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"While I was impressed by Planeta Imaginaro’s 2008 release ‘Biomasa’, I am absolutely astonished by ‘Optical Delusions’. There is not point in trying to describe individual pieces (there are 13 of them) as the whole is very much more than the sum of the parts as the music flows like a calming wave on a sunny day. Such linearity and conductivity of ideas is rare in music. Many comparisons are made in the press release and much praise is, rightly, lavished upon this ridiculously gifted band from Barcelona. There are Canterbury influences for sure (I would add Egg to the list with a tip of the hat to Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge). The music has brass (saxes, trumpet, French horn), some flute, fretless bass, drums and percussion and some wonderful sonic alchemy is teased by composer/ arranger Marc Capel from his Yahama CS60 and Jen SX 1000 synths (piano, Hammond L100 and Fender Rhodes are also used). ‘Optical Delusions’ is, at every level, an outstandingly articulate and creative work of jazz, pure music that, as John Kelman and others have pointed out, feels completely natural to the listener."
– Phil Jackson/Acid Dragon
released 25 January 2011
As long-time fans of the 'Canterbury School' style of jazz/rock, a very appealing, very English, sometimes slightly whimsical blend of electric jazz with complex rock have sadly learned, this style and sound is rarely invoked nowadays. Planeta Imaginario are a creative and extraordinary six piece Spanish jazz/rock band that take some of the best influences from Canterbury style music and blend it with an original, very Mediterranean feel for a end result that is strongly their own but that is also redolent of 40 years of creative work in bringing jazz and rock together.
To get an idea of what their third album, Optical Delusions, has to offer, think of a great rhythm section of keyboards (Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes piano, acoustic piano, synths), electric bass and drums, influenced by creative rock bands like The Muffins, Hatfield, Caravan, National Health. Be sure to make note of the fact that the keyboardist is a excellent writer and arranger. Now add three jazz musicians on trombone, trumpet and alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, as well as guests on additional saxes, flute and French horn. Give all the musicians great tunes to play and don't forget to throw in a little dollop of weirdness to keep everything just a little bit off the (well) beaten track. This scenario is what you have here.
I would not have expected that the best current exponents of that great Canterbury sound would be a group of musicians from Barcelona, the heart of Spain's Catalan region, but expectations are made to be destroyed and Optical Delusions will utterly destroy you!
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