Via Lumini — What Have We Done About Us?
(Progressive Rock Worldwide PRW 031, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:
Singer and producer João Kurk is listed in the credits simply as a 'Special Guest,' while the five instrumentalists (B3+piano+synth, guitars, drums, bass, and flute) comprise the band proper. From São Paulo, their sound is an original blend of accessible UK early progressive and light jazz-rock. Compositionally, one may be occasionally reminded of early (pre-Wakeman) Yes, Gentle Giant, and bands like Cressida, Kestrel, and so on, but their sound is clearly of the 90s. The keyboards (mostly Hammond and piano) and flute really make the difference here, two elements that keep their material interesting, despite its apparent simplicity. Kurk's voice can be very mainstream sounding, and may put the listener off initially, but if one can weather the first few tracks, the disc picks up fire as it goes along. By the fusion instrumental "Fast Feet" at the mid-point, the album has taken on a very different character, even Kurk's voice changes to meet the music on a more equal footing. All taken, along with Dogma's Twin Sunrise, Via Lumini is probably one of the better releases from Brazil last year.
by Mike Ohman, 1997-02-01:
For their long-anticipated second album, the band took what may appear to some as a step backward, not forward, with the addition of Hammond B3 organ to the keyboard arsenal (and it gets a lot of usage here). And the change from Portuguese lyrics to English does not bode well. But I personally prefer this over their first. Perhaps it's because of the addition of the Hammond, or of flute-player Silvio de Oliveira as a full-time member of the band. Though there's obviously more of a 70s influence, and less of the neo-ish feel of the debut, one would definitely not mistake this for a 70s release. I do know the vocals (by producer João Kurk, not listed as an actual member) do fit into the band better than those by the original singer. A pleasant diversion, not especially challenging, but certainly worthwhile.
Related artist(s): Via Lumini
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Various Artists - Periferic 2000-Sympho-Rock from Hungary – Lots of music to cover on this compilation, so let’s get right to it. First comes Rumblin’ Orchestra’s instrumental workouts — rich in harmony and recalling Wakeman’s... (2000) » Read more