscritos" is progressively-speaking about halfway between a good and a very good album, though had it been somewhat shorter on the one hand (above all without those cuts-sketches with the pointless guitar growl) and not featured hints of Smooth Jazz on the other, it would've been excellent, within its genre category. I can't say this style is definitely my cup of tea, but I can appreciate its coloration and progressiveness alike. If you enjoy such Santana's creations as "Amigos" or "Moonflower", you might be satisfied with much of this CD as well.
VM: July 21, 2007
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