A small group for Colin Towns, who also plays big band modern jazz with the Mask Orchestra and has recorded arrangements of music by other people, such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles Davis (Amongst others!). This album is a genre bending affair, with hints of avant-garde (In the opening track, especially) & progressive rock in some of the instrumental passages. I loved the interplay with the guitar, sax and piano, leading off into solos from one or the other. An absolute stunner of an album, with some fantastic rythmns and a few excursions into jazz/rock fusion. In The Forbidden Dance a modern sounding dub rythmn rumbles away, building up layers with the other instruments befor falling back again and letting another instrument taking over with some atmospheric soloing.
It's always interesting, and in places sounds like the tunes from a yet-to-be made film. Lovers of the jazzier side of Prog Rock will enjoy this!
on 14 October 2012
This is a truly astonishing album - on the first listen it sent shivers down my spine, and each subsequent occasion I have found more to like about it. I think the first thing that struck me was the aggression: there is no sense of restraint or inhibition, but instead a visceral, even brutal directness. And yet the album is full of contrasts, with the most delicate passages, and a willingness to hold a mood and let silences speak for themselves. The music is never sentimental, with darkness and light present in every phrase.
Other reviewers have commented on the spectacular collision of genres, and I agree, but what is fascinating to me is how fully they are fused into a single style. The ensemble playing is fabulous as well, tricky to pull off in a band with six musicians. Colin Towns keyboards are raised to a new level - the title track is a solo piano piece which digs its claws in and won't let go.
It is on one level very simple - a crack team of musicians cutting loose - but behind the immediacy and colour is some inspired composition. Towns has drawn on every tradition from contemporary classical to world music to find melodies that draw you in and convey rich and complex feelings at every turn. Truly an instant classic.
on 16 June 2012
A really enjoyable CD from start to finish. Totally jazz-rock. I cannot decide whether it is Jazz-influenced rock, or rock-influenced jazz, but either way it doesn't matter. The jazz comes mostly from the excellent sax work and the rock comes mostly from the superb guitar. The percussionist sets up great latin grooves when given his head too. Great stuff all round. Highly recommended.
on 3 September 2012
Where to start, this is a cd full of ideas, styles and influences but a coherent and enjoyable whole.
The sound is so fresh yet harks back to something like Neil ardley.
You can feel the effort that has gone into the editing, exciting soundscape and solos that don't ramble or get in the way.
Everyone contributes, though thank goodness the singing bit is v short!
A cd to both admire and enjoy,
Hope I get to see them play sometime.
on 18 September 2012
This CD arrived this morning and I'm listening right now for the first time and it's an instant hit. Lots of 5 star tracks (based on my own OCD rating system). Having discovered the drummer Benny Greb in recent months I bought this to hear more of his playing (awesome as ever) and am pleased to find that the whole band are as creative and fresh sounding as he is. Wonderful, spacious arrangements, hard hitting grooves and the most delicate of melodic lines abound. A winner.