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Quadro (Russia)
Overall View


Discography:

1986 - "Night Dreams"
*****+

1993 - "Las Vegas"
****


1986 - "Night Dreams" *****+

Tracklist:


Citadel  3-23

Song Without Words  5-01

Rush  3-45

Sunrise  4-37

Night Express  2-28

Electro-car  3-49

Inside Out Music  3-12

Invitation  3-46

Aurora Borealis  6-10

Waltz-Grotesque  3-15

Robot  3-41

SeasideRendezvous 3-21

The Coast of Hope 6-34

The Scenery 7-07

Rememberingof Rock'n'Roll 5-12

Cheating5-44

Rondo2-07

1-10, 13, 14 - composed by Gorsky; 11, 15 - composed by Kulikov; 12 - arrangement of a piece by Eric Gayle; 16 - arrangement of a piece by Sting; 17 - arrangement of a piece by John McLaughlin

Line-up: Vyatcheslav Gorsky - keyboards, grand piano; Demetrius Tchetvergov - acoustic & electric guitars; Eugene Maystrovsky - drums; Sergey Nikolayev - bass (1-7); Anatoli Kulikov - bass (8-17)

As far as I know, only two species of QUADRO exist in nature. (It's time to write it down in the Red Book? Do we need to acquire - not a cat, - but a Red Book of Progressive Rock?) The first kind is a solid, often quite heavy, true Jazz-Fusion (a synthesis of Jazz and Hard-Rock plus less significant genre sprinkles), presented on "Night Dreams". The second kind of QUADRO see review below. Unfortunately, the booklets of band's CD (all of them are exclusively in Russian) mainly contain narrations or tales of band's leader Vyacheslav Gorsky about both his landmarks of success and his creation (besides, originally the band is named as QUADRO OF VYACHESLAV GORSKY). However, some of his mentions led me to firmly suppose that "Night Dreams" was compiled from the first two tape albums of the group of 1984 and 1986. The length of the CD is mostly relatively short, in contrast to the second disc (though "Boheme" Website gives them a reverse "temporal" and even in some sense stylistic description), but biting, enchanting and, as already said, often very original, heavy instrumental tracks, with roughly the same number of well-thought classical arrangements and (probably also not made up while recording the album) kinda jazzy improvisations (to a great extent - by Gorsky himself) with a substantial "heavy" support - in all rhythmical episodes with powerful and tasteful guitar riffs and in some guitar solos. The skill level of all musicians is more than professional (I would call it "professionally creative": I hope you'll understand that by word "creative" I mean its different sense than artistic; as a last resort, recall the Creator) and as a whole the album has quite a bombastic sound with intensive arrangements from all the participants. Listening to this album goes in a breath, excluding 2-3 plays of Gorsky, where he works all but alone, almost wholly giving himself to the "soul of jazz" improvisation . There are also some covers of other great musicians, but I would not greet it that much no matter how finely they were arranged. Hence all mentioned above and taking into account that there's enough time left of the disc's 75 minutes of sound to get a "separate masterpiece album" (but it's another story, 'cause an album is always taken in entirely), I did cut half of a star from the record highest rating.

"Boheme Music" website is at: http://www.bohememusic.com/

The CD ordering is via e-mail: boheme@iol.cz

VM. April 12, 2001


1993 - "Las Vegas" ****
(75 min, "Boheme Music")

Tracklist:


Funk City  6-41

Dancing Fingers  4-40

Pastorale  6-10

French Boulevard  5-15

Las Vegas  6-04

The Quiet Noon  6-17

Spanish Spirits  5-26

Blues For Friends  6-28

Virtual Jazz  6-18

Giraffe On the Snow  4-30

A Girl From Rio  4-10

Black And White  4-05

Moscow Rumba  4-10

The Favourite  4-30

All tracks by Gorsky, except 6: arrangement of a piece by Stanley Clarke.

Line-up: Vyatcheslav Gorsky - keyboards, grand piano Eugene Tulyakov - sax Eugene Sharikov - bass Rouslan Kapitonov - drums Dave Grout - percussion

With: Sergey Manukyan - drums (on 7)

The second species of Quadro (so now Quadro, as it were, is brought to a square) is substantially different from the first one (and maybe this is the big thrill?). In comparison with their debut, the pieces have become almost twice as longer, but this is not to say that they've become more profound. Perhaps this album should be called "Vyacheslav Gorsky And His Quadro". The words 'And His' are obviously redundant here, however I would not like to infringe upon Gorsky's right for self-expression - it's taken for granted. Personally I think that, despite the fact that he has penned most tracks on the first Quadro album and all but one (arrangement of a piece by Stanley Clarke) on their second, the band's success with "frontieres" (I invented this kind of classification a long time ago), i.e. people interested in plain Progressive Jazz Fusion, has more to do with talents of Gorsky's sidemen - it is their arrangements of his music that made it such an attractive "dish". The arrangement (and of course, the arrangers) is the main foundation of any work's success - regretfully, the composition is not everything, and, certainly, the role of arrangements in Progressive is especially prominent. Now, on the second Quadro album (by the way, Las Vegas, with its cheerful modus vivendi, is an apt title for this project) Gorsky has considerably reinforced his leadership in everything, particularly (or first of all) in arrangements. Thank God, among Proglovers there are plenty of fans of well-executed fusion, and this is exactly the category Las Vegas falls in. There's no "heaviness" here at all - and maestro Gorsky dominates all around the place, brilliantly displaying his mastery of every keyboard instrument - but other musicians, while playing diversely, nevertheless seem to "work for him", within their defined limits. But what is especially important is however magnificent and original this album may be, it is not so considerably, but notably less complicated than the prevoius one. Originality is certainly the trump card of an artist working in any idiom, but for me, profundity is also a fundamental component. Anyway, Las Vegas is a very good album overall, and the closing sentence will be as follows: Immensely Enjoyable Stuff For Fusion Lovers.

VM. April 14, 2001


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