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Tony Williams Lifetime - Turn It Over CD (album) cover


Tony Williams Lifetime


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.03 | 20 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Turn It Over ? Play It Loud is the full name of this album I believe, and this is an obvious reference to the arrival of Jack Bruce into an otherwise unchanged Lifetime. A very black cover (almost more so than VU's White Light album of the previous year), and the album has a definitely angry, psyched-out snarls at the establishment. The linernotes mention Williams wanting to do is MC5, but I'm much more partial to Vanilla Fudge being his prime in fluence for this album. Despite being known as Cream singer and one of the bazssist that rewrote the rock bass playing book, Bruce is originally a jazz musician as his formation in Graham bond Organization, but jack will not sing on this album, but rather McLaughlin (if you can believe THAT) and Tony Williams himself.

Starting on the double Corea's two-part To Whom it May Concern, TWL is definitely attacking from the starting gun, and you know right away that their first album was no fluke with their incendiary hard-psyched jazz Indeed the track is slowed down, much like Vanilla Fudge did, to allow plenty of dramatic effects and McL's twisted (by effects) voice. Larry Young does not much different than Emerson did with his Hammond in The Nice, whipping it back, tearing its guts out, something that VF's Stein did quite well too. McL's guitar is as fiery as you've ever heard it before, like on the future Devotion or Tribute to JJ. If Trane's Big Nick sort of sticks out from the album's general psychedelic folly. But just after that, the short Right proves to be the most VF-esque number and the low organ groans spill-over Once I Loved (sung by Williams, this time), sprawling itself over five minutes. Not for every ears, I'll say.

The 5-mins Vuelta Abajo sounds like a very early heavy metal track, and it puts to shame Blue Cheer. With a heavy repetitive riff and searing guitar The funeral (graveyard background voice) Famous Blues is more an organ-lead track, despite being McL-penned, while the closing Allah Be Praised is very much predating Mahavishnu Orchestra. The superb bonus track One Word is showing how much greater this album would've been if Jack had taken over the vocals, as he does one of his most spectacular and dramatic showcase. Musically, the track is completely in the album's spectrum, too.

More than a jazz-rock album, TIV-PIL is a full psych-prog album that some jazz roots , one that some 40 years later can still shock and surprise. Ifnot a must have, thisis at leasta must-hear, even if some forewarned progheads might still wonder on which album they've fallen upon.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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