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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
20
Spectrum
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.41+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 19 January 2017
A real jazz fusion classic.

Incredible musicians & amazing playing... without too much indulgence!

How many other fusion albums owe so much to this album?!?!?
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on 20 November 2017
this brings back so many memories cant find another like it ... was worth the buy
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on 7 June 2017
very good recommended thx
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on 3 March 2016
Stunning album, great funky jazz and great to hear Bolin in form
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on 31 July 2016
From a time when players could really play.
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on 11 August 2014
perfect
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 July 2008
I last heard Spectrum on an old audio-cassette on an FM-Radio-mono- Cassette player when i was a student.
Not only was this a great trip down memory lane, the sound and production was excellent - and the energy came through brilliantly.
It is hard to believe that Tommy Bolin here is the same guitarist that played with Deep Purple before his untimely death. The whole band is tight and inventive, and it sounds great.
It has to be one of the "must own" albums of the last 40 years, without this your collection or eduction is simply incomplete.
"Red Baron" still does it for me :-)
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on 23 July 2014
They call this album a classic of the "fusion" genre. I think labels were more important then - looking back, there was actually a lot of fusion around in the early 70's that wasn't called fusion. This album certainly defies simple description. The record has some amazing and unique music on it. It is very much "a moment in time": 4 musicians, all at the height of their game, feeding of each other to produce some razor sharp improvisation. It was also recorded with the minimum of fuss and over-dubbing - and with musicians like these, you don't need it! Alas, downsides of that moment in time are the 4 short tracks inter-dispersed amongst the gems that really are throw-away self-indulgences that littered so many albums of the early seventies. The sheer eclectic mix and quality of the main tracks is such however, that one can easily overlook and skip the 2 minute drum solo called "Anxiety", the electronic blips that are "Snoopy's search", or some nice phrases of piano music that fade out into nothing after 50 seconds or so.

The album explodes with "Quadrant": four minutes of storming double kick pedal from Billy Cobham and driving bass (from Lee Sklar), whilst Tommy Bolin and Jan Hammer trade solos and duet on guitar and moog, respectively. If you drive with this on, watch out for speed cameras!
"Spectrum" (title track) is a cooler jazzier number with flute and brass giving it a faintly Brazilian feel, with some nifty, subtle drumming from Cobham in the background. "Taurian Matador" gets back to the Moog sound from "Quadrant", but is a funkier groove.

Next up, "Stratus" is a true work of genius. Shift forward a few minutes in this piece and you have driving repetitive bass thundering along, again with Bolin and Hammer calling and responding with sheer beauty. And just when you think it's all over, it keeps going, and Hammer grinds in low range synth before the final climax.

"Le Lis" goes contrasts totally by going back into a slow, airy, summery sound with a flute sound doing the melody and Cobham giving a conga backing: probably the most serene track on the CD and, if your into 70's noise big time, this is one your partner will like. The final track on the original album (Red Baron) reminds me of Steely Dan, but really there are few parallels to the sounds on this record.

I scored this with 5 despite the silly tracks. Given the silly short indulgent tracks on the album, I might be tempted to advice to buy a compilation (eg Billy Cobham Chronology or Anthology has all the good tracks I mentioned above, without the flotsam and jetsam). I scored this with 5 despite the silly tracks. And you also get to hear more of Cobhams work: a stunning technical master of the drums, but also a great composer and band leader.

I have tried to describe this album: better get it though and see for yourself. If you are a rock or heavy jazz musician into "structured" improvisation, this will not disappoint.
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on 22 January 2015
Bought this to replace my old vinyl. Sound quality is ok considering it's a remaster. This seems to be a Japanese issue and as such the booklet is minimal and with no English apart from the titles, doesn't bother me as I know the album well but be warned.
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on 8 February 2011
Bought it on Vinyl years back and it has a lasting presence and is astounding in its sharpness, musical genius etc. Buy it if you like jazz..you can't really describe music...just have to trust your judgement, and trust the judgement of others, like myself!
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