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Album of the week:
Troyka, Ornithophobia (Naim Jazz)
Prog rock has undergone an image conversion in recent times from all but unspeakable to almost cool in some quarters, much of it at the hands and imaginations of jazz musicians.
While EST offered prog fans a route into Thelonious Monk, London-based trio Troyka are likely to remind them of bands such as Hatfield & the North, Gilgamesh and Gentle Giant reconfigured for the Aphex Twin generation.
Their third release, Ornithophobia even ventures close to the realms of the concept album, with an avian virus pandemic emerging from, it appears, High Wycombe and inspiring music that’s restlessly full of ideas, brilliantly realised and played with serious chops channelled through a keen sense of communication.
From the opening Arcades, which switches lithely between romantic mysteriousness, tricky time shifts and rockin’ riffage, through the Zappa-esque Time Was Transient and The General, with its brooding, Hendrix-like figure, there’s much to digest. But by the time Seahouses casts a final, dreamily precise spell, you might want to taste a little more.
From The Sunday Herald, January 18, 2015.
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