Fela Kuti And Afrika 70 – Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977)

FrontCover1Sorrow Tears and Blood is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in 1977 and originally released on the Nigerian Kalakuta label. (by wikipedia)

Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977) accurately depicts the trail left in the wake of the February 18, 1977, raid by 1,000 armed Nigerian army men on Fela Kuti and his Kalakuta Republic. In keeping with the format upheld on a majority of Kuti’s long players, this LP contains a pair of extended works, featuring one title per side. In contrast to the hard-edged and aggressive Afro-funk that Kuti and his Africa 70 became synonymous with, both the A-side title track and B-side, “Colonial Mentality,” are seemingly staid, in light — or perhaps because — of the cruel state-sponsored attacks that he and his extended family suffered. “Sorrow Tears and Blood” is neither a full-blown, uptempo funk drone nor a somber FelaKuti01dirge. The even-handed, midtempo groove trots along at a steady pace and features some comparatively sedate sax work from Kuti. Even the instrumental introduction — which has been known to clock in at over five minutes — is reduced to well under three. His lyrics are starkly direct — “Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter, scatter/Some people lost some bread/Some people just die” — yet the emotive center is gone. Perhaps this is the result of fear, shellshock, or a combination of the two. Kuti’s words, however, remain as indicting as ever: “Them leave sorrow, tears, and blood/Them regular trademark.” “Colonial Mentality” returns to a more seething and slinky musicality. The dark and brooding bassline undulates beneath a brass-intensive Africa 70. Rarely has Kuti’s musical arrangements so perfectly imaged James Brown’s J.B.’s or Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. The message is delivered as a fable, demonstrating that it is the individuals who live in a stifling “Colonial Mentality” who are the slaves. His preface, stating that the colonial man had released them yet they refuse to release themselves, sets out to prove that slavery is a continual and concurrent state of mind for Africans. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Ayoola Abayomi (percussion)
Shina Abiodun (percussion)
Tony Allen (drums)
Lekan Animashaun (saxophone)
Nweke Atifoh (bass)
Leke Benson (guitar)
Clifford Itoje (guitar)
Nwokoma Jkem (trumpet)
Oladeinde Koffi (percussion)
Oghene Kologbo (guitar)
Fela Kuti (saxophone, piano, vocals)
Addo Nettey (percussion)
Babajide Olaleye (maracas)
Tunde Williams (trumpet)
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background vocals:
Alake Anikulapo-Kuti – Emaruagheru Anikulapo-Kuti – Fehintola Anikulapo-Kuti – Kewe Anikulapo-Kuti – Ronke Anikulapo-Kuti – Shade Anikulapo-Kuti – Tejumade Anikulapo-Kuti

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Tracklist:
01. Sorrow Tears And Blood 10.16
02. Colonial Mentality 13.43

All compositions by Fela Kuti.

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FelaKuti02Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997)

ZZ Top – Tejas (1977)

FrontCover1Tejas is the fifth studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released in late November 1976. The title is a Caddo language word meaning ‘friends’, which is the origin of the name of the band’s home state, Texas.

Frontman Billy Gibbons said about the album:

It’s fair to say that this is a transitional record, although I’m not really sure what we were transitioning from and what we were becoming. (laughs) It may be representative of how rapidly things were changing in the studio.

The equipment was becoming more modernized, and the way that music was being recorded was different – things were moving faster. It was still pre-digital, but there was better gear that was more readily available. We made use of it all.

This period was the wrinkle that kind of suggested what was to come, and change would become a necessary part of the ZZ Top fabric.

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Tejas was produced by Bill Ham and recorded and mixed by Terry Manning. In 1987, a digitally remixed version of the recording was released on CD and the original 1976 mix version was discontinued. The remix version created controversy among fans because it significantly changed the instrument balance and the sound of the instruments, especially the drums. (by wikipedia)

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1977s Tejas is a transition album for Texas rockers ZZ Top. It is the beginning of their step away from the Blues Rock that had brought them fame and a lot of record sales and towards the 1980s Electronic Blues that would eventually make them a worldwide phenomenon. There is more of the former Blues Rock than the latter Electronica here though. Tejas is almost as good a ZZ Top’s masterpiece Deguello, but is held back by some weaker tracks, something Deguello didn’t suffer from. Still there are some amazing songs here, notable the blazing, yet tongue in cheek Arrested for Driving While Blind, the countrified and rollicking She’s a Heartbreaker, and the achingly beautiful Asleep in the Desert. Overall Tejas is an important part of ZZ Top’s discography, and a very good album.(by Karl)

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On Tejas, ZZ Top countrified the bluesy posture of their previous albums, resulting in a slight detour between the madcap spirit of Fandango and the psychedelic strut of Deguello. While the album lacks any singles as strong as “Tush” or “La Grange,” “Arrested for Driving While Blind” is one of ZZ’s classic anthems, capturing the group’s wacky humor and jaunty good-time boogie. Other highlights include the driving “Enjoy and Get It On,” “Avalon Hideaway,” and the fine instrumental “Asleep in the Desert.” (by Jim Smith)

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Personnel:
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals, harmonica, fiddle)
Dusty Hill (bass guitar, keyboards, vocals on 01., 06., 07., 08., background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s Only Love 4.24
02. Arrested For Driving While Blind 3.09
03. El Diablo 4.22
04. Snappy Kakkie 2.59
05. Enjoy And Get It On 3.26
06. Ten Dollar Man 3.41
07. Pan Am Highway Blues 3.15
08. Avalon Hideaway 3.08
09. She’s A Heartbreaker 3.02
10. Asleep In The Desert 3.25

All songs are written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard,
except 10 (written by Billy Gibbons)

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Harry Edison & Eddie Davis – Live At Paris (1977)

FrontCover1In 1937, American jazz trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison moved to New York and joined the Count Basie Orchestra. His colleagues included Buck Clayton, Lester Young (who named him “Sweets”), Buddy Tate, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, and other original members of that famous band. In a 2003 interview for the National Museum of American History, drummer Elvin Jones explained the origin of Edison’s nickname: “Sweets had so many lady friends, he was such a handsome man. He had all these girls all over him all the time, that’s why they called him Sweets.” “Sweets” Edison came to prominence as a soloist with the Basie Band and as an occasional composer/arranger for the band.He also appeared in the 1944 film Jammin’ the Blues. He passed away in 1999, at the age of 83.

American jazz tenor saxophonist Edward F Davis, known professionally as Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, played with Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk, Eddie Bonnemere, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie, as well as leading his own bands and making many recordings as a leader. He played in the swing, bop, hard bop, Latin jazz, and soul jazz genres. Some of his recordings from the 1940s also could be classified as rhythm and blues. He died of cancer at the age of 64 in 1986. (bigozine2 magazine)

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And here´s a beautiful concert of this two masers of Swing, recorded live in Paris, 1977.

This is actually good old school jazz . Heavy on horns and piano and light on theatrics ala the hack McLaughlin. Big thumbs up from me . Give this a listen as it has my approval. (by Smashmouth)

Recorded live at the Espace Cardin, Paris, France; January 23, 1977
Very good FM broadcast.

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Personnel:
Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis (saxophone)
Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (trumpet)
Major Holley (bass)
Oliver Jackson (drums)
Gerry Wiggins (piano)

EdisonDavis01Tracklist:
01. Three Little Words (Ruby/Kalmar) 4.17
02. Broadway (Woode/Bird/McRae) 9.42
03. I’ve Got A Crush On You (Gershwin) 8.04
04. Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Jobim) 4.31
05. Just Friends (Klenner/Lewis) 9.30
06. Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers/Hart) 4.28
07. (This Is The End Of) A Beautiful Friendship (Kahn/Styne) 5.57
08. Blues In G (Edison) 6.49
09. Like Someone In Love (Van Heusen/Burke) 8.05
10. Days Of Wine And Roses (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) 8.50
11. Bye Bye Blackbird (Henderson/Dixon) 9.12
12. But Beautiful (Van Heusen/Burke) 4.38
13. Satin Doll Ellington/Strayhorn/Mercer) 7.08
14. Indiana (Hanley/MacDonald) 9.51
15. Blues In C (Davis) 4.39

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Alternate frontcover:
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Miroslav Vitous – Miroslav (1977)

FrontCover1Miroslav Ladislav Vitous (6 December 1947), is a Czech jazz bassist who was born in Prague. He begun play violin at age of six, started playing the piano at age ten, and bass at fourteen. He studied music at the Prague Conservatory subsequently winning an international music contest in Vienna, earning him a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. One of his early music groups was the Junior Trio with his brother Alan on drums and young another future-great Czech fusion musician Jan Hammer on keyboards.

A year later after he came to Boston, in 1966, Miroslav moved to New York & collaborated with musicians such as Bob Brookmeyer, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Charlie Mariano, and Herbie Mann. In 1970, the group WEATHER REPORT was formed along with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. After three years left the group due to musical differences. After brief break he formed Miroslav Vitous Group with John Surman, Kenny Kirkland and Jon Christensen, and recorded 3 albums for ECM. After 3 years group was disbanded.

Vitous has become a director of Jazz Department in New England Conservatory in Boston, and leads the department for 3 years. He reunited with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes (Trio Music): it was a very successful period for the trio for the following 2 and half years. Tours all over the world and 2 albums recorded for ECM is the outcome of this reunion.

Miroslav Vitous01After this time he made a very successful duet world wide tour with Stanley Clark.

Makes several performances as a soloist with Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra and Music of Viva of Boston.

He recorded also a solo album for ECM (“Emergence”).

In 1988 he moved back to Europe. Stopped teaching completely and became full time composer/performer, once again.

He made a lot of different projects with his band or solo, appeared at many festivals and concerts and participated in other projects with different top European musicians. After 22 years he returned to Prague and recorded an album with his brother Alan Vitous.

In March 1989 he started playing solo concerts. He wrote and performed concerts for Orchestra and solo bass in Frieburg (Germany) and Italy. Prior to the release of ‘Universal Syncopations’, he took a seven year break from performing to concentrate his efforts at making orchestral sample libraries. He was in search of electronic sounds to assist him in composing, but discovered what was available in the marketplace to be Miroslav Vitous03lacking in quality. As a result, Miroslav became consumed in producing the symphonic samples that he had been searching for, by sampling each solo player amongst an orchestra. “Sampling is an extremely expensive process, but allows me to compose more easily when ideas are fresh in my mind.”

The result of being able to compose with the electronic samples, brought about the release of the album ‘Universal Syncopations’. Miroslav knew beyond a doubt that Jack DeJohnette would be his drummer, since Jack was his favorite drummer for several decades and had participate in many collaborations. John McLaughlin was chosen for the work that he had done with Miles Davis in the seventies, and Miroslav wanted to tap into that evolutionary style and to take it up a notch. Chick Corea has asked for Miroslav’s help on many of his previous albums, so this time it was Corea who was asked to collaborate. Jan Garbarek is Miroslav’s favorite sax player, and they have an intuitive musical connection. This particular work captures the creative force in the sounds and motifs, and justaposes jazz and classical styles in a very open and free way. (by progarchives.com)

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Master bass player Vitous doubles up on piano and moog and, together with percussionist Don Alias, creates music from fusion to samba to ambient! Includes the jazz dance classic “Bassamba”! (by soundsoftheuniverse.com)

1976-1977 sessions with Don Alias and Armen Halburian on percussion. Vitous overdubs bass and keyboards. A stunning musical trip through Afro-jazz texture music. “Tiger in the Rain” is absolutely captivating. (byMichael G. Nastos)

In other words: excellent and exciting stuff!

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Personnel:
Don Alias (drums, percussion)
Miroslav Vitous (bass, piano, synthesizer, ARP string ensemble)
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Armen Halburian (percussion (on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Watching The Sunset Run 8.07
02. Bassamba 3.02
03 Tiger In The Rain 9.01
04 Concerto In E Minor 5.35
05. Pictures From Moravia 4.54
06. Sonata For A Dream 5.39

Music composed by Miroslav Vitous

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Jethro Tull – Songs Fom The Wooden Grammophone (1977)

FrontCover1In the late 1970s, Jethro Tull released a trio of folk rock albums, Songs from the Wood (1977), Heavy Horses (1978), and Stormwatch (1979). Songs from the Wood (1977) was the first Tull album to receive generally positive reviews since the release of Living in the Past (1972).

The band had long ties to folk rockers Steeleye Span (Tull were the backing band on Steeleye Span front woman Maddy Prior’s 1978 solo album Woman in the Wings as a way of repaying her for contributing vocals on the Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! album) and with Fairport Convention (Fairport members Dave Pegg, Martin Allcock, Dave Mattacks and Ric Sanders have all played with Tull at one point or another, as well as folk drummer Gerry Conway who became a Fairport member after playing with Tull). Although not formally considered a part of the folk rock movement (which had actually begun nearly a decade earlier with the advent of Fairport Convention), there was clearly an exchange of musical ideas among Tull and the folk rockers.[81] By this time, Anderson had moved to a farm in the countryside, and his new bucolic lifestyle was clearly reflected in his songwriting, as in the title track of Heavy Horses (1978), a paean to draught horses. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s very beautiful bootleg (excellent soundboart recording !) from this period …and it was one of the most satisfying periods of Jethro Tull:

Track 1-9 recorded live in Southampton 19.Feb.1977
Track 10-11 recorded live in April 1979 during US-Tour
Track 12 is an A capella Version
Track 13 recorded during the session for a Burger King jingle in1979

Enjoy the magic of Jethro Tull´s trip into the UK Folk-Rock scene.

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Personnel:
Ian Andson (vocals, flute, guitar)
Barriemore Barlow (drums)
Martin Barre (guitar)
John Evans (keyobards)
John Glascock (bass)
David Palmer (keyboards)

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Tacklist:
01. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day 5.98
02. Jack In The Green 3.25
03. Thick As A Brick 14.19
04. Songs From The Wood 5.56
05. Velvet Green 7.12
06. Hunting Girl 5.11
07. Aqualung 8.47
08. Wind Up 3.21
09. Locomotive Breath-Pomp & Circumsances / Finale 5.33
10. Sweet Dream 2.49
11. Dark Ages 9.51
12. Dark Ages (Studio Outtake) 1.46
13. Wardrobe Whopper 0.32

All songs written by Ian Anderson

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John Glascock

John Glascock (2 May 1951 – 17 November 1979)

More from Jethro Tull:

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Barbara Streisand – Superman (1977)

FrontCover1.JPGSuperman (1977) is the nineteenth studio album by American singer Barbra Streisand.

The single “My Heart Belongs to Me” became a hit in 1977, peaking at #4 on the US pop chart.

The album peaked at number 3 on the Top 200 LP Billboard album chart and on the UK Albums Chart at number 32. It has sold 2 million copies in United States and was certified 2× Platinum.

Two songs were written for the movie A Star Is Born but not used in the picture —”Answer Me” by Streisand, Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher; and “Lullaby For Myself” by Rupert Holmes. (by wikipedia)

Although it is merely a pastiche of songs, including two outtakes from A Star Is Born, Streisand Superman is clearly the best album Streisand has made in some time, possibly the best since Stoney End. While it lacks any kind of focus and occasionally disintegrates into a shopping-mall arrangement such as “I Found You Love,” Superman is ample evidence that Streisand actually can get away with singing whatever she chooses. (A Star Is Born was sufficient proof that she could succeed with absolute trash.)

The most remarkable track is “Don’t Believe What You Read,” which is nothing less than a flat-out rock song, written by Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews with Streisand, and given a superb arrangement by Jack Nitzsche. It’s driven by a fuzz-tone guitar, huge drums and Streisand’s vocal, which is derived, I think, from Stevie Nicks. This is the most modern track she’s ever done and, aside from Pete Townshend’s “They Are All in Love,” the only successful attack on the press any songwriter has been able to come up with. (It helps that Streisand, like Townshend, is attacking gossips rather than critics.) Nagle, a vastly underrated songwriter, has also turned in a terrific look at working-class marriage as a trap in “Cabin Fever,” which gets a similarly modern treatment and ranks with the best things here.

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Most of the rest is given over to the typical ballads, which, as usual, rise and fall on the strengths of their arrangements. Streisand still resorts to mannerisms (her phrasing is suffering from a case of arrested development, except on the two songs above) but the material is chosen skillfully enough to transcend that. Still, on the basis of “Don’t Believe,” “Cabin Fever” and the bluesy treatment of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” it would be interesting to hear her work with a rock-oriented producer—Peter Asher, perhaps. (Dava Marsh, Rolling Stone No. 245)

And we hear musicians like Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Harvey Mason, David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, Lee Ritenour and Fred Tackett amongst others.

And her version of the Billy Joel hymn “New York State Of Mind” is a real great one !

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Personnel:
Barbra Streisand (vocals)
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Israel Baker (violin)
Harry Bluestone (violin)
Mike Boddicker (keyboards, synthesizer)
Alan Broadbent (piano)
Dennis Budimir (guitar)
Larry Carlton (guitar)
Gary Coleman (percussion)
Robben Ford (guitar)
David Foster (keyboards)
Jay Graydon (guitar)
Ed Greene (drums)
Ralph Grierson (keyboards)
Plas Johnson (saxophone)
Harvey Mason (drums)
Scott Mathews (drums)
Lincoln Mayorga (piano)
Mike Melvoin (piano)
David Paich (keyboards)
Steve Paietta (accordion)
Jeff Porcaro (drums, percussion)
Reine Press (bass)
Emil Richards (vibraphone, percussion)
Lee Ritenour (guitar)
Fred Tackett (guitar)
Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
Gayle LeVant (harp)
David Wolfert (guitar)
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background vocals:
Augie Johnson – Clydie King – Jim Gilstrap – John Lehman – Julia Tillman Waters – Venetta Fields

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Tracklist:
01. Superman (Snyder) 2.48
02. Don’t Believe What You Read (Streisand/Nagle/Mathews) 3.33
03. Baby Me Baby (Miller) 4.21
04. I Found You Love (Gordon) 3.47
05. Answer Me (Streisand/Williams/Ascher) 3.14
06. My Heart Belongs To Me (Gordon) 3.21
07. Cabin Fever (Nagle) 3.10
08. Love Comes From Unexpected Places (Carnes/Ellingson) 4.11
09. New York State Of Mind (Joel) 4.40
10. Lullaby For Myself (Holmes) 3.16

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And here´s another version of “New York State Of Mind” (feat. Billy Joel) from 2014:

Colosseum II – Electric Savage (1977)

LPFrontCover1Two small changes in Colosseum II’s second album: Neil Murray left the group to join National Health (I believe), replaced by unknown John Mole, and most important the group became an almost-instrumental beast, which for their kind of music fit them best. If I say Almost-instrumental, it’s because Gary Moore sings on one track, sounding a bit like Steve Winwood, but let’s face it, Colosseum II doesn’t need a singer!! Coming with a bizarre electronic tribal neon artwork, Electric Savage heads further into RTF and Brand X fusion than ever before. If most of the music is still penned by Gary Moore, there is a tendency towards more democracy as Airey pens two himself, while Hiseman co-writes four.

Opening on Hackett-ian (solo) guitar lines, Put It This Way dives head first hard fusion filled with power riffs, Brand X-style. All Skin & Bone is a fantastic percussive track that uses the same Hackett-ian guitar and probably the album’s highlight. Rivers is the only sung track of the album, and as mentioned above, it sounds like a Steve Winwood solo track. The group also had a more progressive slant and here The Scorch is the prime example of it, where the group moves through a series of rhythm pattern and moods, but mostly doing so in a fury, as would indicate the title. Very classical exit of this track and a brilliant quartet, especially Hiseman.

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The flipside starts on the cheesy Lament, but it’s not an over-ripe camembert, either, just a slightly pompous facet of their prog moods, a bit the logical continuation of Scorch. Next up, Desperado returns to the 100 MPH fusion of Brand X that we’d visited in the album opener. The album closes on two Airey compositions, the first is a great crescendoing airy (pun intended) track, where Don & Gary exchange wild leads on a mid-tempo and background synth layers, while its alter ego Intergalactic Strut shines among a thousand galaxy, hinting at RTF’s seventh. If I say shine, there is a slight eclipse with

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While it was not so obvious on SNF, Moore has more problems being himself on such a blatant jazz rock album, than he does on a blues or hard rock album, and here , he’s more credible when either crunching riffs away or pulling blues wails from his axe, than really adding a jazzy blue note. When he does try, he seems either taken by Hackett or goes purelt classical. Incidentally, I was never a fan of Airey’s keyboard style (especially when playing in the Purpe galaxy), but for some reasons, in Col II, he was never more credible than here, and if some synth choices of his are questionable, but it’s got to do more with the era’s choice of arms, more than artistic choices. Outside a few loonies (like Mooney), Hiseman’s drumming is still miles ahead of many of his English peers (Bruford, Collins & Dunbar excepted) and he mixes himself a tad higher in the group’s overall sound, but it’s nothing shocking, on the contrary.. It even enhances his insane playing. Either this album or the following carbon-copy Wardance will be the perfect intro, but you’re wary of redundancy in your shelves, you’ll have to check whether you would need more than one. (by Sean Trane)

But … the original Closseum was for the history of British Jazz-Rock much more important …

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards, clavinet)
Jon Hiseman (drums, percussion)
Gary Moore (guitar, vocals)
John Mole (bass)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Put It This Way (Moore) 4.56
02. All Skin And Bone (Moore/Hiseman) 3.47
03. Rivers (Moore/Hiseman) 5.51
04. The Scorch (Moore) 6.03
05. Lament (Traditional) 4.40
06. Desperado (Moore/Hiseman) 6.00
07. Am I (Airey) 4.17
08. Intergalactic Strut (Airey) 5.58

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