Multi-instrumentalist Beledo from Uruguay is one of the rising stars on the Moonjune Records label. Although he's a multi-instrumentalist, the guitar is the most important instrument on Dreamland Mechanism, his debut for this label. Beledo is assisted by an impressive rhythm section consisting of two highly appreciated musicians. Drummer Gary Husband doesn't need any introduction to jazz and fusion aficionados and bass player Lincoln Goines belongs to the top of the jazz musicians as well.
The album starts with Mechanism on which Beledo plays the violin in addition to his guitar. These two instruments immediately remind me of Mahavishnu Orchestra where violinist Jean Luc Ponty and guitarist John McLaughlin collaborated and created a very unique jazz rock sound. Mechanism is a nice tribute to that band in my opinion. Next is Bye Bye Blues being a strong jazz rock composition as well. This time we can enjoy Beledo's affinity with the MiniMoog, a sound that perfectly blends with the fine bass playing. Marylin's Escapade has a kind of South American touch. On this track Beledo proves to be an amazing pianist and accordionist, an instrument I don't like actually. Beledo definitely shows his South American background in Lucilla with percussive, acoustic guitar play and a cool fretless bass part.
The next three compositions Sudden Voyage, Big Brother Calling and Mercury In Retrograde are all solid fusion songs containing fine solos that sometimes create the weirdest sounds, but always solid and inspired. Silent Assessment is a softer ballad-like composition that tends towards smooth and warm jazz music. Budjanaji features the Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana, one of the guest musicians on the album. His guitar playing perfectly suits Beledo's style. The rhythm section on this composition differs from the previous songs. It sounds mellower and is clearly influenced by Beledo's Indonesian companions. The final tune Front Porch Pine features Tony Steele on bass and Doron Lev on drums. They suit Beledo's songs well, but they lack the distinguished styles of Goines and Husband, although the bass surely has a great sound.
Dreamland Mechanism is a solid jazz-rock fusion album, on which Beledo demonstrates that he's more than a gifted guitarist. He also masters numerous other instruments. At the one hand the album takes you back to the seventies, but on the other it also adds a modern softer melodic edge to world-jazz. All in all this is a strong album and I'm looking forward to the album Beledo has recorded with The Avengers with Lincoln Goines on bass, Kim Plainfield on drums and the great Adam Holzman on keyboards.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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