Great Spanish Progressive act with two albums out. So
far, the only one I've located is "El camino del Aguila" which has
both Progressive and Fusion elements, erm, fused together, but their
first is available on CD. Overall, I'm reminded of
excellent Spanish Prog band) or a slightly more Progressive version of
Return to Forever. This isn't quite satisfactory though because the
band ranges from fiery fusion rampages to spacious synthesizer
sections. The rhythm section is solid and is an active part of the group
rather than just laying down a groove for the rest of the band to solo
over. The band rarely lingers on any particular style for more than a
few minutes, moving adeptly across many key and time changes. The
album consists of three longer songs, and a brief ending tune. The
basic instrumentation is drums, bass, electric guitar and synth.
However, the last song contains acoustic guitar, some
flute and the only vocals heard on the album. If you like fusion-inflected
progressive (or is that progressive-inflected fusion) then I'd highly
recommend this band to you. (?)
Imán's second album falls somewhere between the Arabesque
symphonic Prog of Mezquita and the Return
to Forever-styled fusion of Iceberg, two
other bands from Spain. The album opens with the 10
minute "La Marcha de los Enanitos," an excellent symphonic piece with
many Arabian overtones. Velvet-smooth keyboards alternate with
electric guitar in solo space. Beneath them is a solid rhythm section.
Drummer Guerrero knows that the snare drum is
for more than the 2nd and 4th beat. While he doesn't riff as
much as, say, Furio Chirico (of Arti E Mestieri),
Guerrero certainly likes to take an active role in the music. The
star of the show, I think, is Morales. His bass work is essential to
the melody, playing tasteful and memorable melodies while the guitar
and keyboards duel overhead. He uses the entire fretboard throughout,
and functions as a lead melody intrument, even while
keeping rhythm. Like Mezquita,
Imán draw from Arabian music
and it is noticed here and in the 14 minute title track. The second
song is "Maluquinha," a seven minute fusion piece akin to
Al Di Meola circa Elegant Gypsy. Guitarist Rodriguez shows a strong
Di Meola influence on his solo, alternating sustained notes with
swift note runs. He's not as fast as Di Meola but he is more melodic.
Comparisons could also be made to Carlos Santana. Congas are used
to enhance the Latin feel. "Camino del Aquila" carries on similar to the
opening track though there are more melodically diverse passages,
including a brief, Steve Howe-like guitar passage in the middle.
Also, this track is much jazzier than "La Marcha de los Enanitos,"
but with a dash of flamenco. The closer is the only vocal track, a
ballad of Spanish guitar against a synth backdrop. The only real
drawback to this release is it totals less than 35 minutes of
playing time. I have no problems recommending it to everyone into
Spanish, Italian and South and Central American symphonic prog.
"Camino del Aguila" is rather lightweight fusiony prog. There are some
inspired moments that remind of Mezquita,
but those parts are far too short. The guitar playing reminds mostly of Al
di Meola and Carlos Santana, while the keyboard playing is probably
closest to Mezquita and
Crack. Especially on the compositional side, I
found this album rather thin and there are several parts where the
arrangements are downright cheesy. (Sjef Oellers, as reviewed
I can not understand why two bands like Imán and Mezquita can be compared.
They are certainly different (in the context of the andalusian-flamenco
rock) and, in addition, the Iman's carreer is prior to that of
Mezquita. Moreover, in a radio interview to
Mezquita that I heard at the early 80s, they
talked about those andalusian bands in the crest of the wave and they
pointed their differences in these terms: Triana
were Pop-Flamenco mixed with "andalusian song",
Guadalquivir were Jazz+Flamenco,
Imán symphonic+Flamenco and they were Hard Rock (not "Heavy") +
Flamenco. The differences are quite obvious, and even more evident in
the Imán's first record. One more point: The audience at Imán's gigs
had to be sat and usually "groovy", and those of Mezquita were to be jumping all the time. I was
a witness for both. (Martín Pruna)
Review of "Califato Independiente"
Review of "Camino del Aguila"
Imán han publicado en 2006 un CD especial 30 aniversario
para coleccionistas con algunos temas inéditos
After the band splitted Manuel Rodríguez formed a duo with
Marcos Mantero under the name of Mantero y Rodríguez S.L. and they released a single:
Sobre Ondas (1981)
Manuel Rodríguez resleased soloist records from 1992 on, like "La Danza del espacio", "Flowers in the Desert",
"Your Love is my Blessing" or "Legacy".
La Danza del Espacio
Flowers in the Desert
Your Love is my Blessing