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Trespass - In Haze Of Time

Trespass - In Haze Of TimeTrespass is a three piece band from Israel, and no Genesis clone in case you wondered.  Comprising Gil Stein (keyboards, vocals, recorder, some guitar), Gabriel Weissman (drums) and Roy Bar-tour (bass), all of whom were barely old enough to walk when I passed my driving test.  I feel old.  Having not heard any progressive rock or any of the prog greats until In Haze Of Time was finished, it is surprising how they managed to capture that traditional classic prog vibe.

This, their debut album (released in June 2002 by Musea) has prompted many to bestow upon them the accolade of ‘top Israeli band’.  Of that I am not really qualified to comment, as Trespass is the only band from Israel I have had the pleasure of listening to so far but I can say in global terms they are on the scorching side of hot.

The album consists of seven tracks with a total running time of around 45 minutes, has a few vocals but is mainly instrumental which is without doubt their strength.  Comparisons have been drawn to ELP and The Nice (three piece band, classical and jazzy prog) but I feel it goes much farther than this.

Intro to the first track, Creatures Of The Night, has a ‘stadium rock’ ala Asia/Jarre type start folding effortlessly into a sort of jazzy Bach baroque interlude followed by a Dave Sinclair (Caravan) circa 1980 keyboard sound and style with the same line of lyrics repeated a few times leading to a typical Keith Emerson tour of the keys.  The lyrics, I feel have little meaning but are there to make use of vocals as another ‘instrument’ and this works well. The music flows with speed, has oodles of time and style changes and if you ever wondered what the opposite of boring was, this would be a good example.

The title track has an interesting beat that reminds me of Brubeck’s Take Five in places and a waltz in others.  The introduction of recorder adds a great folksy and slightly Italian prog atmosphere to the track helped by Stein’s guitar and Weissman and Bar-tour’s rhythm section.

Gate 15 veers down the contemporary jazz/fusion route from the start and almost touches on Camel in one of their mid-seventies ‘in concert’ incarnations.  Again, I hear the style of Dave Sinclair’s playing in the synth sections especially, yet this combines well with the organ and moog that could so easily be Wakeman or Emerson.  And all the time there’s this Bach and Brubeck composition style for the overall theme. Fantastic.

I get so engrossed in Gate 15 that I don’t realise that the next track, City Lights, is underway until the vocals bring it to my attention.  Think of 70’s Santana minus Carlos Santana but with Chick Corea making a guest appearance and you’d be in the general ballpark.  The music is full of energy and has no respect for speed limits!

Orpheus Suite is a wonderful contemporary classical work featuring church organ sounding keys that changes around the halfway point into a prog/folk/jazz/fusion session, finishing in classical mode.  Before you know it, Troya is now playing, Roy Bar-tour’s bass is slightly more prominent, keys start swirling in a sort of Moonmadness way, Gil Stein adopts his Emerson persona and Gabriel Weisseman merges Bruford with Palmer which makes me sweat just listening to it!

Remember those throwaway ‘boogie’ songs ELP and to an extent Wakeman used to do?  Final track, The Mad House Blues, is along those lines, a bit of fun injecting a bit of a baroque in the form of (I could have got the composer and piece wrong here) Raymond Scott’s In A 18th Century Drawing Room along with the folk, jazz and blues.

The virtuosity of these guys is there to be heard.  There could be nothing better than sitting in a select cellar bar at 1 o’clock in the morning with a group of friends watching Trespass through the smokey haze perform their energetic brand of prog/baroque/jazz/blue/folk and bring us all back to life.  In Haze Of Time is a ‘must have’ for lovers of the jazzier side of prog.  Great!

Jem Jedrzejewski


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