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On disc: Jack Foster III

Jazzraptor's Secret - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Jazzraptor's Secret

Jazzraptor's Secret
(ProgRock Records - 2008)

Jack Foster III is presenting a new album called Jazzraptor's Secret and it kicks off with the same named intro - you hear a baby, a clock ticking and some whispered words... The first song on this 4th album of Jack Foster III is The Corner and presents prog rock with heavy, almost metallic riffs as well as some jazzy parts - and a dash of funk. Again Foster teamed up with Magellan's Trent Gardner and Robert Berry (Three, Alliance). Foster manages to combine different sounds and complex parts with light melodies and so makes it quite easy to get into the Jazzraptor's world... If you will find out the secret? Who knows?
With To Hsve And To Hold he offers a beautiful balladesque tune with acoustic guitars. Almost a singer / songwriter song, but with the warm timbre of Jack Foster III's voice and the emotions his vocals transport its a pleasure to listen. And yes, during the instrumental part it goes prog! The following Outbreak Money brings back the prog with a fast intro, but then slows down again - focusing on Foster's voice. The trio takes you on a musical roller coaster ride with slow, balladesque parts, instrumental frenzy and up-tempo prog parts. Actually it's the contrast which attracts me, the outbreak of jazzy or progressive parts and then the smooth balladesque passages. Its like a carrot and stick treatment - and even then they can surprise you. The longest track at Jazzraptor's Secret is Mandelbrot World and kicks off with piano and keyboard... First a bit classic, then more spheric sounds which remember me a bit of the late 70's prog rock bands... So the threesome slowly carries you into Mandelbrot World. A dash of honky tonk piano, a dash of country rock and an emotional voice. Trent Gardner and Robert Berry produced the album and partly co-wrote it and some parts remind me of Berry's Alliance... No big deal, coz this is more prog rock and I really like to listen to Alliance, so no complains from me. God And War kicks off with church-like choirs, but then it becomes a smooth prog rock tune with just a dash of aggression here and there. And it fits as this song lyrically is about to stop war and love each other. He touches a religious topic, but without preaching. Only the hallelujah choir towards the end is a bit annoying, but it fits to the lyrics, so its okay - and its only a short part. And after an instrumental prog partt, the church-like choir is back for a brief moment. At The New American it seems he gave some kind of an political statement - as he quotes 'yes, we can' from the Obama campaign -, even if this song isn't about Obama. The last track is Sometimes When You Win and sticks out with it's lounge jazz flair and prog edge, but what really makes this one stick out is the brass section part. Quite cool!
Well, they don't present something new, but who does these days? Anyway, the album has cool songs, is well played and has a good production. Everything on a high level, so what more you can ask for? Perhaps more progressive parts... Or a larger variety of sounds? Okay, that's not what you get here, but you get a homogenous album which you can enjoy from A to Z!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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