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Inner Light Orchestra - Pearl Moon CD (album) cover

PEARL MOON

Inner Light Orchestra

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 12 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the only release from I.L.O. (by the way, "ilo" means joy in Finnish!). The instrumental group - which I would actually rather label as Jazz-Rock/Fusion than Eclectic Prog - is led by guitarist-composer Samuel Leminen (formerly of WASAMI; no idea what kind of a band it is). One track, 'Boogie Nights', he wrote together with Heikki Puska, the guitarist-composer of the excellent and sadly bygone prog act UZVA. These two guys share the guitar duties, curiously mixed into the left and right channel separately. Also saxophonist-flautist Antti Lauronen served formerly in Uzva, and the bassist Kimmo Dammert is known from the Space Rock band HIDRIA SPACEFOLK.

I'm really fond of the drawn cover art by Antti Silvekoski! It reminds me of the early 70's heydays of the album cover art in progressive rock especially. This is a very justified allusion, since the music too reflects the vintage Finnish jazz-rock oriented prog such as PEKKA POHJOLA, TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, JUKKA TOLONEN and WIGWAM.

In the opener 'Boogie Nights' the reggae-ish beat is luckily only a starting & returning point for an uplifting and unquestionably progressive 9-minute Fusion ride. At first I thought it to be my least fave of the five tracks, but in fact it has much more spirit than the guitar-emphasized 'Winds of Oyá'. Soprano saxophone is perhaps the other key instrument in the album's overall sound besides electric guitar. The third track 'Lamentation of Ancestress' features the Hammond organ of legendary JUKKA GUSTAVSON (ex-WIGWAM) and is the definitive highlight. In the beginning the introspective melodies are built slowly in a Pekka Pohjola style, and after the Hammond gradually takes a bigger and bigger role, the playing is filled with sheer joy and the listener is totally charmed with this very vintage sounding composition.

The nearly 13-minute 'Summer Days, Summer Nights' gets in my opinion a bit boring in its jam-like stretched structure, but surely it's not without joy and power either. The final number 'Domestic Spirits' starts delicately with acoustic guitar and flute, but the folky flavour gives way to a fuller jazz- rock sound led by strong electric guitars. The high-pitched flute struggles along until the more harmonious end.

Many connoisseurs of [Finnish] vintage prog will be delighted by this jazzy, happy music. There are wonderful highlights but also some less interesting, jam-approaching stuff lacking of impressive melodies. Another negative remark is that the arrangements are not as colourful and many-sided as on the albums of UZVA for example. Anyway, a warmly recommendable addition in the prog- listeners shelf somewhere near the classics of the artists and bands mentioned.

Matti | 4/5 |

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