(All Album Reviews by Phil Jackson)
While the emerging '80s' sound' comes as a shock, there is enough good playing and a few memorable songs to make this a Jack Bruce record worthy of fuller investigation.
His friends are in fact Clem Clempson, David Sancious and Billy Cobham and while the music could hardly be categorised so, it seems to have achieved its greatest commercial success on the Billboard jazz chart!
In fact, the most overtly jazz track may be Cobham's ballad “Wind and the Sea”. Before that there's some interesting subject matter in “Facelift 318” (Yes, it is about vanity and cosmetic surgery!) while the danceable “Dancing on Air” is followed by the heavier “Livin' Without Ja” with some intriguing musical twists but squarely aimed at the 'commercial' 80s market, no bad thing necessarily although I'm not convinced that JB is that comfortable despite being amongst friends!
In keeping with the times Pete Brown's lyrics are more direct and less fantasised and lose something in the process. Bruce's harp gets an airing on the blues “Out To Lunch” but it all sounds a bit flat.
The closing 6:50 of “Bird Alone” is worth the admission money with JB recapturing past glories and a crazy synth solo from Sancious at the end.