Kraan - Live 2001

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Bassball Recordings
Catalog Number: Fusion/Jazz Fusion
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:56:00

Live 2001 was recorded at two of Kraan's 2000 reunion/anniversary performances ? the Herzberg Festival and the International Donau Festival Ulm. Like Eric, who has also reviewed this title, I was not familiar with Kraan before hearing this CD, though I had come across their name prior to their ProgDay appearance in 2002. I picked up this CD in preparation for the NEARfest 2003 appearance (but am only now reviewing it).

As much as I like the poppier, jazzy, vocal tracks like the high energy "Let It Out" that kicks off the album, or the similar sounding "Jerk Of Life" -- each has a strongly "punctuated" rhythm, the vocals sung in that same rhythm -- it is the instrumental jazz pieces like "Borgward," "Vollgas Ahoi" and the shimmery "Nam Nam" that I like even more. Of course, even in the vocal tracks there are instrumental sections, all featuring the interplay between Peter Wolbrandt on guitar and Hellmutt Hattler on bass. In all instances, the band presents a very upbeat, open and friendly style of music. I think it was the NEARfest folks who referred to Kraan as "prog you can dance to." Yes, you can.

"Vollgas Ahoi" takes their prog-jazz sound into prog-fusion realms in a piece that quickens the pace rhythmically with the drums (Jan Fride) and bass, and yet seems laid back due to the guitar of Wolbrandt and keyboards of Ingo Bischof. "Far West" does have a bit of southwestern feel, though the opening acoustic (or acoustic sounding) guitar made me think of Bob Seger's "You'll Accompany Me" -- no other relationship besides the one in my head implied; it's not even coincidence, just a similar tone and pace? The loose and easy playing of Wolbrandt leads into the casual keyboards of Bischof, each giving the feeling of the outdoors.

"Yagui Yagua" is a funkier, even as it a bit darker with some grinding bass from Hattler. "Nam Nam" is the longest piece at 14-plus minutes, allowing room for soloing. There is something decidedly 70s sounding about his piece ? from the bubbly keyboards on the hand, to the shimmering guitar and keyboard phrases on the other. In fact, "Nam Nam" is a smorgasbord of classic sounds, though it flows together smoothly and naturally. The album ends with the roots-rock-meets-jazz "Andy Nogger." That roots-rock elements comes from the plucked guitar playing of Wolbrandt, which also gives the piece a funky feel.

As a live recording, the sounds is very good. It does sound like a live release, aside from the audience applause, but there is something missing from the sound itself? While the band's performance has depth, the sound is a little bright, without any darker contrasts. But, otherwise, I do like the album quite a bit and recommend it especially to those who are unfamiliar with the band.

Let It Out (6:27) / Borgward (8:31) / Let's Take A Ride (5:17) / Hallo Jaja ? I Don't Know (7:36) / Vollgas Ahoi (6:02) / Dinner For Two (1:34) / Far West (4:24) / Yaqui Yagua (7:19) / Jerk Of Life (4:18) / Nam Nam (14:28) / Andy Nogger (3:54)

Peter Wolbrandt ? guitar, vocals
Ingo Bischof - keyboards
Jan Fride - drums
Hellmut Hattler ? bass, vocals

Kraan (1972)
Wintrup (1973)
Andy Nogger (1975)
Kraan Live (1975)
Let It Out (1975)
Wiederhoren (1977)
Flyday (1978)
Tournee (1980)
Schallplatten (1983)
Nachfahrt (2000)
Live 2001 (2001)
Berliner Ring (2002)
Through (2003)
Psychedelic Man (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: August 24th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 729
Language: english


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