Randy Roos - Mistral. 1978 USA

Boston based Berklee graduate guitarist Randy Roos was originally in a band called Orchestra Luna, an album that used to turn up quite a bit in my crate digging days. This album is quite a bit different from that, and is a guitar fronted instrumental jazz fusion - a style that was quite popular back in those days, especially from Masters level grad students like Roos. It's the rougher edge that Roos brings forth that I find appealing, and thus scores an extra point from me. Roos is clearly a master of his instrument of choice, and overall Mistral will occasionally call out Al Di Meola circa Elegant Gypsy or Casino. I was also reminded of the German group Syncrisis, in the more fiery moments. Essential for fans of guitar fronted fusion.

The label describes the music as: "Masterfully playing a variety of fretted and fretless guitars, Roos demonstrates why its time for this overlooked gem to be revisited. Mistral is pure high energy fusion that will appeal to fans of Jeff Beck and Return To Forever."

Personal collection
LP: 1978 Spoonfed
CD: 2012 Modulus

The LP is pressed on clear vinyl. The CD comes in a high quality mini-LP sleeve similar to the Japanese, though it appears the Modulus label was a one-time experiment that didn't translate to profits. There are no bonus tracks, but a fantastic essay was provided by a well known music journalist.

This is an album that was introduced to us by Midwest Mike on the CDRWL. Because of his enthusiasm and faith in the music, he was a moving force in getting this title reissued (with an assist from the CDRWL of course... lol)

Last listen: July 17, 2018

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