The French musician Michel Lazaro is an accomplished piano player who graduated from the famous Music Academy International in Nancy. In 1994 he met Stefan Deriau-Reine from the jazz rock band The Fusion Project and both musicians tried out many different musical styles. Now, after years of hard work, Lazaro finally brings out his first album called Vision. On this album you can listen to thirteen pieces of progressive rock with lots of melody and neo-progressive elements. Michel Lazaro is backed up by Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds), Uriah Duffy (Whitesnake), Fifi Chayeb (Billy Cobham) and Reda Samba (Lauryn Hill).
The title track is a sort of love hymn with a nice melody and a short, but good sounding guitar solo. However, I feel that the rest of the song material is rather tiresome. The songs don't come to life and they never seize to impress me. Sun and Destiny are just straightforward, simple tunes with many pop influences and only a few interesting musical passages. Best track of the album is the instrumental piece Stone Temple, a jazzy mid-tempo track with great percussion and subtle piano and keyboard solos. For people who are into slightly experimental melodic rock with many jazz influences this album might work, but for me it's a bit too cool, too relaxed and too mellow. I like my music a bit more dynamically and with more power, but nevertheless Michel Lazaro did a nice job. My listening tip is 1118.
*** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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