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


Ian Gillan Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.82 | 69 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Jazzy Turbulence!

Ian Gillan, what a guy! Who the hell expected jazz fusion from a Deep Purple member? Okay, there was Tommy Bolin, but a singer? And not any singer, the one and only Ian Gillan. This is just so unexpected that it'll either please or annoy people.

Myself, I'm very pleased with this very original effort. It's not A-class jazz fusion, but all the musicians on board know how to play their instruments and Ian Gillan's vocal performance couldn't be more varied and in better shape.

Ray Fenwick, the guitarist, impersonates Ritchie's soloing in bits while John Gustafson delivers simple though funky bass lines throughout. The drumming is good and Colin Towns' keyboards are a great part of this album, delivering some ambiences as well as splendid synth solos that are not your typical Fusion synth solos.

The compositions, while not anything out-of-this world nor very complex, they hold the listeners attention with interesting change of paces and memorable solos, though it's mainly Gillan's astounding voice that takes your attention. In the title track the vocals are well in the Purple-style with power and kind-of bluesy, though in 'Money Lender', a half-rocker, half-fusion, Ian delivers one of his most impressive screams. On 'Five Moons' however, he delivers one of his most sweet and beautiful performances, definitely my favorite song from this album, since besides the vocal performance there's a really nice guitar solo and a powerful and well-fitting sax.

'Over the Hill' is as good as the title track, while 'Goodhand Liza' is rather awkward due to the percussion and how the song develops, it's the only song I would say that is uninteresting. The Ian Gillan Band leaves the best for the end though, 'Angel Manchenio' with a wonderful 2 minute instrumental introduction and the cherry on top of the cake would be the highly original synth solo from Colin.

In the end, 'Clear Air Turbulence' is an original, though by no means complex or very inventive, jazz fusion record with a splendid twist, that being having one hell of a vocalist leading the compositions.

4 stars: Highly recommended if you're a fan of Jazz Fusion and of Ian Gillan's voice.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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