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Atmospheres - Voyage To Uranus  CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 6 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars A few months album the debut's release, Clive Stevens returned to the studio, but this time, the line-up is less stellar, even if Ralph Towner (keyboards) and John Abercrombie (guitars) are still present, with the former also toys with 12-string guitar. Stu Woods (bass) and Mike Carvin (drums) replace the MO alumni rhythm section along with Johnson on percussion. Again recorded in a NY studio and still released in 74, the album's cover with an intriguing flowing naked humans tripping out on whatever they took.

Opening the album, Shifting Phase is hotter and faster than anything on the first album, nearing RTF or MO execution speed (Aber even sounds a bit like McL), but this is not the case of the next few tracks, Inner Spaces And Outer Places even using a strong mid-tempo riff, while Aber, Towner and Stevens are jumping stars and galaxies with superb mastery, especially Aber's guitar. However the album takes on a contemplative turn with the really slow Un Jour Dans Le Monde, an ideal vehicle for Stevens' soft sax playing.

The flipside is definitely slower and more introspective, but it is no less hot-er than the afore- mentioned Shifting Phases track, even if the almost-9mins Water Rhythms is like a supernova exploding your mind. The album close on the aptly-titled Return To Earth and indeed it was a cool cosmic glide between galaxies, black holes and other spaceships, with Stevens shifting to a calm flute.

With its second and final album Voyage To Uranus (ever wonder why Uranus and never Neptune??), Stevens would not renew the experience again (most likely for sales and visibility issues - JR/F groups abounded in a more or less closed microcosm - and the project ends with this album. Just two largely forgotten albums, but well worth the hunt if you're into that trip. And I am.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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