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Mats/Morgan Band: Live (2011)

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Mats/Morgan Band: Live Track review of "En Schizofrens Dagbok"

In their teens, drummer Morgan Ågren and keyboardist Mats Öberg were invited to perform with Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
1940 - 1993
guitar, electric
and, as the story goes, the Swedish duo formed this phenomenal ensemble that exercised a jaw-dropping mode of execution within the progressive-rock schema, amid some Zappa and jazz-centric influences. Revered for its otherworldly approach to the genre and superior technical faculties, Mats/Morgan Band is known for its exhilarating live performances and manifold approach to composition.

Agren is an in-demand session artist, and appears on the galvanized semi-structured jazz-rock power trio album Blixt (Cuneiform, 2001), featuring bassist Bill Laswell
Bill Laswell
Bill Laswell
b.1955
bass
and guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim
Raoul Bjorkenheim
Raoul Bjorkenheim
b.1956
guitar
. Yet with Mats/Morgan's sixth album, originally recorded at a Swedish club in 1999, the piece "En Schizofrens Dagbok," yields an all-embracing illustration of the ensemble's breadth.

Rooted in a multifaceted constitution, "En Schizofrens Dagbok," is entrenched with hyperactive funk grooves, ferocious exchanges, scorching guitars, tricky time signatures, and jovial melodic content. Serious-minded but sprinkled with quaint sensibilities, the musicians' divergent implementation tender split-second breakouts, polytonal treatments and fluent cartoonish escapades. The differentiator resides within the artists' penchant for merging a chops-heavy element with sustainable themes and passages that move along with the impetus of a fast-paced action thriller. Its progressive rock with a college education by an outfit that has few, if any, peers in the business.

Personnel: Mats Öberg: keyboards; Morgan Ågren: drums; Jimmy Ågren: guitar; Tommy Thordsson: bass; Eric Carlsson: keyboards; Robert Elovsson: keyboards.

Record Label: Cuneiform Records


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