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The Brecker Brothers - Heavy Metal Be-Bop CD (album) cover

HEAVY METAL BE-BOP

The Brecker Brothers

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.05 | 4 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars For a time in the late nineteen seventies the Brecker Brothers were the horn section to hire for American prog. Go ahead, look at your classic prog collection, I bet they're in there.

This album was recorded and released right around the time that the brothers were playing in Frank Zappa's band (check out "Zappa In New York"). Zappa's drummer from those years, Terry Bozzio, appears in this album. And while there is little Zappa influence, there is some fine funky fusion.

East River, the only studio track on the album, starts things out. It's also the only track not written by either on the brothers. This song, by bassist Neil Jason (and others), is sort of like a more rocking Earth Wind & Wire song. It's not bad, but one of the weaker tracks on the album.

Inside Out sounds similar to the bluesy jamming that Jeff Beck was playing at the time, but with more horn solos. Some Skunk Funk is the best track on the album. This wild funk track features some of the best frenetic horn arrangements you will ever hear (I once heard an unusually talented punk band play this, it was weird, but great).

Sponge is a very simply written song, but contains some incredible solos, not just from the Breckers, but also guitarist Barry Finnerty. Funky Sea. Funky Dew is the slower song on the album, with a heavier break in the middle, and a fine sax solo at the end. Squids is another good, mid-tempo funky piece.

Be warned, there is no heavy metal on the album, even by seventies standards. Just quality funky jazz rock fusion. It's a little bit dated in sound, but still a fine album to own.

Evolver | 3/5 |

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