From the mighty osurec, "Unknown and Underrated US Jazz prog rock, they came from Albuquerque, private press issued in 1978"...
Of course, the title of the album alone makes one want to feature this. Is there a chance of commercial success for these highly professional and inventive artists in the year 2011, 33 years later? Well, when I hear what music other people are listening to, I am slightly doubtful but I am by nature a pessimist. I would love to hear an optimist's opinion.
For we who love progressive music we often find, especially now so late in the game, we have to mine fusion to find some of the crazy songwriting and willingness to experiment that are its hallmark. And of course it's amazing how much creativity went on in jazz in the period from early 60s to late seventies, even early eighties, when fusion became a reviled term (which I take it, it stills is today, in the 'music biz' and the general public). Personally, I prefer the real classical progressive music such as Genesis, but I feel we've run out of this classical style almost.
Let's start with the opening of this record where a drum crash leads to some insane triplets played unison style with electric guitar and keys, hyperfast, smashing into a sequence of chords that sound lifted from the best RtF chord changes. Subsequently a similar triplet series leads up to higher chords, then abruptly, before the minute mark, we switch tempos to a slow sequence with digital strings and some sustained chords. After some soloing this passes into some slower triplets that sound quite classically composed and then reiterates the triplets with synthesizer only to move on to a standard funk tune. All this in the same track. Virtually the whole thing could be studied as an exemplar of fusion in the late seventies, all styles are featured. The first side continues on into some light fusion sounds, which I understand, may not appeal to all. (I take it this 'soft fusion' is the reason fusion became anathema later on.) Pay attention to the end though, oddly enough an acoustic guitar solo closes it out. I wouldn't say it's the best composition but definitely it makes for a very varied record.
Side two features some more really eye-opening music. Electric guitar is front and centre throughout the record but in the first track we get some crazy Jimi Hendrix solo riffage after a bunch of minor second chord changes recalling alternative or early metal, like black sabbath. Subsequently a chromatic scale descends into the standard funky fusion style again that even we fans are getting a little tired of at this point. At least the energy never falters on side two, and the musicianship is superb. More ingenious riffs pop up out of nowhere, collapsing into almost metal-hard guitar patterns or thick chunky chords. Obviously this guitarist was not just a prodigy but had some brilliant ideas in his acoustic cortex. Side 2 closes out with an aggressive F sharp note on the guitar into an outro with a descending pattern of chords (what could be more fitting), like a fusionist's fadeout-- was it a fadeout to the whole concept of progressive and creative rock music for all mankind?
This is an outstanding example of how much thought can be put into one instrumental record. How unfortunate that this record and the players are unknown and relegated to that great big deleted bin in the sky.
1 Knock Out
2 Love Light
3 Auntie em
4 Just Messin' Around
1 All Mixed Up
2 On the Spot
3 Commercial Success
4 Love Light Reprise