Red Bazar consists of guitarist Andy Wilson, bass player and keyboardist Mick Wilson and drummer Paul Comerie. It's a trio from Nottingham (UK) playing powerful melodious instrumental music. At least that's the information I got from their website. Sure, Connections (2009) was completely instrumental, but its successor Differential Being contains one song with vocals, so the statement instrumental music isn't quite correct. On this new release Mick Wilson provides for the vocals on Is It For Real? When I saw Red Bazar's line-up, the first band that came to mind was the Canadian power trio Rush. Well, does the comparison ends there? Yes it does and no it doesn't.
Yes, because the musical path of Red Bazar leads in another direction. The opener Paragon has influences from UFO in the guitar parts and in the combination of the electric guitar and the piano. The music is less progressive than Rush's music, but very passionate and professional. No, because when you dig deeper, there are many Rush-like riffs and structures hidden in the compositions, for instance in Inspirations. No, because drummer Paul Comerie fills all the gaps in an impressive way, just like Neil Peart does. Since the majority of the songs is instrumental, this comparison isn't justified I guess. Mick Wilson's voice on Is It For Real? is relaxed and much more neo-progressive; the guitar combines heavy riffs with Pink Floyd structures and to finish it, there's a Geddy Lee sounding bass... So, now I'm a bit confused: the album doesn't sound like Rush at all, but I hear numerous bits and pieces pointing in the direction of these famous Canadians.
Nevertheless, Differential Being is an impressive album containing mature compositions and played at a high level. Being a power trio the guitar normally is the lead instrument, but on this album the keyboards - mostly the piano - are equally important. Coup De Grace is a good example of the interplay between the guitar and the piano. Miasma Of The North, my favourite song, sounds like 'Michael Schenker goes fusion' with softer passages combined with impressive playing, building up tension and some perfect interplay between drums, bass and guitar. Two other songs that immediately got my attention are Refraction and The Illusionist. These are well-balanced songs with good playing and a nice feel, technically perfect and a great sound.
Red Bazar has delivered a solid second instrumental album except for that one song. They blend instrumental progressive rock with fusion and played at this high level it's very impressive. I think this CD will stay in my player for a quite a while, because every time I listen to it I discover new things. Differential Being just remains fascinating.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
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