Caraballo, Oscar - Yesterday is Tomorrow


Year of Release: 1999
Label: Ethereal Harmony
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:12:00

When one hears that an instrumental version of rock classic is being made, one tends to think of Musak, or elevator music. Oscar Caraballo creates neither of these things in reinterpreting many Yes classics on Yesterday Is Tomorrow. In addition, Caraballo has added in his own intros, interludes, solos, endings, and other bits to these tracks.

The album opens with a beautiful, though abbreviated, rendition of "The Gates Of Delirium" (Relayer) - swirling keys, crystalline shimmers of sound that also resemble the cawing of birds. "Heart Of Sunrise" ([sic], Fragile) is very digital sounding, actually too digital sounding, and yet captures an essence of Yes in the approach to playing some of the sections of this track. Unfortunately, as well as it is played, it's not very effective, as the tone of the keys is very distancing.

One of my favourite Yes tracks is "All Good People." (The Yes Album). If I have a complaint about Caraballo's arrangement, it's that he's trying too hard to capture not only the feel of Anderson's vocals, but the pitch and every nuance. The result of which is that the parping keys parp just a little bit too much, a lower pitch would a be a bit more pleasing.

Carabello doesn't always reach the same level of beauty as he did on "Gates," but from "Onward" onward (pun intended), Caraballo comes close. Back are the swirling keyboards, with a much warmer tone, as on "Gates." "Turn Of The Century" comes close as well, as this more mimimal arrangement also allows the keyboards to soar, swirl into eddies ... he's less trying to capture the song and more the essence of the song, which comes across much better.

It's interesting to note that none of the Yes tracks here date from the 80s or later; 1974's Relayer is the lastest release for source material. In some ways, that's fitting, as Yes' material after Relayer and up to, perhaps, Open Your Eyes doesn't lend itself to these ambient/contemporary instrumental renditions. The rock aspect to Yes was more in the forefront. The exception to this latter period might be Union and the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe project. But, neither are represented here.

The other, and less significant, thing that struck me is that the album cover graphics, by Caraballo himself, aren't representative of Yes. I imagine that was conscious, as the artwork more represents his renditions anyway.

The bottom line is that Caraballo has crafted a tribute worthy of that appellation, although a bit hit and miss in spots. It is an enjoyable listen, whether you know anything of Yes or not. Recommended.


Tracklisting:
The Gates Of Delirium (4:43) / Heart Of Sunrise (7:26) / Time And A Word (4:30) / All Good People (5:43) / Survival (4:08) / Onward (4:37) / Turn Of The Century (7:36) / And You And I (8:23) / The Ancient (3:07) / Starship Trooper (8:59)

Musicians:
Oscar Caraballo - all programming and performing

Discography:
Themes Between Two Times (1994)
Melodic Dreams (1995)
Yesterday is Tomorrow (1999)
World Impressions Vol. 1 (expected Autumn 2005)
Nature (expected Winter 2005/06)
Human Dimension (expected Spring 2006)

Genre: Electronic

Origin US

Added: October 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.etherealharmony.com
Hits: 904
Language: english

  

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