|Artist||East of Eden|
|Release Date||Saturday, May 21, 2016|
|Genre||Rock > Rock > Prog Rock / Art Rock|
Fantastic album between Steely Dan meet Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt
The world has now caught up with East of Eden, a band whose dizzying musical excursions in the late '60s/early '70s were so far ahead of their time, they entranced an entire generation of prog fans, while simultaneously signposting the path to world music and jazz fusion. Graffito is Eden's third album since their re-formation in 1997, and while continuing to blaze a trail through a thicket of genres, it sounds thoroughly contemporary. Where once the band had roamed virgin pastures, it now escorts listeners through crowded paddocks, so pervasive have jazz crossovers and world hybrids become. And perhaps it's this crowded terrain that has provoked Eden into sharpening their focus and curtailing their wilder musical journeys, which are reflected in the zippy track descriptions, an impossibility in the past. No longer does the band range far and wide within a single song. Instead each piece is a thorough expedition of a theme. "The Cloud," for instance, delves deep into funk, albeit in a free-form jazzy way, while "Jump the Gun" bridges the gaps between bebop, funk, and reggae. "Hotel Ceramic" captures the ambience of its Parisian hotel namesake in subtle swing style, while "Southern Hemisphere" less successfully attempts to do the same for South Africa, but it's a lovely song nonetheless. With the bulk of the tracks clocking in at over five minutes, Eden have plenty of time to explore the nuances of mood and atmosphere, perhaps too much so for those who prefer an edgier sound and less free-form meanderings. Regardless, Eden continue to push at the stylistic edges of world/jazz music, and while no longer the breathtakingly innovative band of yore, they continue to offer up music in quite fascinating form.