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Air Cut (Digitally Remastered Version)

Air Cut (Digitally Remastered Version)

11 Jan 2012
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The story of Curved Air is important to Air Cut, and it started with budding classical musicians Francis Monkman (keys, guitar) and Darryl Way (violin, keys) teaming up with Sonja Kristina (vocals) and ace drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa of the glass family fame, plus Ian Eyre on bass, to form one of the first classical rock bands. And in the face of a lot of scepticism, they were actually pretty good, both on record and live. The first LP, a picture disc called Air Conditioning sold well and was followed by CA Two, also a top seller and full of fabulous tunes. The third, Phantasmagoria, was met by very mixed reviews and indiffrent sales (for the time) and introduced Mike Wedgwood on bass, fresh from The Overlanders and The Nicky James Band. Apart from bass, though, Wedgwood, a relation of Josiah Wedgwood, the potter, Charles Darwin and Ralph Vaughan Williams, had a perfect-pitch voice, could play guitar, sax, clarinet, drums and keyboards very well and could also score for a full orchestra if needed.

However, after citing musical diffrences and the usual, Darryl, Francis and Florian all left after Phantasmagoria leaving ..... Sonja and Mike. Surprisingly, they decided to soldier and and went recruiting, and what they recruited was this: Eddie Jobson, aged 17, ex-Fat Grapple, on keyboards and violin, Kirby (Gregory), ex Armada, on guitar, and Jim Russell on kit. This bought the average age of the band to about 21. What nobody quite twigged, even then, was that Eddie was actually a genuine fully signed-up musical genius. And off they went to record the fourth album for Warners, Air Cut. And it was and is an absolute cracker.

Much punchier than its predecessors, it nonetheless had their extraordinary musicality and flair.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
At long last the unjustly neglected Air Cut is available on CD. And not before time. By the time of this, the bands fourth album on Warner Bros, only Sonja Kristina remained of the original line up. The super musicians Francis Monkman and Darryl Way had departed for pastures new. So, what to do, what to do.

Sonja decided to carry in and bought in some excellent new, young talent. Among these were Kirby and, soon to be recognised worldwide, Eddie Jobson, a wunderkind on both violin and keyboards.

After the lightness of the band's previous album Phantasmagoria, Air Cut is a heavier album that kicks of with Purple Speed Queen, a rocker that explores a theme that Sonja would return to on her solo work of a woman on the road to destruction.

All the cuts on this album have something to recommend them with the highlights being for me, the instrumental Armin and Easy. For those who like the gentler side of Curved Air there is Elfin Boy.

The album has been remastered and its appearance is more than welcome. If you liked Curved Air's work, you'll like this with its inventiveness and high musucianship. There is nothing sterile about this recording which captures some of the power of a Curved Air live performance despite being a studio album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anyone who thinks that hard driving 1970's rock music is not capable of great beauty should listen to this remastered classic, especially the track, Metamorphosis. It goes through at least half a dozen movements, each of which showcase a different atmospheric musical timbre. Even the fade out at the ten minute mark undergoes a final rhythmic transformation. And you have never heard romantic piano played quite like Eddie Jobson plays it, a teenager at the time he recorded it. The track 'World' a kind of prog rock folk song, features his equally extraordinary violin playing. Astounding.
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This CD is a pleasant surprise, containing good melodies that are suitable for those who like folk and progressive rock. The remastered edition serves well the sound is an interesting option and those who like this style of music. An English rock solid and enjoyable, with not a bad song. Note 8.5. Very good!
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