Get this crazy baby off my head!


Rigel Michelena

Rigel Michelena- Bartok's Room - 2001 - Musea

The first track sets the record straight right away: here we have a warm brand of jazzrock with lots of stereo effects going on in my headphones. Plenty of dark bass and also bubbly marimba like sounds alternate with a varied palette of guitar: rather typical jazz rock guitar, repetitive groovy guitar, a more meandering type and a dissonant kind of guitar as well. In addition I hear some vague echoes of early Camel. The keyboards on this rather groovy track are of the swirly seventies jazz rock kind. The next one up is I. This track continues along the same line, but not as groovy. The groove returns on El Ojo-Dido where we also find a funky bass and a meandering harsh sounding guitar as well.The next one is a song for the cat: it opens with quick fingered acoustic guitar with moody twangings. A piece that a cat might actually like with low warm sounds. We continue with the slow ballad Inside which features guitar and (non-disturbingly) electronic drums. Twiggy Pig is a rather off-beat track but one in which the groove sounds a bit familiar. The sound continues to be warm and spacious and the rhythms can be quite modern sounding. The bass seems to be the main instrument at first, but later the electric guitar throws in some hectically meandering guitar work best compared with later King Crimson. The Last Dodo Bird is a rather complex sounding piece with the main role for guitar playing a rather baroque piece in the presence of a low rumbling bass and active percussion. Quite a bit of fiddling around on this one, and because of it the music does not really flow. Latin percussion abounds on Street Jam, as well as some acoustic strumming and people clapping and shouting. A street atmosphere is being built here. One of the more focussed track on the album is the rocking Uranus with tense guitar work (a bit of King Crimson, a bit of Holdsworth here). Parts of the track are more relaxed with some wailing keyboards and later some wailing guitar. My personal favourite on the album.The closer is the short Final Chat, which is more like a Final Scat. I don't like it. Conclusion: Adventurous jazzrock, eloquently and refreshingly played with a strong focus on warm intimate moods, but sometimes dissonant and harsh as well. The instrumentalists are masters of their instruments, it sounds really good. The music is at times maybe a bit too free of form and it is my feeling that the album is mostly interesting to lovers of jazz rock (but mind you, that the music is a bit more adventurous as that). Melody does not always gets the attention that it maybe should, but the groove is strong as a compensation. © Jurriaan Hage http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~hage0101/reviews/bartoksroom.html

Take yer fav ball o' silly putty and roll it over a sound/style image of chops a la Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, Alex MacHacek, Joe Satriani, and snippets of Robert “the math-rock, monsieur Roboto” Fripp and squash out a nice distorto reprinted mosaic riffage picture of Michelena's multi-instrumentalist expertise and voicings . . . and you have this release in a nutshell or putty print. Seriously, a great deal super-duper, quicksilver riffs, frettage and wailings are going down here. There is a variety of hippy-trippy, Euro-cool-techno-futuristic, furious, frenetic, yet laid-back Floydian, “Comfortably Numb”-ish fusion prog guitar and programming inside. Did I mention groovin beats and a unique variety of song flows? Cool acoustic axe work is included too! Michelena has a new groove here of fresh chops galore but in a package like I haven’t heard in awhile. There’s even that Lost Tribe boogie-yer-bootay thang in places but overall this is avant-fusion, not freeform, but free-for-all fusion, whatever goes be slick. Attaching a post-rock, experimental, technical fusion moniker might work with a nod to Zappa and Vai’s Flexable way of attacking and decimating the expected. Michelena is full of surprises and overflowing with technical prowess. Don’t expect to relax too much nor for too long. This is an “upper” y’all. Recommended for the adventurous folks tired of fuzak. By & © AAJ STAFF, Published: March 1, 2002 © 2014 All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/bartoks-room-rigel-michelena-musea-parallele-review-by-aaj-staff__22994.php#.U585LPldVe8

Prologue. "Bartok's Room", the debut album by the first Solo Pilot to come out from Venezuela, has nothing to do with the famous Hungarian composer. According to Rigel, this album was composed, performed, and recorded in his cat's room, Bartok. Which, correspondingly, received a "special thanks" in the booklet of CD. In other words, cat Bartok lives in the home studio of that Venezuelan joker. Well, let's see what his music is about. I had hoped that this wouldn't be a caterwauling show, consisting of Bartok's screams and other cat noises while eating and 'doing' his daily toilet visit. The Album. On the whole, the music of Rigel Michelina's debut album can be described as a blend of Classic and Neo Jazz-Fusion. In fact, various compositions present various manifestations of the Jazz-Fusion genre. What's interesting is four of the five of the more accessible tracks are marked with evident influences; whereas all five of the best pieces sound very original (at least for this reviewer). Both of the first compositions on the album are 'dedicated' to Allan Holdsworth. On Artiloquio, which is characterized with interchanges of jazzy guitar or piano solos and symphonic passages of a synthesizer, most of the guitar solos are not unlike Allan's. All of the electric guitar passages, that are featured One (track 2), as well as the overall musical atmosphere of this piece, very much remind me of those from Holdsworth's "Metal Fatigue" album (1985). Most of the fluid and jazzy guitar solos from Inside & Twiggy Pig (tracks 5 & 6) remind me of Pat Metheny's style. There are a few of the female vocalizes on Twiggy Pig. This piece, as well as both of the album's first tracks, sounds much richer than Inside, which is the simplest composition here (if not to count Final Chat, track 10, which is nothing else but a very 'narrative' joke). All five of the remaining tracks shine with their originality and very interesting arrangements, ranging from a moderate to high degree of complexity. While Song For Bartok (track 4) consists of acoustic structures almost entirely, Street Jam (track 8) is a completely acoustic piece. The first of them is filled with Latin American flavored interplay between diverse and tasteful rhythms and passages of an acoustic guitar and solos of a bass guitar and percussion. African-like voices and exclamations accompany the virtuosi passages and rhythms of acoustic guitar throughout Street Jam. El Ojo-Dido, The Last Dodo Bird, and Uranus (tracks 3, 7, &9) are the 'official' representatives of the Classic Jazz-Fusion genre. All of them contain both jazzy (rather Jazz-Rock-y, though) and symphonic structures and are filled with the original, highly diverse and interesting, truly progressive arrangements. Summary. If honestly, only Inside and Final Chat (tracks 5 & 10) I find really weak compositions on this album. Thus, I like not only those five that are the most original compositions on the album, but also both of the opening tracks and Twiggy Pig. Despite the fact that three of the latter pieces are marked with the traces of influences, that I've mentioned in the beginning of this review, all of them were performed up to the mark of the musicianship. In all, "Bartok's Room" is a very promising debut. © VM. January 17, 2002 © http://www.progressor.net/review/rigel_michelena_2001.html

What a phenomenal discovery. I feel like an archaeologist! From where did this guy come? I can tell you that this is a magnificent CD that will make you wonder about all these unknown bands and musicians. Sometimes taking a risk pays off in a great way. Imagine instrumental Rush circa Moving Pictures blended with Alan Holdsworth instrumental Fusion and then throw in a bit of Crimson in the 90's. This guy is a world class guitarist! - from “A blend between Holdswoth , Rush and New King Crimson”, October 25, 2002 ***** By & © A Customer © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Bartoks-Room-Rigel-MICHELENA/product-reviews/B00005K3E6/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

The Venezuelan fusion guitarist Rigel Michelena from Caracas started playing drums at the age of 11. His family soon bought him a guitar, which he first taught himself to play. Later he would study with jazz pianist Gerry Weill and flautist Luis Julio Toro. Since then, he has performed with a number of bands around the world, composed film soundtracks and recorded a few solo albums. Read more @ http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigel_Michelena

His music has been described as “a blend of Classic and Neo Jazz-Fusion jazz rock”. However, trying to define musical genres is often a useless exercise. In fact terms like “Classic and Neo Jazz-Fusion” can be off-putting. Many of these often pseudo terms are responsible for some great artists’ music being overlooked. Rigel is a very accomplished guitarist and is often compared with guitarists like Pat Metheny and Allan Holdsworth. And nothing wrong with that! Better to describe this album as good, inventive, progressive jazz rock with Latin American and Afro-Caribbean influences. See if you can locate Rigel’s “Mitxelena Nauthiz III” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 126 Mb]


1 Artiluquio (Florilegio Artefactico) 8:30
2 I 4:45
3 El Ojo-Dido 4:47
4 Song For Bartók 7:00
5 Inside 5:21
6 Twiggy Pig 5:10
7 The Last Dodo Bird 2:36
8 Street Jam (Jam-eo En La Catte) 3:30
9 Uranus 5:01
10 Final Chat : Colubre 2:32

All tracks composed by Rigel Michelena


Rigel Michelena - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, S-Bass, Percussion, Drum Programming
Miguel Blanco - Bass on 1, 4, 9
Oscar Fanega - Bass on 2, 3, 6, 9
Yoncarlos Medina - Keyboards on 1, 5, 9
Javier Saume - Drums on 3
Yudnara De Ridder - Vocals on 6
Guillermo Diaz - Narration on 10

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


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