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Lenny White - Venusian Summer CD (album) cover


Lenny White


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 34 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. The only thing keeping me from hitting the 5 star button is that funk fuelled opening track, the second is funky too but a much better tune. The rest is incredible to my ears so yes this is a top 15 album for me for 1975 right now. Lenny White is such a talented man and during a break from RETURN TO FOREVER he brought in some amazing musicians to record this his first solo album. I love that Patrick Gleeson from those "Mwandishi" albums is here along with many known names like Larry Young, Al DiMeola, Larry Coryell, David Sacious and more. That album cover would be perfect if the girl with the horns wasn't there. The title implies a Venus-like Summer I believe.

"Chicken-Fried Steak" is indeed funky with White adding clavinet to his drum duties. Some expressive guitar here as well. Catchy stuff and check out the organ from Jimmy Smith around 3 1/2 minutes. "Away Go Troubles Down The Drain" is also funky but the attraction for me here is the abundance of intricate sounds. Just a pleasure to really listen to this one even if I feel the remainder of this album is better. Sancious adds organ and synths to this one and we also get some guitar after a minute.

"The Venusian Summer" is a top three tune for me. The first of two sections that make up this track are filled with synths as four guys all play them and we also get sequencers and then piano late from Lenny. It's surprisingly spacey and dark. The latter is surprising given the title of the song. The second part of the song sounds completely different as we get this great sounding atmosphere as intricate sounds come and go. So good! Piano after 6 minutes followed by flute.

"Prelude To Rainbow Delta" is a short intro track to the next song. This has spacey synths and some percussion as it builds to a powerful sound full of atmosphere. It blends into "Mating Drive" a top three tune for me. It's sparse and atmospheric at first, spacey and dark. Soon it kicks in to an uptempo groove just before a minute. The lead guitar from Raymond Gomez shines here, Larry Young adds organ. Gomez is on fire before 3 minutes as he lights it up, nice bass as well. Organ to the fore after 4 minutes then it's the guitar's turn 5 1/2 minutes in. Check out the drumming to end this smoldering song. Nice.

"Prince Of The Sea" is my favourite song on here and a perfect closer. I love the guitar and here Al DiMeola and Larry Coryell put on quite the show, like a duel of sorts trading solos. Atmosphere and the sound of sea gulls to start. Soon synths I believe, then some piano and flugelhorn are added as it stays relaxed and mellow. A beat kicks in before 3 1/2 minutes along with guitar. It takes a minute but soon the guitars start to dominate. They are trading solos before 9 1/2 minutes. Oh my! It becomes a shred-fest. Nice. Sea gulls are back before 11 1/2 minutes to end it.

An incredible album that doesn't start off that well but just seems to get better as it plays out. Highly recommended to fans of Jazz/ Fusion out there. One of the classics.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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