Shigekazu Kamaki — Magatama
((Not on label) no#, 1997, MC)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1999-01-01
Some may remember Kamaki from his days as the finger-blistering axeman in Mr.Sirius, others from his own jazz-rock band Kehell — still together and gigging fairly regularly. Magatama is Kamaki’s solo statement, nine purely instrumental pieces covering a lot of territory, from solo acoustic guitar bits, to powerful and complex fusion, to solid progressive rock, to melodically simple E-Z-jazz pieces. He plays all instruments — electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, and drum programming. The album opens with an acoustic guitar piece that powers a simple yet effective melody on keyboard. From there it’s on to “Reason for Being,” a smokin’ progressive-rock fusion piece that wouldn’t have been out of place on any of the Kehell albums, with lightning guitar leads dominating the proceedings. Also worthy of note are the seven minute “Dark Matter” with its bombastic opening chord progression for guitar-synth and harmonized guitar melody — the heavily spacy and symphonic centersection might recall moments with Mr.Sirius, and “The Colossus” — sporting that big sound and a full complement of proggy-progisms (busy bottom end, bright and colorful keyboard solos, shifting and changing meter, push-pull rhythms), and grandiose power. The title track closes on kind of a new-agey note. A lot of variety throughout, to be sure, but with enough firepower to deliver the goods on most of the tracks. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Shigikazu Kamaki
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more