Richard Addison, from Montreal, has been a bassist in several prog-rock groups since the mid-eighties. Playing with both Mystery and the Jazz-Rock Sojourn, he has subsequently gone out on his own, forming the Addison Project to create a hybrid of Jazz-Prog-Canterbury-RIO influenced music that is built around the funky tightness of his bass lines. Working with complex signatures, aggressive rhythms, Addison’s ensemble of musicians incorporate avant-garde orchestrations to create a sound that simply defies characterization.
Richard Addison is joined by Stephane Crytes on drums, David Gauthier on Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Michel St.-Pere on electric guitars, Philippe Lauzier on Alto Sax, Dany Roy on Tenor Sax, Luc Aubry on piano and keys, Mario Di Blasio on Electric Drums, Robin Boulianne on violins, and Pierre Nadeau also on Piano.
It’s quite an ensemble of talent, and yet – with all the musicians – the sound is amazingly sparse and clean. The music is built upon solid chunky guitar riffs that form a counterpoint to Addison’s funky bass-lines, while a Canterbury approach on keys recall the glory days of National Health. The layered sax, often subdued, can also be aggressive in places. “Mood Swings” will push the envelope for progsters who want to enjoy a more experimental approach to progressive rock music and enjoy the dynamics that a fusion approach brings to the listening experience.
Like the title track, “Mood Swings”, which at first listen might appear to be sultry lounge jazz, Addison manoeuvres his way through a host of sonic experiences. “After All” also sports some rather abrupt changes which keeps the listener guessing where the band will go next. In fact, on the mellower more spaced out interludes, one can see the band’s progressive rock roots.
With a clean, crystalline sound, which should be experienced at high volume, “Mood Swings” is sure to draw interest from Jazz and Prog fans alike. The RIO elements which are plentiful, however, will polarize those that prefer a more melodic approach to their music.