7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Inmtroductions in the Dark (Audio CD)
A marvellous offering from 1989. Sheppard is aided and abetted by Dave Buxton on piano, Pete Maxfield on double bass, Steve Lodder on synthesisers, Simon Gore on drums, Mamadi Kamara on percussion, Orphy Robinson on vibes and marimba, Chris Watson on guitar and Dave Adams on percussion. They all give their all.
The track order is different on my copy from that advertised here.
The opening (a traditional song from Sierra Leone) to the lengthy Romantic Conversations is very Keith Jarret with Sheppard on bamboo flute wih lots of gentle percussion. This moves into the gentle, melodic main theme that gets thouroughly explored.
Rebecca's Glass Slippers is a torrid, up-tempo piece that shows Sheppard can produce at breakneck speed.
Forbidden Fruit comes next. A passionate, slow soprano motif gets things going before the tempo quickens slightly as Sheppard weaves and slithers his way leading to a sleazy Steve Lodder solo that Sheppard joins in with as the tune wafts to an airy conclusion.
Optics is another quicker number with a strident beat. Again on soprano Sheppard shows a strong grasp of musical fluidity in his musings.
The closing Where The Spirit Takes You, along with the opener, is probably the highlight. Undoubtedly Coltrane inspired, Sheppard squeezes so much emotion out of his tenor sax. He remains fairly constrained right until the end letting the passion build to the higher registers and some nifty circular breathing.
Throughout the whole album Sheppards lyricism and control of volume are to be admired. He is never short of ideas in his improvisations. Not groundbreaking but a very well played and realised album.