This is a Spanish quartet from Barcelona featuring Manuel Camp (piano and keyboards), Jordi Camp (bass), Santi Arisa (drums) and Marti Brunet (electric guitars and synthesizers). In the first half of the Seventies Fusioon released three albums entitled "Fusioon I" (1972), "Fusioon II" (1974) and "Minorisa" (1975).
The first album "Fusioon" contains arrangements from ‘traditionals’. It sounds like a tasteful stew with classical, folk, jazz and symphonic elements. The songs have echoes from King Crimson (Fripperian guitar), Focus (flute) and Le Orme/Ekseption/ELP (Hammond organ) but the musical ideas are great and the musicians play strong with many surprising breaks and exciting solos and interplay. The highlight is “Danza del molinero” (Manual de Falla) with sparkling piano, a tight rhythm-section, an Andalusian sounding violin, fiery electric guitar and powerful Hammond waves, culminating in a grand finale.
This record is a mostly instrumental one (a few scatting one the opening track), but this does not hamper the enjoyment of the music: they have a fairly unique sound and the music has some very subtle Spanish overtones but not in the Flamenco realm. Their sound oscillates between Isotope, Wigwam (the Gustavson and Pohjola compositions), Focus or Finch, Sloche (or fellow Quebecois Maneige) and countrymen Iceberg. If the jazz colours are the main characteristics of the album, the classical influences peak here and there, most notably in Negra Sombra (Dark Black). All of the tracks are covers of traditional songs (6 of 8 tracks) all adapted/arranged by Manel Camp and the other two being penned by other writers. The odd flute, sax and clarinet (actually un-credited) but drummer Arisa is the one playing them (says D-E Asbjornsen) and bring touches of brilliance. The superb piano may even ring reminiscence of Chilean Los Jaivas in their more symphonic moments and with the organs, ELP comes to mind.
Certainly worth the investigation, especially if you enjoyed the better-known two later albums.
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