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Fermata

Fermata

FERMATA is a Slovak group that formed in 73, from the association of guitarist FRANTISEK GRIGLAK (ex-COLLEGIUM MUSICUM and PRUDY) and keyboardist THOMAS BERKA. Apparently their brand of instrumental jazz-rock was at best approved, at worst tolerated by the Communist regime as they released all their albums on the state apparatchik label Opus. Indeed, their music has been compared to Spain's ICEBERG or Holland's FINCH, but this writer wouldn't hesitate to talk of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA as well, at least for their first few albums.

Both Griglak and Berka would be the mainstays of an otherwise often-changing line-up, even if Karol Olah held the drum stool from their third album until the mid-80's at least. Right from their first album, FERMATA posessed some quality western instruments like Gibson, Fender, Rickenbacker and the full array of keyboards except the Mellotron and the Moog, which might be a bit surprising for a band that was under scrutiny of the closed-borders regime. Their music slowly degraded to a synthesized rock of Ad Libitum in the mid-80's. Apparently still alive today, the group still releases the odd album. Hugues Chantraine, Belgium.

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