Fra i gruppi che negli anni '80 fondono musica classica e jazz, in una
maniera simile a quella dei Colosseum, i piu` in vista sono i Cartoon,
formati nel 1979 a Phoenix da Scott Brazieal (tastiere) e Mark Innocenti (chitarre).
Trasferitisi a San Francisco nel 1981 e acquisiti Gary Parra (batteria),
Herbert Diamant (fiati) e Craig Fry (violino), i Cartoon pubblicarono
con una formazione di tastiere, chitarra e batteria il primo, omonimo,
album, e, con la formazione estesa a cinque elementi (tromba e violino),
Music From Left Field (12-Tone Productions, 1983), che rimane uno dei
capolavori del genere per melodismo e arrangiamento.
I loro due album saranno raccolti su Sortie (Cuneiform, 1994).
Cartoon, formed in 1979 in Phoenix by Scott Brazieal (keyboards) and
Mark Innocenti (guitars), and relocated to
San Francisco in 1981 with the addition of Gary Parra (drums),
specialized in prog-rock
that mixed classical, rock and jazz elements.
This trio released Cartoon (1981), a gem of an instrumental album.
The confused beginning of Shark slowly coalesces into what sounds like a poppy version of Terry Riley's In C, which in turn picks up speed and becomes a soaring fanfare (the last minute paraphrases Beethoven's ninth).
Avantgarde piano pervades Ptomaine Poisoning
Echoes of Henry Cow and Frank Zappa embellish the
sprightly Apathy in America and its catchy leitmotif.
The reckless, breakneck, 11-minute Shredded Wheat is full of surprises
and amusing digressions, exuding a youthful enthusiasm.
The album overflows with intriguing ideas, but the execution is often timid
Cartoon achieved maturity with
Music From Left Field (12-Tone Productions, 1983), featuring
Herbert Diamant (woodwinds) and Craig Fry (violin).
thanks to a fuller, orchestral sound
the 15-minute Quotes is an abstract, mostly improvised piece that
occasionally coalesces in rhythmic, childish themes worthy of a Stravinsky ballet.
Bedlam is its less conceptual counterpart, and proves their technical
skills and concentration.
But it is the adagio-like Light in August that fully attests to the
power of their art. Both romantic and impressionistic, evocative and
menacing, it achieves the intensity of a classical sonata.
The folkish, danceable Scherzo leads to the rondo-like Bottom of the Ninth, which closes what is, de facto, a five-movement sonata.
The two albums were later collected on Sortie (Cuneiform, 1994).