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Jade Warrior: Waves (Remaster)

Before there was world music, before the age of new-age, and before space music became a genre unto itself, there was Jade Warrior. Their brand of sometimes ambient, sometimes frenetic, always elegant, early progressive music could have been as big as Genesis or Yes. But the quirky nature of their all-instrumental music relegated them instead to cult status - which was a criminal waste. This music ought to have been heard everywhere.

Eclectic Discs has remastered Waves - along with the other 3 Island records - from the original stereo master tapes. The new CD features extensive liner notes, deluxe slip case packaging, and fully restored artwork - and it is the first unedited appearance of the album on CD.

Waves is a 45-minute piece, broken into 2 parts to fit the LP format of its time. It is a meandering piece featuring a variety of instruments to advance each section, but the most memorable are the clean, simple acoustic guitar, the soft melodic flutes, and the keyboard atmospheres and piano solos provided by guest artist and long-time mentor, Steve Winwood. Part I is more mellow than Part II, and it is the atmosphere and the dynamics that define this record rather than any clear melody. The structure is very loose, and the result is a meandering, dreamy piece that takes cues from South American and Oriental music - and in the middle of part II, some funky pieces run closer to American jazz than to British prog.

Part II features an intro with birds sounds over tribal drums - it develops into a soft ambient piece, then works up a strong groove. There are some wild solos including a few moments of strong guitar work, dominant bass lines and a powerful synth solos from Winwood - then it settles back into that soothing, laid-back mood music again and culminates in a whale-song toward the end of track ... reminding you that the band once declared that the album is dedicated to "...the last whale".

Waves is really many tracks fused into one long piece - there are no recurring themes, no reprised sections, and no universal cohesion - it flows more like a train of thought, a stream of musical consciousness. It will take you for a long, relaxed ride, and who knows where you'll end up because there's no road map. You'll be borne along on the tide and the waves will determine your destination, and you'll love the whale songs as you journey to wherever your hypnotized consciousness takes you.

Added: January 31st 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Label's Web Site
Hits: 2782
Language: english

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