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Isotope - Deep End ... Plus CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 5 ratings

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4 stars Way back in the 70s I was really fascinated by Gary Boyle's guitar playing ... pretty much like Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin or Larry Coryell. No, don't want to compare them from a stylistical point of view, I only like to highlight an extraordinary spirit which units them all. This album has been part of my vinyl collection ... until I decided to sell (nearly) all my LP's to an enthusiastic collector. Some time ago I came back to this by accident and noticed that a modified version exists in the meanwhile released on See For Miles. This means the album title as well as the track order have been changed and some remixes were included too.

I'm sure you feel the same sometimes? Someone mentions a band or artist and then you immediately associate this with a special song? When it comes to Gary Boyle respectively ISOTOPE it's Deep End - my absolute favourite. And so first of all it's some spacey flavour which attracts attention. I mean the intro before the machines begin to proceed really. Here were have a proper proportion of improvisation, however interweaved with a tricky arrangement. Speaking of a groovy fundament which is interrupted by some wonderful relaxed interludes with subsequent piano and guitar solo excursions. I love this song! Gary Boyle at his best, no doubt! But to make it clear, he's far away from a dominance.

Due to the fact that we have two keyboarder equivalently acting here, Zoe Kronberger and Frank Roberts, I'm not able to say which part they play. Sometimes it sounds close to Jan Hammer. I like the groovy dynamic on Crunch Cake where some other songs are coming more from a popular jazz rock territory like Fonebone or Pip Dream which partially is close to Joe Sample's Crusaders. Sliding Dogs Lion Sandwhich is a nice bonus surprise, especially dedicated to this release ... and fantastic on top of it! Well, an improv track with some avant touch. Probably a leftover from the original recording sessions and simply considered to be too weird?

And now to this remixes ... there is nothing new to state practically ... to be honest, it took some time to make friends. Nothing new concerning the compositions - but for one or two it might be interesting to notice the brilliance as for the updated sound quality and the presence of keyboards and guitar especially. Nowadays, with an interval of more than 30 years (and while also demanding an higher standard probably) I'm still positive about the album's spirit - 'Deep End ... Plus' is essential, a fine recommendable jazz rock/fusion effort.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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