ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Jeremy - 2021 - “The Road To Zion"

(74:00; Jam Records)


While one may think the artwork for this album is a little unusual, as is the title, nothing prepares the listener for what this album actually sounds like. A Light Sleeper is a quartet, consisting of Maria Elena Hernandez (alto and tenor saxophone), Traci Huff (viola), Matthew Jung (drums, keyboards), and Dheeru Pennepalli (guitar) and is their first album since 2019’s ‘Distinction (A Ballet In Six Parts)’ when they were a quintet including cellist David Kellar. I am sure the reason he is no longer in the band as there is just no room within the intricate arrangements which are layered and interwoven so everyone is a lead player, and everyone is support. When music is as complex, experimental and off the wall as this, reviewers often like to fall back on labels, and who am I to ignore such as well-used approach, so how about chamber music, post rock, RIO and avant garde that has been heavily influenced by Art Zoyd? Or, Zappa taken to illogical extremes? They may be American but there is a very French style to their sound and if they had been signed to Dur et Doux I would not have been surprised, but here they are happily resplendent on one of my other very favourite labels in the world, Cuneiform. This is not music for the masses but rather it is for those who like to savour what is being provided and sent their way, who want to sit back and try to understand what is being delivered instead of sitting in the mainstream. This is so left field as to be in a different county altogether and is all the better for it. That this is a masterpiece of modern music is never in doubt, nor that it will be ignored by critics who should know better. One never knows what is coming in the next bar, let alone how the piece is going to develop, and if adventurous music piques your interest, then this is simply indispensable.

Progtector: February 2024

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