After being away from the scene for many years, German progressive rock/fusion band Kraan have returned with this fantastic live album, covering many of the classic tracks that were fan favorites back in the 70's. The perennial line-up of Hellmut Hattler on bass/vocals, Peter Wolbrandt on guitars/vocals, Ingo Bischoff on keyboards, and Jan Pride on drums are all here, and display all the tight interplay and rhythmic ferocity that they were famous for decades ago.
Primarily an instrumental band, Kraan does throw in some vocals amidst the complex arrangements and funky grooves. "Let it Out" is a perfect example of catchy lyrical phrasing and virtuoso prog rock, littered with jazz sensibilities, much like vintage Tony Williams Lifetime. Kraan were never that similar to their German prog brethren, many of whom favored a mix of acid rock, psychedelia, and symphonic music. This band chooses to combine tight ensemble playing, extended workouts, funky rhythms, and fusion firepower. More highlights here include the classic "Nam Nam", in all its fourteen minute glory, "Andy Nogger", and the brilliant and catchy "Yaqui Yagua", which is one of the bands better vocal numbers. In the past, Kraan's vocal pieces have always been targeted as the weakest of the bands output, but the singing styles of Hattler and Wolbrandt have mellowed over the years and have taken on a more melodic tone. Fans of hot instrumental fusion interplay will be pleased to note that there are many instances where all four musicians rip and battle it out, much like a the great Return to Forever, but always with a funk background that keeps the music within a certain framework.
Highest recommendations here for this wonderful live return for Kraan. If anyone needs a reason to travel to ProgDay 2002, the just announced addition of this great band to the bill (their first US appearance!) should be news enough to make the trek!