Band: Jono El Grande
CD Title: Melody of a Muddled Mason
Label: Rune Grammofon (2015)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
Norwayís Jono El Grande is something quite different. Heís a self-taught musician whose musical creations clearly fall into the Avant-Prog and Canterbury genres. The music owes much to certain periods of Frank Zappa with its use of Vibraphone and sax not to mention Grandeís bass monotone vocals stylings. I will tell you at first I wasnít planning on reviewing the album thinking it didnít really fall in line musically with what we do here at the Progressive Rock Files, however the more I listened to the albums six tracks, itís a short thirty-five minutes by the way, the more I was intrigued by the crazy music. While there are plenty of over-the-top musical histrionics, there are equally many times where thematic melody wins the day and songs come out of the craziness and blossom into some extremely engaging tuneful compositions. Itís herky-jerky, itís jaunty, itís noisy but most of all its very musical. Everyone is performing at a high level, which is required because playing this type of complex music canít be easy. Much of the album is instrumental but Grandeís vocals pop in here and there. I particularly liked his use of dreamy double-tracked vocals in the title track ďMelody of a Muddled MasonĒ [9:17]. Itís a slow and plodding piece that bursts into some searing distorted guitar leads at about the four minute mark. But hey at over nine-minutes there are plenty more musical change-ups that radically alter the compositionís musical direction. Itís not the type of music I listen to regularly, but as I say there is something quite captivating about Jono El Grande and if youíre looking for something a little out of the ordinary and no afraid of a little angularity and dissonance presented in a more light-hearted fashion this is a good bet.