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Mist Season: Reflections
Mist Season is a Hameenlinna, Finland, prog fusion band made up of Keijo Hakala bass, Timo Kajamies keys, Tommi Varjola, guitars, Risto Salmi, saxes and recorder, and Kimmo Porsti, drums and percussion. They have released two other albums under the name Mist Season, but have performed on albums from other Swedish musicians.
This is an excellent prog/jazz fusion album. One of the best I have heard this year. Interesting and entertaining with innovative and original sounds, despite covering material from many artists and composers. The album is a perfect escape from the doldrums of everyday life. The artwork and photography on the inner CD booklet helps to enhance the full effect of the relaxation from this music. They have done a wonderful job capturing the original intention of each composer, while at the same time, have added their own flavor to each song. They highlight the fact that each note was created by human hands which is something we are seeing less and less of these days. Enjoy this original look back, along with some beautiful acoustic numbers.
Beautiful piano opens, "Echoing Lights 1", as if you were sitting by a fire with a light snow falling. This nearly two minute piano interlude is a perfect way to open the album.
Then crashing drums, guitar and piano begin to build strength on, "Manaos". Risto Salmi's sax provides a great jazzy feel to this track. An instrumental re-opening of the album complete with some very cool keyboards. One of the best tracks on the album.
"Defending Hands" opens with Mirja Lassila's vocals, "Here the glory in the Paradise breath. All the Universe is smiling at me". Varjola's acoustic guitar is a wonderful accompaniment along with Kajamie's keys. Salmi's recorder, and later sax adds a wonderful effect as Varjola's lead electric and Porsti's drums add dimension to the sound. Another of the best tracks on the album.
"Pan" is another wonderful instrumental track full of jazzy bass and keys. The piano, alto recorder and sax bounce in and out creating magic. The drums keep a perfect beat and the guitars help provide good rhythm and melody.
"Lobsterland Groove" starts out with a Celtic, almost bagpipe sound on soprano sax, accordion and bowed harp. This track was written by the famous composer Roine Stolt, of the Flower Kings. Varjola's guitar solos are fantastic and lift the sound, along with the awesome keys. Full of many highlights, including those pulsing drums and powerful bass.
More of that beautiful piano returns for "Echoing Lights 2".
"Matelda's Song" is lead well by Hakala's bass and Lassila's vocal sounds. The keyboards drive the melody along with that great launching guitar. The drums support well.
Carlos Santana and Alan Pasqua's famous song, "Aqua Marine" gets a wonderful revision here with Jukka Pitkanen providing trumpet and Kari Rantakallio on tenor sax. Kajamies keys are original and provide that cool liquid jazz sound as Porsti's percussion fills in the details. Excellent addition to this album. The best song on the album.
"Puppet on a Chain" opens fast with cool organ like keys and great lead electric guitar. Salmi's tenor sax is just awesome and he leads this song throughout, with great support of the bass and drums.
"Summer Season" is a beautiful acoustic guitar song full of soft warm summer breezes.
"Promenader" is full of wonderful flute, bell like keys and excellent bass, before the lead guitar breaks through to add even more dimension to the sound.
"Chaser" is from the movie "Il Corpo". Beautiful keys just trickle all over the opening to create a wonderful calm, punctuated by the chimes. The bass, drums and percussion are perfect before the tenor and alto saxes make their entrance to take the song over the top.
"Sally and Jack" is also a movie song, this time from "Blow Out". The wonderful acoustic guitar on this song opens it perfectly. Nice and soft and full of feeling, which the soprano sax builds upon to the point of full emotion. The drum beats punctuate the rhythm and emotion of this track so well. The lead guitar solos will take you over the edge.
"Resolution" is full of beautiful, soft, piano to close the album.
- Echoing Lights 1 (1:50)
- Manaos (5:05)
- Defending Hands (7:46)
- Pan (5:33)
- Lobsterland Groove (7:24)
- Echoing Lights 2 (1:07)
- Matelda's Song (5:21)
- Aqua Marine (4:57)
- Puppet on a Chain (4:34)
- Summer Season (1:34)
- Promenader (6:59)
- Chaser (6:21)
- Sally and Jack (5:44)
- Resolution (3:08)
Added: May 1st 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band Website
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