Friday, May 1, 2015

CD Reissue of the Month - "Caldera: Dreamer"

CD Reissue of the Month
Caldera: "Dreamer" (Capitol/Universal Musical LLC) 1979/2015

CD Release Date in Japan: March 25, 2015
Produced by Eduardo DelBarrio & Jorge Strunz
Associate Producer: Steve Tavaglione
Executive Producer: John Palladino
Recorded & Mixed by David Cole @ Capitol Studios (Hollywood, California), March-April 1979
Art Direction: Roy Kohara
Design: Art Sims
Illustration: Nick Fusciano
Direction: Brian Ashley/Sterling Management

Featuring: Jorge Strunz (acoustic & electric guitars), Steve Tavaglione (soprano & alto sax, flute, bamboo flute), Eduardo Del Barrio (acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Oberheim Polyphonic, MiniMoog and Prophet V synthesizers), Greg Lee (electric bass), Mike 'Baiano' Azvedo (percussion), Alex Acuña (drums), Luis Conte (congas, timbales, batá-drums).

The fourth and final album on Caldera's discography, "Dreamer" finally comes out on CD for the first time ever, as part of the "Fusion Crossover Ultimate Collection." The LA-based group reached a new plateau of intensity and sophistication on that album, recorded in 1979, when jazz-rock (then already called "fusion") started to lose power on the market.

Santana's former member Greg Lee had replaced bassist Dean Cortez (who, btw, appeared in one track, "Himalaya"), Weather Report-famed Alex Acuña took the drum chair that once belonged to Carlos Vega, and a young Luis Conte (a guest on Caldera's previous album, "Time and Chance") was called to officially join Mike Azevedo on the percussion section. Some guest musicians also took part of the sessions, like Eduardo's brother George Del Barrio (Rhodes on "Celebration"), Gino D'Auri (flamenco guitar on "Brujerías") and Kathlyn Powell (Celtic harp on "Himalaya".)

I still treasure not only my vinyl copy as well as a very big promotional poster with the wonderful LP front cover art, that makes me remember that the track "Dreamchild" (a proto-smoth jazz number) was the only one that received a lot of airplay at the time of its original release. But the highlights are the Brazilian-oriented "Celebraton" (Rhodes and MiniMoog evoking Chick Corea's best samba adventures), the haunting Shakti-meets-Paco "Brujerias" and the electrified & electrifying Santana-tinged "Himalaya." Very nice memories of a "vintage LA" scene.

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