THEO: The Game Of Ouroboros: CD

Jim Alfredson is a Hammond B3 specialist and is best known in the jazz world as the leader of the jazz trio Organissimo which was formed in 2000. About three years ago, Alfredson who always enjoyed progressive rock, wanted to try his hand at an album of that style of music. Inspired by the likes of ELP, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and King Crimson, he began working on The Game Of Ouroboros which has finally come to be released.

The album has a real depth to it and intense music moments to match the dark lyrical outlook put forward. The album has sparkling instrumental passages that bring to mind the early 70s British prog era, like it was a lost classic from that time period. This is an album for people who love keyboards, especially the band Yes, very reminiscent of them, but Theo still keeps their own identity throughout. The concept of a dystopian future is not a new one, but they execute it very well, and don’t drag you down with depressing messages and music, the music is actually quite upbeat and very beautiful. The album takes you to the place they are singing about, but you are able to float above it and watch what is happening on the cloud that they have provided for you. The guitar is not forgotten at all, especially the fluid playing and solo on the title track. “Idle Worship” was my favorite song on the album, it just grabs me with the organ playing, the amazing vocals…really just everything about it is fantastic. The band is composed of Jim Alfredson (keyboards, lead vocals), Gary Davenport (bass) Kevin DePree (drums, backing vocals). Jack Reichbart (guitars), and special guests: Greg Nagy and Zach Zunis on guitars for the title song. This men really have great skill and show it off very well on these six songs. Everything sounds like it took them a long time to get just right, but not in any way contrived or forced, just sounds like they wanted it to be perfect.

In these times of bands trying to either ape others or trying and failing to mix styles of music together, this band really is able to mix prog, rock, with some jazzy and funky spots to create a sound that fits them perfectly and one that I can’t stop listening to. For a band that laid down tracks over a long time, and while Alfredson was busy doing other music at the same time, this a complete and fantastic album.

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