body{ text-shadow: 0px 0px 4px rgba(150, 150, 150, 1); }

11 Mar 2017

Fusioon “Fusioon 1” 1972 + “Fusioon 2” 1974 + “Minorisa” 1975 Spanish Prog Jazz Rock Fusion

Fusioon “Fusioon 1” 1972 + “Fusioon 2” 1974 + “Minorisa” 1975 Spanish Prog Jazz Rock Fusion
full  “Fusioon 1+ 2
full Minorsa 1975
This is a Spanish quartet from Barcelona featuring Manuel Camp (piano and keyboards), Jordi Camp (bass), Santi Arisa (drums) and Marti Brunet (electric guitars and synthesizers). In the first half of the Seventies FUSIOON released three albums entitled "Fusioon I" (1972), "Fusioon II" (1974) and "Minorisa" (1975). 

The first album FUSIOON contains arrangements from 'traditionals'. It sounds like a tasteful stew with classical, folk, jazz and symphonic elements. The songs has echoes from KING CRIMSON (Fripperian guitar), FOCUS (flute) and Le ORME/EKSEPTION/ELP (Hammond organ) but the musical ideas are great and the musicians play strong with many surprising breaks and exciting solos and interplay. The highlight is "Danza del molinero" (Manual de Falla) with sparkling piano, a tight rhythm-section, an Andalusian sounding violin, fiery electric guitar and powerful Hammond waves, culminating in a grand finale. The second LP II has a more symphonic sound, especially the Keith EMERSON-like Hammond, Moog - and pianoplay is very prominent but I can also trace GENTLE GIANT (guitar/piano interplay and some vocal harmonies). An alternating and interesting album . 

Their best effort is the third record entitled "Minorisa", containing three long tracks. The first two are an amazing blend of KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, ELP and even TANGERINE DREAM (flute-Mellotron like the "Phaedra"-era) with lots of captivating musical moments, lush keyboards and strong interplay (guitar, keyboards, flute, bass). The third song is a maverick: a kind of sound collage, very electronic like TANGERINE DREAM, SYNERGY and Klaus SCHULZE with flute Mellotron, all kind of synthesizer sounds and fat Moog runs, a bit weird and not really satisfying end of this good album...............

Fusioon 1 1972

The Spanish prog-stage of the seventies is a completely separate story. Here, of course, they looked closely at the advanced achievements of the British, took over the experience, but did not forget about their own roots. Fortunately, each of the national provinces could boast of unique song traditions. However, let others engage in general reasoning on this issue. We will leave the theory alone and focus on a very specific object - the Fusioon quartet. The ensemble was born in the town of Manresa, the spiritual stronghold of Catalan culture. Here in the late 1950s, the musical movement Nova Cançó emerged, symbolizing the resurgence of deep regional seams. And with this direction was closely linked the founder of the band Fusioon - composer / keyboardist Manel Kamp. His companions were: brother Jordy Kamp (bass), Marty Brunet (guitar, synthesizer), Santi Arisa (drums, percussion). It is curious that the first album did not include any author's stuff from the direct participants of the collective. For the most part, the debut consisted of popular tunes re-arranged by Manel along with Kazas Auchi. But the way it was done costs a lot.
In 35 minutes of sound, the four 'fusion players' managed to invest a lot of ingenious compositional maneuvers, carefully calculated instrumental combinations and simply an excellent game. In the opening play "Danza Del Molinero" along with the jazz-rock rhythmic basis, the soil tendencies are clearly discernible. The group acts exceptionally sophisticated, not afraid to mix in a variety of proportions radically different colors from each other. Classical piano moves, offensive techniques of percussion and bass, a somewhat aggressive guitar pitch + polyphonic delights of the Barcelona Orchestra school and the proto-prog part of organic gymnastics. Variety and folklore basis of the "Ya Se Van Van Los Pastores" number spills out occasionally, at the level of electrostring passages of Brunet. The rest is buried beneath the thickness of successive intricate paintings, where art, jazz and flute escapades reign in the style of either Herbie Mann or Tis van Lier (in the booklet the performer is not indicated). The track "Ses Porqueres" is focused on the drive-roll of the phono with the guitar with the powerful swinging support of the Jordi / Santi ligament. In "Pavana Española (Siglo XVI)" maestro Manel demonstrates the highest pianistic class. Brilliant technique accompanies pure drama. As a result, for three minutes from the tail, minutes before us, without a word, a finished narration is carried - a meta-novel compressed to a miniature format. Event collisions of the "Negra Sombra" thing range from unfolded symphonic details to lengthy lyric fusion retreats. But here everything is capacious, concentrated, essentially, without unnecessary burrs. In the context of the composition "En El Puerto De Pajares" the team devotes a trendy trend in those years, namely baroque-rock. There is a certain similarity with the calculations of the Dutch Ekseption. Nevertheless, Fusioon looks more interesting, at least because of the introduction of brass in the structure of the work. Interesting sketch "Rima Infantil" is built as a theoretical acquaintance of J. Gershwin with the Spanish underground party. And the final "El Cant Dels Ocells" boldly adapts the expressive pop-motive to splicing with flawless jazz, prog-and classic-segments.
I sum up: an exceptionally strong work, realized by truly talented people. Sincerely I recommend to each music fan.....................

 One of those artwork sleeves that symbolize the music style best, but this is doubled by the band's name - the other one that does equally good is Nucleus's Elastic Rock recorded almost three years before. The first chapter of this standard prog quartet with the Camp brothers at bass and KB is actually fairly accessible (well compared to the other two later albums) and IMHO, is maybe the one I prefer because of its naiveté.
This record is a mostly instrumental one (a few scatting one the opening track), but this does not hamper the enjoyment of the music: they have a fairly unique sound and the music has some very subtle Spanish overtones but not in the Flamenco realm. Their sound oscillates between Isotope, Wigwam (the Gustavson and Pohjola compositions), Focus or Finch, Sloche (or fellow Quebecois Maneige) and countrymen Iceberg. If the jazz colours are the main characteristics of the album, the classical influences peak here and there, most notably in Negra Sombra (Dark Black). Apparently all of the tracks are covers of traditional songs (6 of 8 tracks) all adapted/arranged by Manel Camp and the other two being penned by other writers. The odd flute, sax and clarinet (actually un-credited) but drummer Arisa is the one playing them (says D-E Asbjornsen) and bring touches of brilliance. The superb piano may even ring reminiscence of Chilean Los Jaivas in their more symphonic moments and with the organs, ELP comes to mind.

Certainly worth the investigation, especially if you enjoyed the better-known two later albums...... by Sean Trane ..................

 This Barcelona-based spanish band made thei debut in 1972 with their eponymous album.FUSIOON is a rather hard band to compare with some of the 70's prog rock giants...If I had to choose I would say that you could imagine a more fusion style of GENTLE GIANT's music (seems the name of the band isn't all that accidental!).Of course things are a little more complicated that this description...
The music of the band is an interesting mix of jazz rock,fusion,symphonic rock and you can add also some spanish ethnic orientations.The overall mood of the album leaves you generally with a pleasant feeling but there also some dark passages in the vein of KING CRIMSON (like in some ''Ya se van los pastores'' moments) as also some dramatic classical pieces like the stunning ''Negra Sombra'' which has a sound very close to FOCUS...There are also some flutes here and there with first role playing close to JETHRO TULL...All the band members are excellent musicians but I'm really impressed by the bass work of Jordi Camp,a very good example that a bass player can be a lot more that just a part of the rhythm section,a great bassist indeed!

What about the conclusion?This is a band to discover!Every prog rock fan should be pleased with this work due to the varied music styles and the excellent musicianship...Fans of GENTLE GIANT,FOCUS,KING CRIMSON have an extra reason to search for this one...Between 3 and 4 stars closing to apps79 ..............

Line-up / Musicians:
- Santi Arisa / drums
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizers
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Manel Camp / piano, keyboards

1 Danza del molinero 4:33
2 Ya se van los pastores 5:16
3 Ses porqueres 3:13
4 Pavana Española (Siglo XVI) 3:01
5 Negra sombra 3:44
6 En el puerto de pajares 4:13
7 Rima infantil 3:37
8 El cant dels ocells 4:15

Fusioon 2  1974

 Fusioon's recordings are amongst the most exciting offerings in Spanish prog history. Thier second slbum 'Fusioon 2' comprises a stunning combination of delightful melodies and counterpoints, clever interplaying, delicate dissonances, and even some electronic avant- garde stuff which adds an interesting air of weirdness to the overall musical product. It is clear that the band is pretty much into traditional classical music (in Fact, they quote Tchaikovsky somewhere in track 3), as well as contemporary chamber (such as Bartok), jazz, and Catalonian folk: hece, it should come as no susrprise that all these varied elements are essential to their own prog sound. At times, Fusioon sounds a bit reminiscent of Gentle Giant, Return to Forever, and in a slightly manner, of Zappa; yet, they manage to create a particular sound of their own. The band's repertoire is basically instrumental: the occasional choral arrangements (performed by the band members themselves) are included for playful purposes, mainly. "Farsa del Buen Vivir" is a nice tune, catchy but not simplistic, which serves as a good opener. It is in the following numbers that Fusioon's skill and inventiveness shines in full splendour. "Contraste" and "Diálogos" comprise plenty of dissonant passages, synth textures, and jazz-fusinonesque flavours; on the other hand, "Tritons" and "Concerto Grosso" are structured on a symphonic basis, still containing some occasional avant-garde adornments and surprising counterpoints. Fusioon works immaculately as a well-oiled ensemble: maybe this is the main reason why 'Fusion 2' is such a recommendable Cesar Inca ...............

The second Fusioon album (also called Crocodile) is quite a different affair than the debut mostly because of its less fusion-esque spirit, but it is likely to please many progheads because of its main influence: Gentle Giant. This mimetism is even a little too derivative IMHO, regardless of that fact, the album is impressive nonetheless.
As far as I am concerned we are dealing with the second best GG album not made by GG themselves. Not far behind Quebec's Etcetera's sole album but well ahead of Germany's Epidermis's debut album, GG is not the only influence presented here, but certainly the most dominant one. Among which I will list Gryphon, The Nice and Yes, but maybe a bit of jazz-rock (Soft Machine) also.

Again a mainly instrumental album (I estimate the singing or vocal parts to less than 15%), all of the tracks are penned by the Camp brothers (mostly Manel the KB man) which in itself is quite a departure from their earlier effort. The entirely instrumental (bar the final vocal chords) and very classical multi-movement suite Tritons (which contains a Tcaikovski variation) is clearly a highlight but personally I like Dialogos as my favourite with its impressive and dark start. A similar start for the other multi-movement suite Concerto Grosso, but the track falls a bit short on the inspiration front and by this time, I must admit I am a bit saturated from the GG bombardment.

Personally (and unlike the majority of progheads) I prefer this album to the following Minorisa even if that one is less derivative of classic prog Sean Trane..............

 I am very close to giving this album 5 stars, if the name printed on this cheap-looking cover was Gentle Giant instead of the rather obscure spanish (catalan to be precise) band Fusioon I'm convinced that it would be up there in the rankings.
Don't get fooled by the band's name, ironically when the vast majority of 70's catalan prog was jazz-rock/fusion, Fusioon was one of the bands with lesser of it. Well more precisely both their eponymous debut and their last album Minorisa do have some fusion, but this one Fusioon 2 (nicknamed "Crocodile" to differentiate it from the debut) has little if any, instead being a delightful combination of Eclectic, Symphonic and Canterbury.

We can find two main broad styles, the tracks with vocals (sung in spanish) Farsa Del Buen Vivir and Dialogos sound very Gentle Giant, with intriguing harmonies that achieve that delicate balance between orthodox melody-harmony and dissonance. On the other hand the instrumental tracks Contraste and Tritons retain some GG flavour but can also remind of Egg, The Nice or Soft Machine, even King Crimson sometimes.

The 10 min last track Concerto Grosso has a few vocals but is mostly instrumental and combines both broad styles, fusing all the aforementioned influences over a more symphonic, nearly classical song structure as the title suggests.

Instrumentally the focus is on the fantastic keyboards work by Manel Camp, combining classical influences with aggressive soloing, and the drumming of Santi Arisa being also very good, these guys were among the finest musicians of the catalan scene in the 70's. But what I really love is the compositions, they are musically challenging and competent and perfectly reflect that kind of genuine, unadulterated prog inspiration which flourished in the first half of the 70's.

Many consider their third and last album Minorisa their best but although that one is also excellent and probably more technically elaborated, personally I prefer "Crocodile", it is more eclectic and does not have excessively experimental sections as Minorisa does. The best album by one of the best spanish prog bands of the 70's, so you can be sure it's damn good. 4.5 stars but it falls a bit short of the best ever masterpieces so round down to Gerinski ..............

Line-up / Musicians
- Santi Arisa / percussion, drums
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizer
- Manel Camp / piano, organ 

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Farsa Del Buen Vivir (3:08)
2. Contraste (6:32)
3. Tritons (8:15)
4. Dialogos (6:42)
5. Concerto Grosso (9:52)

Minorisa  1975

 The music featured on "Minorisa" is some of the most original keyboard-based prog that I've heard. FUSIOON's music is somewhat impossible to describe, but I can tell you that the album is made up of 3 long tracks. The first two tracks feature energetic, and playful, interaction between the guitarist and keyboardist. The listener will find a great mixture of symphonic and Spanish influences where the closest comparison that comes to my mind is Le ORME from Italy. My only complaint here is that the last track doesn't fit the atmosphere of the album. This track is basically an 8-minute analog electronic exploration. If the band had written just one more track similar to the first two tracks, this album would have been a masterpiece. Alas, expect 30-minutes of intense prog and 8-minutes of electronic Steve Hegede ..............

Fusioon's final effort is their absolute masterpiece; "Minorisa" finds the band expanding their talent all the way up to their maximum intensity and to their most bizarre level of creativity. The three long tracks that fill the 37-minute time span of the album comprise some of the best prog music ever made in Spain's rock history, and generally speaking, it is a real treat for all those who enjoy good, original and exciting prog from any country in the world. The 19- minute monster suite 'Ebusus' kicks off the album with full splendour and immense extravagance: elegance and weirdness fuse into a sole sonic force during this multi-varied musical journey. The wide spectrum comprised in 'Ebusus' includes: jazz-rock, GG-influenced counterpoints and chord progressions, Zappa-esque vocal harmonies, touches of RIO-instilled moods, Arabic nuances, Catalonian folk, some Crimsonian guitar leads, Canterbury, "Mirage"-era Camel, surrealistic mellotron and synth adornments. and after all, the final result turns out to be quite unique. The guys of Fusioon actually managed to sound original beyond the myriad of influences that they evidently absorbed as writers and performers. It is also very odd that this sidelong track's structure feels so flexible and apparently chaotic, yet, if you listen from a deeper level, you will notice a distinct solidness that builds up a powerful cohesion that sustains the sequence of all successive sections and the reprises of some of them. What else can I say? 'Ebusus' is a gem in itself; this one alone makes this album worth the while of any particularly demanding prog aficionado. But let's not overlook the other two numbers, since they are great, too. The 11- minute namesake suite starts with a somber overture of Moog and bass guitar before the grand piano gets in to lay down the basic chords for the more epic "second" overture; the main motifs than come along soon after display an exquisite combination of Baroque-based symph prog and Catalonian prog in a very similar way to their fellow band Atila (and, to a lesser degree, similar to iceberg as well). The interplaying is as solid as it was for the first suite, but this time the bizarreness is a bit less intense: the band's major concern is focused on the melodic development of the main motifs for the 'Minorisa' suite. A special mention has to go to a beautiful pastoral passage that appears somewhere in the middle - a moment of captivating magic in the middle of the overall pompous frame that articulates and outlines the track's structure. The closure is a two-part Fripp & Eno-meets-Schulze electronic exploration: 'Llaves del Subconsciente' is a tour-de-force massively constructed on a foundation of synthesizer and mellotron, with additional processed sounds (guitar, piano, falsetto) soaring around in a most inscrutable manner. Even though it may sound a bit out of place to some, I personally find it very effective: something like an avant-garde manifesto, the announcement of the destruction of music as we know it (after many of its possible facets has been show in the previous two numbers) and a call for its most radical renewal in the present. General conclusion: a masterpiece! Cesar Inca .............

This album holds a very special place in my heart as representing the first concert I remember attending in my life. My father was member of a small social club in our neighbourhood in Barcelona where social events and parties were organised. One evening Fusioon played there and my father took us all brothers and sisters, I must have been 9 years old, 10 at most (born in '66 and this album is from '75) . Honestly I don't remember much of the concert except that I was fascinated by the drummer, but I do remember that at the exit we were given a poster featuring the cover of this album, I remember it as being huge although probably it was not. The poster hang on the wall of our room for quite some years sharing space with the big bands of the period, ELP, Yes, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Purple etc (I shared room with my older brother and it was completely covered with posters, the 4 walls and ceiling). Funnily we did not own the album at home and it was only some years later that I bought it precisely to recover some memories of that first concert experience.
Sentimental aspects aside, this is one of those lovely examples of genuine experimental jazz-rock-based prog which one thinks could only happen in the early '70s. Fusioon was influenced by bands like Egg, The Nice and King Crimson and featured some of the most highly regarded musicians of the '70s spanish jazz-rock-prog scene, most notably drummer Santi Arisa and keyboardist Manel Camp. The music is basically instrumental regardless of a few weird vocal fragments in the first track.

The first 2 tracks, accounting for nearly 80% of the album, are really outstanding. The opener Ebusus (the roman name for the island of Ibiza) is a delightful display of originality, mostly jazz-rock based prog featuring some catalan folklore traditional melodies, basically instrumental except for 2 sections, the first one repeating a sentence in catalan which translates as "from the year 1930 we will keep a good memory, let's hope that for many years we can happily recall it" (I'm not sure what does the sentence refer to but it's likely to be the end of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera which would eventually lead to the autonomous government of Catalunya in 1931). Later on they recite all the different names that the island has had during history. Great stuff with special mention to the outstanding drumming and keys.

The 2nd track Minorisa Suite (Minorisa was the roman name of their hometown Manresa) is also amazing, built up from 3 traditional catalan folklore melodies, arranged in jazz-rock- prog fashion, and although I'm not very fond of folklorical music the result in this case is great, lovely stuff.

The low of the album comes with the last track which is excessively experimental, especially the 2nd movement, it's just the guys playing with their synthesizers oscillators, may have been fun listening to it completely stoned in its day, but not my piece of cake right now, similar as to what happens with Egg's album The Polite Force. Fortunately it's only 8 minutes out of the total 38 so I won't drop the total rating too much because of it.

A lovely album, highly recommended to those who want to dig deeper in the origins of genuine, unadulterated, original, creative, I would even say "innocent", early 70's jazz-rock- based Gerinski ...............

 This was a very pleasant surprise after what I felt was a disappointing debut from the band.This is their third and final album and it's just so interesting and left of center much of the time. Also there is an abuundance of melloton which only adds to my enjoyment. We get three long tracks and the opening song is a side long suite.
"Ebusus" is led by keyboards and drums early followed by bass and mellotron after a minute. Amazing stuff ! Mono-toned vocals 2 1/2 minutes in as the wind blows. It's heavier and darker before 4 minutes.This is so good. Prominant drumming after 5 minutes then some brief fast paced vocals. It's catchy with piano before 7 minutes with chunky bass as drums continue. Fast paced vocals are back before 8 1/2 minutes then a change before 9 minutes as it calms right down with mellotron. I'm reminded of AREA 10 minutes in then we get another calm before 12 1/2 minutes with mellotron. It kicks back in before 15 minutes and vocals follow. Mellotron 18 minutes in. Great song !

"Minorisa" opens with spacey synths and atmosphere. Mellotron joins in. Drums and piano take over before a minute then the synths return.The tempo changes often on this one. Church bells after 5 minutes then some heaviness with mellotron takes over. Synths and drums lead late. "Llaves Del Subconsciente" opens with mellotron then these strange and experimental sounds follow. Part II of this tune is very much an electronic soundscape that Klause Schulze would be proud of i'm sure.

No doubt a classic from Spain that the adventerous listener will eat up..... by Mellotron Storm ..............

Line-up / Musicians
- Manel Camp / piano, keyboards
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Santi Arisa / drums
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizers

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Ebusus (18:50)
2. Minorisa (10:57)
3. Llaves del Subconsciente (8:06)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck