Chile is probably known more for its grapes and dictators than for its contributions to the progressive rock scene, but Chilean trio Tryo tries to change all that with its live release Crudo. Crudo not only succeeds on pretty much every level as a progressive rock CD, it also adds something that is not often seen in the progressive arena - namely a "groove". Some of the tracks on Crudo will both stimulate your mind and get your "body rockin'" at the same time!
The tunes "Nueva Epoca" and "Fanfarria" are two such songs; the rhythm section of drummer Felix Carbone and bassist Ismael Cortez lay down some serious grooves for guitarist Francisco Cortez to strut his six-string stuff Hendrix-style with some killer riffs and fantastic jams that really will stir your soul. That's not at all to say that Crudo is nothing but mindless jamming and grooving - far from it. As a matter of fact, half way through the proceedings the CD takes a severely sharp turn into acoustic land that is every bit as effective as it is surprising. I've never heard such contrast between two sections of the same CD work so perfectly.
The seventh track "Transcurso" consists of nothing but the sound of crickets, and prepares you for the remainder of the CD, which sees the band transform from a kick-ass fusion outfit to a Latin-inspired acoustic guitar/cello/marimba trio. The effects are lovely - the track "Nocturno" features some wonderful flamenco-style guitar work from Francisco Cortez, as well as some tear inducing cello playing from his brother Ismael. "Nguillatan" (say that three times fast!) adds some tribal drum sounds to the mix for a very ritualistic sounding composition. The remainder of the CD continues along the same pattern, with some absolutely beautiful dissonant acoustic guitar playing along with the sad refrains of the cello. To think that this is the same band that only 6 tracks or so ago was rocking out with Hendrix-style jams is absolutely incredible. I haven't heard music range like this in one band in quite some time.
Recommending Tryo's Crudo is simple - this is one of the best instrumental progressive CD's I've heard in quite some time. The musicianship and innovation shown by this trio is mind blowing, and these guys are certainly deserving of more exposure worldwide than they currently get. Do yourself a favor and find yourself a copy of Crudo - you won't believe what you've been missing.