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Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman
Bill Binkelman is a long-time icon in the industry.
Other reviews from Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman:
  Paradise Painting by Uwe Gronau, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 3/23/2017
  Beyond the Waves by Ann Licater, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 3/23/2017
  Mystic by Al Conti, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 3/6/2017
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Paradise Painting
By Uwe Gronau
Label: Self Released
Released 10/21/2016
Paradise Painting tracks
1. Paradise Painting
2. Prophecy
3. Sounds Like A Smell
4. A Passion Play (Revisited)
5. Carpe Diem
6. Sister
7. Diving Into The Deep
8. New Day
9. Teguise
10. Two Worlds
11. She's So...
12. Invisible Man
13. End Of A Concert
Uwe Gronau - Paradise Painting
Keyboard artist/synthesizer wizard Uwe Gronau sure does love his Hammond B3 organ. No surprise there since he also loves to make progressive fusion music, which he does aplenty on his latest CD, Paradise Painting. Gronau is seriously prolific. My mailbox seems to contain a new release from him on a regular basis. More and more, his music tends to reveal his affinity for prog and prog rock, with occasional forays into a kind of quasi-ambient/new age arena as well. However, if you, like me, experienced the heyday of prog during the height of popularity for bands like Yes, Greenslade, Genesis, King Crimson, and ELP, then you will undoubtedly have many flashbacks as Gronau pounds out an assortment of chugging organ riffs, spirited synthesizer melodies, and infectiously chunky rhythms on drums and percussion.

An all-instrumental recording, Paradise Painting is not just a mere homage or a throwback, but is a love letter of sorts to the prog era, and most notably, the earlier days. I realize (yes, Peter Thelen, I know Exposé is still alive and well as a website and you need to check it out at that prog continues to be thriving subgenre in instrumental music in today’s world, but for readers of my reviews, they may not follow it the way current day lovers do. So, again, if you were a fan of that music “back in the day,” you should reacquaint yourself with it by plugging into Uwe Gronau’s latest because you will likely have a lot of fun doing so.

Obviously, as if you haven’t surmised by now, Paradise Painting is best served up when you are behind the wheel of a fast (but not too fast) road machine of your choice, winding your way either concrete canyons of a big city (or the real things, of course), although personally, I think this is a disc custom made for heading north from LA on Highway, and when you hit that glorious stretch around Big Sur, crank up the volume extra loud (but be careful of those drop-offs!).

Every now and then, Gronau slows down a tad, such as on “Sounds Like a Smell,” but most of what’s on the album is either out and out proggish (“Two Worlds”) or closer to the kind of music heard on the soundtracks to the first two Mind’s Eye soundtracks (the title track sounds a lot like some of the slower tempo stuff Jan Hammer composed for Beyond the Mind’s Eye – which, by the way, is a giant compliment coming from me). No matter what, there is always a strong sense of melody, anchored by steady rhythms (except on the few quieter tracks, and even then they sometimes evolve into a more spirited variety of music).

So, take a trip down memory lane (but with solid contemporary engineering and production) and rock on with Uwe Gronau and your own bad self. The highway awaits you (but please, take that drive on the Pacific Coast Highway during the day – I don’t want to lose of you devoted readers of my reviews!).
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 3/23/2017
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