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Percy Jones Ensemble - Propeller Music (CD)

Release Date: 17th March 2014

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST195CD
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Percy Jones Ensemble - Propeller Music

Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved of other musicians and the more discerning of critics but that despite everything never had the commercial success that it deserved.

They were a jazz fusion band active 1975–1980. Noted members included Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) and Robin Lumley (keyboards). Not long after jazz/rock fusion greats Brand X put out their 1980 album, Do They Hurt?, the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992, which only featured Goodsall and Jones).

Dave Lynch writes: 'Fusion bassists, including the utterly unique and underpraised Percy Jones, have always laboured in the shadow of Weather Report's Jaco Pastorius. Of all the musicians who strapped on fretless electric basses during the '70s through to today, Jones certainly deserves attention beyond the seemingly inevitable Pastorius comparisons.'

Jones’s utterly idiosyncratic bass playing defined the sound of Brand X as much as Phil Collins’s drumming and the band would not have been anywhere near as interesting without him. He also appeared on classic Brian Eno LPs as Another Green World and Before and After Science.

Glen Astarista writes: 'Fretless electric bassist Percy Jones has carved out his place in fusion and progressive rock during his longstanding affiliation with the bands Brand X and Tunnels. Furthermore, Jones represents one of the early innovators of the electric bass despite a lack of widespread recognition. Yet, since the mid-'70s, the artist's signature sound and style to coincide with his enviable chops has at times, been overshadowed by others who reside a bit closer to the limelight. Otherwise, the bassist, along with funk/fusion/bebop drummer Mike Clark and others, help spearhead a studio session brimming with East Indian overtones, zestful rhythms, and EFX treatments. Here, Jones' pumping lines, harmonics, and somewhat angular attack serve as the guiding force, as his ensemble pursues a series of jagged themes interspersed with punchy rhythms and atmospheric synths. This 1990 release also features famed violinist Shankar, who along with Jones, intertwine a series of Eastern modalities into the grand scheme of things, whereas Joe Sofia offers his pleasingly melodic if somewhat unspectacular vocalizations on two pieces. The band surges onward via a turbo-charged approach, although the rapidly executed stop-start type movements amid a constant state of evolution makes for a strenuous listening experience when viewed upon as a whole.'

The album is a peculiar, though satisfying mix of jazz fusion and electronica and is another one of those classic albums that slipped through the cracks at the time, which is just unfair. Great tunes, great compositions, great musicianship. What’s not to like? JON DOWNES

Track Listing

1. 0,000 Bookshelf
2. Heidleberg Switch
3. Barrio
4. Panic - Disorder
5. Count The Ways
6. Turn Around
7. Slick
8. Slack
9. All For A Better Way
10. Looking For A New Sign Of Life
11. Razorville
12. K2


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