(All Album Reviews by flutie479)
Alan Gowen piano/electric piano/synths
Phil Lee guitars (all tracks)
Mike Travis drums all tracks
Neil Murray bass (tracks 1 & 2)
Peter Lemer electric piano/synths (3 & 4)
Steve Cook bass (3 & 4)
Jeff Clyne bass (5, 6, 7, 8)
All tracks composed by Alan Gowen except:
Island of Rhodes: (Alan Gowen, Steve Cook, Phil Lee)
Worlds of Zin: (Phil Lee)
Notwithstanding (Alan Gowen, Steve Cook, Phil Lee)
Lady and Friend (Alan Gowen/Jeff Clyne)
These tunes were originally from the 70's and the quality is quite good for its time. Largely rock-fusion-Canterbury-jazz influenced, there's a bit of a hodgepodge going here. The differing artists and timeframe make this more of a span of years rather than months but it's a nice vintage of sound. The keyboards and guitars trade off quite often with nice balance between them.
There's a certain lightness or airiness in English fusion to my mind that's less heavy and more carefree. It feels more of the moment with less at stake if that makes sense. In this respect at least from a cohesive standpoint it holds together well and flows musically as a continuous stream would.
No real surprises but enough going on to engage the distracted listener from nodding off. I have a pet peeve about some fusion where it's just like a core love fest between the players with nothing left for the listener. This music doesn't strike me that way which is a good thing. It's more inviting, less straying, and continually slightly changes course so as not to be bored into the ground.
The interplay between keyboards and guitar strikes a nice balance more than not, and the bass and drums liven up the rhythmical background. There's more than enough to take in on first listen. As is the case with much fusion, there tends to be combinations that fall into categories of melody, rhythm, harmony and the shifting from chords into more of a chromatic effect. The music overall is largely coming and going faster than is easily memorable and many of the so called melodies could easily escape rather than be pinpointed but I suppose it's still good to have this type of music on hand when you want to see how much you can absorb through a sitting.
There is a nice vibe going on that's quite meandering if I had to choose one word. Notwithstanding strikes me as the standout track, but I usually never line up with anyone else as to why I'd say so. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the nice use of time signatures, compositional skills, etc.