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JAUME DE VIALA- CALIDOSCOPI EMBRUIXAT (2023) (self-released)


Jaume was an original member of Salvador Avià’s Celobert Màgic which played a unique form of Catalan prog ethno-fusion. I enjoyed his first album “Sonoritat De Mils Miralls” (2020) and noted in my review “22 vignettes that flow into a whole engrossing mass” with peaks occurring on the exquisite pieces ‘Ombres de Lluna Creixent’ and ‘Carretera Al Brasil’ which I hoped would be developed further. Jaume has taken a slightly different approach this time, in his own words “way closer to Prog-Rock and Fusion”.


My wish wasn’t quite granted, but what I did get was an even better album with 10 pieces over a sensibly long 42 minutes. It is not often I listen through to an album and immediately want to listen to it again even though I was late for dinner! All the musicians make magical contributions including singer Judit Cucala, a former member of Celobert Màgic, the gifted guitarist Dusan Jevtovic whose work I have heard mostly though Moon June recordings, keyboardist Vasil Hadzimanov whose “Lines in Sand” and “Alive” album sit proudly on my shelf, and internationally renowned drummer Asaf Sirkis who has been praised by BILL BRUFORD and has played with some the crème-de-la-crème of progressive jazz rock fusion.


The reworking, production and mixing of pieces Jaume composed for Celobert Màgic between 1978 and 1979 is uniformly excellent. There are too many high points to describe in much detail here but let me just choose two in ‘Les Jordies’ (Carles Benavent, a long-standing member of PACO DE LUCIA’s band and collaborator with MILES DAVIS and CHICK COREA plays on a bonus track version with regular bassist Bernat Hernández on the other version); this is actually a 2020 original. Another good starting point would be the longest piece ‘Calvet 1979’ which, at 8 minutes, provides space for the musicians to fully express themselves. Electric guitarist Joaquim ‘Max’ Sunyer contributes Flamenco guitar to one track, although it should be noted that there was to my ears there were not many overtly Latin tracks, and there as much a touch of Arabic as Mediterranean in the music, making it of special interest to fans of STEVE HACKETT. Flute and clarinet also make sporadic appearances and there is yet another electric guitarist, Jordie Bonell’ who played on Jaume’s first album.


The album is on Bandcamp, a trifold nicely packaged CD at a reasonable price at the same price as the digital download.

A full review will be published in the next edition of ACID DRAGON magazine – see link on this website.

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