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Brand X - Timeline CD (album) cover

TIMELINE

Brand X

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.83 | 16 ratings

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Squire Jaco
4 stars I was pretty proud of myself back in the mid-70's when I stumbled upon a couple of records ("Moroccan Roll" and "Livestock") by a British jazz fusion outfit called Brand X that had one of my new-found prog heroes Phil Collins showing his jazz chops at the drum stool. Looking back, though, I have to admit that I was probably more enamored of the IDEA of this generically-named band with the awesome bass player (Percy Jones) than I was of the actual progressive fusion that they played. Times and tastes have changed over the decades, and I've grown to fully appreciate the unique sound of this band, bought almost all of their cd's (especially the earlier stuff), and now wish that there were many more bands that had Brand X's courage, chops and compositional skills to populate my cd collection.

"Timeline" is a fantastic live double cd. Disc 1 showcases the late-70's line-up (without Collins) and includes unique versions of many their best compositions. I must admit to a little disappointment at the slight decline in tape quality on the last couple of songs on this disc, but everything else sounds pretty good. And I find that I was never more aware of Morris Pert's omnipresent percussion touches than on this live performance.

Disc 2 hails from the early-90's trio line-up, with more straight-ahead rock fusion. Goodsall's guitar tone is beautiful here, and he somehow manages to simultaneously play some string synths (part of his Midi guitar?) in many places on this disc. He also has a great 4:00 acoustic/electric solo ("Healing Dream") reminiscent of the McLaughlin school of guitar, and based roughly on the riff he plays in "Macrocosm". Frank Katz has a good (if not entirely unique) 7:00 drum solo, and plays a great accompaniment to Jones' Pastorius-like bass solo ("Strangeness"). Disc 2 is all great stuff folks.

I also love the timeline history of the band (and its roots and branches) that covers the inside liner notes. (Where oh where is that 1974 master tape of Peter Gabriel with Collins, Goodsall, Rutherford and Ant Phillips?!)

"Timeline" will round out your Brand X collection nicely. Recommended.

Squire Jaco | 4/5 |

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