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Dick Heckstall-Smith - A Story Ended CD (album) cover


Dick Heckstall-Smith


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.62 | 21 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The marriage between jazz and rock is one that has enthralled me for ages. Obviously they stem from the same tree, which is blues, but the improvisational nature of jazz in combination with the power of rock music makes for a very exciting soundscape. So, having said that I would like to say that Dick Heckstall-Smith's album of 1972 is such a pleasant surprise. I like Colosseum and think they were great band in their own right. The progressive rock of theirs, combining jazz and blues into a powerful concoction, is still a treat to listen to. Needless to say, Dick's album holds similarities to his old band. The difference, I think, is that his solo album is far better than any of those he made with Colosseum. The potent mix of jazzy grooves, bluesy licks and hard rock leanings is absolutely magnificent. Also, the abundance of guests on the album makes for a varied and exciting listen.

The opening track 'Future song' is great with it's repetative riff and hard, driving sound. The following 'Crabs' is irresistable. It holds so many moods and swings to and fro in a seamless manner. Great vocals too. 'Moses in the Bullrushourses' is another very good track, owing just as much to jazz, blues and hard rock. Great groove! Graham Bond may have a limited vocal range but delivers a hoarse and enjoyable performance. His organ is to the fore and provides so much joy, since I am a fanatic when it comes to the hammond organ. No other instrument is able to send shivers down my spine like the organ.

'What the morning was after' is a jazzy, quite calm piece offering some relief from the previous track. Then it comes, the main center piece: 'The pirate's dream'. This is really a bluesy, jazzy epic that transforms into a majestic chaos for an ending. Chris Farlowe do have a magnificent pair of lungs. This track is really, really good. The album ends with the bluesy 'Same old thing'. A great ending to a great album.

The overall tone of this album is warmth. It is so sincere and passionate throughout that I am gobsmacked. Everything, almost, sits perfectly. And the title, 'Dust in the air suspended marks the place where a story ended', is irresistable. While the saga or story of Colosseum was ground to, at least, a temporary halt the musical direction of refining and exploring the possibilities of jazz-rock continued in the grandest of fashion.

I own the Esoteric Recordings edition of the album and it sports some really good bonus tracks. Quite often bonus tracks can be so-and-so, really not adding anything to the overall view of a band, but in this case the opposite applies. The bonus tracks are amazing and really enjoyable. They do complete the picture of a short lived but tremendous band. The bonus tracks are comprised of three live recordings of 'Moses...', 'The pirate's dream' and 'No amount of loving'. The potency of this band in a live setting is devestating. There is a great fuzz bass-solo in 'Moses...', by the way. To top things off there are two tracks from the abandoned project Manchild. Also great songs.

When all is said and done there is only one thing to add. This is a fantastic jazz-rock album and while it is of it's time the warmth, sincerity and passion is timeless. It has dated well, I think, and is surely a valid listen if you're into jazz-rock and that side of progressive rock. Stunning album.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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