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Baldassarre: Collinwood Yards

Perhaps you know Carl Baldassarre as guitarist/vocalist for the progressive rock band Syzygy, who released three albums in the early 2000s followed by a live album and compilation within the next few years. The band has since disbanded and thankfully Baldassarre has still decided to pursue is music and released his first solo album titled Collinwood Yards in 2020. Says Baldassarre, “Collinwood Yards is my debut solo album and represents an orchestral/progressive rock story of perseverance and self-discovery. The plot loosely follows my path of survival from the wrong side of the tracks to a new personal and creative beginning founded on the occasional glimmer of hope that sustained me amidst tragedies and hardships of life.” That sounds like quite a heavy and personal story and although the subject matter may be at times dark, the music is anything but, very uplifting and melodic orchestral/symphonic flavoured rock.

Baldassarre has invited some great players including Nick D’Virgilio (vocals, drums), Don Carr (guitars), Charles Iverson (vocals), Dave Martin (bass), Phil Naish (piano, B3, keys, programming), Ed Goldfarb (keys), Walfredo Reyes Jr. (percussion) and some fine orchestral players on tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, clarinet and violin. There is a nice mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks beginning with “Prelude & Overture” featuring lovely strings and soaring guitar. Layers of instruments are added evolving into a full-fledged rock sound. With “Figures” the band displays some complex instrumental interplay, jazzier sounds, heavier riffs and a fine symphonic arrangement. The powerful “Coin A Phrase” features strong vocals and surging Hammond, a vital and energetic rock song. The use of horns gives “Onward” a jazzy flavour and mixes well with the melodic symphonics and nuanced builds. Tasty guitar and synths highlight “Crossing The Highgate” while “The Gloaming” features nice effects and orchestrations. “Nightwork” is an excellent tune with strong organ and guitar riffs. The lead vocals from Iverson is a delight.

Baldassarre is an impressive musician and has written a fine batch of catchy songs, with diverse arrangements bursting with creative flare. Let us hope Collinwood Yards is the first of many from this talented artist. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Prelude & Overture (1:58)
2. Figures (3:56)
3. Coin A Phrase (3:52)
4. Onward (3:35)
5. Crossing The Highgate (2:23)
6. The Gloaming (1:53)
7. Nightwork (3:48)
8. Secrets (5:34)
9. Awakenings (1:13)
10. Dark Delusions (4:04)
11. Catharsis (6:04)
12. Second-Hand Smoke (5:20)
13. The Letter (7:00)
14. Epilogue (2:57)

Added: April 18th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 109
Language: english

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