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Happy55: The Magic Word

Happy55 is a Russian band hailing from the city of Voronezh. They formed a few years back and released their first album Happydarkblue in 2007. The players are Alexander Bityutskikh (drums), Yaroslav Borisov (piano, synths) and Gennadiy Chuhlov (clarinet, synths). I have never heard of the band before so I had no idea what to expect when I slid their latest The Magic Word into my CD player.

Given the fact there is no credited guitar and bass I surmised the music would be a little unusual and this is definitely the case. The band really gets into some unchartered territory as complex piano and clarinet twist and turn propelled by the complex drumming of Bityutskikh. The tempo changes are sometimes drastic as the music stops and starts or turns on a dime, demonstrating the extreme talent of those involved. While the melodies are hard to discern and the music didn't grab me with palpable hooks there is no denying this is riveting stuff. The piano playing of Borisov is especially spellbinding as he is an excellent pianist. The tunes take components of free jazz, classical and avant-garde and mold them into what is quite an intoxicating listen as you never quite know what to expect. To say this music twists and turns is an understatement often venturing from a chaotic frenzy to more tranquil soundscapes.

If avant-garde jazz is to your liking The Magic Word will probably be an essential purchase for your collection. If not, but want to explore musical forms outside the proverbial box listen to some samples and decide for yourself.

Track Listing:
1. Kotofei (6:50)
2. En Garde (4:58)
3. To The Left Until It Stops (8:02)
4. A Host Of Children (5:55)
5. Eight (7:34)
6. The Thing That Happened (6:51)
7. Generous Fernando (8:45)
8. The Magic Word (6:05)

Added: March 20th 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Bands Facebook Page
Hits: 787
Language: english

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