Grande, Jono El: Melody Of A Muddled Mason
Here is an album completely out of left field. The artist is Norwegian musician and composer Jono El Grande and the album is titled Melody Of A Muddled Mason. The artist has been recording since 1999 and the release of his debut Utopian Dances. According to the artist he has been influenced by artists like Zappa, Gentle Giant, as well as the Canterbury Scene and RIO movements. After listening to Melody Of A Muddled Mason one thing became clear, it is an album of unbridled quirkiness with incredibly smart arrangements and excellent musicianship zigzagging between experimental art rock and avant prog.
If there ever was an album difficult to pigeonhole it is this one. It is both melodic and discordant and I think that is what makes this so special. For an experimental rock/pop album that is so damn listenable it is a testament to the players ability to make off kilter music stick in your brain. The first track "Bach's Beach" is a prime example. Quirky guitar and bass and Grande's low baritone vocals make for a provocative listen with vibraphone adding a youthful playfulness. The music veers in different directions; experimental, progressive, classical, jazz, pop and rock music are all touched upon. The title track has a darker feel with strings adding a denser layer of sound. Eerie background effects and wild guitar extrapolations make for a truly unsettled listen. The third track "Lament X" is a short solo violin interlude with a classical bent. The quirkiness continues with "Violent Water Promenade" featuring a tasty bass and guitar groove and soaked with violin and cello. In "Abiding Swansong" there are equal doses of Rhodes, vibraphone sax giving this one an eclectic yet strangely catchy vibe.
The more I listen to Melody Of A Muddled Mason the more I like it. Its complexity is not easy to get on first listen but over time I think anyone who appreciates the eclectic side of rock and pop will really dig it.
The musicians are:
Jono El Grande (guitars, vocals, percussion, farfisa, piano)
Erik Løkra (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute)
Anders Kregnes Hansen (vibraphone)
Torgeir Koppang (Fender Rhodes)
Terje Engen (drums)
Eivind Henjum (bass)
1. Bach's Beach
2. Melody Of A Muddled Mason
3. Lament X
4. Violent Water Promenade
5. Abiding Swansong
6. Smother Eve II
Added: November 30th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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