Saturday, January 17, 2015

SBB - 2010 - Blue Trance

Blue Trance

01. Etiuda Trance (3:18)
02. Los człowieka (4:47)
03. Red Joe (6:28)
04. Święto dioni (2:51)
05. Szczęście jak na dłoni (5:04)
06. Pentatonica (Bonus track on Limited Edition only)
07. Doliny strumieni (5:01)
08. Karida Beach (4:16)
09. Going Away (Bonus track on Limited Edition only)
10. Blue Trance (3:44)
11. Muśnięcie kalimby (3:45)
12. Pamiêci czas (4:39)
13. Coda Trance (4:57)

- Józef Skrzek / bass, piano, organ, micro moog, mini moog, vocals
- Apostolis Anthymos / guitars
- Gabor Nemeth / drums, percussion

 Diverse, or directionless? Big question.

At this point the band bears little semblance to the approach that made them famous nearly four decades earlier. It's fair to say that as musicians they've matured considerably The style however has changed quite markedly/. Not for the worse, only different.

What's on offer here is an absolute mixed bag of goodies - and a bit of an eye opener. Starting with a pleasant, organ driven symphonic piece, followed by an almost mediaeval track is in stark contrast with the title track. "Blue Trance" is like ZZ Top doing Arena Rock. Not bad at all, but the point is?

Then, we get to some tracks in the Jazz-Rock vein, reminiscent of Pat Metheny's approach. This is where Skrzek delivers his most refined keyboard runs in living memory. Fluid, yet relaxed improvisations rarely encountered before.

Apostolis also excels on guitar, focusing on sound in place of speed. These (incl. the bonus tracks) are the highlights of the album. Drummer, Gabor Nemeth, who is a seasoned musician of the Hungarian Rock scene complements the works with ease. More of a hired hand than a devotee of SBB's music, he plays with extreme precision.

This album is full of surprises, some of which are very welcome.

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