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Ian Gillan Band - Clear Air Turbulence CD (album) cover


Ian Gillan Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.82 | 70 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The debut album by this post-Purple project of Ian Gillan initially started out as a bash with well-seasoned session musicians/good mates and resulted in a sophisticated sounding Hard-Rock/Jazz-Prog hybrid, which the band members were really pleased with. This enthusiasm led to a most inspired piece of plastic (IMO, of course) with this album, 'Clear Air Turbulence'. I've been guilty of criticising the vocals of Gillan in the past, but here he's adjusted his approach to fit the arrangements perfectly. There are 6 killer tracks on this album, one more technical than the other. All these compositions have a definate progressive structure about them, multi-sectioned and extended enough for some adventurous soloing, and most tunes are backed with subtle Brass arrangements which are never over-bearing, nor out of place. Every musician has really challenged themselves, and is clearly heard throughout - John Gustafson (formerly of Quatermass and Roxy Music) contributes stunning Bass-playing on each and every track (often using a Flanger). His highlight would be during the end section of 'Goodhand Liza' (5.24), even better than his performance in Quatermass, I must admit. I wouldn't hesitate to say that Mark Nauseef is in the Bozzio- league of amazing Drummers - he's intricate, has a great sense of dynamics and knows his way around his huge set-up. He's responsible for many great fills and really lets loose in 'Over The Hill' (7.11). Guitarist Ray Fenwick, a veteran of the Spencer Davis Group, puts on a great show with his solos - he really shines on the 7min35 title piece, and Keyboardist (and occasional Flautist) Colin Towns is a knock- out, mainly soloing with an ARP 2600 Synthesiser and clever enough to wrangle out some unique and appropriate sounds from it. He really comes to the party during 'Angel Manchenio' (7.17). We also get a touching ballad with 'Five Moons' (7.30) sporting some delicate Flanged Bass and Flutes, and 'Money Lender' (5.38) is funky and jazzy - the Brass adds a lot to this song. Strangely enough, I liken this album to KHAN's Space Shanty, if only in approach and lay-out. The result is equally satisfying.
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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