Get this crazy baby off my head!


The Magic Elf

The Magic Elf - Elf Tales - 1998 - Big Shoe

This is undeniable Dregs-style rock with brief flashes of Holdsworthian/Ray Gomez/Beck jazz rock fusion slant. This is a tasty riff fest by the accomplished Carl Roa that guitarheads are gonna enjoy. This Elf Tales reminds me of Morse's The Introduction. The bass work by Magic Elf's George Panos and Saul Zonana is strong. Roa is Steve Morse all over this release. He is very close to the Morse-emulations that Ben Sherman or Dream Theater's Petrucci lay down. Consistently, you find percussive chops and fretboard gymnastics that scream Dregs. Even that Deep Purple w/ Morse's gritty punch comes through on "Hobgoblins." What a note blitz. And as Morse loved the classic guitar and that dreamy, ascent-to-heaven progressions, it is all there on Elf Tales "Greensleep," "Tree Talk," and the 7:02 finale, "Cobbler's Quest." Throughout the album it is all held together and relentlessly driven to perfection with rock steady drums by Dave Miranda. © John W. Patterson © 2015 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/elf-tales-mw0001075915

The Magic Elf is the prayer answer to all those Dixie Dregs fans who have just given up hope that the Dregs will ever release an album that doesn't sound identical to the previous one (including Morse solos). Playing a blistering brand of instrumental fusion and progressive rock this trio also strays slightly into metal, classical, and even a dash of country. Guitarist Carl Roa studied at the Berkley College of Music and graduated from the University Of Miami with a degree in Jazz Performance and Composition. Drummer Dave Miranda studied jazz fusion and also plays in the hardcore outfit The Six & Violence. Bass duties are handled on various tracks by George Panos and Saul Zonana. Much of what gives the Magic Elf their identity (apart from the obvious influences) is rather than being a showcase for guitarist Roa, Magic Elf is a power trio that seems to give equal prominence to the guitar and drums. Roa is very much a "vocalist" in that his guitar creates each song's melody, but Miranda's drumming right out there with him helping to create the feel of the songs. There's plenty of heavy rockin' here that display the musicians' proficiency and ability to handle both flash and good melodies. Songs like "Mr Destructo", "Hobgoblins", and the metallic "Limbonic State" will put you in the seat of the guy in the Maxell tape commercials where the chair is blown across the room by the rush of the music blasting from the stereo. Magic Elf do allow some breathers as well. "Greensleep" is an ambient-acoustic piece that briefly slows the pace and "Tree Talk" is a solo classical acoustic guitar number. It's interesting that despite the heavy Dregs sound, the opening track, "The Big Shoe", forecasts that this will be more along the lines of Allan Holdsworth. I don't hear the Rush influences that several reviewers have cited, but I haven't heard a lot of Rush in recent years. In summary, The Magic Elf will blow you away if you like technical progressive fusion that has chops galore, but is also creatively composed. A note to the band: Heed the first line of this review and don't fall into the same rut Morse and company did. Reviewed by & © Jerry Kranitz From Aural Innovations #6 (April 1999) http://www.aural-innovations.com/issues/issue6/magelf01.html

Magic Elf is an instrumental rock, progressive, fusion trio formed in East Setauket, NY, in 1985. The band's style is often compared to The Dregs, Rush, King Crimson, Eric Johnson, Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Dream Theater and the like. "Elf Tales" is a brilliantly constructed album of technical progressive fusion. Carl Roa is the guitarist of this highly acclaimed band. Whether ripping through a supercharged rock solo or gliding through a maze of soulful chord progressions, Carl's ability to balance musicality and technique has delighted music fans worldwide. Receiving accolades from Guitar World, Progression and Billboard magazines, Carl's unique and diverse playing style has put him in the forefront of today's progressive rock / fusion movement. Check out Magic Elf's "Heavy Meddle" album and Carl Roa's "Lord of the Strings" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 125 Mb]


1 The Big Shoe 3:39
2 Elf Rock 3:51
3 Mr. Destructo 4:26
4 Limbonic State 4:32
5 Greensleep 1:48
6 Troll Toll 4:04
7 Hobglobins 4:57
8 Tree Talk 1:27
9 Cobbler's Quest 6:57

All tracks composed by Carl Roa


Carl Roa - Guitars
George Panos - Bass
Saul Zonana - Bass on Tracks 2,4,6,9
Dave Miranda - Drums


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


P/W is aoofc

Freg said...

Nice one, Paul. Thanks!

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

Cheers, Freg! NP & TY...Paul