The Clever Use of Shadows by Nathan Mahl is one of the better progressive rock/jazz fusion releases released in 1999. This group wowed those at the NEARfest 1999 art rock festival with a dazzling array of keyboard artistry and fretboard gymnastics. If any band should win the time signature diversity award it is this one. This is tight prog with a healthy dose of energetic fusion. This Canadian act is well worth checking out. Nathan Mahl is Guy LeBlanc on keys, odd percussion, and voice. Besides being a giant in song composition -- with superb execution of a wildly whirling maze of jazzy, proggy, rockin', and delicate notes -- LeBlanc has a great voice. LeBlanc is, simply put, one impressive dynamo -- right up there with the best of Canterbury, fusion, and prog. He knows his classic art rock. José Bergeron on guitar, effects, and vox is a monster. He easily sails through progressive rock, jazz fusion, shred, and classic rock riffage. He is smooth, speedy, creative, technically precise, yet with that gnarly bite that grips you deep in your soul. Brother Alain Bergeron on drums and percussives is fun, fluid, and flawless. Claude Prince on four- and five-string bass is a multi-styled, multi-faceted boogie man. He plucks, picks, slaps, taps, and flows on the low end of things and adds a very tight, rockin', and jazzy framework to it all. Saxman Paul Desgagné does a great job guesting on two cuts. Sample this CD for wonderful, end-of-the-age art rock and fusion with the flair that only Nathan Mahl can do so well.
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