Monday, 18 May 2015

Mindflowers- Improgressive (2002)

This is the debut album from instrumental Hungarian four-piece Mindflowers. They comprise Balás Szendőfi (bass, stick), Zoltán Szentpál (guitar), Gergely Gáspár (drums) and Zsolt Nagy (keys) and seem to be happily straddling the fields of progressive rock and jazz rock. But while complex and complicated this doesn't go into freefall as some jazz acts tend to so the result is a very listenable and enjoyable album. It can be calm and collected, smooth and tranquil, or the total opposite, as the mood takes them. My initial feel was that it was as if Coloseum II had somehow got mixed up with Jadis but even then that doesn't really do the music justice.
It is very fluid and melodic, and they go from out and out prog (as in "Red Spider") or even bring in some folk influences (as on "Flo's Kisses") where they utilise a guest violinist. Although the two lead instruments of keyboards and guitar have struck up a dynamic interplay which carries most of the melody, there is a great deal going on in the rhythm section. With a Chapman stick being used on two of the songs, and Balás determined to show that he can produce similar results on a normal bass guitar (well, a handmade seven string version), it gives the music a very dynamic edge that is dense yet extremely light. There are lots of gaps and space within the music at times, yet at others it is just filled with notes and melodies.
Easily one of the finest instrumental albums I have heard I recent years this is a joy throughout (although the insertion of a mobile phone text message notice going off at the end of one number did have me looking for my phone).Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Red Spider (8:18)
2. Falling (5:46)
3. Sick Spirit (4:50)
4. Why? (1:52)
5. Why Not? (5:07)
6. Crying Skies (7:01)
7. Knowing The Path (7:01)
8. Flo's Kisses (4:28)
9. Talk With Myself (22:37)

Line-up / Musicians
- Zoltan Szentpal / guitar, classical guitar
- Balazs Szendofi / bass, Chapman stick, classical guitar, acoustic guitar, wind bells
- Gergely Gaspar / drums
- Zsolt Nagy / keyboards
- Flora Horvath / violin
- Tamas Kovacs / congas, cajon, shakers, chimes

Total Time: 67:00

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