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(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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.