In the early 1970s my favourite band was Curved Air, so it just about killed me when they split after the magnificent `Phantasmagoria' in 1972. A year later, Sonja Kristina and Mike Wedgwood formed a new Curved Air to include Eddie Jobson on keyboards and violin to replace both Daryl Way and Francis Monkman at a stroke - pretentious or what?
I approached the new incarnation with caution, but `Air Cut' turned out to be very good indeed and here it is, new on CD - and about time too, my scratched vinyl copy needed replacing years ago. This is progrock at its best, complete with classical motifs, blistering guitar, shifting rhythms and genuine musical dynamics. In other words, real music. Of particular note is Jobson's `Metamorphosis', which runs to just over 10 minutes of sheer perfection. Classical piano, haunting melodies and powerful guitar themes intertwine to produce one of rock's finest outings. There are weaker moments, like `World' which could have been left off, but hey, who's counting when you have the power of Jobson's violin on `Armin' and Kirby's guitar on `UHF' to follow?
As usual, Sonja chips in with some of her best vocal performances and even writes a couple of songs. This line up only lasted for one (official) album before disbanding so now is your chance to pick up a lost classic from those years when music was fresh and inventive. Highly recommended.