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If - Europe 1972 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 21 ratings

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Squire Jaco
5 stars Since IF's "Forgotten Roads" includes highlights from their first three albums, and this live album includes most of their fourth album, these two cd's together can ably fulfill your dream IF collection. (That is, if you ever had a dream of collecting some nice IF....)

Great performances here, and very well recorded - very present, very tight. And the songs are filled with wonderful melodies and harmonies. A very energetic and appreciative crowd makes itself known only during the short breaks between songs. Nearly 58 minutes of some of the best jazz rock ever made, by a British group that never seemed to get its proper due, at least compared to BS&T, Chicago, Ides of March, etc.

IF differentiated themselves from the other big band jazz rock outfits by excluding brass, so there's a somewhat softer edge to their brand of music. That doesn't mean they can't rock - the long guitar solos on "I Couldn't Write and Tell You" and others are simply scorchers! And the rhythm section is strong and innovative on all their songs. The vocals are kind of interesting too: J.W. Hodkinson sang with a nice tenor, but had almost a southern twang! He shows off some nice gutsy vocals here.

Special mention should also be made of the album closer, the 20-minute long "What Did I Say About The Box Jack?" Flute, sax, guitar, jamming....sublime, my friends.

If you're reading this, you must have been directed here by some jazz-rock reference. This is the real deal folks - if you love the jazz-rock scene of the late 60's and early 70's, this is ESSENTIAL. I guarantee you'll be seeking their other cd's after one listen to this one. IF'n ya know what I mean....;-)

Squire Jaco | 5/5 |


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