The duo known as Hapa got a perfect start to their career with their self-titled first album. Here are the pretty vocal harmonies and lush, twanging guitar sound everyone expects from Hawaiian music; here also is extraordinary instrumental prowess and a pair of singers who are impressive individual talents. The Hapa album is in fact a tour de force of harmonies, both vocal and instrumental. Even when joined for a guitar trio with guest artist Steven Stills, the style of each performer and voice of each instrument is distinct and fits perfectly into an interlocking composition. Those who appreciate Hawaiian music must have Hapa in their collection.
Peter, a young German, enters a suburban Buenos Aires restaurant; seeking only directions, he instead accidentally ends up with a plate smashing into his head, thrown by the irritable Olinda, the 60 year-old Italian immigrant owner of the restaurant. The two develop a friendship once they discover that the reasons for their having moved to Argentina are strikingly similar.
Wagner Tiso is an internationally renowned musician whose achievements include a having a solid impact on the rise of major singer Milton Nascimento, an extensive set of composed soundtracks for movies, a solo discography comprising 28 albums, and performances with jazz giants such as Edison Machado, Paulo Moura, Ron Carter, Johnny Alf, and many others.
The fact is that this album is one of the best achieved and better constructed Progressive Operas ever released, especially when it comes to the 2 longer tracks in the album. The acoustic piano, sometimes close to the works of classical composers such as Stravinsky and Wagner, is perfectly combined with a thoughtful wind and metal section, with a rare sense of beauty and perfect interplay. The string arrangements are thrown in the mix to form an even tighter body of work. Rebecca and Caption for the City Night Life are set on the progressive jazz/rock side of the band, while doing it with orchestral instruments, which adds loads of originality to the result.
Finnegans Wake is not just the name of James Joyce's baffling and impenetrable work of fiction, but the name adopted by at least a few musical ensembles over the years, not surprisingly a Celtic band based in - somewhat surprisingly after all - Las Vegas (and with "Finnegan's" in the singular possessive form). There is a Finnegans Wake band with no connection to Celtic music or Ireland or the United States, however, and that group is a bit more difficult to pinpoint in terms of both style and geography. As for style, try an avant-prog amalgam of influences including post-Canterbury prog and contemporary classical…