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Niacin - Niacin CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.27 | 30 ratings

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3 stars Chambers, Novello and Sheehan's first is quite unlike the Niacin albums that came later, and has as much in common with the vintage rhythm 'n blues, soul-jazz and gospel rock of Jimmy Smith as the prog/fusion this trio is routinely lumped in with. A more immediate, emotional and warmer quality is achieved here, the three players sounding like they'd be right at home in church on Sunday morning as much as in a dimly-lit jazz club late the night before. It's groovy, man, and the whole thing feels like you've accidentally wandered into the greatest casual jam session you'll ever witness. 'No Man's Land' is a cooker and a healthy five minutes of great organ rock, 'Do a Little Dirty Work' funks, quiet instrumental ballad 'I Miss You (Like I Miss the Sun)', and soulful reflections in piano showcase 'One Less Worry'. Flat-out gospel stomper 'Three Feet Back' steals the show, John Novello making his mark as an important voice in rock organ, supported by the next, the hard-bopping 'Bullet Train Blues', catchy beats of 'Klaghorn', fascinating Stravinsky fugue jazz in 'Spring Rounds' and hearty 'Paydirt'.

Possibly a bit more rooted in the infectious swing of black American music than many progsters expect and though I would recommend their 2005 release 'Organik' over this, 'Niacin' is a fine debut from one of the best progressive jazz-rock ensembles of our time.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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