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CD "Sessions" review on Kindweb.com



Rareblend - Sessions Rareblend - Sessions

CD Review by: Jud Conway

Rare Blend has garnered an undisputable reputation for creating unique multi-genre progressive instrumental music that dates back to the release of their independent debut, Cinefusion, in 1993. The past fifteen years have seen the band expand from core duo Vic Samalot (electric/acoustic guitar) and Bobbi Holt (keyboards, percussion) to include bassist Jeffrey Scott and a rotating roster of top-notch fusion drummers. Arguably, the band’s most ambitious efforts culminated with the 2007 acquisition of veteran drummer Ivan George. Rare Blend’s newly-released Sessions CD provides the first proper full-length recorded evidence of this fruitful period in the band’s dynamic storyline.

Sessions, Rare Blend’s follow-up to the well-received Stops Along the Way (2006), is informed by the band’s ever-growing diverse catalog of musical influences.  Both “jazz” and “jam band” in nature, Sessions is an exercise in the “single-take” mentality that has become one of the band’s trademarks. Although the bulk of the album’s material was recorded at live shows in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Baltimore, several tracks were recorded at “in studio” sessions or television taping sessions.

Key songs include the opening cut “Hipster Spinster,” from the Crooked River Groove television program which sounds like a newly-discovered track from a lost Billy Cobham release, as well as the incredibly infectious title track.  Several cuts, including “Phantom Lair” and “Break a Leg,” were originally designed as part of a multi-media project to compliment viewings of the film Phantom of the Opera, but hold up surprisingly well on their own.

Rare Blend previewed some of the new material during a recent opening set for Ozric Tentacles at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom. The consensus is that band’s nearly year-long hiatus to write and arrange new songs was both a productive and necessary part of its ongoing development, with Sessions as the proof-divine.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 2/6/2010 9:48 AM
Groovy Jams

For twelve years now Rare Blend have been creating and demonstrating their fine musical tastes for people to get funky with. They seem to mainly be a Jam band and for some reason that doesn't do anything for me. I get bored with no vocals (usually)don't get me wrong there are vocals on some songs. I'm just more of a poetic type person and love to hear others feelings since my on are so dramatic at times. Rare Blend reminds me of something one of my neighbors would love, him and his fiancée would be in the crowd droppin E or A and going along for the long ride home.      Rare Blend are home based in Cleveland Ohio. "Stops Along The Way"  metaphorically took the band on a groovy journey and the listeners as well can enjoy the incredible instrumental arrangements, some eclectically seem to blend together. The song "Wuhan Incident" the cymbals actually makes it sound as if a train is getting started on it's way to some remote destination where the alcohol will run a plenty. Many music genres are mixed and covered thru out this cd and travel from one to the next. "Miles To Go" song like a hippie story with an 80's type of synthesizer like piano bursts with little puffs of the flute to tickle your ears pink. The whole stay true to yourself message will go along way among the fans of this band...it's an interesting tale to hear. This band has played many festivals, outdoor concerts and receive ample airplay on local stations. "Mystic Jam" was by far my favorite tune with it's tight thumping bass beginning dejavu type middle where sounds had me thinking that someone was sprinkling pixie dust. It's a must buy for all the instrumental jam band lovers out there.

Reviewed by: Kristin Theckston / Backstagepass.com 

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 8/14/2009 8:12 PM