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Paul Chain : In Concert

Paul Chain has to be one of the best improvisers which has ever come forth from the traditional doom genre. Sadly, everyone has a bad day now and then and this recording is an example of that fact of life. Despite my opinion on this, the audience seems to disagree with me. But there is no cheering or racket like you'd expect from a rock concert. In fact the only time you can actually hear the audience is in the pause between songs and then all they do is applaud in a relaxed way. It almost seems like this is a display of art to them, rather than a concert...

The thought of considering this album a work of art yields some meaning to me. Paul Chain does after all claim to be an artist and not a musician. When he plays improvised abstract rock style, like he does on this CD, you can well imagine why he thinks like that. It can hardly be considered to be your average mainstream music.

The sound in itself is not that far from the one used in 'Violet Art Of Improvisation'. It's mainly guitar based jamming and a steady, jazzlike and groovy rhythm. Otherwise there is nothing steady about the music. It wanders slowly in erratic fashions which doesn't seem to lead anywhere. The problem is that while he pulled it off so well on 'Violet Art Of Improvisation', he doesn't do the same good job here. He has his moments here when the music is just as good, but at least 2/3 of the time he seems too uninspired to pull it off. Just goes to show how hard it is to make a good improvisation.

Track four is, as the name suggests, a set of solos by Mr. Chain and his drummer, Eric Lumen. This mainly means that the bassist, Baka Bomb, has taken a break. With the bass-guitar being so suppressed on the recording, you'll hardly know the difference.

I assume this might fit some people's idea of good music, but this one has too much of a loose cannon for my ears. It's very seldom that I've found a Paul Chain release that I didn't like, but I just can't get into this one. It might be more interesting for those who like directionless jams that span over 10 minutes in length, but even then I would like to note that this album requires a very select taste.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Jumpin Jack Flash Improvisation
2. The Last Concert In The Summer
3. Black Night Improvisation
4. Eric Lumen Solo/Paul Chain Solo
5. Help Me
6. Does Improvisation

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes.

Visit the Paul Chain bandpage.

Reviewed on 21-07-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
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