Product Reviews

Product: Brand X - Is There Anything About?
Date: 2014-11-19 

Is There Anything About?

This 2013 CD reissue of a 1982 album features 34 minutes of contemporary jazz music.

This album's band line-up is: Phil Collins (on drums and concussion), Percy Jones (on bass), John Giblin (on bass and vocals), Robin Lumley (on keyboards and vocals), Peter Robinson (on keyboards), John Goodsall (on guitar), Raf Ravenscroft (on saxophone), and Steven Short (on syndrums and vocals).

With this album, the band shifts from adventurous progrock to a more steadfast dose of contemporary jazz.

While the guitar has its moments in the spotlight, a lot of the lead licks belong to the bass. Its sultry vibrations lend an urban flair to the tunes, evoking evenings spent in smoke-filled cafes. The instrument issues notes wrapped in popping throbs.

Meanwhile, when the guitar shines, it does so like the sun at high noon, dazzling and crisp. Slithery notes cascade into sinuous riffs of an almost romantic character.

The percussion is more relegated here, delivering modulated locomotion to the music with durable but often restrained rhythms.

The keyboards exhibit a similar restraint, invoking softer sweeps and delicate pitterings that ooze through the mix with tasty subtlety.

The introduction of saxophone completes the band's transition to modern jazz. The horn injects a cerebral quality with its willowy wail.

The vocals that are present in one song are lyricless croonings.

These compositions, as one might've picked up on, are more straight-ahead modern jazz in style. The passion is still there, just subdued into a relaxed mode. Near the end of the album, though, the pace and intensity increases, offering tunes more of the band's forte.

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