(A stated in an earlier Holdahl review, due to the possible aspersion on my character as an unbiased reviewer, I have intentionally delayed praising Holdahl. Why you ask? I am his promotional agent at MP3.com and aye, there’s the rub. But now I must do what this fine artist deserves – be honest.)
I suppose true talent and deep inspiration is one of those gifts that the “gods of Muse” give rarely and to have such wonder fall twice upon one’s wee noggin for a second CD release is even more unlikely.
But such has happened to Holdahl. His follow-up release after his PROG is a yet again – a solid hit and this time Holdahl wanders into wildly weird head-spaces with some songs attaining a trance-like or dream sequence quality. You will find a more subdued prog rock with more of a head-tripper’s gourmet herein.
When I first heard “Cloud Formula/ High Coo/ Rama Rama 1260”, I thought I had slipped into a timeless void of aural stasis, a mental “stares” state. I had to look around and make sure reality was still happening. Holdahl has been criticized about the loops and incessant dirge in this song. He stands firm behind its formula. I heartily agree as I am an audiophile known to immerse myself in pieces that loop and recycle themselves for over an hour. Such discipline allows more than just listening to music to transpire. You are able to “go places” via an ever-spiraling staircase soundmesh.
Other such genius goodies fill this release. Also recommended is “A Procession of Lemmings” for that building upon building type of prog process that evolves into pure majesty. If you dig Holdahl then add this release to the stack.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.