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Cai - Cancion de la Primavera CD (album) cover

CANCION DE LA PRIMAVERA

Cai

 

Symphonic Prog

3.33 | 19 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cai's third and final effort finds the band exploring a more commercial vein for their Flamenco-tinged symphonic prog; the major reason for this was due to pressures from the recording label's powers-that-be, but all in all, the band managed to do a more than decent album, at times resulting in a couple of particularly brilliant numbers. These are, specifically, the two instrumentals - 'Mercadillo del Piojito' and 'Caletera'. The former is a complex yet catchy exercise on jazz-rock with soft Arabic colours: something like a combination of Weather Report and late 70s Rush - it may sound odd in black and white, but when you listen to it, you can tell that it works fluidly, providing a sense of excitement and exoticism in equal proportions. The latter is more evidently rooted on the trend of Flamenco-jazz, in many ways similar to what Guadalquivir used to do, as exciting as the aforementioned number but a bit more tender and definitely less bombastic. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if 'Caletera' had been at least one minute longer, since its melodic lines and rhythmic cadences are really captivating, performed with absolute finesse. Among the sung tracks, the best ones have to be 'Donde Tú estás' and the closing title track, since they are the most stylistically related to the spirit of their excellent preceding album "Noche Abierta". The amazing elegance of the guitar and keyboard parts and Vélez's inventive bass lines and ornaments meet a proper sustenance in Fopiani's solid, fusion-tinged drumming. Once again, I have to say that these two numbers could have benefited from a more expanded arrangement in order to fully exploit their progressive potential, but the guidelines from the production staff seemed to be undisputed, way back then. The remaining four tracks stand closer to the poppy side of things - not that these are bad songs, what's more, 'Tu Mirada' is one of the best semi-ballads from Spain's rock that I have ever heard. The opening track and 'Camino a Seguir' follow the path of jazz-pop, while 'Fiesta en el Barrio' [a.k.a. the single A-side] takes the Flamenco drive to a poppish ground. These songs are not as simplistic as they may seem at first listen: the proficient performing remains intact, but definitely, the splendour is (at least partially) missing. After a brief tour that followed this album's release, drummer/lead singer Diego Fopiani left the band, which led to its demise. The three remaining musicians formed an ephemeral jazz-rock act, and after that, keyboardist Chano Domínguez went on to become what he has been for the last 10 years, one of the top jazz pianists in Spain. Overall score for "Canción de la Primavera": 3.25 stars. This is not an essential prog item, but it sure is good enough to provide real pleasure to the average symphonic prog lover.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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